Indiana BHA 2024 First Quarter Action


The Indiana chapter has had a tremendous start to 2024. Our Events Team organized a slate of events in February that set us on track for another banner year.

We kicked things off with a wood duck box build at J.E. Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area in northern Indiana (pictured above). 22 volunteers showed up to assemble 24 wood duck boxes for the property, and a Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems grant our Board of Directors member, Ben Stout, received covered the supplies. With such a great turn out, we easily got ahead of schedule, which allowed us to re-focus efforts on picking up trash from the parking areas and placing a few of the built boxes on a pond.  Our chapter also donated additional posts and hardware so the property staff can easily install more of the boxes across the property. Great way to start the year! Check out the event recap here; Indiana BHA Grassroot Impact at J.E. Roush Lake WMA - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

February was fantastic, and we had a booth at two expos, the Shipshewana Sportsmans Classic Expo and the Indianapolis Deer, Turkey, and Waterfowl Expo. The Indianapolis event, in particular, was a huge success. From years past, it was clear the Indiana chapter has made a name for itself, as the booth was busy. We had many great conversations with current members, recruited new members, got to talk conservation and public lands with potential future members, and got a new sponsor. It's always encouraging to see people several people walk by and flash their Public Landowner Shirts towards the booth!! 

A highlight of that weekend was the pint night we held in collaboration with Indiana Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever at Half Liter BBQ in Indianapolis. This event was jam packed, and the opportunity to discuss future collaborations on stewardship projects with the PF/QF folks was essential. This is already showing promise as we are in the process of planning such a collaboration for an event in April, a stewardship project at Wabashiki FWA in Terre Haute, IN (Event Details HERE)

We also had three members attend the Sportsmen's Luncheon at the Indiana Statehouse. This provided an opportunity to meet with legislators and tell them about BHA, what it is we stand for and what we do. The event brought several conservation orgs together, and the networking opportunities were invaluable. We have built a strong network of conservation organizations that will allow us to more effectively be involved in policy and lobbying efforts. Serendipitously, an environmental law class from Taylor University was there that day, and our members got to talk to students about BHA and tell them about the Collegiate Program.

At the end of February we hosted our annual, virtual "Turkey Talk" event with legendary turkey hunter Tom "Doc" Weddle. This event saw our largest turnout for a virtual event with 40 participants. During the event we announced the winners of our first raffle, which was a success. We also were able to offer a door prize, a pot call donated by JT Calls which was donated at the Deer, Turkey, and Waterfowl Expo.

Despite a couple of bills that are bad for fishing and angling making their way through the Indiana state legislature, our call to action let legislators know our position on bills that threaten wildlife and wildlife habitat. One bill in particular, HB 1383, redefined wetland classifications and, in doing so, removed protections. This setback for wildlife aside, we are prepared for the next legislative session and have built a strong coalition to push back and raise some hell if need be. The following is our blog and Take Action related to the wetland bill: Indiana Wetlands Targeted Once Again - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

We continue to get information published regarding sound science based forest management. Our goal is to education Hoosiers around the state on the need to support the Indiana DNR and the United States Forest Service biologists and their forest management plans. Please click on the following to read our blog posted concerning the Hoosier National Forest. Indiana Forests - Healthy Management for Biodiversity & Recreation - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers



About Indiana Bha

Our chapter is dedicated to serving the interests of conservation and access to clean public lands and waters. Through planning, collaboration, and dedication, we will make a difference.

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