Book Review: Something for Everyone in Natural Resource Management

Natural Resoures and the Great DepressionBill Barnes had a long career with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with 27 years in the Division of Fish and Wildlife and 10 years as the first Director of the Division of Nature Preserves. In 1987 the Natural Resources Commission dedicated the Barnes Nature Preserve located on the Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. Bill relates many years of his personal experiences in his new publication "Natural Resources and the Great Depression in Martin County and South-Central Indiana."

In this memoir, he describes how the trial-and-error "research" in the early 1930's was learning what would work and what would not. This provided the foundation for some of the natural resource management techniques used today. As a forester, he was in charge of the natural resources on the huge Resettlement Administration's property. These early experiences were on the large area in Martin County known today as Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center and Martin State Forest. He describes the planting of various species of trees that survived best, the introduction of various game species, and how they planted many species of aquatic vegetation in the newly constructed Greenwood Lake.

Bill tells what life was like in this area during the Great Depression and provides many photographs which document his experiences. Bill will be 97 years of age in November and currently lives with his son in South Dakota. [This article was written in 2005. On November 9, 2007, William Barnes passed away.]

The following groups were contributors for the publication:

  • Indiana Natural Resources Foundation
  • The Nature Conservancy of Indiana
  • Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society
  • Indiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society

The 168 page book has been published by the Indiana Historical Bureau and is Volume Number 56 (ISBN 1-885323-56-5) of their Indiana Historical Collections. The Bureau will collect the funds and fifty percent of the proceeds will be transferred to the Natural Resources Foundation according to the author’s wishes. The book is now available for a cost of $14.95, plus tax and shipping through the:

Indiana Historical Bureau Sales Office
140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

317-232-2535
317-232-3728 FAX

www.IN.gov/history/
ihb@history.in.gov

Book Review by Gary Doxtater
October, 2005