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More Healthy Rivers INitiative Acres Open Deer Season
Updated October 5, 2015 8:02 AM
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(UNDATED) - The Department of Natural Resources opened to public use an additional 366 acres in the Austin Bottoms Conservation Area for deer archery hunting season.

The land in Jackson and Scott counties was acquired as part of the DNR's Healthy Rivers INitiative. HRI was launched in 2010 to secure permanent conservation protection of nearly 70,000 acres along Sugar Creek, the Wabash River and the Muscatatuck River.

The new lands are:

  • 157 acres in Jackson County that is part of Austin Bottoms Conservation Area.
  • 209 acres in Scott County that will be managed as part of Austin Bottoms Conservation Area and Stucker Fork Fish & Wildlife Area.

An updated map of the Austin Bottoms Conservation Area with the new acreage is at

Combined with existing state-owned properties and land enrolled in the federal Wetland Reserve Program, 32,608 acres have permanent conservation protection under the HRI umbrella. A total of 11,116 acres are now open to the public.

These lands have been protected through a combination of acquisitions from willing sellers, conservation easements and Wetlands Reserve Program enrollments.

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