Negative aspects coincide with dam removal

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     The Jones County Conservation Board is considering removal of the Mon Maq Dam on the Maquoketa River. The Board originally garnered support for a project, which involved a white-water park with hiking/biking trails along the river. They have since concluded the proposal is not feasible. However, they still wish to go forward with removing the dam.

     On consequence of removing the dam is the negative impact on wetlands above the dam. There has been some disparity among the engineering studies conducted as to the level the water will drop when the 13-foot dam is removed. The soil along the river is Type 315, which does not hold water. When the dam is removed, and the river cuts a new channel, the water level will drop in all wetlands, sand point wells, irrigation ponds, etc. along the river. How much drop depends on the depth of the new river channel. What impact will this have on the ponds and wetlands at Riverside Gardens, where $75,000 was recently spent developing the area with walking trails, etc.?

     There are many more negative aspects of removing our dam. Instead of spending $1.7 million tearing out the dam, why not spend a little money capitalizing on the uniqueness of the area? Clear the underbrush; create more parking, picnic areas, and primitive campsites for people to enjoy the river and the dam site. Revenue from campsite rental could be used to offset maintenance.

     If you would like to save our dam of personal attachments or believe it is a waste of tax dollars to tear it out, get involved. Call your county supervisors and their appointed Conservation Board members and respectfully express your opinion and please sign the “SAVE OUR DAM” petition that is being circulated in the county.


Mike Davies

Anamosa, Iowa


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