Board to meet with Fish & Wildlife on Eagles Bluff issue

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Sports Editor

CANNELTON – The Perry County Parks and Recreation Department is still working on getting a restriction on its deed to Eagles Bluff Park lifted so it can install campsites for recreational vehicles there.

Such sites are forbidden under terms of the deed set when the parks department purchased the land from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2000. The reason given for the restriction was the campsites could disturb bald eagles possibly living or feeding there.

Some eagles have been spotted in the area of the park, but John Castrallie, a biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, recently told State Rep. Lloyd Arnold there are no nesting sites or feeding sites for eagles at Eagles Bluff.

Arnold told the parks board Wednesday that the DNR does frequent studies on eagles and Castrallie told him they rarely even fish in the Ohio River, which is adjacent to Eagles Bluff, as they prefer smaller rivers.

“I’ve talked to a real estate attorney and he said easements can be removed if there’s no longer a need,” Arnold said.

Armed with Castrallie’s information, Arnold said he believes there is no longer a need for the restriction on the deed to Eagles Bluff. “I feel like we have an asset here that we can’t use,” he said, adding that there may have been a good reason for the restriction 10 years ago but there’s not now.

He suggested the next step to removing it would be to have parks board representatives meet with U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials. He suggested Pat Carroll, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service real estate officer, as the best person to meet with and said such a meeting could probably be arranged in U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Bloomington office.

Parks-board President Brad Franzman and Perry County Recreation Director Adam Tempel volunteered to join Arnold in a meeting with Carroll as soon as Arnold can set it up.

In other business:

• Tempel said Alvin Evans of the Perry County Development Corp. told him the parks board can update its comprehensive five-year plan merely by holding a public meeting on the subject and then incorporating goals decided on there into the previous plan.

Franzman suggested having Lisa Gehlhausen of Indiana Region 15 facilitate the meeting. Tempel agreed to call her.

• If the weather cooperates, Tempel plans to meet with contractor Michael Simon this week “to line things out” on building a restroom building at Magnet Park.

“I’d like to have the whole thing done by the end of the year,” said Tempel.

• Tempel said the Derby Association ran an electric line to Mulzer Park in Derby a week ago. The parks board approved the line last year.

• Calvin Cash has been appointed by the Perry County Commissioners to fill the rest of Dan Peter’s term on the parks board.

That term runs through the end of 2015. Peter resigned in February for health reasons.