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"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to  commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria.


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Indiana: New 8,000-acre fish and wildlife area in Greene Co.

State will manage property for wildlife viewing, hunting, and trapping

Hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers will have new territory to explore in Greene County, thanks to a purchase made by the state, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced today.

Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, a new 8,000-acre property located between the towns of Linton and Sanborn, will open to the public on Nov. 14. Entrance is free of charge.

"All Hoosiers can be proud of this joint effort to conserve this beautiful habitat and provide for its enjoyment. It is sure to boost the local economy and become a destination point for thousands of Hoosiers and tourists," said Daniels.

“We believe Goose Pond will be a tremendous environmental asset to the region and to the entire state," said DNR Director Kyle Hupfer.

Hupfer said that DNR staff will manage the new acreage at Goose Pond, keeping operating costs to a minimum.

The DNR has preliminary plans to build a boat ramp, improve access, and to manage habitat for ground-nesting birds. The agency will meet with area residents to develop a more detailed management plan for the property.

With the addition of Goose Pond, 140,000 acres across Indiana now are open as fish and wildlife areas and available for hunting and fishing. Fees from the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and associated sporting equipment fund fish and wildlife area management.

"This will be an extraordinary opportunity for Hoosiers who love to view wildlife, hunt, or trap,” Hupfer said. "Added to our existing resources, the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife area will provide a tremendous outdoor recreation opportunity for Hoosiers and help all of us develop a better understanding of Indiana wildlife and our natural surroundings."

Just under $2 million of the $8 million Goose Pond purchase price came from state coffers, and half a million of that was funded through the Indiana Heritage Trust by sales of the Environmental License Plate. Other state money included gamebird habitat stamp and duck stamp receipts and the state Fish and Wildlife Fund.

Approximately $4.7 million came from federal sources - the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act, and the Federal Highway Administration. Major contributors besides the DNR and the Indiana Heritage Trust Program were The Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited. The rest came from private conservation partners (listed below).

“Managed wetlands are critical to restoring high-quality stopover sites for shore birds because they can be manipulated to insure suitable habitat is available every year,” states Mary McConnell, Indiana State Director of The Nature Conservancy. “As such, Goose Pond offers an excellent opportunity for insuring that significant foraging habitat is available in southern Indiana on an annual basis during both the spring and autumn migrations.”

“I’m proud to say that Ducks Unlimited has a long and productive partnership with the DNR in Indiana, having acquired and restored projects on several state fish and wildlife areas, state parks, as well as on private lands,” states Bob Hoffman, director of Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office. “Partnerships like this make it possible for Ducks Unlimited to accomplish its mission of wetland conservation.”

Prior to the DNR’s acquisition, Ducks Unlimited worked with the USDA-NRCS through the Wetlands Reserve Program to design and restore Beehunter Marsh and portions of Goose Pond. More than 2,200 acres of restoration work has been completed by Ducks Unlimited, including wetland restoration, bottomland hardwood reforestation and native prairie establishment.

The remainder of the restoration of Goose Pond is now underway.

Private conservation partners in Goose Pond acquisition project:

* Central Indiana Pheasants Forever
* Cinergy Corporation
* Furtakers of America
* Gator Group, Inc.
* Greene County Commissioners
* Indiana Beaglers Alliance
* Indiana Department of Environmental Management
* Indiana Department of Transportation
* Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, Inc.
* Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce
* Lockwood Marine, Fort Wayne
* Royal River Orvis Flyshop
* Sassafras Audubon Society
* The Izaak Walton League of America
* The Indiana Wildlife Federation
* USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
* Wagner, Crawford, Gambill & Trout
* Yoder, Ainlay, Ulmer & Buckingham LLP