Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2016 - Featured Stories
NATURE PRESERVES HIT MILESTONE
Director Cameron F. Clark
With the 100th anniversary of Indiana State Parks nearly behind us, it’s time to preview another milestone coming in 2017.
In 1967, the General Assembly passed the Nature Preserves Act, declaring it “necessary and desirable that areas of unusual natural significance be set aside ... for the benefit of present and future generations.”
This legislation created our Division of Nature Preserves and established a way for the DNR and our partners to acquire, protect, and manage terrestrial areas of natural significance, as well as our first aquatic preserve, the J.D. Marshall Preserve. It also gave state-dedicated nature preserves the highest level of protection that land in Indiana can have.
More than 270 nature preserves have been dedicated since 1967. They encompass 50,000 acres of natural communities, preserving prairies, savannas, forests, flatwoods, cypress swamps, bogs, fens, lakes, marshes, glades, cliffs and caves.
They are in 70 of Indiana’s 92 counties, and owned and managed by 43 different entities, including the DNR, land trusts, colleges and local park departments.
These preserves give Hoosiers the opportunity, as the Nature Preserves Act reads, to maintain close contact with these “habitats for plant and animal species and biotic communities whose diversity enriches the meaning and enjoyment of human life.”
I urge you to visit our nature preserves to see superb illustrations of our natural heritage. Find one near you at dnr.IN.gov/naturepreserves.
Surveyor stays on job as century mark looms
By Bill McCleery
Photography by John Maxwell
Amid other historic milestones for the Hoosier State of recent note, here’s one that’s not gotten quite as much coverage as, say, Indiana State Parks’ centennial.
DNR surveyor Robert Vollmer turns 100 years old on May 20, 2017.
“I didn’t aim to stay on this long,” said Vollmer, who joined DNR in 1962, and is, of course, the state’s record holder as its oldest full-time employee. “But it kind of stays in your blood, you know?”
Cutline: Bob Vollmer sets a survey control point on an abandoned bridge in the forest along Fourteenmile Creek. The DNR’s durable land surveyor was mapping property boundaries at Charlestown State Park last August.
TRAIL 8, BROWN COUNTY STATE PARK
Convenience with a backcountry feel
By Nick Werner, OI staff
Hills and solitude attract most people to Brown County.
Whether they are passing through on a weekend trip or live there, those who love the place are usually seduced by the peace and quiet of the rolling, relatively unbroken forest.
Trail 8 at Brown County State Park epitomizes the area’s appeal in roughly 4 miles.
Cutline: Visitors hike Trail 8 in fall 2015. The trail is also called the HHC Trail for improvements made to it by Hoosier Hikers Council volunteers.
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK MEMORIAL
Indiana river town helped launch the USA
Story & photos by John Maxwell
Early United States military hero George Rogers Clark’s quote, “Great things have been effected by a few men well conducted,” might today be amended by Vincennes natives with “and women.”
That’s because the heroine of the story, “Alice of Old Vincennes,” also knew how to fight the British.
Alice’s exploits, as dramatized in a 1900 best-selling historical novel, revolved around the 1779 U.S. capture of Vincennes’ Fort Sackville, now the site of George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, and its neighbor, St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Library.
Cutline: The moon rises over the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park and the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Library, along the Wabash River in Vincennes.