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Views and opinions: DNR seeking coordinators for community deer hunts

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking people to participate in training on July 11 to become coordinators for the Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP).


CHAP is an initiative through the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) to increase hunting opportunities for deer in urban and suburban areas. Doing so can help alleviate human-deer conflicts. CHAP provides community partners with financial and technical assistance to administer hunting programs in their communities.

As part of the program, managed hunts are administered by a certified CHAP coordinator trained in hunting safety, deer biology and public relations. The community partner determines when and where managed hunts occur, what hunters can participate and which certified CHAP coordinator they use or contract.

Training for people interested in becoming a certified CHAP coordinator will take place on July 11. Before attending, individuals must complete the following prerequisites:

•Any state-sponsored Hunter Education certification

•Any DFW-approved Firearms Instructor Training (examples include National Rifle Assoc. (NRA) Firearm Instructor Training, Indiana Hunter Education Instructor Academy, 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Certification or the like)

•Any DFW-approved Formal Deer Hunting Training (examples include NRA Hunter Clinic Instructor Program Certification, QDMA Deer Steward 1 Certification or the like).

•Provide name and birthdate for routine DNR background check

To sign up for coordinator training, or for questions regarding prerequisites, email South Region urban biologist Megan Dillon at

The community application deadline for 2018 CHAP funding and participation has passed (March 31). Communities interested in participating in 2019 should visit the CHAP webpage and contact their wildlife biologist. For more information, the grant application and the current certified CHAP Coordinators list, see

DNR grants help remove sediment, logjams

Nine counties will be able to address sediment problems in lakes or logjams in rivers thanks to $651,500 in grant funding from the DNR’s Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program. Grants are awarded by DNR Director Cameron Clark and administered through the DFW.

“We look to fund projects that will improve waterways and lakes for recreational boating, paddling, angling or just floating lazily downstream on a hot summer day,” Clark said.

The 11 projects were chosen in a competitive process from applications submitted by local sponsors, who agree to share at least 20 percent of the cost.

Four grants are for developing a sediment-removal plan, which is the first step in any LARE dredging project. Five projects include actual sediment removal after at least a year of planning. Projects to dredge lake inlets or boating-access channels receive the highest priority for LARE funding. Whole-lake dredging is generally too expensive for any entity to address.

Two grants are for logjam removal in waterways. To qualify for LARE funding, a logjam must consist of more than just a tree or two. A massive amount of debris blocking the channel and may be causing erosive cutting of new channels in the stream is most likely to be granted funding.

LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The user-funded program benefits boaters all over the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects difficult for local organizations to fund.

The list of projects by water body, county, project type and grant amount are:

•Blackman Lake (LaGrange): Sediment removal plan $7,500

•Blue Lake (Whitley): Sediment removal $136,000

•Crooked Lake-Parkside Channel (Steuben): Sediment removal $75,000

•Deer Creek (Miami): Logjam removal $15,000

•Hinkle Creek-Morse Reservoir (Hamilton): Sediment removal $75,000

•Lake Tippecanoe (Kosciusko): Sediment removal $48,000

•Lake Wawasee (Kosciusko): Sediment removal plan $20,000

•Muscatatuck River (Jackson): Logjam removal $80,000

•Turtle Creek (Switzerland): Sediment removal plan $7,500

•West Lakes (Noble): Sediment removal plan $7,500

•Winona Lake (Kosciusko): Sediment removal $180,000

Indiana trail volunteer group honored

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Friends of Griffin Bike Park group earned accolades at the Mid America Trails and Greenways (MATAG) conference, May 13-16 in Columbus, Ohio. The conference celebrates an outstanding trail project and trail advocate or group from each of nine Midwest states.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail won Outstanding Trail Project for Indiana. The trail has helped attract new businesses, raised property values, added recreational and active transportation opportunities to downtown and provided a venue for public art.

“The eight-mile multi-use trail has proven to be an asset to residents and visitors alike, as well as a model for trail systems across the country,” said Amy Marisavljevic, streams and trails section chief with the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation.

The award for Outstanding Trail Group in Indiana went to the Friends of Griffin Bike Park for its work on the award-winning Griffin Bike Park. Logging more than 16,000 volunteer hours, the group helped develop 16 miles of trail and numerous skill areas. They also raised more than $1.6 million and worked with multiple organizations to secure more than 1,100 volunteers.

Staff from the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation nominated the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and Friends of Griffin Bike Park. The division’s goal is to promote outdoor recreation in Indiana. It works with state and local agencies, park departments, outdoor recreation organizations, nonprofits, concerned citizens, businesses and federal representatives to help increase and improve recreational opportunities.

Presenting at the conference was Paul Arlinghaus, president of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Assoc. He was invited to speak about how Brown County has grown into a major destination for mountain biking.


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by email at or by writing to him in care of this publication.