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Monroe Lake Tree Clearing Violates Federal, County Laws

The property owners are under investigation for clearing the area of all vegetation. They could face thousands of dollars in fines.

Lake Monroe.

Photo: Bill Shaw WTIU/WFIU

The property pictured is now void of vegetation all the way to the shoreline. Authorities suspect the action was taken this summer.

A privately owned property on the shores of Monroe Lake is in violation of federal and county regulations.

The property, located at 7240 E. Holly Lane in Bloomington, is now void of vegetation all the way down the property to the shoreline.

Monroe Lake is the primary source of drinking water for Bloomington and is within the Hoosier National Forest.

Authorities are unsure who removed the vegetation. Historical aerial photography of the area shows no land disturbance as of April, and authorities suspect the action was taken this summer.

Monroe County Planning Director Larry Wilson says logging of lakefront property violates both federal and county regulations.

“In addition to being a violation or a trespass on the Corps of Engineer federal property, which owns the area around the lake, it’s a violation of our ordinance, which prohibits removal of vegetation next to the water,” he says. “The reason these areas are protected, there are several reasons. One, its primarily water quality control.  If there’s no trees or vegetation, it vastly increases the amount of sediments and other pollutants that go into the lake.”

A kayaker discovered the violation about a month ago and reported it to authorities.

Authorities are in the process of obtaining a warrant to inspect the property.

Wilson says those responsible for the logging could face thousands of dollars in fines.

Taylor Killough

Taylor Killough is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has studied anthropology and digital journalism. She has professional experience in education and communications and is excited to be a part of the award-winning team at WFIU/WTIU.

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