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Blue River Commission

Blue River Commission > Permits & Jurisdiction > Memorandum of Understanding Memorandum of Understanding

This Memorandum of Understanding entered into by and between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, an administrative Department of the State of Indiana, which shall hereinafter be referred to as the “Department,” and the Blue River Commission, which shall hereinafter be referred to as the “Commission” and which has been authorized for establishment by IC 14-29-7 (formerly IC 13-2-27), the Indiana River Commission Act, which became in force on the first day of September, 1978.

WITNESSETH THAT:

WHEREAS, the Blue River from river mile 57.0 to river mile 11.5 has been included in the Indiana Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Sys­tem through adoption of Natural, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System, 312 IAC 7-2-2, (formerly 310 IAC 4-1-1), by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission in July, 1975, adopted pursuant to IC 14-29-6 (formerly IC 13-2-26), the Indiana Rivers Preservation Act, which came in force on the 26th day of July, 1973 and was listed at 16 Indiana Register 1677 on March 1, 1993, as an Outstanding River, and;

WHEREAS, the Department and the Commission, together with the Big Blue River of the Ohio Association, Inc., which shall hereinafter be referred to as the “Association,” a not-for-profit corporation organized and existing by virtue of the laws of the State of Indiana and comprised of riparian landowners along Blue River, have been cooperating to accomplish the purpose of IC 14-29-6 (formerly IC 13-2-26) in a man­ner which will be supported by the Blue River riparian landowners, and;

WHEREAS, both parties to this Memorandum of Understanding are com­mitted to continuing the spirit of cooperation shown by the Department and Association, and;

WHEREAS, both parties to this Memorandum of Understanding are com­mitted to preserving the Blue River component of the Indiana Natural, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System.

NOW THEREFORE, it is agreed by and between the parties, as follows, to wit:

Land and Improvements Subject to the Authority of the Commission

  1. It is agreed that the land and improvements within the Blue River Corridor District, as such District was defined with the concurrence and consent of the Association are subject to the authority of the Commission and that the following Blue River Corridor District Regulations shall be administered by the Commission. It is also acknowledged that the Department may have concurrent jurisdiction with the Commission and that a permit from the Department may also be required for improvements within the Blue River Corridor District.
  2. It is also agreed that prior to final action, the Commission shall notify, by first class mail, the president of the Association and any other person requesting in writing to be notified of any matters before it that affect any property rights of any landowner other than those petitioning the Commission.

Blue River Corridor District Regulations

(to maintain the natural and sce­nic qualities of Blue River):

  1. The following area in Washington, Harrison and Crawford counties is designated in the Blue River Corridor District:
    1. Blue River from river mile 57.0 to river mile 11.5 and the strip of land along each side of the river which is defined by the river’s edge and a line paralleling the river bank and is determined by measuring horizontally (parallel to the river surface) 50 feet from the river bank and away from the river.
    2. It is also agreed that riparian landowners along Blue River may petition the Commission to include additional land in the Blue River Corridor District to provide for the further preservation of Blue River.
  2. The words used in this Memorandum of Understanding shall be given their plain, customary, everyday meaning, except that the following terms shall mean and include within their respective definitions, as a minimum, the following:
    1. Deposit - to fill, place, or dump.
    2. Improvement - to use or modify a structure, or to deposit, locate or remove material.
    3. Locate – to construct, place, insert, or excavate.
    4. Material - any soil, sand, gravel, clay, peat, mud, debris, refuse, or other organic or inorganic substance.
    5. Modify - to alter, repair, enlarge, or extend a structure.
    6. Remove - to take away, dig, dredge, bulldoze, dragline, blast or to cut natural vegetation.
    7. River Bank - the top of the slope immediately bordering the river’s course, along which the river normally runs and below which the river is normally contained or the edge of the per­manent woody vegetation or the edge of the field, pasture, or cultivated crop; the closest to the river’s edge among the top of the slope, the permanent woody vegetation, or the field, pasture or cultivated crop.
    8. Use - to employ or occupy a structure or parcel of land for a person’s service, benefit, or enjoyment.
  3. All improvements within the Blue River Corridor District will require an application for a Blue River Commission permit.
  4. Pursuant to IC 14-29-7-19(a), after a hearing and subject to paragraph 5, below, the Commission may issue a permit to a person to substantially affect the natural or scenic qualities of the river if the Commission finds the need of the person seeking the permit to be more compelling than the need of the people to have the natural and scenic qualities of the river preserved.
  5. Pursuant to 14-29-7-19(b), a permit may not be issued that substantially affects the natural or scenic qualities of a river in a manner visible from five (5) feet above the water surface of the river at normal water level between May 1 and October 15 of a year.
  6. Timber may be selectively harvested according to good forestry practices, following the marking of the timber by a qualified forester agreeable to the landowner and the Blue River Commission and the obtaining of a Blue River Commission Permit.

Access Site Development

It is agreed that public or commercial access sites, portages, or campgrounds will not be designated and/or improved within the Blue River Corridor District. The access sites, portages and campgrounds which already exist are listed below (all existing commercial access sites and commercial campgrounds are considered to be non-conforming uses within the Blue River Corridor District):

  1. Old Mill Bait Shop (Richard Lambert) Commercial Access Site: T1S, R3E, Sec. 16 (downstream of US Hwy 150 bridge, right bank)
  2. Recreation Unlimited (Fred Churchill) Commercial Campground and Commercial Access Site: T1S, R2E, Sec. 24 (NW 1/2 of NW 1/4 of NW 1/4, left bank)
  3. Richard Lambert Commercial Access Site: T1S, R2E, Sec. 23 (NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of SE 1/4, right bank)
  4. Totten Ford Bridge Commercial Access Sites: T2S, R2E, Sec. 2 (center of NW 1/4 of NE 1/4)
    1. Cave Country Canoes Access Site (upstream, left bank)
    2. Cave Country Canoes Access Site (downstream, right bank)
  5. Cave Country Canoes Commercial Access Site: T2S, R2E, Sec. 15 (in Milltown, upstream of bridge, right bank)
  6. Town of Milltown Public Portage and Public Access Site: T2S, R2E, Sec. 15 (downstream of bridge, right bank)
  7. Rothrock Mill Public Portage and Public Access Site: T3S, R2E, Sec. 11 (NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of NW 1/4, left bank)
  8. White Cloud Dam (Judith Rothrock) “Common Use” Public Portage: T3S, R3S, Sec. 30 (NE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of SW 1/4 of NE 1/4, left bank)

Maintenance of the River Channel

The Commission has determined that the limited practice of cutting fallen trees in the river channel approximately in half to allow the river to float the tree sections to the river bank or downstream for the sole purpose of erosion control and avoidance of flood hazards will not substantially affect the natural and scenic qualities of the river.

Provided these activities are conducted by the riparian owner, or at the riparian owner’s direction, such activity will not require a Commission permit. However, the Commission specifically acknowledges the concurrent jurisdiction of the Department with respect to this issue and understands that a Department permit may be required for this practice.

River Crossings

It is agreed that all efforts should be made to ensure the placement of additional power transmission lines, pipe lines, cables, roads, or railroad crossings in or immediately adjacent to an existing right-of-way. It is also agreed that herbicide application within the Blue River Corridor District, with the single exception of direct “stump spraying” as necessary within rights-of-way, should be minimized. However, all such applications shall be considered on a case by case basis.

Meeting of the Commission

It is agreed that the Commission will meet at least bi-monthly each calendar year. Special meetings will be scheduled at other times as deemed necessary by the Commission.

Enforcement of Trespass and Other Laws

It is agreed that Blue River be given high priority by the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources. The Division shall utilize six (6) officers with powers of arrest for a minimum of twenty four (24) man hours twice a month, on weekends and holidays, for a total of forty-eight (48) man hours per month or two hundred forty (240) man hours per year from May 1 to September 30, on the section of the river experiencing the heaviest concentration of canoe traffic. The entire Blue River Corridor District shall be checked at least once per recreational season (May 1 to September 30).

Publicity

It is agreed that in furtherance of the parties’ responsibility to preserve the natural and scenic qualities of the Blue River Corridor District, dissemination of information of the Blue River will be conducted in a responsible manner giving due consideration to the possible adverse impacts of the resource by intensified use. The Department specifically agrees that it will not promote or advertise the qualities of the Blue River.

Lower Section of the River

Inclusion in the Natural, Scenic and Recreation River System of the lower section of Blue River, from river mile 11.5 to river mile 7.3, is not recommended at this time. However, the Department of Natural Resources agrees to insure that the State abides by the same com­mitments that the landowners abide by as stipulated in this agreement rela­tive to the stewardship of land owned by the State along this lower section of the river.

Concurrent Jurisdiction

The parties to this Memorandum of Understanding acknowledge and recognize that the Commission and the Department exercise concurrent jurisdiction with respect to certain activities which may occur, from time to time, within the Blue River Corridor District and that undertakings of such activity within the Blue River Corridor District may require the approval of both the Commission and the Department. Therefore, the Commission and the Department do hereby covenant and agree to provide notice to each applicant requesting a permit to conduct activities within the Blue River Corridor District of the concurrent jurisdiction of the other so as to assure that all necessary permits and authorizations, whether to be issued by the Commission or the Department, are properly secured by the applicant prior to the commencement of the activity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hands after having been first duly authorized to do so by their respective organizations:

STATE OF INDIANA By_______________________

Department of Natural Resources John R. Goss, Director

Before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared ______________________________________, and acknowledged the execution of the foregoing instrument this_______of _______________________, 2004.

Witness my hand and seal.

_______________________, Signature My Commission Expires: _________________

_______________________, Printed County of Residence: _____________________

Notary Public

BLUE RIVER COMMISSION By_______________________

Denny C. Cox, Chairman

Before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared ______________________________________, and acknowledged the execution of the foregoing instrument this_______of _______________________, 2004.

Witness my hand and seal.

_______________________, Signature My Commission Expires: _________________

_______________________, Printed County of Residence: _____________________

Notary Public