Eighty five years ago the Tippacanoe River in Indiana had two hydroelectric generating dams installed and Federal (now FERC) control and each formed large lakes which catch silt runoff and generate electricity. The agreement 85 years ago was that the lakes should operate on a “water out equals water in” basis, resulting in very stable lake levels. With the resulting clear water downstream of the dams the mussle population thrived. In fact during the 1980s mussles were harvested downstream with fromt loaders. With the stable lake levels the shore lines were developed where today over 1800 cottages line the two lakes. However, three years ago a Fish and Wildlife agent ordered that a hihg minimum water flow be let from the dams to protect the mussles. What the residents found out was F&W do not have to explain why they do anything, and they cannot be challenged. The mussle population is vary stable (F&W refuse to even consider data gathered by Univeristy of ILLinois). However, according to F&W there are endanged nussles in the river all must do as they say. The reult is dratically lower property values reulting in Millions of dollars lost by the local school systems, and lake mussles now put at risk as the stable for 85 years lake levels start varying. Many of the lake residents are connected to universities, and are very frustrated that there is no recourse against an order by F&W, who refuse to give any justification for their actionsm other than there are endangered nussles in the river. The Endangeeed species act need to be revised. No government orders sjhould be unchallengable.
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