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Groups join forces to protect local habitat

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Land purchase one piece in larger conservation puzzle

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – December 10, 2009 – The conservation group Ducks Unlimited has partnered with state government and other organizations to acquire and permanently protect wetlands along the Wabash River south of Terre Haute, Indiana. This acquisition has the potential to join several others in the area to protect extensive, continuous waterfowl and wildlife habitat.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), The Nature Conservancy, and Ducks Unlimited with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation, partnered together on the large land acquisition. Approximately 670 acres of former agricultural fields will be restored to bottomland hardwoods and emergent wetlands for the benefit of waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife. Located along the banks of the Wabash River, this conservation project is a tremendous step in restoring the natural wetlands of the Wabash River's floodplain.

"We are excited to work with Ducks Unlimited and our other conservation partners to protect and restore some of Indiana's best wildlife habitat," said Tim Hayes, Duke Energy's senior scientist.

While the newest IDNR property is currently not open to public access, it is intended be combined with other acquisitions in the area to provide increased public recreation opportunities. The IDNR intends that the property will be open to public access in the late spring of 2010, and will provide public notice of this action at that time.

"The Wabash River has long been recognized by communities along its banks as an important area for waterfowl and other wildlife", said Michael Sertle, Ducks Unlimited's Regional Biologist, "and with funding made possible by Duke Energy, we are happy to be able to partner with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy to protect these important wetlands in-perpetuity."

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization; Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres across North America. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - among nature's most productive ecosystems - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Kristin Schrader
734.623.2000
kschrader@ducks.org

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