NATURE HISTORY IN INDIANA
A brief timeline of conservation events.
The Lenape were the indigenous peoples (Native Americans) who lived in our area before colonialism forced them West. Their homes (wigwams) were located where present-day Morrow's Meadows (Yorktown) & Minnetrista/Delaware County Fairgrounds (Muncie). Other tribes in Indiana during this time period include Adena, Hopewell, Potawatomi, Miami, & Delaware.
Indiana gains statehood; settlers flood territory after War of 1812
American Bison gone from Indiana -- extirpated
Timber Wolf gone from Indiana -- extirpated
Indiana's first state geologist is David Dale Owen
Black Bear gone from Indiana -- extirpated
introduction of closed season on:
deer, wild turkey, quail, pheasant, prairie chicken
**America's (first?) national park established -- Yellowstone National Park
US Fish and Wildlife Service founded (get date)
first conservation officers created when county road supervisors given authority to enforce fish & game laws
deforestation of Indiana in the name of agriculture decimates native forest from 23 million acres to less than 2 million acres. Soil erosion, river and stream pollution, wildfires, and draining of natural wetlands alarming
Indiana Board of Forestry created
State Forester position created
Antiquities Act signed by Teddy Roosevelt. Protects archeological sites on public lands as important public resources. Gives the President authority to protect landmarks, structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as national monuments.
Charles C Deam was appointed Secretary of the State Board of Forestry. He introduced a tax credit to encourage farmers to return marginal farm ground to forest. He published several books including The Trees of Indiana and Flora of Indiana
Gene Stratton-Porter published A Girl of the Limberlost. Porter photographed birds and animals in the Limberlost Swamp where she grew up (profits went to conserve Limberlost Swamp).
McCormick’s Creek established as Indiana’s first state park
Turkey Run protected as a state park
Indiana Department of Conservation is created – Col. Richard Lieber named director
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson Act) provides funding from a tax on firearms and ammunition to support habitat improvement for fish and wildlife management.
Save the Dunes Council – for over a decade people struggled to keep the Dunes from disappearing beneath development. Save the Dunes was created to protect the dunes through a national park, which succeeded in 1966 when the Dunes became a national lakeshore, and in 2018 when it became a national park including over 13 miles of shoreline and 15,000 acres.
& The Nature Conservancy opens an Indiana Chapter
Acres Land Trust Incorporated in northeast Indiana
Department of Natural Resources is created
Nature Preserves Act passed by the Indiana Assembly, charged with the acquisition, dedication, management and protection of significant natural areas throughout the state.
first Earth Day established;
Environmental Protection Agency created (Nixon);
Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act
federal Endangered Species Act
Indiana Nongame and endangered wildlife program reintroduces bald eagles to Indiana.
Indiana Heritage Trust License Plate Program – raising funds to protect over 60,000 acres of natural areas.
Indiana Invasive Species Council established
Healthy Rivers Initiative – focusing on watersheds in Indiana
Bicentennial Nature Trust
The Indiana Heritage Trust and The Bicentennial Nature Trust are rolled together into the Benjamin Harrison Trust.