Chesterton Tribune



Izaak Walton League urges Hoosiers to donate to save rare species and create public land

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The Izaak Walton League of America is encouraging Hoosiers to participate in two State of Indiana programs designed to protect rare and endangered species.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Diversity Section is the only state program that focuses on rare and endangered species and is funded primarily by donations, in the form of contributions from Hoosiers who elect to donate part of their income tax refund on their annual returns

In 2015, taxpayers donated a total of $321,827 to the Wildlife Diversity Section, with the balance of moneys raised coming from direct donations. All moneys raised are then matched by federal grants.

The Bald Eagle reintroduction enabled by the Wildlife Diversity Section has been so successful--with over 80 counties now hosting nests of breeding eagles--that the state has ceased conducting its annual eagle surveys, Izaak Walton said. Meanwhile, Osprey and Peregrine Falcon populations are growing steadily, as has the River Otter population, with otters now found in almost every county. More programs are in place for bats, reptiles and amphibians, fish, mussels, and other species, which will continue as long as funding is available.

For more information on the Wildlife Diversity Section, visit

Indiana Heritage Trust

Much of the responsibility of conserving wildlife in Indiana falls on the DNR yet only about 4 percent of state land is publicly owned.

The Indiana Heritage Trust (IHT) was accordingly created to increase the acreage of publicly owned land in Indiana, with more than 56,000 acres protected since 1991. But the only source of funds for the IHT is revenues from t environmental license plate and private donations.

To participate in the IHT, look for the eagle logo on your tax form and make a tax-deductible donation to Nongame Fund or send a check outright. The federal government typically grants $2 dollars for every $1 donated.

And ask your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to buy the blue “Sun and Eagle” license plate.

Send donations to Indiana Endangered Wildlife Fund, 402 W. Washington, W273, Indianapolis, IN 46204

For more information on the Indiana Heritage Trust, visit



Posted 3/3/2017




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