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Fall 2010 • www.indianawildlife.org


Taking on a new challenge ■ B Y J OHN G OSS Over the past four years, the Indiana Wildlife Federation has made great strides building coalitions and advocating for natural resources in the Hoosier State. We have revitalized the Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, made Indiana the first state to sign the Great Lakes Compact, influenced DNR to adopt a rule to end high-fenced deer hunting, supported clean energy infrastructure improvements for Indiana and begun the charge to restrict phosphorus in lawn fertilizers. As I look back on these accomplishments, I am reminded that a strong board of directors, a bright staff, and a determined group of volunteers can accomplish great things. I am proud of my association with the Indiana Wildlife Federation and all the other dedicated, conservation-minded Hoosiers that work hard to protect fish and wildlife. This September I moved on to a new job working for the Great Lakes Commission and the Council for Environmental Quality as the Asian carp coordinator. I am charged with focusing the resources of the federal agencies and state governments to drastically reduce the Asian carp population and to keep them out of the Great Lakes. I look forward to reporting progress on Asian carp reduction in the near future.

IWF looks ahead ■ B Y S TEVE C ECIL For those of you who had not already heard that John was offered and has accepted an exciting new position with the Great Lakes Commission and the CEQ, his announcement above may come as a surprise.

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I am not surprised. John has exceptional skills and unparalleled experience making him the perfect choice for the newly created position. The IWF board of directors wishes John the best in his very important wildlife management position with the federal government. The Asian carp situation is the kind of issue IWF focuses on, and we are glad that Indiana can play such an important role in solving the problem. When John told me he was considering accepting the offer, my first reaction was a selfish one. IWF has just begun to “turn the corner.” Even in this weak economic climate we are financially strong. We have strong membership support and we have a vibrant and diverse board of directors. Our staff is hard-working and enthusiastic, and our volunteers are steady, dedicated, and tireless. John was instrumental in putting IWF in this favorable position, and my immediate thought was, “How do we continue?” But the board and the staff have rallied, as usual, and we are moving forward once again. The executive committee (officers of the board) has begun the search for a new director. We are updating the job description and posting notice of the vacancy. Since IWF is blessed with such an active, engaged board of directors, we have assigned a board member or two to each of our active programs. That board member will work closely with the staff to monitor and advance our initiatives. I have volunteered to serve as “acting” executive director in order to have a single person available to oversee daily administrative issues. John has served as IWF’s executive director for four years, and we really will miss his leadership. We have benefited from John’s broad natural resources background. Though it will be difficult to find a worthy replacement, we will find one quickly, and IWF will continue to grow and thrive. Thanks for your support.•

President Steve Cecil First Vice-President Glenn Lange Second Vice-President Doug Allman Secretary Kay O'Callaghan Treasurer Adam McLane National Wildlife Federation Representative Dr. Dave Hoffman Immediate Past President Shaena Reinhart Executive Director Open Editor Stephen Sellers Graphic Design/Layout Julie Kirkendoll Printing The Papers, Incorporated Milford, Indiana Please address all advertising and editorial inquires to: Editor 4715 W. 106th Street Zionsville, IN 46077 Phone: 317-875-9453 Email: editor@indianawildlife.org The Indiana Wildlife Federation is considered a non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service VOICE OF THE INDIANA WILDLIFE FEDERATION Hoosier Conservation (155N NO. 0199.6894) is published quarterly by Indiana Wildlife Federation, an independent statewide organization of affiliated conservation clubs and concerned citizens of Indiana. IWF is the Indiana affiliate of the National Wildlife Federations, and is incorporated under the laws of the State of Indiana as a non-profit corporation. Hoosier Conservation is a membership periodical available only to the various classes of IWF members and is not sold by subscription. Periodical Office: The Papers, P.O. Box 188, Milford, IN 46542. Periodical postage paid at Milford, IN. Editorial Office: Manuscripts, news releases, and correspondence directed specifically to the Editor should be addressed to: H.C. Editor, 4715 W. 106th Street, Zionsville, IN. Manuscripts, photographs, or artwork should be accompanied by self-addressed envelopes with return postage. However, Hoosier Conservation assumes no liability for the return of unsolicited materials. Material appearing in Hoosier Conservation may be reproduced with the appropriate credit lines unless designated a ©. Membership and Business Office: Correspondence about membership, delivery of Hoosier Conservation, or general business should be addressed to 4715 W. 106th Street, Zionsville, IN 46077. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Hoosier Conservation, 4715 W. 106th Street, Zionsville, IN 46077.

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Habitat Steward training begins in October Habitat Steward™ training workshops are scheduled to begin Thursday, Oct. 28 in Indianapolis. The Indiana Wildlife Federation uses NWF’s curriculum to offer an Indiana-focused program. Learn from local experts how to care for the wildlife in your backyard. Topics include: • Indiana’s landscape • Water management basics • Habitat elements: food, water, shelter • Indiana’s current wildlife issues • Native vs. exotic plants • Ecological succession

IWF volunteers rock Hoosier Outdoor Experience At this year’s Hoosier Outdoor Experience, we helped kids build 225 bird feeders. We could not have done it without support from our great volunteers. Thank you to North Dearborn Conservation Club, John and Chris Bunner, and Akard True Value for donating and preparing building supplies. Thanks also to our volunteer builders (Bill and Susan Alexander, Larry and Libby Kuhn, Michael LaFlamme, Katherine Murray, Mischa Nixon, Terra and Eli Saffen, Susan Salmon, Dorian Stacey, and Nancy Stahl) for putting in the long hours over the weekend. Missed your chance to help out at this year’s Hoosier Outdoor Experience? We’ll be back next year, so mark your calendars now, and contact our office to help out. Be sure to check our website and look for e-mails about volunteer opportunities.•

Food, Fun and Friends Join us for Food, Fun and Friends at our Member Appreciation Celebration Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m. at the IWF office. Food: Venison chili and vegetarian stew from award winning Zionsville chef Trent Sheldon. Drinks from Sun King Brewery and the Mass Ave Wine Shop. Fun: Live music, a wildlife print raffle, and a silent auction with wildlife art, fishing gear, and more. Bring a lawn chair to enjoy the live band in our backyard. Friends: Ask an expert with Jim Eagleman, Brown County State Park; and John Schaust, Wild Birds Unlimited. RSVP by 10/18 to info@indianawildlife.org or 317.875.9453.

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Habitat Steward™ trainees participate in weekly workshops led by local, professional and amateur conservationists. Everyone who completes the training will become a certified National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward and part of IWF’s Habitat Steward network. Every Habitat Steward commits to 30 hours of volunteer work. IWF will offer volunteer opportunities. Sign up online: www.indianawildlife.org

Cold Spring School 3650 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis Thursdays, 6-9pm October 28-December 9 The Mansion @ Cold Spring School $100

On the cover: Sunset at Goose Pond. See excerpts from Goose Pond biodiversity survey on page 6. Photo courtesy of DNR/Outdoor Indiana.

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Photo courtesy DNR/Outdoor Indiana

Take a

closer look

at new deer hunting proposals ■ B Y G ENE H OPKINS , PRESIDENT OF THE I NDIANA S PORTSMEN ’ S R OUNDTABLE New rules proposed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will change the way hunters harvest whitetail deer. Although the rules were developed following a lengthy consensus-building process that included public input, there has been a tremendous amount of misinformation in some Internet chat rooms about the proposal. The Natural Resources Commission and Natural Resources Advisory Committee asked the DNR to form a task force to examine ways to reduce deer populations in targeted areas. Legislators and people complaining about deer depredation and the high number of deer/vehicle accidents also asked the DNR to address the issue. The DNR asked several groups in March to join a task force. The task force included representation from the Bloomington City Council, the DNR,

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hunting groups, conservation groups, the Indiana Farm Bureau and a sporting goods retailer. There were three major task force objectives: 1. Demonstrate a trend toward a declining deer herd in certain counties. Demonstrating the reduction requires metrics that can be substantiated, and includes changing the current harvest ratio from 50 percent antlered and 50 percent antlerless to a 60/40 antlerless to antlered ratio. Pushing the harvest pressure toward the antlerless population is the only real way to lower a population. 2. Influence the number of deer/vehicle accidents per mile driven. According to Chad Stewart, DNR whitetail deer biologist, this metric has increased steadily over the years, reflecting the increase in cars on the road by factoring mileage driven into the equation. 3. The number of deer harvested each year in Indiana has continued to increase, although at a much slower rate than in past years.

The DNR also wants to bring more balance between the landowner satisfaction surveys and hunter satisfaction surveys, reflecting the delicate balance between these two social metrics.

Task force procedures and recommendations The meetings started with a significant amount of discussion about the need to reduce the deer herd. Many task force members were reluctant to accept that we have an overpopulation problem. In the end, the group agreed that there are areas of overpopulation but other areas where social balances keep the herd in check. Discussion centered on why areas of overpopulation exist, including: • Limitations on how many deer a hunter can use (eat what you kill) • Cost barriers on how many licenses hunters can afford • Hunters ability to spend time in the woods • Access to areas that are off-limits to hunting

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DNR took a bold step to develop rules proposals in reaction to requests from the NRC, NRAC, the Legislature, and their constituents. When attempting to change something as deeply rooted as deer hunting culture, no change will be easy, and any change will meet resistance. The task force recommended that these elements must be addressed in any management solution for the rules changes to have an effect on deer populations. It also suggested the following changes: • Increasing donations to feeding the hungry programs • Increasing access to private and public land currently and not currently available for hunting • Revisions to the antlerless quota system • Revisions to season structure and bag limits designed to target antlerless deer • Education of hunters and landowners to the components of the strategy The task force ultimately made the following recommendations: • Add a new non-resident youth license • Require at least 144 square inches of hunter orange on ground blinds when in firearms seasons • Require the owner’s name on ground blinds when on public land • Allow crossbows for age 64 and older in early archery season • Allow crossbows in firearms and muzzleloader seasons by hunters of any age • Allow crossbows at any age in urban zones • Allow rifle cartridges to have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches (instead of 1.625) • Allow youth hunters to take the number of antlerless deer allowed in a county during the youth season • Extend urban zone season to Jan. 31 • Require taking an antlerless deer in urban zones prior to taking an antlered deer during the urban zone season (does not apply during the regular season) • Open firearms season on designated military and refuge properties on Oct. 1 instead of Nov. 1 • Change general firearms season to start

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on first Saturday prior to Thanksgiving and last nine days • Muzzleloader season to be nine days • Add an antlerless season two days in October and eight days in December (Dec. 25 – Jan. 1) only in counties with a bonus county quota of four or more This last proposal to “shorten” the general firearms season is undoubtedly the most debated point of the proposal package. The proposed change is not intended to shorten the general firearms season, but rather to break it up into three different segments. Fragmenting the season will create three “opening day” phenomena, generating more enthusiasm among deer hunters. During the current sixteen-day season, participation drops off significantly after the first week as the “average” deer hunter balances his or her daily life with a long, continuously running firearms season. This proposal helps average deer hunters put that balance back into their lives thanks to the down time between hunting segments. These downtimes will give the deer a chance to settle down and become more huntable again, allowing a higher chance for hunter success. Hunters wishing to hunt for a buck will see their season shortened from 16 days to nine days with this proposal. However, those who wish to harvest antlerless deer will see their season increase from 16 days to 18 or 19 days of general firearms hunting.

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The next steps The NRC voted for preliminary adoption of the proposed rule changes, which means the proposal will be scheduled for a formal public hearing. DNR has since conducted five different public open houses across the state to discuss the proposal. At these well-attended meetings, the public has overwhelmingly disapproved of the proposed changes. People have strongly opposed the perceived “shortening” of the firearms season. The shortened muzzleloader season also has received heavy criticism. Recognizing the public sentiment, the NRC, NRAC, and DNR have tabled the proposed changes and will reconvene the Task Force Oct. 21 to review any changes based on the feedback. As the president of the Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, I also have conducted public meetings across the state (seven to date) to prepare ISR to attend the next round of meetings with a current reflection of hunter sentiment as well as to pro-actively create our own set of proposals to present in the October meeting. DNR took a bold step to develop rules proposals in reaction to requests from the NRC, NRAC, the Legislature, and their constituents. When attempting to change something as deeply rooted as deer hunting culture, no change will be easy, and any change will meet resistance. Whether you hunt, whether you are happy with current deer population levels, we all should be satisfied with the rules changing process that considers and accommodates public input. Let’s commend the DNR, NRC, and NRAC for having a robust and open process.•

Visit www.indianawildlife.org to join today and receive a free IWF water bottle.

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IWF’s Wildlife Friendly Certification Program ■ B Y T RAVIS S TOELTING The Indiana Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Friendly Certification Program continued its success this year with five major projects receiving certification and five new projects underway. The program has helped landowners and property managers create and maintain viable wildlife habitat on their land, while retaining practical use of the property. The wildlife friendly certification helps revitalize Indiana’s struggling wildlife habitats. In workplaces, developing areas, residences, and on private lands, property owners and planners can work with IWF to develop a plan following the guidelines established by the program. This plan leads to the restoration and preservation of the type of viable wildlife habitat that is disappearing rapidly, thanks to Indiana’s extensive development. Program participants form a habitat team that works with the IWF habitat programs director to form a management plan for the property. Groups follow their plans and implement a series of practices to increase

the suitability of their property for wildlife. To achieve certification, project partners must provide all necessary components for wildlife, minimize habitat loss, control infestations of invasive plants, and create connectivity to other patches of habitat in the area.

Partnerships are the key IWF makes its biggest impact on Indiana’s wildlife habitats through the Wildlife Friendly Certification Program. The projects range in scope, size, and location, from half an acre to over 100 acres from Portage to Madison. Certification teams have completed prairie plantings, wetland enhancements, tree and shrub plantings, invasive species removals and much more. All of the projects depend on partnerships between landowners, property managers, and natural resource management agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds a substantial portion of many of projects through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. The Natural

IWF interns (from left) Mischa Nixon, Hillary Duncan and John Cannaday collect data for a vegetation analysis at Clay Township Regional Waste District’s wastewater treatment plant in Zionsville.

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Resources Conservation Service and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources also offer excellent opportunities for funding. Local soil and water conservation districts and conservation organizations like Pheasants Forever also are valuable partners that frequently provide equipment such as seed drills.

Benefits of the program Aside from the obvious benefits to wildlife and savings on maintenance, there are many other rewards that come with being certified. Upon implementation of the plan, project partners receive a sign acknowledging their efforts and dedication to improving their property. In addition to help with the project and recognition, IWF provides project managers with substantial follow-up to its certifications including continued technical assistance and property status updates. This summer, to assess the strength of recent certification projects, three IWF interns visited several sites and gathered information about their current conditions. They took measurements at several points across each site to provide data representing the composition and structure of vegetation in each area. After thoroughly analyzing the data, the interns summarized the results of each survey in a final project report with graphs and descriptions of habitat characteristics, implications for wildlife, and suggested management prescriptions for future use. All final project reports have been completed and are now being distributed to the landowners and property managers for each project. Providing insight and guidance to our project partners has been a major focus for IWF in 2010. Having an intern crew devoted to vegetation sampling and reporting helped the projects. Creating and conserving quality wildlife habitat is a top Wildlife Federation priority, and IWF seeks new certification projects. Contact Travis Stoelting (stoelting@ indianawildlife.org) if you are interested in the Wildlife Friendly Certification Program.•

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Photo courtesy DNR/Outdoor Indiana

Biodiversity survey documents diversity at Goose Pond This shorteared owl is an example of the growing species diversity at Goose Pond.

E XCERPTS FROM AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE I NDIANA A CADEMY OF S CIENCE ’ S S EPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

T

teams have reported their final results, the he first biodiversity survey of Goose total count likely will be over 870 species. Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, an The teams all agreed that spending just 8,000-acre wetland restoration two days in July only scratched the surlocated south of Linton in southwestern face; painting a complete picture of the Indiana, was conducted July 16 and 17. biodiversity to be found at Goose Pond This first step in assessing an important FWA would require long-term seasonal Indiana wetland provided baseline biodisurveys. But even with this brief look, the versity information and laid the groundresults show the richwork for future studies. ness and value of this At the final day wrap-up session, teams Goose Pond FWA is Indiana’s developing wetland restoration. reported their prelimilargest wetland restoration Highlight species nary summaries. done under the Natural reported include the Species counts reported Resources Conservation purple fringeless orchid, include 20 species of Service Wetlands Reserve American ruby spot amphibians and repProgram, and it is the seventh dragonfly, bog lemtiles, 70-80 species of largest in the United States. ming, and barn owl. Of beetles, 37 bee species, the 30 species of drag124 bird species, 48 onflies and damselflies, butterfly species, 30 13 were new Greene County records. species of dragonflies and damselflies, 74 The plant team reported 123 probable moth species identified with six more to county records. Of particular interest to be identified, four species of marsh flies, the plant team was the diversity of wetfour fungi and one fungal associate, and land plants that were present through nat379 vascular plant species. When all

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ural recruitment, since no wetland vegetation was planted at the beginning of the restoration. The butterfly and moth team reported 59 moth county records. The amphibian and reptile team saw many turtle nests and found five species of turtles. Species lists for each taxonomic group and a brief summary of results will be posted at www.indianaacademy ofscience.org/academy/programarchive/bioblitz. Data from the survey will be shared with appropriate state agencies and a brief report will be submitted to the Proceedings of the IAS for publication. See the IAS newsletter, which is available at www. indianaacademyofscience.org/publications/newsletter, for more information. Goose Pond FWA is Indiana’s largest wetland restoration done under the Natural Resources Conservation Service Wetlands Reserve Program, and it is the seventh largest in the United States. The restoration covers 7,138 acres in two sections, Goose Pond (5,945 acres) and Beehunter Marsh (1,193 acres) that are both part of Goose Pond FWA. The diverse habitats include 4,000 acres of shallow open water, 400 acres of bottomland tree plantings, and 1,380 acres of tall- and short-grass prairies. The NRCS and DNR have limited resources for gathering baseline data and monitoring the development of the restoration. They rely on volunteers contributing to studies to gather data that assist them in the conservation and management of Indiana’s public natural areas. To learn more about Goose Pond FWA, visit www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3094.htm or http://friendsofgoosepond.org.• The survey report was written by Barbara Simpson, Friends of Goose Pond; Daryl R. Karns, Hanover College; Donald Ruch, Ball State University; and Brad Feaster, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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Phosphorus-free campaign gains traction ■ B Y M ARIJA WATSON IWF’s phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer campaign gained strong momentum over the summer. We outlined a draft policy to restrict the use of fertilizer with phosphorus. Our proposed legislation would outlaw the application of phosphorus on turf grass unless a soil test indicates a phosphorus deficiency or a person needs to apply phosphorus to establish a new lawn. Many important stakeholders, both public and private, support a restriction of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers. During the upcoming legislative session, Representatives Dick Dodge and Nancy Dembowski will introduce a bill based on our position, which includes an exemption for agricultural fertilizer use. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management also is stepping in by developing nutrient criteria for Indiana’s lakes and reservoirs. IDEM will determine the acceptable threshold levels of phosphorus and chlorophyll a permissible in a water body. Then the agency will form a workgroup and host multiple stakeholder meetings to address public concerns and discuss the rule. The state chemist soon may require professional fertilizer applicators to complete a special training program. A new 3B license program from the state chemist’s office at Purdue will lump fertil-

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If you plan to fertilize your yard this fall, consider Indiana’s lakes and streams with these recommendations: ❏

Choose the right fertilizer. Buy phosphorus-free fertilizer for mature lawns. Make sure the middle number on the bag is zero. If your lawn is newly established or nutrient deficient…

❏ ❏ ❏

Use a soil test to determine if your lawn requires supplemental nutrients.

Mow higher to develop and maintain a strong root system, an important aspect of healthy soil. Healthy, established turf grass decreases soil erosion and keeps nutrients on your lawn.

Clean impervious surfaces (i.e. sidewalk, driveway) of any fertilizer spills or grass clippings because they can easily wash into rivers and creeks.

Recycle any grass clippings or leaves as mulch. Microbes will degrade the nutrients in this organic material and replenish the soil. Rich soil absorbs and filters rainfall.

Pick up pet waste. It contains a high concentration of nutrients that can contribute to algal blooms in lakes and ponds during any rainfall or storm events.

Water in the morning. Watering in the afternoon leads to more evaporation, and watering at night stimulates the spread of fungus and diseases.

Plant native species in your yard. They have adapted to Indiana’s climate and can act as a natural buffer for lakes and ponds that filter out any unwanted sediments and nutrients.

Fertilize once, only in the fall, if you fertilize at all. (September is recommended). Use a drop spreader or rotary spreader to keep the fertilizer on your lawn. Proper equipment helps ensure efficient fertilizer applications.

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Visit www/indianawildlife.org/ phosphorus.htm to get more P-free information and to join the IWF team by signing the free Clear Choices, Clean Water Pledge. izer and pesticide application together, requiring professional fertilizers to become certified. The 3B license program will provide information about proper fertilizer use, including when to use phosphorusenriched fertilizer. Fertilizer companies also have gone P-free. Complementing its campaign to encourage sustainable lawn maintenance, Scotts Miracle Gro Company will make their Turf Builder line P-free by 2012. IWF is excited to work with Scotts on point-of-purchase brochures that we will distribute statewide. Professional fertilizer applicators such as Tru-Green and Engledow Group are going phosphorus-free as well. IWF’s draft policy exempts agricultural fertilizer applications, but we have started discussing the issue with groups such as Farm Bureau and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which will serve as vital partners to make nutrient management recommendations to farmers. NRCS promotes several best management practices including no-till farming, using cover crops, minimizing traffic of machinery and repairing broken tiles. We will push them to encourage avoiding excessive phosphorus applications.

On the ground IWF recently extended its education campaign to Indiana colleges and universities. A NWF fellowship program funds a DePauw student, who encourages campuses to implement phosphorus-free lawn maintenance plans and sign a letter of commitment. We hope campuses will begin with better fertilizer practices and embrace other sustainable techniques, such as eradicating invasive species and planting natives. Campuses that follow our recommendations could earn IWF’s Wildlife Friendly Certification.

You can be a phosphorus-free advocate in your community. Discuss the problem of nutrient overloading with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Visit www/indianawildlife.org/ phosphorus.htm to get more P-free information and to join the IWF team by signing the free Clear Choices, Clean Water Pledge. When you pledge, be sure to sign up as part of the Indiana Wildlife Federation team. Clear Choices, Clean Water is a strategic project to raise awareness about the connection between lawn care practices and Indiana’s lakes and streams.•

When you renew your license plate, consider one of these… Funding for the Indiana Heritage Trust is dependent upon the generosity of those concerned about our natural resources. Heritage Trust information http://www.IN.gov/dnr/heritage IWF members qualify for a low-number Heritage Trust plate. To confirm availability of your desired number (under 100), call the IWF office at 317-875-9453

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Carmel Carmel Clay's Clay's Central Central Park Park mixes mixes prairie, prairie, water water and and constructed constructed elements elements for for aa unique unique outdoor outdoor experience. experience.

Wildlife needs urban “greening,” too ■ B Y G ARY D OXTATER Indiana homeowners have been working with the Indiana Wildlife Federation for many years to get their backyards certified. Our Wildlife Friendly Habitat Program has expanded over the years and now gives landowners many opportunities to protect, enhance, and restore their property, which improves the quality of life for wildlife and people. Habitat loss is the major cause of population reduction in certain species and it increases the occurrence of conflicts between animals and humans as we advance into their habitat. So what can you do? All wildlife needs food, cover, nesting, and water to survive. Whether you have a 1,000-acre farm or just a balcony on your condo, wildlife will come as long as you provide all four of these habitat elements. Let me give you a personal example of what you can do with a small townhome backyard. I live in Kensington Place, a small townhouse development with 15 units in Carmel, Ind. Every house has the same size backyard—20 feet deep and 60 feet wide. Most of the backyards do not have any turf grass, but all have mulched landscape

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with a variety of perennials, small shrubs, evergreens, and small “ponds.” I call mine a “lake,” and it has several fat, hand-fed bluegills, which provide good fishing for our neighborhood great blue heron. I got my backyard certified in 2001. Several of my neighbors saw the appeal of the program, and they began to fill out the certification applications. A year later we had all 15 homes certified, making Kensington Place eligible as a Wildlife Friendly Neighborhood, the first one in Indiana. Since then, Kensington Place has set a great example of how to “green” an urban environment. This type of neighborhood “greening” does more than simply create wildlife habitat. Recent studies by the U.S. Forest Service, Urban Forest Research, have found the following benefits of 100 urban trees. They… • catch about 139,000 gallons of rainwater per year • remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide per year • remove 430 pounds of other air pollutants per year • save households up to 56 percent on air conditioning by blocking sunlight

• save households 3 percent on heating costs by blocking winter wind Large trees also can improve the value of your home. The same studies show each large tree in your front yard adds one percent to a home’s sales value, and large specimen trees can add 10 percent to your property value (Indiana Urban Forest Council, www.iufc.org). Urban sprawl has reduced wildlife habitat in and around our cities. We have moved in and pushed wildlife out, crowding them into adjacent areas and causing them even more stress. We all have to live together, so let’s do our part by getting your backyard certified through the IWF and improving the quality of life for all critters. Read more about how to get your backyard certified and find an application at www.indianawildlife.org. You also can call our office at 800-347-3445 to talk to our wildlife biologist.• About the author: Gary “Dox” Doxtater is the IWF director of development, retired director of the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife and member of the Carmel Urban Forestry Committee.

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Affiliate Corner

Local Audubon chapters are important partners for protecting habitat ■ B Y R OSS B RITTAIN , P HIL C OX , AND D ON G OURNEY The National Audubon Society in Indiana (Audubon Indiana) has spent the past year working on three projects: the Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area bird conservation plan, Eagle Creek Park bird abundance and demographic surveys, and a spatially-explicit, Indiana bird conservation plan. Goose Pond is a globally important bird area in Linton that remains our top priority site. This year we hired an intern from Linton to help coordinate bird monitoring and control invasive species at Goose Pond. Audubon Indiana coordinated breeding bird point count surveys at Eagle Creek Park and opened two monitoring avian productivity and survivorship (MAPS) bird banding stations at the park to estimate demographic trends, which help managers better estimate how their actions affect populations. Audubon Indiana is working with a consortium of conservation organizations to develop urban bird conservation actions in Indianapolis, including common nighthawk rooftop nesting platforms and chimney swift towers. Dr. Ross Brittain, Audubon Indiana’s director of bird conservation, was granted a position on the Indiana Conservation Alliance steering committee and is working with the Indiana Biodiversity Initiative to prioritize potential bird habitat conservation areas through species-specific geographic information system models. The Wabash Valley Audubon Society (a chapter of the National Audubon Society) was founded in 1961 and serves Vigo, Clay, Vermillion, Parke and Sullivan counties in west-central Indiana. Our members’ passion for birds and bird watching leads us to be very concerned about many natural resource conservation issues. To this end, we participate in many local events and festivals to promote natural resources conservation. We also have sponsored birding identification education class-

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es, invasive species control, and establishment of a butterfly garden at Dobbs Memorial Park in Terre Haute. We became “founding friends” of Friends of Goose Pond, a favorite destination for many of us. In recent years we have rescued native woodland plants from future construction at the Indianapolis International Airport. As we all know, protecting habitat is the key to wildlife conservation for future generations. During the past year we have advocated to protect the largest black soil tallgrass prairie in Indiana at the Newport Chemical Depot in Vermillion County. We are very excited about the newly created Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area and the future expansion of this area. Please visit us at www.wabashvalleyaudubon.org or on Facebook to learn more about the group and its activities. Founded in 1938, the same year as the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Amos W. Butler Audubon’s mission is “promoting the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of central Indiana.” A proud IWF affiliate, Amos W. Butler Audubon focuses on urban bird

conservation, an annual Birdathon fundraiser, and bird and nature programming. Urban bird conservation initiatives include Lights Out Indy, which prevents bird deaths and saves energy by reducing nighttime lighting (www.lightsoutindy.org). Wings Over Indy will benefit common nighthawks and chimney swifts, while providing conservation education to school students and the public. Also an urban bird consortium pursues cross-organizational collaboration. The annual Birdathon has been wildly successful since it began in 1987. The program has raised nearly $500,000 for conservation, research and education projects. Funding has helped many projects in Indiana including bird research and construction of an ornithology center at Eagle Creek Park, land protection in Central and South America, and internal activities such as Lights Out Indy. Amos Butler Audubon offers fun activities throughout the year for members and the public including programs, bird hikes and field trips. Find more information at www.amosbutler.org.•

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4715 W. 106th Street Zionsville, IN 46077


Hoosier Conservation: Fall 2010