TESTIMONY, David Nolin, Former Conservation Director, Five Rivers Metro Parks, Retired 2015

I grew up near Mud Run and spent many days fishing, seining, inner-tubing and even canoeing down this stream. This experience was very influential in my life, and was a big part of my decision to choose conservation as a career. Two years ago I retired from Five Rivers MetroParks after 30 years, mostly as conservation director. My department did a lot of seining, shocking, and evaluating of streams, and I believe I can tell a good stream when I see one. Last spring I returned to Mud Run with a minnow seine and a camera and was delighted to find the stream in great shape and retaining the diversity of fish that I remembered. I caught mottled sculpin on each of the first 3 passes, as well as four species of darters and many of the beautiful blackstripe topminnow. I made a little power point show of the results here attached.

The banks of the stream are stable and well vegetated, the waters are clear most of the time, there are healthy sequences of riffles and pools and good sinuosity. My concerns are:
– Possible pollution entering the stream from mining operations and damaging the aquatic environment
– Increase in flooding, bank cutting, and siltation from the increased runoff.
– The seeming ease by which the applicant is proceeding where no substantial evaluation of the stream or the dangers to it are assessed.

On another note, I have visited the Garrison Fen several times over the last year. This 6+ acre site is directly adjacent to the mining site. It contains many rare species associated with this kind of wetland, including queen of the prairie, Ohio goldenrod, Riddells goldenrod, kalms lobelia, grass of parnassus, turtlehead, and many other plants associated with this rare plant community. It is excellent habitat for spotted turtle and massasauga rattlesnake, but no one has done research to determine if they are present. The site is fed by strong groundwater flows. Given the depth of the proposed quarry directly adjacent to the site, it seems inevitable that the quarry pit will draw down the water table that feeds this wetland, causing its destruction.

Please deny this permit.

David Nolin

mud run seining