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Indiana Conservation Officer Eric Doane received the DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s 2008 Pitzer Award for his excellence in service during a ceremony at the Indiana Government Center on May 28.
Award candidates are first voted on by fellow officers. Law Enforcement director Col. Michael Crider then chooses the winner.
Beyond his usual field duties, Doane serves on the dive team, the cave rescue team, and as a defensive tactics instructor. He also is involved with 4-H, the National Archery in the Schools Program and was named Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for 2007 by the Indiana Hunter Education Association.
The Martin County native and Shoals High School graduate holds an associate’s degree in conservation law (1990) from Vincennes University. He became a conservation officer in 1992. Initially assigned to Union County, Doane was re-assigned to Martin County and has been there for the last 10 years.
The award was named after Indiana Conservation Officer James D. Pitzer, who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Above: Conservation Officer Eric Doane receives the Pitzer Award from Col. Michael Crider, director of DNR Law Enforcement.
The staff of OI welcomes Frank Oliver to his new position as photo editor. He comes to the DNR with nearly 30 years experience as a photojournalist.
As a young man, Oliver became interested in taking photos by watching his father, a serious amateur photographer. As he developed his own skills, Oliver landed a job at a fledgling weekly newspaper in Lafayette, but after three years the paper went out of business.
He then began his career at the Journal & Courier newspaper in Lafayette, where he stayed for 25 years.
During his years with the Journal, Oliver photographed news, features and sports. Highlights included Big Ten men’s and women’s athletics, many NCAA tournaments and football bowl games.
He also covered presidents’ and popes’ visits, the U.S. military intervention in Haiti and several Catholic medical mission trips to Haiti. Oliver has won multiple state and national awards for his work.
He is also a member of the Air Force Reserve and spent 15 years in the military, mostly as a flight medic.
Oliver and his wife live in Lafayette with their five children and a cat.
Mounds State Park dedicated and re-opened its improved pool and bathhouse area on July 3. To fully accommodate handicapped visitors, the park invested $950,000 in updating the pool, which was originally built in 1980.
Activities for visitors included face painting, tours of the revamped pool area and snacks. There were also drawings for esteemed positions of being the first kid to try each of the new fun features.
Some of those updated features of the pool include a tube slide, diving board and splash pad. Additional improvements were made to the bathhouse changing areas, restrooms, showers and food area.
With the splash pad area and pool renovations now meeting Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements, the pool area can now better serve all Hoosiers.
Above: Young visitors at Mounds State Park enjoy the improved pool area.
Deam Lake State Recreation Area in Clark State Forest celebrated the June opening of a horse campground where riders can safely board their horses overnight in barn stalls. Gov. Mitch Daniels thanked and honored the groups responsible for funding the project in a dedication ceremony late that month.
Though equestrian activity had been an important part of the state forest, the facilities available did not meet modern needs. The opening of this horse campground makes Clark the only state forest in Indiana to provide electric hook-ups and comfort stations to riders.
Approximately half of the campground was converted to 108 horse camping sites in winter 2006. Seven horse barns containing a total of 90 stalls are in the construction phase.
Partly funded by the American Endurance Ride Conference and its generous lumber donation, the project will provide equestrians with enhanced recreational opportunities.
Above: Gov. Mitch Daniels Jr. (center) opens the new horse campground at Deam Lake SRA with (left to right) Walter Zak, Clark State Forest/Deam Lake SRA property manager Greg Hersberger, president, Indiana Trail Riders Association; Connie Caudill, American Endurance Ride Conference; DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr.; and State Rep. Paul Robertson.