Land conservation program protects 31,000 acres

FILE - Photo from June 24, 2014, shows the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. (WLFI File Photo)
FILE - Photo from June 24, 2014, shows the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. (WLFI File Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana effort to conserve land along the state’s waterways has resulted in more than 31,000 acres being permanently protected.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels established the Healthy Rivers INitiative in June 2010 with a goal of protecting nearly 70,000 acres along the Wabash River, Sugar Creek and the Muscatatuck River.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that more than 1,500 acres have been purchased in the past year alone.

The project works with landowners to balance forest, farmland and natural resources conservation and looks for ways to connect separated parcels of public land to benefit wildlife. It also focuses on protecting habitats, opening land for public recreation and reducing flooding risks for property owners downstream.

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