Wednesday, December 07, 2005

DNR Letter to IDEM re Hog Factory in Jasper County

I'm surprised the link I posted to the Post-Tribune article is no longer working. (It now leads to a blank page over at their website. Sorry about that, folks.)

So, I'm not 100% certain how long this link to the new Associated Press article will be active, but I thought I would post it anyay. Another batch of quotes from the DNR catches my attention in the above article. Quote:
Jim Bergens, the property manager of the Jasper-Pulaski area, told the Post-Tribune of Merrillville he isn’t concerned about the cranes eating the manure as they scavenge for waste grain in harvested fields.

DNR spokesman Michael Ellis said a letter that Glen Salmon, the DNR’s director of Fish and Wildlife, sent to IDEM declares that the wildlife area’s wetlands “are major use areas for the sandhill crane and other water birds in both the spring and fall migrations.”

Although the DNR believes the hog farm will not have a detrimental effect on the wildlife area, Ellis said, “in case anything would happen, our concerns are on the record.”
I have a copy of the letter mentioned by Michael Ellis in the news article above. Here is a copy so you can see for yourself the "concerns" they have mentioned "for the record".

------ copy ------

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Governer
Kyle J- Hupfer, Director

October 24, 2005

Office of Land Quality
Solid Waste Permits Section
Confined Feeding Operation
100N. Senate Ave., N 1154
Indianapolis, IN 46204


oct 26 2005

Environmental Management

RE: Belstra/Harper Sow Unit application dated 20 September 2005

Section 22, T31N,R5W

Jasper County

Farm ID #6383

Annual Waste Number AW-5517

The land immediately north of the sow unit is owned by the State of Indiana, Department of Natural Resources and operated as Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area. While we do not oppose the construction and operation of the sow unit there are a few management concerns that we would like call to your attention.

As a "State Fish & Wildlife Area, one of our main-programs is to provide hunting opportunities. The State property adjacent to the proposed sow unit is one of our more popular hunting areas, especially for turkey hunting in the spring and squirrel and deer hunting in the late summer and fall. Also, our public rifle shooting range is located approximately 1 mile NE of the sow unit.

It should also be noted that the fish and wildlife area contains some high quality water areas that are important to wildlife including endangered or threatened species. The wetland areas are major use areas for the sandhill crane and other water birds in both the spring and fall migrations.

We use many habitat manipulation methods in the operation of the fish and wildlife area.

One that should be noted is prescribed fire control burns. Much of the fish and wildlife area is burned on a 3 to 10 year rotation. The 160 acre block immediately north of the proposed sow unit is scheduled to be burned in the late winter or early spring of 2007.

We trust that the adherence of your project to IDEM regulation will ensure compatibility with the operation of this public fish and wildlife area. The land use management for this fish and wildlife area is not expected to change. Thank you in advance for recognizing the above management points.

Glen Salmon
Division of Fish & Wildlife

cc: Malcolm De Kryger
Belstra/Harper Sow Unit
P.O. Box 460
DeMotte. IN 46310

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