Throssel steps up to finance experimental filtration system near Pine Lake

Eldora resident and Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust Chairman Steve Throssel (pictured) shows off his plans for a new water filtration system at his property near Upper Pine Lake during a recent interview with the Eldora Newspapers. (Robert Maharry/The Grundy Register photo)

In his own words, Steve Throssel has always been an ideas guy and a problem solver—not a complainer.

So when plans to establish a wetland, dam and settling pond just outside of Pine Lake State Park fell through, he took matters into his own hands.

“I don’t want to give up on it. I’m not the kind of guy that’s going to give up,” he said. “I took this battle on years ago to fix this lake, and I’m not giving up. I’m never giving up.”

Throssel, along with the Dirks, Pabst and Jordening families, had set aside approximately 100 acres of land for the project, a private/public partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) located just northeast of Upper Pine Lake, in hopes of mitigating the effects of nutrient-rich runoff (the leading cause of green algae bloom) before learning that Levi Prosser—in conjunction with Seaboard Farms—had already filed the paperwork to build a hog confinement in the same area.

The application, which eventually received DNR approval, drew public ire and effectively torpedoed the wetland proposal at the time, launching a larger battle between conservationists and pork producers that has become perhaps the most contentious issue in all of Hardin County.

Throssel freely admits that contact with the Prossers has been virtually nonexistent since then, but he’s now setting out to make a dent in the larger problem of water quality without antagonizing fellow area landowners in the process.

Read the full story in Friday's Index.