CIVIL WAR DAYS IN FORT WAYNE
This year Civil War Days will be celebrated May 1st & 2nd at Shoaff Park. There will be Reenactments, fun, food, education, history, and it's all FREE with FREE PARKING to boot. To get there from I-69, exit onto Maplecrest Road North. (Exit 29A if coming from the west; Exit 29 if coming from the east.) Turn left on St. Joe Road and go approximately 2.3 miles to Shoaff Park (on the right). Questions? Contact Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation at 705 East State Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805 or call them at (260) 427-6000. Their web site is www.30thindiana.org.
STATE, IPL COMPLETE SALE OF FOREST IN MORGAN COUNTY
Indianapolis Power & Light Company and state officials have finalized paperwork to complete the purchase of 1,511 acres of forest land in Morgan County as the final act to a process that began in the fall of 2002. "The closing is much, much more than a simple business transaction," Gov. Joe Kernan said. "We have secured for future generations an important part of our Hoosier landscape. The acquisition of this land strengthens our environment and adds to our protected natural resources in an area that has seen and will continue to experience rapid economic development."
Successful negotiations between the state and IPL for the 1,511 acres were concluded before the scheduled auction and the remaining 2,539 acres of farmland and forest were purchased by a group of local businessmen. "This is a shining example of how a public and private partnership can benefit everyone," said IPL President & CEO Ann D. Murtlow. "IPL joins the community in, its excitement about using this land in a way that so many will be able to enjoy." The purchase price for the land comes from the Indiana Department of Transportation's Crossroads 2000 fund. The forested land will be considered as mitigation for forestland that will be lost to future highway projects.
The land purchased by the state is an upland forest located east of Burkhart Creek and north of Indiana 67. It is bordered on the north and east by privately owned forestland.
The State Department of Natural Resources will manage the land as part of Morgan-Monroe State Forest. In the future wildlife watchers, birders, hikers and hunters will all be able to enjoy the new property. Hunting will begin in the fall of 2004.
"These new acres are a great addition to our public land in Indiana," said DNR Director John Goss. "I especially urge anyone with an interest in this property to join DNR forestry staff on April 24 for a public open house to discuss this and other DNR-managed forests in the area." The open houses will include displays about recreation activities, budget issues, staffing, major projects, the Indiana Heritage Trust program, and resource management.
The open house will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (EST) at the Shelter House at Yellowwood State Forest, seven miles west of Nashville (about five miles west of Nashville on St. Rd. 46, then about two miles north on Yellowwood Road). Phone (812) 988-7945.
FISH PREPARATION WORKSHOP OFFERED
Get ready for spring fishing by learning how to make the most of your catch. Purdue University educators David Osborne and Dr. Charles Santerre will present a free workshop on cleaning and preparation of fish on April 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at SEPAC Farm, just west of Butlerville, Indiana.
Learn electric knife filleting skills and practice your technique. Discover practical methods and recipes to improve the quality and taste of common Indiana fish species while sampling some delicious fish dishes. Gain a better understanding of what the Indiana fish consumption advisory means to you and your family. For more information or to RSVP, call (812) 689-6511.
DNR ASKS TURKEY HUNTING RESTRAINT IN EAST-CENTRAL INDIANA
The Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters and landowners in sections of east central Indiana to protect newly released wild turkeys. During January and February, the DNR trapped 156 wild turkeys. The turkeys were released into natural areas in east-central Indiana in an attempt to establish self-sustaining wild turkey flocks. To ensure the future success of these new wild turkey populations, the DNR is pursuing legal protection for the new turkey flocks for the 2005 through 2007 hunting seasons.
"When we transplanted turkeys into these areas, the only avenue for legal protection in 2004 would have been an emergency rule," said DNR chief wildlife biologist Glenn Lange. "But the DNR feels an emergency rule is not good public policy at this point, and is 'asking' for public cooperation instead. Education is better than arresting well-meaning hunters with inadequate warning."
Indiana's 2004 spring turkey season runs from April 21 to May 9. The most effective protection for these birds this season will be landowners closing their land for turkey hunting in the areas where wild turkey restoration work occurred this winter. Restraint by area hunters should pay off in future big turkey flocks.
This winter's restoration effort brings the total number of wild turkeys restocked in Indiana since 1956 to 2,895 birds at 185 sites.‑ Wild turkeys were extirpated from Indiana at the turn of the last century. Annual Indiana spring turkey harvests now exceed 10,000 gobblers. The DNR is asking for assistance in protecting wild turkeys in the following areas: Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Rush and Shelby counties - Adams County south of State Road 124 - Grant County east of Interstate 69 - Hancock County east of State Road 9 - Huntington County south of State Road 124 and east of Interstate 69 - Jasper County south of State Highway 114 and west of Interstate 65 - Newton County south of State Highway 114 - Randolph County north of State Road 32 - Wells County south of State Road 124 - Whitley County south of U.S. 30.