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Indiana

Brown County Hills Project Office

The Brown County Hills project area provides The Nature Conservancy with the unique opportunity to protect more than 350,000 acres of relatively unchanged forest. Brown County Hills is the most popular outdoor recreation area in Indiana, with more than 1,000,000 people annually traveling to hike, camp, canoe, fish, hunt, and explore its steep hills and hollows.

The Nature Conservancy established the Brown County Hills Project in 2002 with a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The aim of this project is to maintain a healthy and comprehensive habitat for Indiana's woodland creatures and plants, and to ensure that wildlife can survive in sufficient numbers to prevent species from becoming rare or threatened. 

Since its establishment, the Brown County Hills Project has:  

  • permanently protected roughly 5,000 acres through land-acquisition and partnerships with Hoosier National Forest, Indiana DNR, and Sycamore Land Trust 
  • reforested more than 150 acres of bottomland hardwood forest
  • educated more than 2,500 people through events and educational programs
  • met with more than 100 private landowners who, in total, own over 11,000 acres
  • reintroduced controlled burning at the Hitz-Rhodehamel Woods Preserve  

Strategies used in the Brown County Hills forests include land-protection, stewardship, and research and education

The long-term health of this region depends on the protection of its private lands and careful management of its public lands. Through continued partnerships and community involvement, we can ensure that the Brown County Hills project area remains a beautiful, healthy environment for future generations to protect and enjoy.



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