The Indiana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), the voice for our public lands in the Hoosier state, is excited to announce a new volunteer partnership with the U.S. Forest Service in the Hoosier National Forest. Located in southern Indiana’s hill country, the Hoosier National Forest consists of 204,000 acres of hardwood forests, streams, and backcountry trails. Known to outdoor enthusiasts as simply “the Hoosier,” this forest is Indiana’s largest public-land holding, stretching across nine counties from Monroe Lake near Bloomington, southward to the banks of the Ohio River.
With this volunteer partnership agreement, Indiana BHA has adopted the Sundance Lake area with plans to perform various land stewardship projects and periodic clean-ups of the area. The five-acre Sundance Lake, located in southeastern Brown County, was constructed by the Forest Service in 1992 to enhance fishing opportunities in the Hoosier National Forest.
Potential BHA stewardship projects include fish habitat improvements, fishing pier construction and maintenance, aquatic weed removal, wood duck box installations, small boat launch construction, signage installation, trail construction and maintenance, terrestrial invasive plant removal, and periodic trash clean-ups.
“Public lands belong to all of us. We are excited to have a dedicated group to keep the Sundance Lake area clean and inviting to the public. We look forward to what we can accomplish together”, said Len Kring, fish biologist for Hoosier National Forest.
In a state where 96 percent of land is privately owned, volunteer organizations like BHA can play an important stewardship role on the remaining four percent of public land. Public-land workdays and partnerships are great ways for Hoosiers to give back and strengthen our sense of awareness and common ownership of our public lands, waters, and wildlife. As Hoosiers, we all share the benefits that our public lands provide: camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing opportunities – and the physical and mental health benefits that go along with spending time in the outdoors.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters. BHA counts over 40,000 members nationwide, with an online community of BHA supporters exceeding 385,000. BHA has established chapters in 48 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and in two Canadian provinces and one territory. BHA members are located all over the world.
For more information on the Hoosier National Forest, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/hoosier/. If you are interested in volunteering on land stewardship projects around the state, contact the chapter via [email protected] To join BHA, please visit https://www.backcountryhunters.org/.