Park Board Updates Progress on Starke Forest Drainage Issue


The Starke County Park Board is providing an update on drainage issues in the Starke County Forest.

The greenspace and public access area has been a consistent point of discussion for the Park Board due to what county officials say is a back-up of water due to beaver activity in the forest.

Park Board member Debbie Mix says Starke County Surveyor Bill Crase was said to have visited the forest, recently.

“What he had seen was the beaver dam had been removed,” says Mix. “The water was flowing well and he said as long as it continues that way, he is going to keep it as is and they won’t remove the beavers.”

The county’s Drainage Board, according to the discussion, believes it is within its authority to trap the beavers if a dam prevents the flow of water in the future. An alternative home for the beavers was considered by the county, but officials are required to relocate them within the same county, creating difficulties.

Local forester Bruce Wakeland has previously argued the water back-up was not the responsibility of the beavers at all, but instead the result of a ditch that is in need of dredging.

Mix says the Surveyor continues to disagree.

“It was very evident that all the water flowed and no water was backed up so it was very evident that that was the issue,” says Mix.

The conversation started after neighboring property owners submitted complaints to the state of Indiana about the water issues.

No action was taken by the Park Board on the issue, Tuesday night.