Protect the Kankakee River Basin

Save a Jewel of Natural Indiana - Protect our Kankakee River Basin

Join us in our fight to stop a mega-dairy from being built next to 20,000 acres of ecologically-sensitive, historic natural areas in northwestern Indiana’s Newton County.

We (the undersigned below) are a group of concerned citizens from throughout the northwest Indiana area who love the Kankakee River Basin. We are raising money to fund a community-organizing effort (involving a legal challenge and community meetings) to protect the Kankakee area from an ill-advised agricultural development.

A Texas-based multi-million dollar company’s proposed factory dairy farm (ironically called "Natural Prairie Dairy”) not only threatens our quality of life, it has the potential to destroy the health of our soil and water by locating more than 4,000 cows on the site of historic Beaver Lake. 

This Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) poses a serious and direct threat to the water quality of residential wells, the Kankakee River in both Indiana and Illinois, and natural areas. Massive animal waste lagoons will choke the air with the stench of ammonia and manure, drive down property values, and repel tourists. 

The CAFO will:

·         produce 50,000,000 gallons of urine, feces, and contaminated wastewater every year,
·         include massive outdoor lagoons covering almost 10 acres and storing in excess of 30 million gallons of animal excrement and contaminated wastewater until it is spread, untreated, on nearby fields,
·         threaten air quality by emitting 600 pounds of ammonia into the air every day,
·         place livestock buildings and outdoor waste lagoons on a site that floods regularly and is slow to drain due to groundwater being at, near, or above the soil surface, and
·         pump 50-80 million gallons of groundwater each year.

The Hoosier Environmental Council has issued a statement in opposition to this CAFO.  Similarly, the Indiana Audubon Society strongly opposes this CAFO because of its detrimental impact on wildlife.

We do not need this CAFO! We have been fighting this CAFO since November of 2016. We need your financial support to stop this factory farm from being built. Your donation, of any amount, will help to pay for the legal challenges that are currently underway. Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) is providing legal representation for our Protect Our Kankakee River Basin group. Together we have fought the dairy's first attempt at getting approval for their permit application from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDEM). We are currently fighting their second permit application to IDEM for approval. HEC has submitted technical comments to IDEM which detail the regulatory deficiencies of the dairy's permit application. 

We also have a court mandate filed to require the local Board of Zoning Appeals to revisit their decision to grant Natural Prairie Dairy a special exception to build in this sensitive area. We have also hosted three community meetings in Newton County, printed and distributed thousands of fliers, mailed letters to elected officials, and paid for “No CAFO on Beaver Lake” yard signs.

The Beaver Lake area in Newton County, Indiana was once part of an area known as the "Everglades of the North" for the richness of its hunting and fishing and the breathtaking sight and scale of its natural splendor. Before the turn of the twentieth century, Beaver Lake, once Indiana’s largest inland lake, was tragically drained for row-cropping, decimating thousands of acres of wetlands and all the plants and animals that inhabited it.

Over the past twenty years, however, the area has been restored to a semblance of its former glory. Unfortunately, an industrial-scale livestock operation now threatens this treasured land and represents a major step backward for the region's natural resources, which are loved by residents and tourists alike. Other states and regions have their landmark natural sites -- their Grand Canyons, Niagara Falls, or Yellowstones. The historic Beaver Lake area is our beloved natural treasure! Let’s protect it!

Funds contributed to this effort will go toward legal services from the Hoosier Environmental Council, as well as community-organizing efforts, such as purchasing yard signs and renting meeting space for community conversations. Funds are withdrawn to Demotte State Bank in an account under the name "Protect Our Kankakee River Basin." Thank you for your support!


Protect Our Kankakee River Basin Steering Committee
Alyssa Nyberg
Jeanette Jaskula
Michael Nichols
Tom Vanes

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • lynn carroll 
    • $300 
    • 1 mo
  • Dennis Nyberg 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 7 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Protect our Kankakee River Basin (3)

Michael Nichols 
Lake Village, IN
Alyssa Nyberg 
Team member
Jeanette Jaskula 
Team member
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