August 30, 2001 press release

Contacts: Susan Flader, Columbia (573) 442-1058 or 882-8264
Roger Still, St. Louis (314) 909-7820

Conservationists laud Ameren's withdrawal of Church Mountain hydropower proposal

The Taum Sauk Coalition, an ad hoc coalition of conservation and civic groups organized to protect the natural and cultural heritage values of the Taum Sauk area, enthusiastically lauds the Ameren Development Company’s decision to abandon plans for a pumped storage plant on Church Mountain and Taum Sauk Creek. The company announced yesterday it was withdrawing its requests for permits and ceasing all efforts to build the facility.

“Ameren’s decision is an exemplary corporate response to Missourians’ concern about natural heritage and biodiversity values at stake in the Taum Sauk area,” said Susan Flader and Roger Still, speaking on behalf of all affiliates of the Taum Sauk Coalition. Flader is president of the Missouri Parks Association and Still is incoming executive director of Audubon Missouri. “Ameren deserves a tremendous round of applause for its responsiveness to the concerns of Missouri citizens and public officials,” they agreed.

“We also applaud the steadfast support for state parks and heritage values demonstrated by Governor Bob Holden, Attorney General Jay Nixon, Department of Natural Resources Director Steve Mahfood, Conservation Department Director Jerry Conley, the Conservation Commission, the Public Service Commission, and their staffs, together with the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the numerous citizens and organizations who expressed themselves on this issue,” Flader and Still said.

Groups along the entire spectrum of the conservation community in Missouri are among the initial coalition members, including the Conservation Federation of Missouri, various Audubon entities, Scenic Missouri, the Missouri Parks Association, the Missouri Wilderness Coalition, the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Numerous other organizations have expressed interest in the coalition’s aims and had been expected to join the effort to safeguard the Taum Sauk area.