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Welcome to the 75th anniversary of this magazine, which from the start has been considered the showpiece publication of the Department of Natural Resources.
A lot has happened since the first issue rolled off the presses in 1934.
Back then, the entire country was abuzz over the deadly deeds of notorious Indiana bank robber John Dillinger and his criminal gang. Before the year was out, he’d been gunned down by FBI agents outside a Chicago movie theater and a couple other bad guys—Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson—met similar fates.
But that’s someone else’s story.
In its long history, OI has used well-written articles and spectacular photographs to tell not only the DNR story but also the role our many valued conservation partners have played in safeguarding Indiana’s natural, historical and cultural resources.
OI was created by the Department of Conservation, forerunner to today’s DNR. In fact, the DNR wasn’t formed until 1965, when then-Gov. Roger Branigin signed the Natural Resources Act that combined Conservation with several other state agencies.
Through the years, the magazine has featured people, from Abe Lincoln to Abe Martin; places, from Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area to “colonial” Zionsville; aquatic life, from bluegills to zebra mussels; wildlife, from river otters to white-tailed deer; and plant life, from lowly skunk cabbage to the mighty oak.
It seems no subject has been off limits—agriculture, animals, antiques, archaeology, arts and crafts, biography, birds, boating, camping, caves, coal mine reclamation, conservation, ecology, economics, enforcement, entomology, fishing, flowers, forestry, geology, highways, history, humor, hunting, insects, museums, Native Americans, nature, nature preserves, oil and gas, parks, pollution, reptiles, reservoirs, safety, sports, waterfowl, water resources and wildlife.
The stories must number in the thousands. It’s the same with photographs.
And we’re just getting started. There are a thousand more stories waiting to be told in words and pictures.
We hope over the years that you have come to enjoy Outdoor Indiana and that we somehow fulfill our mission of informing you about the special qualities of our Hoosier state. We appreciate those of you who have been loyal readers, and we welcome those of you who are more recent additions to our ever-growing fan base.
Robert E. Carter, Jr.