The Department of Natural Resources today announced acquisition of two properties in Jackson County as part of the agency’s Healthy Rivers INitiative (HRI).

One parcel is approximately 135.5 acres and the other 44.5 acres. Both include forested wetlands characterized by bottomland hardwood trees that provide habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl.

The acquisitions are the most recent achievements for HRI, which Gov. Mitch Daniels launched in 2010 to secure permanent conservation protection for nearly 70,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River and the Wabash River/Sugar Creek corridors.

The DNR has acquired approximately 2,700 acres in the Muscatatuck project area since HRI began. Combined with properties already owned by the state and with private acres enrolled in the federal Wetlands Reserve Program, nearly 7,600 acres in the Muscatatuck project area have been protected from future development.

HRI is a partnership of resource agencies and organizations working with landowners to provide a model that balances forest, farmland 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 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.

For more information, see healthyrivers.IN.gov.

Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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