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Reflecting on a rewarding year and challenges to come The holiday season was an excellent time to reflect on past accomplishments and at the same time set our sights on the new year with its challenges and opportunities. This past year with IWF has been one of the most rewarding years I’ve had. I’m proud to be part of such a strong grassroots organization committed to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources. And that grassroots part is the key to our success—using our voices, our time and talents to influence state natural resources policies, educate families, children, and individuals throughout the state, advocate for wildlife, and implement programs that help provide clean water and more wildlife habitat in Indiana. We are able to accomplish all these things only through the generous support from our many partners and members like you: individuals, conservation clubs and associations, corporate sponsors, partner nonprofits and government agencies. This time of year we are all receiving mailings from charitable organizations asking for just a bit more financial support. IWF is no different; we are always fundraising and doing our best to use funds wisely to sustain and grow our programs. In getting to know the organization, I’ve learned that much of our support comes in the way of many small donations that add up to make a significant contribution to our efforts. It’s never too late to contribute to IWF, and we hope you’ll consider IWF for a small portion of the financial gifts you have to share. Thank you all for helping make 2011 a great success, whether through your membership, donating to our auctions, sharing the fun at our first “Devotion to Wildlife” summer concert, or volunteering to help IWF carry the message of Common Sense Conservation. Looking forward to 2012, one of our top priorities is serving on the Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force charged with assessing Indiana’s programs and funding for natural resources. The task force is gathering information and will develop recommendations regarding what actions Indiana must take to assure our natural resources will be here for future generations to use and enjoy. This is no small challenge. The task force to date has heard testimony regarding biodiversity in Indiana and the health of wildlife and forests. There also have been reports from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Department of Agriculture. The meetings are open to the public, and I encourage all IWF conservation groups and individuals to attend as many of the task force meetings as you can. There is a wealth of information being shared. For the task force to succeed and its recommendations to be adopted, it will take strong support from conservation groups throughout the state, not just those serving on the task force. Please track the progress of the task force by attending the public meetings. You may also read the minutes and review the slide presentations on www.indianawildlife.org. The dates for the next three task force meetings have been set: Jan. 25, Feb. 22, and Mar. 28. They have presentations, respectively, on air, soil, and water resources. We hope to see you there. Don’t hesitate to call me if you would like to learn more. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.• Warm Wishes and Peace to All, Barb On the cover: A solitary angler braves the cold for a prize catch in a tributary of the Galien River on the Indiana-Michigan border. Photo/Tim Scott

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President Steve Cecil First Vice-President Glenn Lange Second Vice-President Doug Allman Secretary Shaena Reinhart Treasurer Adam McLane National Wildlife Federation Representative Dr. Dave Hoffman Immediate Past President Shaena Reinhart Executive Director Barbara Simpson 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 Vol. 50 No. 4 VOICE OF THE INDIANA WILDLIFE FEDERATION Hoosier Conservation (ISSN 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 Federation, 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. USPS No. 249820.

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IWF Coming Events

Mark your calendars now for these special events Conservation Day at the Statehouse (Jan. 24)

Presented by the Indiana Conservation Alliance, Conservation Day is an incredible opportunity to show our elected officials that Hoosiers care about protecting our precious natural resources and preserving our environment. Meet your legislator at our reception and talk to them about how important conservation and preservation of our natural resources is to you. Prior to Conservation Day we will record a web-ex presentation with topics to be discussed with your legislator. Pre-register on our website by Jan. 19. The more people who attend Conservation Day, the bigger the impact. Come for the whole day or just for your lunch hour. Carpool with co-workers, friends and family or take a brisk walk to the

Statehouse, and help make a difference.

Marsh Madness (March 2-3)

Join us at the Greene County Marsh Madness Festival to celebrate the county’s abundant and beautiful natural areas. On Sunday, IWF will lead Restoring Indiana’s Wetlands & Wildlife: The Wetlands Reserve Program and Healthy Rivers INitiative, a workshop covering the Indiana Healthy Rivers INitiative and the importance of wetlands and landowner assistance programs in the Wabash RiverSugar Creek and Muscatatuck Bottoms project areas.

Earth Day Indiana Festival (April 28)

The crowds grow larger every year for this popular Earth Day celebration at White River State Park in Indianapolis. IWF will provide fun family activities while educating

everyone about our priorities and projects. We will need lots of volunteer support for the festival; e-mail volunteer@ indianawildlife.org to get involved.

Annual Business Meeting and Conservation Awards Banquet (May 19)

See the short piece on page 11 for more details about this year’s annual business meeting and conservation awards banquet.

Devotion to Wildlife (June 9)

IWF presents the second installment of its annual Devotion to Wildlife concert series. This year’s concert will feature the Wright Brothers Acoustic Trio – Unplugged at West Park in Carmel. Ticketing information will be available soon. Please contact us for volunteer and sponsorship information.•

Another successful Member Appreciation Celebration We ask a lot of our members. Whether requesting donations, letters to politicians, volunteer time, or help spreading our message, we rely on our members to support IWF in any way possible. Rarely do we have the opportunity to demonstrate our gratitude in a more substantial way than a simple “thank you” e-mail or letter. Last October, we showed our gratitude for all of your hard work by throwing our second annual Member Appreciation Celebration. Dreary fall weather forced the intimate crowd to move inside, but everyone warmed up with homemade chili, venison kabobs, and sweet treats. A jazz trio from Butler University provided the soundtrack for the evening as attendees enjoyed each other’s company along with locally brewed beer and donated wine. It was a special evening, and we regret only that we cannot host similar events around the state to make it easier for all of

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IWF members enjoy homemade chili and desserts during the 2011 Member Appreciation Celebration. Thank you to our helpful cooks and donors.

our members to attend. When we say “thank you,” either in person, through e-mail, or our magazine, know that we mean it. Our members make IWF an effective and influential organization. Thank you to those who attended our

Member Appreciation Celebration, and thank you to everyone else who supports Common Sense Conservation. Special thanks go out to IWF board members who cooked for the evening as well as John Bunner and Dale Back for providing raffle items.•

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2011 was a busy and productive year At IWF, we are always preparing the future—looking for upcoming grants, planning new projects, coordinating workshops and events. We thought it might be valuable to take a look at the last year and recount some of our favorite events and accomplishments. Take a minute to relive a few highlights from 2011.

New Executive Director (January)

The year started with a major change to IWF’s leadership. Barbara Simpson replaced former Executive Director John Goss, who was appointed Asian carp director by the Council on Environmental Quality. A co-founder of Casting Recovery Indiana, advisory board member of IUPUI’s Center for Environmental Science, and board member of Friends of Goose Pond, Barb has energized the organization since coming on nearly a year ago.

Marsh Madness (March)

An avid supporter of the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, IWF attended Marsh Madness, a yearly celebration of the spring water fowl and crane migrations to the area. Birds love Goose Pond, which has seen state high counts for a variety of species including northern pintail, great egret, white ibis, roseate spoonbill, and king rail. IWF’s Travis Stoelting works as a project advisor for the five-year adaptive management strategy for Goose Pond.

How Healthy is Indiana’s Water? workshop series (March-May)

With funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, IWF hit the road to give a series of workshops explaining how people interact with water and affect its quality. Marija Watson, our water resources project manager, coordinated workshops in all corners of the state. Local experts presented at each workshop, giving attendees valuable tools to improve local water quality. Nearly 150 people attended the workshops.

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At the America’s Path to Energy Progress breakfast are (from the left) Jeremy Symons, NWF; Sen. Richard Lugar; Barbara Simpson; Gene Hopkins, IWF board member; Admiral John Natham, USN (ret.)

Online kids contest and Earth Day (April)

Over 500 elementary school students participated in this year’s What’s in Your Wild Backyard? online contest. The contest leads into National Wildlife Week and Earth Day, an important time each year to highlight the importance of wildlife and conservation. We took our message to the popular Earth Day Indiana festival in Indianapolis and built bird feeders with 100 children. We expect the contest and Earth Day celebration to be even more popular next time.

Conservation Awards Banquet/ Annual Meeting (June)

An enthusiastic crowd met at Pokagon State Park late last spring to honor this year’s Conservation Award winners. With the exception of Julie Kandal, this year’s recipients live in northern Indiana and have done important work for wildlife in the area. Other winners include Lynn Burry, State Rep. Dick Dodge, Jim Lake, Little River Wetlands Project, Thom Maher, Jeanette Neagu, and Brian Salomon.

Devotion to Wildlife: Jennie DeVoe in concert (July)

Last summer we produced the first installment of Devotion to Wildlife an annual summer concert series featuring local artists. Jennie DeVoe rocked West Park in Carmel while we introduced a captive audience to the Indiana Wildlife Federation and recognized Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation for West Park’s Wildlife Friendly Certification.

NRCS partnership: Conservation Outreach Program & Healthy Rivers-WRP Project (August-ongoing)

The federal Farm Bill offers extensive funding opportunities for farmers to implement conservation projects on their land. Last summer, IWF began partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to educate landowners in key areas about managing their land for wildlife. An ongoing series of workshops gives farmers the information they need to enroll their land in these critical programs.

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Hoosier Outdoor Experience (September)

This September, IWF connected with hundreds of families DNR’s annual Hoosier Outdoor Experience at Fort Harrison State Park. We built birdfeeders with kids while educating their parents about IWF’s priorities and goals.

Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force (September –ongoing)

During the last legislative session, the Indiana Conservation Alliance pushed for the creation of the Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force, a group of public and non-governmental leaders working to assess the status of Indiana’s conservation initiatives and compare them with other states’ programs. IWF serves on the task force and will make recommendations about how to best help Indiana’s wildlife.

2nd annual Member Appreciation Celebration (October)

Members enjoyed free food, drinks, and entertainment at our second annual Member Appreciation Celebration.

America’s Path to Progress Breakfast (October)

IWF supported the America’s Path to Progress Breakfast, which featured a discussion on the future of America’s energy security by Sen. Richard Lugar and Admiral John Natham, USN (ret). Lugar and Natham highlighted the importance of finding homegrown energy sources, and IWF’s Barbara Simpson explained the connection between energy security and wildlife.

Accomplishments, Projects & Progress Wildlife at the Statehouse

IWF worked hard with the General Assembly and other conservation organizations to ensure legislation accounted for wildlife during the 2011 session. Funding for Indiana Heritage Trust took a big hit: only $100,000 was allocated for the biennial budget, 10 percent of INCA’s

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typical request. The final budget included $500,000 in general fund appropriations and $3.6 million in dedicated funding for Clean Water Indiana. Legislation to create the Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force passed with strong support from INCA. Other significant successes include the passage of a bill extending the expiration date of the lake management work group and a resolution establishing the constitutional right to fish and hunt in Indiana. Our “P-Free” bill, which would have restricted the application of phosphorusenriched lawn fertilizers on mature lawn, did not pass. A new version of the bill will come up again in 2012.

Wildlife Friendly Habitat certifications

Over the last two years, IWF has helped landowners, park departments, and businesses transform over 700 acres of land to viable habitat through almost 30 Wildlife Friendly Habitat Program projects.

Career development at IWF

IWF provides internships for students interested in hands-on conservation and nonprofit experience. This year we worked with four excellent interns from DePauw, Butler, and Purdue. Each had a unique experience, helping expand the phosphorus project to include college campuses, assisting with our online kids contest, doing on the ground work for habitat projects, and organizing volunteers.

groundwork by contacting students and faculty around the state and developing content for our Landscaping the Sustainable Campus guide. Several schools have already expressed interest in participating in the program.

Weighing in on national issues

Support from the National Wildlife Federation has allowed IWF to continue important work on regional and national issues. IWF’s participation in the America’s Path to Progress Energy Breakfast illustrated the importance of wildlife conservation when tackling energy issues. Next spring IWF and the Lugar Center for Renewable Energy at IUPUI will create a forum to highlight Indiana’s alternative energy potential. We have also worked with state and regional officials on enforcing the guidelines set forth in the Great Lakes Compact, an important interstate agreement managing withdrawals of water from the Great Lakes Basin.

USFWS Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds

IWF participated in the application process for this challenge grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Indianapolis became one of 19 cities to sign the treaty, which will fund projects to restore and protect local bird habitat. The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability and Indy Parks and Recreation will partner with conservation organizations to plan and implement habitat projects.•

Taking phosphorus to school

After running the successful water quality workshop series, we decided to focus on encouraging Indiana’s colleges and universities to accommodate for wildlife in their sustainability planning. Our NWF campus ecology intern laid the

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T

W i n t e r Photo/ Tim Scott

he winter solstice on December 21 brings in the wintertide for the tri-state. The landscape changes as the deciduous trees seek dormancy and bare their intricate branches. Some wildlife seem to disappear from the landscape altogether this time of the year. Many of our native wildlife species go through some type of hibernation or torpor to survive the winter. The term hibernation is widely used to describe an animal’s inactivity during winter. This inactivity differs greatly from species to species. In true hibernation physiological changes occur in the animal’s body that cause a decline in temperature, pulse, and other functions. In temporary hibernation, or torpor, an animal is inactive, but there are not significant changes in the animal’s physiological conditions. Some butterflies migrate, and some butterflies hibernate. A few native butterflies in our area hibernate nearby in the winter. The mourning cloak, n By Julie K andal the eastern comma and the winter’s day, a stray butterfly may emerge. beautiful question mark butI have seen a glimpse of a butterfly in terflies retreat from the cold temperatures flight during the off-season. Some butto the trees and brush for shelter. They terflies, including the eastern comma, are gather between the crevices under tree so well camouflaged that spotting them bark or in dead trees and snags. among the trees in a heavily wooded area Natural habitat is essential for these is extremely difficult. beneficial insects. Butterfly houses, as In the warmer months, the native decorative as they may be, are not favored five-lined skinks frequent the backyard by hibernating butterflies. Native trees, habitat. In the colder months, the ground shrubs, leaf litter and brush piles offer skinks retreat into the safety of the soil. protective shelter to hibernating butHibernation in reptiles and amphibterflies in cooler months. Hibernating ians is referred to as brumation. The wildlife should not be disturbed. time spent in brumation depends on the As winter ensues, I miss the gorgeous temperature, on the availability of light insects. If the temperature rises on a rare

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and on the species. Sometimes the brumation period lasts for months. The skinks do not go into a deep sleep. As their bodies acclimate to the colder temperatures, their metabolism slows down considerably. While the skinks are brumating, they will stop eating. They can go for months without feeding, but the skinks must occasionally drink some water. Getting a drink must be a daunting task in this slowed and dormant state. Depending on the species, bats may migrate or hibernate in the winter. When bats are hibernating in their winter shelters, they are said to be in hibernacula. Many bat species are found in Indiana including the big brown, the big-eared, the silver-haired, the northern and the pipistrelle. These bats utilize caves systems in the winter. The gray bat, the southeastern bat and the Indiana bat also spend winter in our caves. These three native bat species are on the endangered species list. Bats are extremely beneficial mammals, and their cave habitats are fragile. Whether bats hibernate or migrate, natural habitat is vital for the bat population. For the most part, artificial bat boxes are not necessarily the bats’ preferred choice. Providing and protecting natural habitat is crucial for these and other hibernating wildlife species. Find information on our native bats and other non-game species at www. IN.gov/dnr. Learn more about how to provide suitable habitat to help sustain native wildlife at www.indianawildlife.org.•

is a time to rest for many wildlife species

Julie was honored as the 2011 Conservation Communicator of the Year at IWF’s annual Conservation Awards Banquet.

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IWF Affiliate Clubs Conservation clubs joined together in 1938 to form a statewide association that became the Indiana Wildlife Federation. The current affiliates are the backbone of the organization, implementing a variety of conservation programs. Thank you for joining or continuing your support of IWF. Allen County Coon Hunters Amos W. Butler Audubon Society Arrow Head Country RC&D Bartholomew County Conservation Council Bremen Conservation Club Central Indiana Trout Unlimited Coffee Creek Conservation Club Cold Spring Environmental School Teachers Crooked Creek Conservation Club Farmland Conservation Club Indiana Bass Federation Indiana Bowhunter Association Indiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Indiana Chapter of the Wildlife Society Indiana Lakes Management Society Indiana Smallmouth Alliance Indianapolis Fly Casters Jefferson Township Conservation Club Lake County Fish & Game Protection Association LaPorte County Conservation Council Lincoln Hills RC&D Little River Wetlands Project New Alsace Conservation Club

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Congratulations to the Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School for earning IWF’s Wildlife Friendly Certification. Their 13-acre outdoor lab has six acres of woodland, six acres of prairie and one acre of wetlands.

North Central Indiana Council of Conservation Clubs North Dearborn Conservation Club Northeastern Indiana Trout Association Oaklandon Elementary School Teachers* Pheasants Forever, Central Indiana Pheasants Forever, Coal Creek Chapter Pheasants Forever, Lagrange County Porter County Conservation Club Pretty Lake Conservation Club Reel Women Reel Men Rolling Prairie Conservation Club

Saugany Lake Conservation Club* Southwest Conservation Club St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers Sunman Dearborn Intermediate School Teachers* Turn In a Poacher or Polluter* Wabash Valley Audubon Society *New IWF affiliates Learn more about affiliate memberships at www.indianawildlife.org/ membership.htm, or contact the IWF office.

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Making time Adam McL ane

Two morning hunts in November will be forever etched in my memory. Curiously, it is the late November doe that inspires me to write rather than the 180class giant. The doe taken was exceedingly special for one simple reason—my father. Fourteen years “out of the nest,” a wife, two children, and a different state’s zip code have meant far fewer hours afield together than in the past. The last deer taken by either of us while hunting in the same woods together was at least 15 years ago. Those years have passed sharing photos by e-mail and stories by phone…a far cry from sharing hunts together. This November we made time. A doe tag left unfilled and a Wednesday morning off work before Thanksgiving meant Dad and I would go to the woods together. Dad chose not to purchase a costly out-of-state tag, but instead to sit with me on my hunt. Those two decisions, making time and sitting together, were perhaps the only good ones we made that mattered. The rest of our special experience gets chalked up to the magic of the outdoors and its ability to often create lasting memories. We arrived a bit behind schedule. The walk to the field corner I chose was longer and more rugged than expected. No trees were appropriate for the two climbing stands we brought. Shooting light was upon us before Dad was 10-ft. up in a crooked tree and I was up 15 ft. in one that was just plain silly. There we sat, however, 30 yards apart and overlooking a field corner. I distinctly remember telling myself that but for the grace of God, we had no right to see deer this morning. Thirty minutes later a forkhorn angled his way toward us across the field. I made a few grunts and doe bleats to pique his interest and watched him wander by looking for love.

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Photo/ Adam McLane

n By

IWF Treasurer Adam McLane (right) and his father make time over Thanksgiving for a successful hunting trip.

Fifteen minutes later, from seemingly nowhere, the doe appeared at 70 yards. Shortly thereafter, I sent my slug toward her front shoulder. She stumbled 15 yards and out of site from my stand. In quintessential Dad form, “she’s down” came in a loud, firm, matter of fact voice from the tree 30 yards away. After getting down, we shared our perspectives from the morning, shook hands, took pictures and cared for the harvest.

It was some of the most memorable two hours of daylight we had spent together in quite some time. To many, this may all sound like a dry narrative and a shared set of experiences that easily could be replaced with a round of golf or nice lunch together. Those who do hunt understand the difference, and have had a similar experiences afield that has been etched in memory. Treasure those you’ve made, and make time for more.•

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Photo/ Tim Scott

Valparaiso University students help SJRVFF members narrow Dowgaic Creek in Cassopolis, Mich. to improve trout habitat.

St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers

40 Years of educating the art of fly fishing By Tim Scott The St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers has promoted the art of fly fishing for 40 years of educational, social and conservation work within Indiana and southwest Michigan. Its nearly 200 members have taken advantage of excellent volunteers to teach fly tying, how to improve cold water streams and just have a great time with the sport. “Every 10 years or so we seem to have more new members joining SJRVFF, so we felt it was time to have a stronger emphasis on education and conservation,” said Todd Ezzell, incoming board president. “It is time to teach the new members how to take care of our streams and how to continue the art of fly fishing as the older members have taught us. This is why our club has kept going on for the past 40 years.” Three years ago SJRVFF started a series of entry-level classes: trout 101, smallmouth 101 and salmon 101. These are interactive classes that teach new fly fishers n

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the basics of successfully catching each species of fish pertaining to each class. SJRVFF volunteers go through tactics, equipment, safety, rigging and casting for each species. Then two students are paired with one SJRVFF volunteer guide who takes them to the water to put what they have learned into practice. “We have people step into the stream for the first time and catch their first trout or smallmouth. I think the guides are more excited than the anglers,” said Ezzell. “The classes are getting people involved and interested in other aspects of the club, like the club’s conservation work.” SJRVFF has taken an active role in improving the conditions of cold-water streams, especially the Dowagiac Creek in Cassopolis and Berrien counties of Michigan. The club has worked long and hard to help narrow the stream, which improves water flow. This lowers the stream temperature and scours out the sediment, creating better trout habitat and better

habitat for trout food sources. The Dowagiac Creek project has been going on for close to 20 years, and it has become a fine fishery. The club has worked on private stretches where the landowners allow them to fish, as long as they practice catch and release. Two years ago, SJRVFF partnered with the Notre Dame Fishing Club and started a monofilament program. The club built 28 periscope-like tubes around the rivers and streams, allowing anglers to place their monofilament into the tubes instead of on the river banks or in the water. Notre Dame Fishing Club members collect the monofilament and return it to Berkley Fishing Corporation for proper recycling. The members of SJRVFF make the art of fly fishing exciting for all involved. To learn more about SJRVFF’s educational programs or partner with SJRVFF on a monofilament program in your area, please contact us through www.sjrvff.com.• Tim Scott is former president of SJRVFF.

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Participants in the first Conservation Outreach Program field day learn about on the ground conservation practices at the Pinney-Purdue Ag Center in Wanatah.

IWF promotes healthy rivers By Travis Stoelting IWF started work on another new program this fall in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. IWF’s Healthy RiversWRP project is a partnership project to promote wetland restoration and habitat connectivity across Indiana, specifically through the Wetlands Reserve Program and other landowner assistance programs offered by our natural resource agencies. WRP is a voluntary program offering landowners outstanding opportunities to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property with technical and financial support provided by NRCS. IWF will host workshops, field days, and one-on-one meetings for landowners and other residents interested in learning about landscape-level restoration of wildlife habitat with WRP and other conservation programs. The project is designed to offer statewide benefits, with particular emphasis on two Indiana Healthy Rivers Initiative activities. The HRI includes a partnership of resource agencies and organizations that will work with willing landowners to permanently protect n

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43,000 acres located in the floodplain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana and another 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottomlands in southeast Indiana. By focusing outreach and education in these and other areas of interest, IWF will contribute to one of the largest

conservation initiatives ever undertaken in our state and ultimately provide more wetland habitat in Indiana. Watch for more information about locations and dates for upcoming events as part of IWF’s Healthy Rivers-WRP Project online at www.indianawildlife.org or by e-mail at info@indianawildlife.org.•

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Land conservation project closes second successful year that. We just hope they’ll consider some By Nick Werner of the conservation programs to help proThe largest land conservation effort tect the water quality and provide wildlife ever undertaken by the Department of habitat.” Natural Resources is making progress as it HRI has purchased 2,700 new acres nears the end of its second year. and enrolled more than 5,000 acres in The goal of the Healthy Rivers INitiathe federal Wetland Reserve Program. tive is to permanently protect roughly About 26,000 total acres are under some 69,000 acres in two project areas, a 94form of permanent protection in both mile section of the Wabash River corridor project areas combined, including state in west central Indiana, including scenic properties. Sugar Creek, and the Muscatatuck River William Maher has sold almost 2,000 bottomlands in southern Indiana. acres of agricultural ground along the WaAnnounced in 2010, the Healthy Rivbash River to Healthy Rivers INitiative. ers INitiative, is a partnership with other Maher called HRI natural resource agena “solid and meaningcies and organizations The goal of the Healthy ful plan.” It also helped including The Nature Rivers INitiative is to that his river bottom Conservancy and the permanently protect roughly ground had been a Natural Resources 69,000 acres in two project headache. Conservation Service areas, a 94-mile section of “It flooded almost that will benefit wildthe Wabash River corridor every year,” he said. life, enhance public “There were substantial in west central Indiana, recreation and improve losses.” including scenic Sugar water quality. Some landowners, Creek, and the Muscatatuck At 43,000 acres, the however, are still turnWabash River project River bottomlands in ing a profit on marginal area alone is larger than southern Indiana. ground with help from the combined size of federal crop insurance Morgan-Monroe State and a boost in corn and soybean prices. Forest and Brown County State Park. Tilton said the program is working to “I think this is a game changer,” overcome obstacles presented by market Healthy Rivers INitiative liaison Angie influences and crop insurance. Tilton said. “We have several thousands of acres in HRI permanently protects ground by the process of being purchased,” she said. purchasing it from willing land owners, With some of the land in public many of them farmers, or by encouraging ownership and some of the land in private the landowners to enroll their ground in ownership, the DNR is still working out conservation easements and other conserdetails on how and where to provide pubvation programs. lic access to the land and how to manage “Some of the farmers have owned this the project areas. land for years and years,” Tilton said. The state is also considering expanding “They want this land passed down from the program to include other rivers.• generation to generation. We understand n

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Conservation Awards Banquet and annual business meeting Join us Saturday, May 19 at Spring Mill State Park for the Conservation Awards Banquet and annual business meeting. Join us for the annual business meeting Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until noon. Learn about our current projects and goals for 2012-13, elect new board officers, and vote on newly submitted resolutions. Members who attend the annual business meeting can weigh in and vote on proposed resolutions. If you have an interest in shaping IWF’s priorities, please plan to attend this important meeting. We value your input. At 6 p.m., we will honor this year’s outstanding conservationists at the Conservation Awards Banquet.

There are few important dates to keep in mind before May: March 18: Deadline to submit resolutions for discussion, and potentially adoption, at the business meeting. Only IWF directors and affiliate organizations can propose resolutions. Visit www.indianawildlife.org/board. htm to view current resolutions. April 15: Deadline for Conservation Award nominations. June 15: Deadline for Charles Holt Memorial Scholarship applications Check www.indianawildlife.org/ annualmeeting.htm for online RSVP forms and more details. Use our group code: 518121 when reserving your room at Spring Mill. Save the date, and plan to join us on May 19.•

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4715 W. 106th Street Zionsville, IN 46077

Vol. 50 No. 4

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Hoosier Conservation: Winter 2011/2012  

Our Winter 2011/2012 issue features articles about the year in conservation, IWF's 2012 calendar, Indiana's Healthy Rivers INitiative, and m...

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