Thursday, June 07, 2007

Indiana Rivers Rally: Day One

Indiana Rivers and Water Quality , Jane Frankenburger

Comments on Water Quality: (get date)
Water Quality: 1) not good enough 2) not well enough understood 3) conference should bring people together to work on answers.

Fish and Mussels in Indiana Rivers, Brant Fisher, IDNR

211 species of fishes in IN rivers; many are invasive species compared to those located in the native rivers and streams before European colonization.

Four major drainages in IN: Kanakee, Ohio, L Michigan L. Erie

Indiana streams and rivers have a very diverse and abundant list of fish. The minnow family is quite abundant, with many of the darters, sunfish, the lake sturgeon are on the endangered species list.

Typical cross-section of fishes are the darters, minnows, sunfish, sucker and catfish. A few others species are found in various waters.

Mussels 19 expterpated, 6 endangered, 9 special concern. With the Ohio taking the hardest hit with exterpation. Clubshell mussel is a good example of a once wide ranging specie that is now relegated to only two streams: Fish Creek and Tippecanoe River.

The challenges and opportunities for Indiana rivers and streams is the same as we've had for years. It's just now that we need to get more people educated and in-line with the programs of interest.

Recreation and Indiana Rivers, Steve Morris IDNR Outdoor Recreation

96% of the land in Indiana is privately owned. This has a large impact on the recreation opportunities for Hoosiers.

Roughly 400K Hoosiers canoe and/or kayak. Doing the math from 6.3M Hoosiers, there are 19% of them who canoe or kayak.

Water Trail information is found in the IDNR's Hoosiers On The Move program.

Hoosiers show an interesting statistic in Indiana. Roughly 3M Hoosiers are also fisherman. The second most used reason for boating in IN is for fishing.

Ted Lebberman, contact to provide ideas and comments.

Indiana Rivers and Our Culture and History, Donn Werling, Allen County Historical Society

Donn's main comment, "... we have the opportunity to make history, not just be a part of it." We must know how to read the natural landscape: under the water and on the banks. The history and heritage that exists in IN must be understood to appreciate it. If we do not understand it - let alone know about it - we will not have a motivation to rebuild, restore and live in harmony with the land.

If we learn to read the land we will then begin to build the understanding for why we need to protect the waters and the land that surrounds it.

Donn mentioned the resource called the The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, compiled and edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites in the 19th C. This resource is valuable for pealing back the layers of history.

Donn closed by singing a song he wrote about rivers, "The Rivers we

IN: Economic Development/Tourism, Stan Lambert

The role of rivers in the IN economic history. Stanton provided a presentation on the current status of the economic developments along IN rivers.

Overview of various urban areas that are working on river area developments.

The state of Indiana has in its sights to become the leader in bio-life science and hi-tech industry. To do this, all members of the state must develop a new outlook on the economic approaches accomplished by Hoosiers.

The 'quality of life' factor - used by most companies in their choice of locations, is higher today than ever before.

Q&A

City wastewater treatment plants - bacteria only - or do they have to remove heavy metals and other waste problems? JF... response was totally political. Talk of TMBL's.

Benthic community: restoration post destruction? BF... yes, it can but the data and experience is very limited. Restocking is very difficult due to the variables and large areas
How long do mussels live? BF... growth rings in shell -rough idea: up to 50yrs+

Legal Issues around 'log jams' when using waterways? SM ... trespassing is common, due to using officially non-navigable streams; navigable streams allow it below high-water mark. Other issue: who is responsible for clean-up.

Biggest priority in topic area and what can public do to help?
DW .. Thoreau .. "heaven is under your feet as well as over your head"
JF... get involved in watershed projects.
BF ... anything we can do to improve water quality
SL ... we must have one camp that works together; Stanton used the word 'sustainability' - the idea is good, but we must remove this word from our vocabulary. We do NOT need sustainability, we need IMPROVEMENT.
SM ... bring those who are not in the 'non motorized' community on board.

Rivers Rock Around the World, Dennis Wichelns

No longer with the Rivers Institute but continues to collaborate.

The density of the human footprint, worldwide, is closely tied to the occurrences of water on the earth. Water is essential to life for all of the earth. Water is also closely tied to the development of a country. Many of the nations in Africa have been adversely affected by the lack of navigable waterways. Much of Africa is unpopulated, due to lack of water or too much water and the density of life threatening water borne diseases.

Wichelns explains the problems with water access and hydro-politics around the world, by focusing on the major hot spots around the world. Those hot spots are in the areas of the most densely populated areas on earth. Water and its use form the basis of major challenges in the hot hydro-political spots in the world will have future consequences for the rest of the world.

He also pointed out the problem growing in 3rd World countries making strides to gain position in the global economy while still having population growth well above the ability to handle such variance between industrial growth and human quality of life.

Wicheln pointed out the problem with technological advances being introduced into dense population areas of the world. The idea of tube wells made clean, healthy ground water available to the people in Pakistan. Before the wells, people were dying for lack of safe drinking water and lack of irrigation. Now, because the technology was so successful there is a huge problem with depletion of the ground water. The people will not give up their tube wells and the rivers will not have water forever.

Q&A

What about the melting of glaciers in the Asian water system .. are they reducing due to warming and what are the problems? DW... Yes, they are melting. When the planet warms there will be a huge increase in the water levels coming off the mountains and it will be a years long problem in excess. But when that is done there will be a huge drought as a result: no snowmelt.
What about invasive species in international waterways? DW ...Yes, must be but no his specialty.
International Organizations working to find solutions? DW ... Yes, the UN and CGIAR.ORG World Economic Forum: Water Initiative

Overall a very interesting day. A very good day for the first state-wide conference on rivers, ever held in the state of Indiana. We just hope this will not be the last. We also hope this will become and annual event... at least someplace in the state.

O'fieldstream

Indiana Rivers Rally: Opening Remarks

Opening remarks by: Brent Ladd


The Indiana Rivers Rally is for the people in this room. Indiana has the longest unimpeded waterway east of the Mississippi... the mighty Wabash River. Indiana has more miles of waterways than INDOT has in roadways. This should tell us something.

At the IRR there are between 180 and 200 people in attendance. This is a unique event in the history of Indiana waterways and a long time in coming. This should be a great opportunity for the members of the community who volunteer as well as work in the efforts toward waterways and resource utilization, conservation and preservation.

Comments by Molly Dodge: Hanover College Rivers Institute Co-Chair of the IRR.

Keynote Speaker: Tim Palmer "Rivers of America"

Originally from Pennsylvania, Tim has traveled the country in all directions in search of the rivers of America. Knew nothing about Indiana Rivers until Bill and Marty Mayer showed up at a PA "Dam Rally" .. with concerns for the streams in Indiana that were in danger of being damed and destroyed.

Side show on his journey to become an advocate for rivers and waterways in America.

Rivers are at the root of all people, no matter where they live on planet earth. Whether a river exists in the heartland of flat food producing country or in the idyllic lands of the mountains of the wild west or the slow, lazy flowing waterways of the deep south, to the now acidic waters of the northeast, waterways tug at our very soul. If they are lost, then we become as the father of the land ethic that is enjoying a resurgence, Aldo Leopold said about not wanting to live in a land with wildness.

Thus, for the sake of soul saving events that go far past the esoteric views of a purist, keeping waters flowing free and clean are essential to our very existence.

Tim, during his presentation talks about the efforts he has undertaken on his own personal photo-journey that culminated in his coffee table photo essay book. He is now working on another photo book about the restoration of riparian zones around the watersheds throughout the U.S.

The range of Tim's presentation is enormous and it takes in the full range of waterways .. rivers of life in the U.S., from the deep south to the west; from the northeast to the desert rivers. Then off to the northwest and the wilderness lands of Alaska.


Q&A

What did Tim call "Lake Powell"? Powell Mudhole

Photos taken, how? Mostly from land for best quality. Some from boats; from ladders; skis in the winter .. any way he can get the shot?

How many cameras lost over the years? Only dropped one camera into water. Dropped camera off cliff - but was not damaged. Tim still shoots film; using camera (Canon A-1) from 1984.

How many oars lost? One .. his 'stone-age' oar .. using stones attached the oars to provide 'free' balanced oars.

How did you get around and to all those places? He lived out of his van for 24 years. He and his wife lived out of their car in order to 'be on location'. He and his wife now live in a house in Oregon.

Does he confer with Native Americans? Yes.. wherever and whenever possible.

What are you currently working on now? Photographic book on Trees due out in '08; Sierra Nevada book due out in a few months; published by Heyday Publishing.

O'fieldstream

Indiana Rivers Rally

West Lafayette, IN 7 June 2007

Today is the first day of the 3 day conference which many in the water and resource community has been awaiting for years. The Indiana Rivers Rally conference being held at Purdue University today - 7 June - through Saturday 9 June, is a gathering of the most interested and motivated of people working for the conservation, preservation, restoration and facilitation of Indiana's Hoosier Waterways.

Scientists, municipalities, non-profits and commercial enterprises all, will meet to discuss, debate and plan for the better use of the water and resources supportive to water in Indiana, for now and into the future. Many in the water community have great hope for the promises this meeting should bring about.

We at O'fieldstream are actively involved in the conference and will be reporting on the daily activities. If possible, we will blog directly from the conference. If not we will bring you daily updates. We are, unfortunately, only able to attend the first two (2) days of the conference, but we will obtain a 'stringer' to record the main events of Saturday 9 June in our absense.

Read about the objectives, mission and participants of the Indiana Rivers Rally on their official website. Also, you can read about the various organizations that are pushing this years meeting on the TippeFlyFisher; one of our satellite blogs.

Please... take the time to read about the conference. This will be your only way to find out what is happening at this conference as it is not open to the public. Again, remember this is the first year for the conference. We are sure there will be changes - very good ones at that - coming for the use and conservation of Hoosier waterways. As well, we hope to see next years' conference open up to a broader audience. At least that will be the O'fieldstream input.

Stay tuned ....

O'fieldstream