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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

DNR Home > Divisions > Communications > Outdoor Indiana Magazine - Archives > Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2012 > Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2012 - Featured Stories Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2012 - Featured Stories

From the Director
Trailing
Hoosier Profile
Count on it

From the Director

My top 10
Robert E. Carter, Jr.

Director Robert E. Carter, Jr.Hoosier-born comedian David Letterman has done a top 10 list on his TV show for years. Here’s my list of favorite DNR achievements over the past eight years, in no particular order.

Goose Pond: Acquisition of the 8,000-acre wetland restoration in Greene County was the cornerstone of record land conservation efforts that followed. Predictions that Goose Pond would be a magnet for migratory birds proved accurate.

Healthy Rivers INitiative: Launched in 2010, the land conservation project seeks permanent protection of nearly 70,000 acres along Sugar Creek, the Wabash River and the Muscatatuck River.

Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps and Indiana Heritage Corps: Two programs employed young adults to do trail construction and maintenance, building rehabilitation, removal of invasive species, and general support at DNR properties.

Atterbury land exchange: Part of Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area was turned over to the National Guard to meet training needs. In return, DNR got nearly 2,000 acres of surplus state land in Putnam County and created Deer Creek FWA.

First-rate forests: Sustainable management practices that grow more trees than are being harvested earned DNR Forestry “green” certification from two independent forestry organizations.

State Parks & Reservoirs: Unlike some other states, our parks remained open during the recession. And they set visitation records, topping $20 million in revenue each of the last five years.

Youth hunting: Two initiatives—free hunting days started in 2006 and the apprentice license in 2010—made it easier for youngsters to try it out.

Nature preserves: State-dedicated sites reached 250 strong with the addition of Loblolly Marsh in Jay County.

Hoosiers on the Move: An effort to get a trail within 15 minutes (or 7.5 miles) of every Indiana resident by 2016 is 98 percent complete.

Bicentennial Nature Trust: In the same spirit that created our state park system in 1916, BNT was started to set celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday in 2016 with new public lands.

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Trailing

Wabash Hertage Trail
Hike a riverfront flooded with history
By Nick Werner

A hiker passes under Harrison Bridge in West Lafayette on the Wabash Heritage Trail. The 13-mile trail begins at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in Battle Ground and ends southward at Fort Ouiatenon. Three miles of the trail lies within the city limits of West Lafayette and Lafayette.As its name suggests, the Wabash Heritage Trail capitalizes on Tippecanoe County’s rich past, encouraging visitors to connect with historical American Indian, French-Canadian and early Anglo-American cultures.

The 13-mile footpath is a mix of rural and urban landscapes, passing through the narrow forested corridors of Burnett’s Creek and the Wabash River, and linking the communities of Battle Ground, Lafayette and West Lafayette.

Trailside markers identify and explain historic landmarks, as well as natural features and plant and animal life.

Trailheads on the Wabash Heritage Trail aren’t just spots on the map. They’re spots in time.

Cutline: A hiker passes under Harrison Bridge in West Lafayette on the Wabash Heritage Trail. The 13-mile trail begins at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in Battle Ground and ends southward at Fort Ouiatenon. Three miles of the trail lies within the city limits of West Lafayette and Lafayette.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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Hoosier Profile

Mary McConnell
From career change to legacy maker

By Phil Bloom

Mary McConnell says she knew she belonged at The Nature Conservancy before TNC did.Well-settled into a career selling industrial plastics while taking night MBA classes, Mary McConnell also was sharing a real estate business with her husband and caring for a newborn child.

Life seemed good, but the work and the travel that went with it had become too much.

McConnell decided she wanted to rekindle that outdoor spirit. An environmental organization seemed to be the answer.

“I told my husband I wanted to work for a not-for-profit where I felt like I could make a difference in the world,” she said. “He thought I was crazy.”

Weeks later, he spotted a job notice from The Nature Conservancy for someone with a background in business, real estate or law to negotiate land deals.

Cutline: Mary McConnell says she knew she belonged at The Nature Conservancy before TNC did.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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Count on it

Birding event is “citizen science”
By Phil Bloom

Photography by Frank Oliver

“Citizen scientists” worldwide flock to thousands of locations for the Christmas count. This group at Shades State Park is watching a golden eagle soar above Sugar Creek.There was the time it was a bone-chilling 2 degrees. Or was it 2 below that day?
And that day in the bottoms at Lake Monroe when it was 12 below?

Last year, it reached a balmy 55 at Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area.

Cold days, warm days, wet days, dry days, long days.

Lee Sterenburg has experienced all during the Christmas Bird Count, an annual event sponsored by the National Audubon Society and carried out in thousands of locations by everyday people with a shared interest in birds.

“Sometimes it’s very cold and difficult, and sometimes you have rain and you’re out all night,” Sterenburg said. “You just roll with the punches.”

Called “citizen science,” it’s the longest running wildlife survey in North America.

Christmas Bird Counts began more than a century ago as the brainchild of Frank Chapman, publisher of Bird Lore magazine. He was bothered by the proliferation of women’s hats adorned with bird feathers and the popularity of Christmas Day “side hunts” in which teams would have shooting competitions to see who could bag the most birds.

Chapman used his magazine to propose counting birds as an alternative exercise.

Cutline: “Citizen scientists” worldwide flock to thousands of locations for the Christmas count. This group at Shades State Park is watching a golden eagle soar above Sugar Creek.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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