Indiana conservation program awarded $500,000

INDIANAPOLIS (June 8, 2020) — The Indiana Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) announced today it was awarded a grant totaling $500,000. This funding was provided from a legal settlement that was stewarded in part by the Indiana Wildlife Federation. These dollars will be used to increase the number of soil conservation practices in Indiana and improve water quality in watersheds located across the state.

CREP is a partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The program seeks to reduce pollution and improve water quality by creating buffers and wetlands that will reduce high nonpoint source pollution from sediment, nutrient, pesticide and herbicide losses from agricultural runoff into the targeted watersheds near the Wabash and White Rivers. Participants remove cropland from agricultural production and convert the land to native grasses, trees and other vegetation, which remain in place for at least 14 years. Installing buffer practices and wetlands can also enhance habitat for wildlife, including state and federally listed threatened and endangered species.

In the last several years, there has been a high interest by landowners and a tremendous amount of enrollments in the CREP program, which has resulted in demand exceeding available funding. This demand will continue to increase as participants continue to enroll land into the program. In order to cover this demand, ISDA applied for grant support in the amount of $500,000 from the American Electric Power Mitigation Money Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Additionally, this $500,000 support will leverage over $3.5 million of federal USDA dollars that will go to landowners to make improvements.

“This funding will go a long way in helping to implement conservation practices such as filter strips, wetland restorations and bottomland timber plantings which will reduce pollution and improve water quality,” said Julie Harrold, the ISDA CREP Program Manager.  “We are very grateful for this support toward the CREP program.”

Emily Wood, Executive Director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, is thrilled to see more producers and land owners benefit from the CREP program.

“We were excited to award to the CREP program because it aligned so well with the goals of settlement and ISDA’s goals of targeting some of Indiana’s most impaired watersheds,” said Wood. “Supporting the CREP program incorporates long-term pollution reduction strategies, exceptional gains in wildlife habitat and the over-arching benefit of supporting our Hoosier farming communities.”

The funds provided come from American Electric Power (AEP), I&M’s parent company, under a legal settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states and 13 citizens groups. The settlement included an agreement by AEP to invest $3.5 million to improve air quality and to reduce pollution in Indiana through various projects. The AEP settlement monies are being overseen by an oversight committee that includes Citizens Action Coalition, Clean Air Council and Indiana Wildlife Federation, with the Sierra Club as a non-voting member and Environmental Law & Policy Center as a non-voting legal advisor and facilitator.


The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) was established as a separate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. Administratively, ISDA reports to Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. Major responsibilities include advocacy for Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation programs, promoting economic development and agricultural innovation, serving as a regulatory ombudsman for agricultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state.

Who needs the Indiana Wildlife Federation?

YOU do—that’s who! 

For generations, Indiana has provided a diverse landscape for all who love to be outdoors.  Whether its hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, photography or wildlife watching—Hoosiers love to be outside.   As the population in Indiana grows, so does the pressure on our natural resources to support these cherished activities.

The mission of the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable-use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.  For over 80 years, IWF has been the statewide voice; loud, clear and strong speaking out for the interests of Indiana conservationists and for the preservation of our outdoor heritage so it may be enjoyed by generations to come.


How do we do it?  Through our 3 pillars of focus: Education, Advocacy and Action.  We work across Indiana delivering free environmental education programs that provide clear calls-to-action that encourage everyone to be better stewards of our natural resources and habitats.  IWF is also an agency watchdog in which our board and staff are frequently called upon to give views on bills pending before the legislature, on the actions of resource management leaders and on activities bearing upon our lands, forests, waterways or environment.  We also work to add habitat and expand access through on-the-ground volunteer projects that engage and activate a conservation network across the state.

If you are among those of us that love being outside, then you know it is more than just fresh air and sunshine.  It’s about clean water, healthy ecosystems, abundant habitat and a deep respect for the natural world. If that sounds right to you—then join us and add your support to the growing

Check out the rest of our website to join as a member or find out more about upcoming events, campaigns, workshops, lecture series or projects that you can get involved with. Like us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay connected!

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,


Archive 2011 IWF Names New Executive Director

Feb 1, 2011 Zionsville, Ind. – Barbara Simpson has been named the new Executive Director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, a statewide nonprofit organization and grassroots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.

She takes charge of the 72 year old conservation organization committed to conserving Indiana’s natural resources and creating a healthy and sustainable environment.
Simpson brings extensive experience to IWF. A co-founder of Casting for Recovery Indiana, Simpson has provided weekend retreats combining counseling, education, medical information, and fly-fishing for breast cancer survivors.

She also serves on IUPUI’s Center for Environmental Science’s advisory board as well as the board of directors for Friends of Goose Pond, which supports the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area by coordinating research and educational programs.

“Barb has a strong conservation ethic, demonstrated by her involvement in Goose Pond and the close network she has within the fly-fishing community of Indiana,” said Glenn Lange, IWF Board member.

Professionally, Simpson took on a variety of positions for Eli Lilly and Company, most recently the director of human resources.

“Her blend of high level business experience, scientific background, and nonprofit management experience made Barb an incredibly skilled and seasoned candidate to lead IWF,” said Lange.

Simpson takes over for John Goss, who was recently appointed to coordinate the regional effort to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.