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J. Edward Roush Lake

735N Warren Road
Huntington, IN  46750
(260)356-8648
Office hours: M-F, 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (may vary, call ahead)

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J. Edward Roush Lake lies in Huntington and Wells counties, Indiana. The lake is located 3 miles southeast of Huntington, Ind., 20 miles southwest of Fort Wayne, and is about a 100-mile drive from Indianapolis.
Formerly known as Huntington Lake, J. Edward Roush Lake was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1958. The Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed, built, and operates the project to reduce flood damages downstream from the dam.

The J. Edward Roush Lake property and surrounding area were occupied by the Miami Indians when the white man first came to the area. As the white men came westward into the Miami Indian’s land during the 1790s and 1800s, the Maumee-Wabash River valleys became the last frontier of Indians resistance in the eastern United States.

Several famous individuals are associated with this area and the struggle at this time. Little Turtle, the greatest war chief of the Miami Indians, led much of the early resistance to the white man’s advance. Little Turtle’s greatest victory came on November 4, 1791, near present-day Fort Recovery, Ohio. His forces defeated a force led by General St. Clair, killing more than 700 of St. Clair’s men. This Indian victory is comparable in impact to Custer’s defeat at Little Big Horn.

With Anthony Wayne’s appearance in the area, Little Turtle advocated peace. Other Indian leaders, not wanting peace, were in charge when Wayne’s forces defeated the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near the site of present-day Fort Wayne. This marked the end of the Miami’s active fighting resistance to the American military presence. Little Turtle continued leading the Miami Indians and made several trips to Washington, D.C. On one such occasion George Washington presented him with a sword and medal – both buried with him at his death in 1812.

 

                                                            Boundary and Flowage Easement Management Policy
 
                                                                             Upper Wabash Project Office
 
                                                                                         Louisville District
 
                                                                                            02 April 2012
 

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to clarify procedures for the reporting, resolution, and prevention of encroachments on fee and flowage easement property at J. Edward Roush Lake, Mississinewa Lake, and Salamonie Lake of the Upper Wabash Project. This policy is based on current practices and procedures intended to protect the resources and missions of the lakes and to ensure an objective approach to the resolution of encroachments and trespasses.
 

2. References

a. ER 405-1-12, Real Estate Management

b. Louisville District Boundary Marking Policy Statement.
 

c. Louisville District Shoreline Management Policy Statement.
 

d. Indiana DNR Group Dock Policy.
 

e. Indiana DNR Property Regulations.

f. Title 36 36CFR327, Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development Projects.
 

3. Encroachments and Trespasses
 

An encroachment is a structure or improvement built, installed, or established which interferes with the real estate interests of the United States. An encroachment has occurred where the structure or improvement extends over, across, in, under or upon lands in which the government owns a real estate interest and has not approved the structure or improvement.
 

A structure or improvement is a permanent or semi-permanent facility, such as a habitable dwelling, building, fence, deck, porch, barn, outhouse, permanent storage building, road, pond, leach field and septic tank, utility line, levee, excavation, placement of fill material, oil and gas well, mine entrance and tunnel.
 

A trespass is an unauthorized transient use and occupancy of fee owned lands. Such uses include, but are not limited to, livestock grazing, mowing, planting, cultivation and harvesting of crops, timber cutting and removal, trash disposal, private property storage, and other material storage.
 

4. Flowage Easement
 

Flowage easement is a real estate interest that the Government acquired entitling the Government to store water on private property. The flowage easement estate specifies that no structures or improvements are allowed on flowage easement without permission from the Government except for fences. All other structures must be approved by the Government. An Application for Consent to Easement Structure must be completed and submitted to the appropriate lake office. An application is attached.

The flowage easement was purchased up to a specific elevation at each lake. The easement elevation is 5 feet above the emergency spillway floor, creating 5 feet of freeboard incase of a maximum design flood. Flowage easement also exists below Mississinewa and Salamonie Dams extending from the end of each emergency spillway to the Wabash River.

Flowage Easement is recorded on the deed in the year it was purchased. The deed from the year the easement was purchased must be examined to find the total description of the Flowage Easement. All deeds are on record in the corresponding county courthouse.
 

The flowage easement estate prohibits the construction of anything other than a fence without permission from the Corps of Engineers. Consents will be issued for certain types of structures that do not create a liability for the Government and do not have a negative impact on the right to store water on the property. Septic fields will be allowed if they are above the spillway floor elevation and are approved by the respective county sanitarian. Septic tanks must be constructed above the flowage easement elevation. Ponds are a structure and require a consent if in flowage easement. Placement or movement of fill on flowage easement to meet minimum elevation levels is prohibited. Permission is required for filling or excavating of soil.

Structures for human habitation will not be authorized in Flowage Easement. Permanent structures will not be allowed below the spillway floor except for ponds.
 

It is the landowner’s responsibility to determine the flowage easement boundaries based on the description recorded in the county courthouse. The best way to do this is with the services of a qualified surveyor. The Corps staff will mark their estimate of the easement when requested, but they are not registered surveyors and cannot be held responsible for errors. It is the landowner’s responsibility to verify the Corps easement marking with a qualified surveyor. Flowage easement may not be shown on FEMA floodplain maps.

Flowage Easement is routinely inspected by Park Managers for unauthorized structures and activities.

5. Fee Property
 

Fee property is property purchased and owned by the Government.
 

6. Boundary Marking
 

The Government makes every effort to identify its fee boundary; it is the responsibility of adjacent landowners to accurately locate their property boundary. The best way to do this is with the services of a qualified surveyor.
 

Damaging or removing monuments or posts is destruction of Government property and will be prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court.

7. Vegetation Management
 

Destruction, alteration or cutting of vegetative growth is prohibited under Title 36 Chapter III Part 327, Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resources Development Projects Administered By the Chief of Engineers. If an adjacent landowner feels an undue hardship exists with regards to the Corps of Engineers vegetation management policy, please contact the respective park manager.

No mowed trails are allowed on fee property except for trails to the two group docks at Mississinewa Lake. Each dock is allowed one trail across Government property. These trails may not exceed five feet in width.
 

8. Shoreline Management
 

As stated in the Louisville District Shoreline Management Policy Statement, no shoreline management plan is required for the Upper Wabash Project Lakes because there was no private shoreline use as of December 13, 1974. The purpose of a shoreline management plan is to define what types of shoreline use is allowable at a specific lake. No private shoreline use is authorized at the Upper Wabash Project lakes.
 

9. Enforcement
 

The general policy is to require removal of encroachments and trespasses, restoration of the premises, and collection of appropriate administrative costs and fair market value for the term of the unauthorized use. The lowest form of enforcement will be used to resolve encroachments or trespasses such as verbal requests or written warnings. If the lowest form of enforcement does not resolve the encroachment, Title 36 36CFR327 citations may be used. This may result in fines, court costs, and court appearances.

10. Specific Lake Information
 

J. Edward Roush.
 
 
 
    1. Flowage easement – 4,133 acres.

        Emergency spillway elevation – 798 feet above msl.

        Flowage easement elevation – 803 feet above msl.
 
 
 
    2. Fee property – 8,628 acres.

        Length of boundary – 43 miles.
 
        Monuments - 606.
 
 
 
 3. Contact information -        

        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
 
        J. Edward Roush Lake
 
        735 N. Warren Road
 
        Huntington, Indiana 46750
 
        260-356-8648
 
 
 
11. Policy
 

This policy supersedes all previous boundary, flowage easement and shoreline management policies at Salamonie Lake in the Upper Wabash Project.
 



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