Indiana motorists help DU improve wooded wetlands

DU license plate sales fund Hoosier National Forest project

The Hoosier National Forest is important for ducks and public recreation.

The Hoosier National Forest is important for ducks and public recreation.

Ducks Unlimited is using license plate sales to help fund the restoration and enhancement of two wetlands in Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, an important breeding habitat for wood ducks and migration habitat for a number of puddle ducks and geese.

The effort is a partnership between DU, the National Wild Tukey Federation and the U.S. Forest Service. Construction will begin in July on two wetlands in Jackson and Orange counties in south-central Indiana.

The Forest Service will handle construction over the next two years, resulting in 100 acres of improved habitat, increased wetland acreage, improved water-level management and wetland productivity.

The Hoosier project is a strong example of the importance of Ducks Unlimited license plate sales.

“Since 2012 when we introduced the DU license plate in Indiana, we’ve raised more than $305,000 from supporters and motorists to benefit wetlands conservation in the state,” said Michael Sertle, DU regional biologist in Indiana. “This Hoosier National Forest restoration is possible because of these license plates, and we thank drivers for putting DU on their vehicles.”

Hoosier National Forest is 203,000 acres and comprises about half of the public forest land in Indiana. The enhancements will improve moist soil habitat for ducks and turkeys, improve water quality and add to public recreational opportunities including hunting, bird watching and wildlife photography.