Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tourism, Indiana, Hog Farms

You know, I've talked a great deal about the health challenges both residents and wildlife will be faced with when the Belstra/Harper Sow unit (CAFO factory farm) goes into operation. One detail overlooked by the BZA and other supporters of this particular CAFO (and even the DNR themselves) is the HUGE negative impact it will have on tourism to this area.

Think about it ...the facility butts right up against the J-P Fish & Wildlife Reserve.

Tens of thousands of tourists visit this area each and every year. Many visit here to hunt deer and coon. Some visit here to fish. Several visit to use the target range. Many visit here to watch the majestic cranes on their migratory path from the state-run bird observation deck built and paid for in a large part by tax dollars... and many tourists even visit just to have a place to enjoy the outdoors with their children or unite in a public park for family reunions and/or picnics. It's one of the closest things we have to "wilderness" in this region.

Oh... and did I forget to mention the races that are held on the far side of the reserve each week through the summer months? Many race drivers and fans drive by our home each weekend all summer long.

The Jasper County BZA located several miles away in Rensellaer probably couldn't care less about the revenues tourists bring to our area. Demotte, Bellstra's home town, probably could care less (I'm referring to city officials, not residents, since I know some Demotte residents are mad as heck about this particular hog factory going forward).

So, in summary, about 5 to 7 outsiders will have jobs. Local residents, game reserve workers and all wildlife will have to suffer the consequences of this hog factory daily. And as for tourism in our area?

This quote from the post "Other views: Don't allow big hog feeder to water down regulations" posted at Inforum Opinions on Dec. 17/2005 probably describes it best:
Dr. Bill Weida, project director and economic consultant of GRACE Factory Farm Project visited Devils Lake in 2003. Dr. Weida stated: “In an area like Devils Lake, where tourism is a mainstay of the economy and clean water and pristine air are an attraction, hog CAFOs are deadly. No one wants to visit a place where hog odor permeates the environment and the waters are polluted by excess nutrients.”
By the way, having lived in this area for more than 6 years now, I know which way the wind tends to blow most on those hot summer days and nights. Grant you, living less than 2500 feet from this hog factory, I probably won't be sleeping so well at nights... but I can tell you right now, that game reserve is going to be in even worse state from the smell.

If you are a frequent visitor and/or have visited Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Reserve in the past, make sure you contact Indiana politicians to let them know you DON'T want this hog factory going into operation -- before it's too late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why not threaten them with a nuisance lawsuit. It has worked in Iowa. There are tehnologies that are economically feasible for odor abatement. Point that out to them.

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