Funding Search Continues for Possible Starke County Forest Drainage Issues


Issues related to the Starke County Forest may have come to a bit of a standstill in recent weeks.

What was a hotly debated topic regarding potential flooding brought on by beaver activity to property neighboring the Starke County Forest has been left to finding adequate grant funds to attempt a solution.

Starke County Park Board President Skylar Ellinger says they’ve been in communication with Starke County Forest Manager Bruce Wakeland about the available remedies.

“The best bet would be to build a bypass ditch because we’re afraid we would spend the money for the study and then nothing would get done on the commissioners end,” says Ellinger.

Flooding was reported to the state by the neighboring property owners, who suggested that beaver dams were responsible for the flooding.

By allowing for drainage around the site, water could subside in heavy rains and allow the beaver population at the Starke County Forest to maintain their habitat. Devices are even being located that can prevent the beavers from clogging the culvert in the marsh in the Starke County Forest.

Ellinger says a new bypass ditch would be even easier to manage.

“We believe that just bypassing the marsh altogether, it would be easier if the beavers get into ditch, it would be easier to clean it out, to keep that ditch flowing, and still preserve the marsh,” says Ellinger.

Grant funds mentioned in the past would not cover the full cost of the bypass ditch. Additional searching will continue to be undertaken.

The Starke County Park Board says they may take further action once possible funds have been located.