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The DNR was honored recently by a trio of accolades ranging from the backwoods to the Web.
Bike magazine’s March issue crowned Brown County State Park’s mountain bike trails as “among the best in North America.” In its article “33 Best Rides in North America,” the international magazine said the trail system, “is quickly becoming a favorite destination for Midwest riders.”
The Indiana Geographic Information Council presented the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife’s “Where to Hunt” interactive Web site with its annual Excellence in GIS Award, State or Federal Agency category.
Staff members Kevin Hoffman (Division of Fish and Wildlife) and Mike Martin (Division of Management Information Systems) developed the tool to help Hoosiers find a great place to hunt.
Alger Van Hoey, a wildlife biologist with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, was presented the State of Indiana Wildlife Officer of the Year award from Shikar Safari International. Since beginning his career with the DNR in 1970, Van Hoey has applied his professional biological knowledge and techniques in planning, formulating, implementing and evaluating the department’s Private Lands Management programs.
Above left: Brown County State Park's mountain bike trails system is recognized as one of the best in North America.
A recently published novel features the former DNR Bass Lake Fish Hatchery as the setting for a story of adolescent mischief and adventure. Authors Charles Ratliff and Leslie May are writing a Hardy Boys-like series of books that take place in the Bass Lake area, where children spend lazy summers having fun, getting into humorous situations and solving mysteries.
The first book, “The Bass Lake Bunch; The Hideout at the Abandoned Fish Hatchery,” includes the hatchery as a hideout for a group of kids trying to reunite a brother and sister with their long-lost aunt.
The DNR ceased operations at Bass Lake in the early ‘80s. The property is now owned by Purdue University.
“The Bass Lake Bunch” is available online from Tate publishing.
Dean Dorrell from Washington, Ind., read historical Abraham Lincoln speeches during Indiana’s Lincoln Bicentennial Birthday Bash at the Indiana Statehouse. Gov. Mitch Daniels gave the keynote address while Captain Patrick D. Hall, commanding officer of the USS Abraham Lincoln, accepted a Lincoln quilt for the aircraft carrier’s wardroom.
Hundreds of Indiana elementary school students attended the celebration honoring the 200th birthday of the United States’ 16th president. Lincoln lived in southern Indiana from age 7 to 21.
Indiana bucked the national trend of declining sales of hunting licenses by showing an increase in 2008 of nearly 25,000 licenses sold compared to 2007 figures.
The increase provided a $433,000 revenue boost to the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Increases occurred in nine of 17 license categories with the largest in resident deer licenses—a jump of 14,982. Hunters also bought more general resident licenses, disabled veterans licenses, spring and fall turkey licenses, waterfowl stamps, and non-resident tags for deer and turkey.
Sales of the new senior fishing and apprentice hunting licenses also contributed.
Nearly 4,900 Hoosiers purchased senior fish for life licenses in 2008, and almost 1,800 more picked up senior annual licenses.
Persons who are age 64 or older and born after March 31, 1943, are now required to purchase one of the senior license options in order to fish public waters in Indiana. Persons born prior to April 1, 1943, remain exempt from the senior license but should carry a valid ID when fishing.
First-time hunters purchased 7,922 apprentice licenses, which allow them to go afield with a licensed hunter/mentor before having to take a hunter education course.
License sales are one part of a formula that returns matching federal funds to participating states for use in enhancing fish and wildlife programs.
Above left: Mike McClary, left, and Justin Young fish for smallmouth bass in Wildcat Creek in Tippecanoe County.
In 2008, the DNR Division of Forestry distributed a record $366,870 to 16 counties where state forests are located. That’s a 21 percent increase over the previous high mark in 2007.
The State Forest Management Act outlines public policy on the state forest system, including the distribution of 15 percent of DNR net proceeds from timber harvested in state forests to qualifying counties. A portion of those allocations are then forwarded to volunteer fire departments that have cooperative agreements with the DNR.
“The goal of this program is to support the volunteer fire departments who take care of fighting wildland fires, helping on state forests and on private lands,” State Forester John Seifert said.
Several volunteer departments have used their share of the revenue to purchase much-needed equipment specially designed for fighting wildfires.
Above right: Jackson-Washington State Forest as seen from Skyline Drive near Brownstown, captured in late fall.
The March/April 2009 issue of OI incorrectly stated the license requirements to hunt wild turkey. To hunt turkey, you need either a comprehensive lifetime hunting/fishing license or a comprehensive lifetime hunting license or a youth license or an apprentice youth license. If you don’t have one of those, in order to hunt turkey, you need a turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp. We regret the error.