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New funding pushes Wabashiki project closer to completion.


New funding pushes Wabashiki project closer to completion

The proposed 6,000-acre Wabashiki River Fish and Wildlife Area near Terre Haute moved a giant step closer to fruition with the March 10 announcement that the national Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved $1 million in federal funds toward the project.

The funding for Indiana, part of The Prairie Lakes Wetland Initiative, is half of the grant money approval that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced. The money awarded is aimed at protecting and restoring 7,107 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat in Indiana and Iowa under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

Indiana’s $1 million share in the federal funds and an additional $2,353,417 in partner contributions will support the Indiana project.

“This is a tremendous boost for recreational opportunities and the quality of life in Terre Haute and west central Indiana, said Robert E. Carter Jr., director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “It’s a really unique project and goes a long way toward  the goal of protecting 16 river miles of wildlife habitat right next door to one of Indiana’s larger cities.”

The grants were awarded to Ducks Unlimited under NAWCA’s U.S. Standard Grants and Mexico Grants Programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Department of the Interior agency. The grants are funded by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, penalties and forfeitures levied under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued on funds under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the IDNR and our other conservation partners, Ducks Unlimited is proud to secure this NAWCA grant on their behalf,” said Michael Sertle, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist, “and, we look forward to our continued partnership in the future creation of the new Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area.”
Wabashiki is the Miami Indian name for Indiana’s longest river, the Wabash.

Passed in 1989, NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Act was passed in part to support activities associated with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement providing a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated upland habitats vital to waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America. 

About Fish and Wildlife Management in Indiana
Fish and wildlife management and public access are funded by fishing and hunting license revenue and also through the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These programs collect excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, and motor boat fuels. The money is distributed among state fish and wildlife agencies based on land size and the number of licensed anglers and hunters in each state. Find out more information about fish and wildlife management in Indiana at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/.

For more information: Phil Bloom, DNR director of communications, (317) 232-4003, pbloom@dnr.in.gov

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