The Department of Natural Resources announced it recently acquired seven parcels totaling more than 450 acres as part of the agency’s Healthy Rivers INitiative (HRI).

These acquisitions are the most recent achievements for HRI, which was launched in 2010 to secure permanent conservation protection of 43,000 acres along the floodplain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek, and another 26,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River.

HRI is a partnership of resource agencies and organizations that works with landowners on achieving program goals to provide a model that balances forests, farmlands and natural resources conservation; connects separated parcels of public land to benefit wildlife; protects important wildlife habitat and rest areas for migratory birds; opens lands to public recreational activities; establishes areas for nature tourism; and provides clean water and protection from flooding to downstream landowners.

The DNR, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy of Indiana, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are HRI project partners.

The latest acquisitions include two tracts (27 and 70 acres) in Vigo County and one (74 acres) in Vermillion County as part of the Wabash River/Sugar Creek project area.

In the Muscatatuck project area, the acquisitions include 123 acres in Scott County, 64 acres in Washington County, and tracts of 40 and 66.5 acres in Jackson County.

To date, HRI has closed on the purchase of 6,131 acres in the Wabash River/Sugar Creek project area and 2,570 acres in the Muscatatuck project area.

Along with previously protected state properties and land enrolled in the federal Wetlands Reserve Program, the new HRI acres boost total acreage under protection to more than 29,600 acres in the combined project areas.

For more information, see

Logo courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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