Tag Archives: environment

Indiana Conservation officer saves Christmas

22 Dec

Yesterday evening, shortly before 7:00 PM, EST, Josh Byrd, Pike County Highway Superintendent, was placing road barriers on flooded Pike County Road 900 East, when he heard calls for help coming from out in the flood waters. He then contacted Pike County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch. The call came at 6:52 PM. The Jefferson Township Fire Department, Pike County Deputies, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.
Conservation Officers Jon Watkins and Shane Cooper had been responding to similar flood related calls throughout the afternoon and were equipped to address this type of emergency. Arriving at the scene, they were able to launch their patrol boat from the roadway and begin a search of the flooded corn field. Christmas was found around 9:30 PM, approximately 100 yards into the flood waters, clinging onto a bridge abutment. By the time of the rescue, he had been in the flood waters about three hours.
According to the victim, Christmas was on his way home from where he worked in Otwell and decided to attempt to ride his 4-wheeler through the flooded roadway. As the water became deeper near a bridge, he decided to turn around. His vehicle began to float and got caught in the current separating Christmas from his 4-wheeler. Christmas was carried some distance with the current until he was able to latch onto some vegetation and regain his footing. Due to the darkness he was unable to find high ground. Now barefoot, he returned to the bridge, the only high point he knew.
Michael D. Christmas, 30, of Velpen Indiana. was transported to Jasper Memorial by Pike County Ambulance where he was treated for hypothermia and released.

Stranded Bear helped by Conservation officers

22 Dec

Indiana Conservation Officers were kept busy over the weekend responding to a number of floodwater rescue calls. Even the unexpected – 500-pound black bear stranded in its cage in Shelby County. Late Sunday morning, Conservation Officers responded to a call asking them to check on the welfare of a black bear in the Fairland area that was left behind when its owner was forced to evacuate his home due to flooding in the area caused by heavy rains across central Indiana. Officers discovered the 500-pound black bear in about four feet of water but secured in its 10-foot by 12-foot enclosure. Due to safety concerns for the officers and the animal, it was determined that tranquilizing the animal was not a viable option.
However, officers were able to enter the enclosure and create an elevated platform for the bear to get above the water. While officers were on scene, it appeared the water level was receding.
State law allows a person to possess a black bear provided a permit is obtained from the Department of Natural Resources. The owner of this bear had the required permit and was following procedural requirements.

Gibson Woods Sees Maintenance to Eliminate Invasive Plants

17 Dec

by Ken Davidson

Few people realize the value of Gibson Woods in Hessville.  The 131 acre property which sits amid railroad and oil properties on Hessville’s northwest corner is as close as any of us will get to viewing the region as it was before development.  The area has remained largely untouched for 4,000 years and is the among the largest tracts of untouched land remaining.  Gibson Woods is perhaps best known worldwide for its diverse variety of plants including some that are endangered.  The park features 3 hiking trails which are popular with bird and plant enthusiasts.

Preservation of the diverse plant life is now cause for modern machinery to visit the premises.  Large scale equipment for the removal of trees can be seen from the park entrance.  Numerous trucks are on hand as well.  This is all due to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate invasive species and foster the growth of natural habitat.

gibson woods trail

a trail at Gibson Woods in Hammond, IN traverses a natural swale.

gibson woods nature preserve indiana dunes

Construction crews remove invasive trees from Gibson Woods.

IMG_2967

gibson woods

gibson woods

 

The US Environment Protection Agency features a picture of a yellow moccasin plant from Hammond’s Gibson Woods on its website.

 

Columbia Avenue Bridge

5 Dec

Construction crews have re-opened the Columbia
Avenue bridge for vehicles.The Lake County Board of Commissioners awarded a $1.2 million contract to reconstruct the Columbia Avenue bridge so it is raised higher over the Little Calumet River to give some added clearance during high-water periods. Source states, after 4 months, the bridge is now more effective.

Caviar fishermen cited for multiple offenses on Wabash River

26 Nov

Law enforcement officers from Indiana and Illinois have increased their enforcement efforts of domestic caviar regulations since the onset of the 2012-13 Wabash River shovelnose sturgeon season. Conservation Officers from both Indiana and Illinois have recently stepped up their patrols in the commercial fishing industry, particularly in the commercial harvest of shovelnose sturgeon, which is a fish that is sought after for its roe (eggs). 13 persons from both Indiana and Illinois have been arrested, cited, or warned for commercial fishing violations in the last year. Equipment seizures include 35 commercial fishing nets, three trot lines, 2 wire fish traps, and one boat/motor. These violations include:
• Unlawful use of a gill net (6 counts)
• Failure to tag commercial fishing equipment (7 counts)
• Unlawful use of leads on commercial device (2 counts)
• Unlawful possession of sturgeon under 25” (4 counts)
• Fishing with an illegal device (wire trap) (2 counts)
• Fishing without a license (3 counts)
• Checking sturgeon for presence of eggs with an illegal device (2 counts)
A combined effort between Indiana Conservation Officers and Illinois Conservation Police took place as a result of a number of citizen complaints along the boundary waters of the Wabash River, where shovelnose sturgeon are found. These investigations involved assets from both states, and included river patrols, intelligence gathering and surveillance. “Since we share the fisheries resources with the people of the State of Illinois, it only makes sense to ensure that our regulations and enforcement efforts remain similar,” says Master Officer Steve Kinne, a commercial fishing investigator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “At least 25 additional violations are being investigated, involving several other individuals from both states.” The shovelnose sturgeon is a fish that is native to the waters of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Wabash Rivers. Although some sport fishermen consume the meat from shovelnose sturgeon, it is the eggs that have been targeted by commercial fishermen in recent years, because of the collapse of the European sturgeon market. Supplies of roe collected from sturgeon in the Caspian Sea plummeted after government deregulation in that region.
Female shovelnose sturgeon living in the Wabash River migrate upstream annually to spawn, or to lay their eggs. These eggs, referred to as roe, are eventually sold, processed, and distributed as caviar. Processed shovelnose sturgeon roe (eggs), commonly referred to as hackleback caviar, currently has a retail market value of approximately $320 / pound. One adult roe-bearing sturgeon can contain as much as one pound of eggs.
“The Wabash River population of shovelnose sturgeon is one of the last commercially exploited sturgeon populations in the world, therefore, strict enforcement of regulations are necessary to ensure proper management while allowing a sustainable harvest,” says Craig Jansen, Big Rivers Assistant Fisheries Biologist of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Commercial fishermen in both states are allowed to take shovelnose sturgeon with approved commercial fishing devices on the Wabash River, as long as they possess the required licenses. Illinois roe harvesters are required to have an Illinois commercial fishing license, an Illinois roe harvester license, and a sport fishing license. Indiana roe harvesters fishing on the Wabash River are required to have an Indiana commercial fishing license and an Indiana roe harvester license. Approved commercial fishing devices in either state include, but are not limited to, hoop nets, fyke nets, basket nets, and basket traps, or trap nets made of twine or cord. Gill nets are prohibited in both states for taking sturgeon.

More about the "buy Indiana Christmas Tree "

25 Nov

Earlier I posted about the Indiana
Christmas tree program.To locate an
Indiana tree farm that participates
**here**
The original story:
**here**

Winter Conditions Cause Traffic Delays

25 Nov

by Ken Davidson

Winter driving conditions are hitting the region before the end of November. INDot is reporting slowed traffic on I-65 and I-80/94. An accident on Cline Avenue has brought traffic to a crawl. Caution is urged if you must drive tonight. The Indiana State Police have issued the following tips for winter driving:

To help Hoosiers prepare for this the Indiana State Police offers the following tips.

Be prepared:
 Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your travel route
 Keep your gas tank at least half-full
 Carry a winter driving kit that should include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or kitty litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, first aid kit, and jumper cables
 Have a cell phone and charger cord
 Slow down on snow/ice covered roads
 Allow extra time to arrive at your destination
 Clear all vehicle windows of ice and snow. Remove snow from hood, roof and lights.
 Use extra caution when driving across bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
 Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually.

Should you become stranded:
 Don’t leave your car. It’s the best protection you have.
 Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna
 Roll down your window a small amount to allow fresh air in your vehicle
 Keep exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
 Don’t panic. An idling car uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour

For Indiana road conditions call 1-800-261-7623, or visit the Indiana Department of Transportation website at http://www.trafficwise.in.gov. In partnership with the Governor’s office, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Education and the Red Cross more information can be found at the following website
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=ind&storyid=59664&source=0