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The Healthy Rivers INitiative, the largest land conservation initiative to be undertaken in Indiana, was announced in June 2010. It includes a partnership of resource agencies and organizations who are working with willing landowners to permanently protect more than 43,000 acres along the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana, and more than 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottomlands in southeast Indiana.
Eight key objectives have been identified for HRI:
The Muscatatuck River project area spans more than 26,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River. It is bounded by the intersection of the Muscatatuck with Interstate 65 and State Road 31 on the east side and flows westward to Jackson-Washington State Forest on the west side. The project area stretches across three counties: Scott, Jackson and Washington.
Approximately 2,355 acres are now open within the Muscatatuck River Project Area. The project area consists of a variety of habitat types, dominated by bottomland forests and wetlands. The bottomland forest consists of species such as maples, oaks, sweetgum, river birch, sycamore and beech. Many birds use bottomland hardwood forests, such as wild turkey, yellow- and black-crowned night herons, wood ducks, red-headed woodpeckers, screech owls, great horned owls, bald eagles, broad-winged hawks, woodcock, wood thrush, hooded warblers, Kentucky warblers, blue jays and cardinals. These bottomland hardwoods also provide excellent habitat for many mammals, such as white-tailed deer, bobcat, raccoon, skunk, fox, beaver, otter, mink, opossum, gray squirrel, fox squirrel and flying squirrel.
The Muscatatuck River bottoms is a great place to view a wide variety of birds and waterfowl. River otters, beavers, deer and other mammals are also common.
Gathering berries, nuts, and mushrooms is allowed; however, spring mushroom hunting is restricted to after 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season of April 24 through May 12, 2013.
NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.
Please Read and Obey All Signs.
In addition to state and wildlife laws, this property is governed by posted regulations affecting the public use of lands and facilities owned, leased or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.
Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting areas and other restricted areas are marked with appropriate signs.
Violation of any law, rule or regulation governing this property may be cause for forfeiting your hunting, fishing or visiting privileges on this area.
The DNR will not be held responsible for any accidents or deaths occurring from the use of these facilities.
A hunting and/or fishing license is required to hunt or fish on the property. Collecting permits are required for the collection of anything except nuts, berries and mushrooms.
Trespassing on Private Property
Please be courteous to neighboring landowners. Watch for the property boundary and safety zone signs. Stay inside boundaries. Do not trespass on private property.
Traffic on public roads throughout the area is governed by state and county laws. No motorized vehicles, horses or bicycles are permitted beyond county roads. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicles, is restricted to walking. Parking is in designated lots only.
Target shooting is prohibited.