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Putnamville Correctional facility transfers land to DNR

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mark Reiter of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Gov. Daniels admire the wildlife at the new Deer Creek Fish and Wildlife Area in Putnamville. Deer Creek will be open to the public Oct. 29. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
PUTNAMVILLE -- Gov. Mitch Daniels was on site Thursday as the Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) prepared to transfer more than 1,900 acres to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Deer Creek Fish and Wildlife Area, which surrounds the Putnamville Correctional Facility, will be available for public access with some limitations starting Oct. 29.

"All the other things we work on are important, but generations from now this will still be providing enjoyment to those who come after us," Daniels said.

The land will be given to the IDNR as part of a land swap. In return for the site, 1,200 acres of IDNR land will be given to the Military Department of Indiana to expand Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh. Any land taken from the DNR must be compensated with land given to the IDNR of equal or greater value.

After the land is open to the public, people will be able to hunt, fish and trap with restrictions depending on the activity.

Mark Reiter, the director of the division of Fish and Wildlife for the IDNR, said there would be some limitations on access to the park.

"It is easy to overuse public ground," Reiter said. "We want to try and create a system of use here that preserves the beauty of this place so we don't get to that point."

Reiter said the IDNR intends to limit access by only having the site open Friday to Monday. There will also be limited access to parts of the wildlife area.

The wildlife area once included a farm used by the DOC in some prisoner activities.

"The offenders that used to come out here and feed the cows are now in other diversionary programs," said Kevin Orme, the director of Construction Services with the DOC.

Orme said the nonviolent prisoners who used to work on the farm are now likely to be released or are at home with an ankle bracelet.

There is still some operational farmland on the property, which will continue to be leased to the current operators of the land.

Reiter of the IDNR said the organization is not concerned with the close proximity to the correctional facility.

"We're working with DOC to put fencing and signs up to keep our people separate from the prison," Reiter said. "We've laid out the boundaries to make that fairly easy and easily recognizable so I don't think we're going to have any problems with [being so close to the prison]."

Daniels said he hopes Deer Creek becomes a resource to local Hoosiers, especially children.

"I think for a lot of our younger people [Deer Creek] may be their first real encounter with nature and may open their eyes in a whole new way," Daniels said.

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awesome !

-- Posted by undercoverbrother on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 4:08 AM

Mitch has hopes of being a "good" Governor too. Well we can see how he is "not" achieving that. He's a joke people of Indiana. HELP GET HIM OUT!!!!

-- Posted by Taxpayer5253 on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 7:06 AM

Come on - Mitch is basically giving all of our grounds away like he did the toll roads. Why is something like this not presented to the state and then voted on? Because this is Mitch's state and he has us right where he wants us - in the palm of his hands. We have got to stop him before he sells the property we are actually living on!

-- Posted by Nit on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 8:26 AM

The people of this state should of had access to it yrs. ago, it is state prop. and not been used for some time. hope I will be able to run my hounds on it.

-- Posted by tru story on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 9:15 AM

Did the idiots who blasted Governor Daniels actually read the article? The land is not being "given away". It is a land "swap". Governor Daniels is one of the best governors we have ever had. He has kept Indiana solvent during a very trying time. Would you rather live in California? Thought not.

-- Posted by not gullible on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 10:01 AM

Actually, it has been in use...for employees of the prison and the state police have hunted there! And I agree with "not gullible" please read the whole article before making judgements! Gov. Daniels may not be perfect (what politician/person is!) but, he has done great things for our state. We are one of the only states to have a balanced budget.

-- Posted by Greencastle7 on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 11:12 AM

Hmmm, hasn't Daniels been closing down state recreation areas to save money?

-- Posted by westforty on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 11:42 AM

would have been nice if they would have told where the property is.

-- Posted by luvmycountry on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 4:03 PM


-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 5:13 PM

This is a Win-Win for everyone, State, Federal, NAtional Guard, and outdoors types, (hunt fish, nature lovers etc.) This exchange has been in the works for a long time.

Check out this link http://www.fws.gov/midwest/News/release....

There is a lot more that comes with this exchange than what the newspaper article reports.

-- Posted by mchunter on Sun, Oct 10, 2010, at 12:18 PM

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