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Indiana to turn 43,000 acres into wetlands area

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Indiana will acquire a 43,000-acre swath of west-central Indiana flood plains for a project to restore and preserve wetlands that Gov. Mitch Daniels predicted Thursday would become a wildlife-filled tourist destination.

The governor detailed the effort, the first of two planned wetland projects, during a news conference in Terre Haute. He will announce the second project Friday in southeastern Indiana's Scott County.

Together, the combined acreage of the two habitat conservation areas will be the largest project ever undertaken by the state Department of Natural Resources, Daniels said.

"Our goal is to make this a landmark era for conservation of natural beauty in our state and make Indiana a national leader in wetlands and wildlife protection," he said in a statement.

Land acquisition for the two separate projects from willing sellers will be funded by $21.5 million from a state conservation trust fund and $10 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The wetlands restoration and preservation projects will become attractive regional tourist destinations by protecting habitat vital to threatened and endangered species and safeguarding rest areas for migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, he said.

Daniels said the projects would also provide flood relief to nearby landowners because wetlands act as natural sponges to absorb floodwaters.

He said the state would begin by acquiring acreage in the flood plains of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana. That flood-prone land lines 94 river miles from Shades State Park near Crawfordsville to the Fairbanks Landing Fish & Wildlife Area south of Terre Haute.

The Sugar Creek and Wabash River corridors harbor a rich mix of Indiana's rarest fish, mussels, birds and plants, and offer nesting sites for bald eagles and great blue herons.

Those land is also populated by the Canada yew, Eastern hemlock and white pine — all ice age remnants now rare in Indiana.

The planned Wabash River wetlands area is expected to be larger than the combined size of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Brown County State Park. And it will increase DNR-owned riparian wetland areas by more than 64 percent.

After the land is purchased, DNR officials will use the state and federal money to leverage additional private and federal funding for the protection and restoration of the corridor, Daniels said.

Those groups will include The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ducks Unlimited, a national conservation group based in Memphis, Tenn.

"This restoration project will help ensure the landscapes and communities that make Indiana great will thrive for generations to come," said Mark Tercek, CEO and president of The Nature Conservancy.

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  • wetlands
    We have wetlands on our property along the Wabash River and want to learn more about the DNR purchasing of these lands
  • Hooray
    This is a victory for Indiana as they improve the eco-image of Indiana and the life of the residents who live here; human and animal.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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