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Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment

 
 

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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090

Telephone
703-605-4480
FAX

703-605-4199
Email
Bjohnston@fs.fed.us

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: Forest Wetland Project Takes Wing

Partners Restore Riparian Areas on Hoosier's Lost River

Not all hope was lost for southern Indiana 's Lost River. Still, decades of careless management and misuse had left this important watershed in a sorry state. The native trees and shrubs that should have lined the riverbanks were gone. Floods were frequent. There was almost no variety of habitats and the animals associated with them.

This is a familiar story on far too many of our country's rivers. On the Hoosier National Forest, however, the Forest Service and a coalition of willing partners are restoring hope for fully functioning river ecosystems one stretch of water at a time.

From 1997 to 2002, the USDA Forest Service, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited, Americorps, Monroe County YMCA, and students and teachers from Throop Elementary School in Paoli, Paoli High School , and Bedford North Lawrence High School, Bedford created a partnership that resulted in high quality habitat and high honors.

Five levees were constructed to help the river hold back floodwaters. Native trees and shrubs were planted along five miles of stream bank. Dozens of wooden wood duck nest boxes were constructed and placed along the river to make homes for these cavity-nesting waterfowl until trees can grow large enough to have their own cavities.

In all, 170 acres of riparian area were restored along the Lost River . As the riverside forests grow, banks will become more stable, new habitats will be created, and the rich variety of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles will re-colonize this stretch of the river.

The project was a labor of love, but the efforts did not go unrecognized. The Hoosier National Forest and its partners won one of only five Taking Wing Awards for 2001 for the riparian restoration project on the Lost River.

Restoring a forested habitat along the river's edge will enable the return of native plant and animal species. A unique subterranean cave system is one of the features associated with the Lost River .

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST


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