The Washington Times-Herald


February 4, 2014

Nature Conservancy stays hard at work adding sites

In a past column I related the parts of Indiana where the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy had been hard at work during 2013. It also has been able to obtain five sites that have been added to the already impressive number that the Conservancy has acquired over the years. Let’s look at these new acquisitions.

In Jasper County in northwestern Indiana a 160-acre parcel was added to the very impressive Tefft Savanna Complex. This is a very important area, as it is on the fall migration route of the eastern sandhill cranes who now flock to this area in increasing numbers.

The Conservancy helped the D.N.R. acquire this site which is a part of the Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area where the cranes congregate. The Tefft-Stoutsburg area is home to a number of uncommon Indiana animals and plants. Among these are plains pocket gopher, the lovely ornate box turtle, western silvery aspen, primrose violet, and the deep root club moss.

Brown County had two locations acquired in 2013. One of these was a 40-acre in-holding in Brown County State Park. This tract is near the west entrance of the park. It is surrounded by state property and is a welcomed addition to the state park.

The second area in Brown County acquired by the Conservancy is a 130-acre site that is the first land that has been purchased by the Nature Conservancy using Bicentennial Nature Trust funds. More on this 2016 event will be featured in future columns. This tract is on Brown Hill and is a part of the Forest Bank project that the Conservancy uses to help landowners protect and manage their ownership and obtaining some financial benefits from their woodlands.

The entire Brown County hills region, which includes segments of Brown, Monroe, Morgan, Lawrence, Jackson and Bartholomew counties is a very important region for songbirds and many other species of both plants and animals.

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