"I'm excited for what this means for the growth of Atterbury, and Deer Creek is a very beautiful piece of property," Daniels said. "Both of these properties will be visible and add value for decades and decades."
Daniels approved a deed that authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to transfer 1,250 acres of Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area to the Military Department of Indiana (MDI). MDI will use the land to construct barracks and administrative facilities for its Camp Atterbury training operations in Johnson County.
The remaining 5,000 acres of Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area will remain open to public use, including fishing lakes, Sugar Creek and the Sgt. Joseph E. Proctor Memorial Shooting Range.
In return for the land being transferred to MDI, the DNR will receive 1,995 acres of surplus land in Putnam County from the Department of Correction for development of Deer Creek Fish and Wildlife Area. Deer Creek will open to fishing, hunting and wildlife related activities on a limited basis beginning Oct. 29.
"The new site includes a smallmouth bass stream, two lakes and excellent hunting, wildlife watching and wildlife habitat, and we are pleased that this area will be protected and managed by the Indiana DNR and enjoyed by Indiana's citizens," said Charles Wooley, deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The land exchange required approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service because both provided federal funding for the DNR's original acquisition of Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area in 1969.
After an environmental assessment was conducted and made available for public comment, the FWS and NPS determined no significant environmental impact would occur as a result of the land exchange and that the Putnam County land provided the DNR is of equal or better recreational, wildlife and appraised value.