Conservation in Indiana is synonymous with pheasant, duck, and every other kind of hunting you can think of. Having grown up there, I used to do some hunting myself. I gave it up shortly after watching one of my friends use a barn owl for target practice. Things like that happen a lot when people go hunting. A few years later another hunting buddy (my girlfriend’s brother) was involved in a fatal shooting accident and had been carried out of the woods by his father.

So anyway, Sprol has recently listed an area of Northern Indiana as one of the worst places in the world.Coal is used in power plants because it is cheap, much of it being mined just across the border in Kentucky. Indianapolis is chock-full of people who have moved there to escape employment in Kentucky mines. My high school sweetheart, born in Kentucky, was literally a coal miner’s granddaughter. Their family photo album contained pictures of relatives in caskets, victims of coal mining accidents.

I also have childhood memories of foam blowing out of the treatment plant into the city park, raw sewage flowing out of a culvert into the Wabash River, and assorted plastic hygiene products floating in Lake Michigan. I would hope that environmental laws enacted since I left (25 years ago) do not allow those things to happen anymore, but then again …

On a positive note, many species are making a comeback in Indiana, thanks in large part to federal laws that have helped to force the issue.

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