Land Acquisitions Will Open Recreational Opportunities for Hoosiers


Contact: Barbara Simpson, Executive Director. (317) 875-9453, or

(Indianapolis. November 14, 2013) Efforts by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) yields a half-million dollars to invest in land acquisitions as part of a modified Consent Decree with Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). “This will not only protect and open new lands for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, but will also result in improvements in the quality of our air over time.” states IWF Executive Director Barbara Simpson. “We’re working with a lot of folks to leverage these settlement dollars with other sources of funding to purchase strategic properties which will increase wildlife habitat in permanently protected areas, and will be available to public access.”

Properties currently identified for purchase under the I&M grant include;

  • Two tracts totaling 287 acres in the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area that will be open to hunting, fishing, hiking, photography and wildlife viewing.
  • A 343 acre addition to the Sugar Creek Healthy Rivers INitiative area. The INitiative is the state’s largest land conservation effort seeking to protect over 43,000 acres along the Wabash River and Sugar Creek, and over 26,000 acres along the Muscatatuck River bottomlands. A mix of forested, open, and riparian lands provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, canoeing, photography, hiking and many others.
  • A 178 acre land parcel that is part of the recently announced Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area, a signature project of the Bicentennial Nature Trust created to preserve and protect important conservation and recreational areas in preparation for the 200th anniversary of statehood in 2016. The conservation area extends from the Cope Environmental Center in Centerville, to the DNR-managed Brookville Reservoir, and will operate as an alliance of public and private landowners sharing a multi-disciplined resource management approach. Outdoor opportunities will be available as the project develops including bird watching, photography, hiking, and fishing.

The Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF) has been granted the funds, and will administer their distribution. Executive Director Bourke Patton, states “We’re pleased to work with the Indiana Wildlife Federation and a long list of generous, conservation-minded
organizations to acquire these critical natural resources with the help of I&M, and to make them available for all Hoosiers to enjoy.”

The funds provided come from I&M, under a legal settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states, and 13 citizen groups. The settlement included an agreement by I&M to invest $2.5 million to improve air quality in Indiana through various projects. The settlement monies are being overseen by an oversight committee that includes Citizens Action Coalition, Hoosier Environmental Council, and Indiana Wildlife Federation, with the Sierra Club as a non-voting member and Environmental Law and Policy Center as a non-voting legal advisor and facilitator.

Participating Organizations

Indiana Wildlife Federation, Barbara Simpson, Executive Director,
Citizens Action Coalition, Kerwin Olson, Executive Director,
Environmental Law & Policy Center, Faith Bugel, Senior Attorney,
Hoosier Environmental Council, Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director, Sierra Club, Jodi Perras, Beyond Coal Campaign Representative,