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WAYNEDALE WOODS AND WATERS

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DNR sport license system gets faster

The days of carbon copy license books and lick-and-stick wildlife stamps are gone. There's now a better way to buy an Indiana fishing, hunting or trapping license.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is launching an electronic licensing system that is faster, more accurate, and provides the DNR better fish and wildlife management data.

Known as Indiana Outdoor, all annual Indiana sport licenses will be available from local license retailers. Most Indiana residents need only a valid driver's license to use Indiana Outdoor. Residents without a driver's license will need current address information and a Social Security number.

People may find the nearest license retailer, purchase a license online, or sign up to become an authorized Indiana Outdoor retailer, by calling 866-859-0028 or going on-line to: http://www.indianaoutdoor.IN.gov

"We are very excited to bring Hoosiers this quicker, easier licensing system through Indiana Outdoor," said Glen Salmon, director of fish and wildlife. "Gone are the days of searching for a license because retailers have a "no more deer licenses" sign on their door. Our folks can get the license they need in less than two minutes so they can get out into the woods or onto the lake."

Almost 600 bait shops, sporting goods stores, DNR offices and even grocery stores across the state will offer Indiana resident and non-resident hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses as well as sport stamp privileges from Indiana Outdoor.

Lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping licenses are not available through Indiana Outdoor.

The new system will allow people to purchase licenses more quickly, as information for multiple license types can be entered electronically and printed on one easy-to-carry sheet of paper. Licenses may also be purchased online with no additional user surcharges.

"The web-based system designed by DNR to sell hunting & fishing licenses is extremely easy to use," said Jim McArdle, manager of store operations at Fort Wayne Bait & Hook Store, Winchester Road. "Our store especially likes the ability to have the customer's information recalled for an even faster transaction when they come back next season to renew their license."

The new system also will be available at the 2005 Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, February 18-27 in the DNR booth of the Blue Ribbon Pavilion.

 

THERE'S MONEY IN YOUR TREES

How much are your trees worth? Most likely more than you think. Homeowners invest a lot of time, care, and money into landscaping their property, expecting beauty and shade in return. But the unexpected "return" on that investment is that trees have monetary value as well.

When you stop to consider that landscaping can be worth up to 20 percent of your home's total property value, you'll understand why it's worthwhile to protect the investment you've made in your greenery. According to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a tree's value is based on four factors: tree size, tree type, tree condition, and overall tree location based on its functional and aesthetic purposes. A professional tree and landscape appraiser can determine where your trees or plants fall under these categories.

While it's impossible to prevent storms, accidents, and air pollution from causing damage to your trees and plants, it is possible to recapture your landscape losses through an insurance claim, or as a deduction from federal income taxes, advises ISA.

If your trees and landscape are damaged, ISA recommends that you:

Contact your homeowner's insurance company. Have the insurance company send a professional tree and landscaping appraiser out to your property immediately after the damage has occurred. Have the appraiser determine your financial loss, including the cost of removal and repair.

Contact a local ISA Certified Arborist if repair or replacement is needed.

Just as you would with any other valuable asset, document your investment in landscaping to help establish its worth. ISA suggests taking pictures of trees and plants while they are healthy to make insurance processing simpler with "before and after" examples.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research around the world. As part of ISA's dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. For more information, contact a local ISA Certified Arborist or visit www.treesaregood.com.

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