The new federally designated 3.5 million-acre Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape Project that includes all or part of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings and Johnson counties will be the subject of an upcoming public meeting.
The Hoosier Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society will focus on the project at its Winter 2023 meeting: “Beyond the Field: Wildlife and Habitat Considerations.” The meeting will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, at WestGate Academy Conference Center, 13598 E. WestGate Drive in Odon. The meeting starts at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. Registration is required.
Sentinel landscape program coordinator Michael Spalding from the Indiana Conservation Law Center will be the keynote speaker. The meeting will also include talks by Purdue University wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke, who will speak about species-specific considerations in habitat establishment, and Julia Keminitz, a private lands biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The sentinel landscape program brings together public and private partners including the Department of Defense, Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote sustainable land management practices in areas surrounding military facilities.
Those facilities in the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape Project area include Camp Atterbury, Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Naval Support Activity Center Crane and the Lake Glendora Test Facility. The region encompasses part or all of Columbus, Franklin, Edinburgh, Nashville, North Vernon and Seymour.
The Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape Project was established in 2022 along with several others around the nation. The sentinel landscape areas bring together multiple federal and state agencies along with private partners to promote to implementation of sustainable farming practices, forest restoration and sustainability, and watershed protections.
Along with the military installations, the southern Indiana region encompasses six state parks, seven state forests, nine state fish and wildlife areas, 39 state-dedicated nature preserves, one national forest, three national wildlife refuges and private forest and farmland.
Thursday’s meeting is free to attend, but registration is required. A $15 lunch is optional. For more information or to register, visit ccsin.info/HoosierSWCS-Winter23.