Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Advertising that appears above is not necessarily endorsed by this site's administrator.

fire pink photoThe fire pink,
Indiana's future state flower?
The tulip poplar,
Indiana's state tree
tuliptree photo

Mike Walter's
Indiana Earth Page

The Old Muskrat's
Annotated Links to Sites
About Indiana's Environment

The Cardinal: Indiana's State Bird

Painting by Bob Hines from Fifty Birds of Town and City,
published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain).

If you love Indiana, she'll break your heart. Indiana people look at a creek and call it a ditch. They see a farm fencerow and tell you they'll clean it out for free just for the firewood. They complain about the condition of their roads, but spend millions on chemicals so that no cattail or wildflower will survive at the highway's edge. Hoosiers think that everything and everyone has a price. They have commodified both the land and themselves. In sum, they are the most devout materialists you will find anywhere.

But not all of them.

This page is dedicated to Indiana and to the many Hoosiers who strive tirelessly to defend the Indiana land, from the glacial moraine in the north to the limestone hills in the south. They lose more often than they win, but they keep coming back, pitting their small resources against the twin juggernauts of government and business. They are exactly the kind of people who in ancient times held the pass at Thermopylae. God bless them!

In Memoriam
Jane Dustin
Tom Dustin

Tributes to Jane Dustin Tributes to Tom Dustin

buttonbush photo by Mike Walter

A buttonbush swamp in Auburn, Indiana

This site is just one of my Earth Pages. For more annotated links to useful environmental sites on the web, please visit Mike Walter's Earth Page,
Mike Walter's Earth Page Attic and Mike Walter's Wetlands Page.

This page was last updated on May 21, 2007.

Save Hoosier Wetlands!

Rules that protect Indiana's wetlands are constantly under attack in the General Assembly and in state agencies. Click on the link and tell Governor Daniels to protect wetlands because they're vital to the quality of our lakes, streams and drinking water. Tell him you support full regulatory protection of Indiana's remaining wetlands!

...And Save Indiana's Endangered Wildlife, Too!

Look for the eagle on your Indiana tax form!

Buy an Environmental License Plate and save habitat for wildlife!

Join the Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program!

Five Tributes

He really existed. Massachusetts native John Chapman (1774-1845), better known as "Johnny Appleseed," spent nearly 50 years roaming Ohio and Indiana, planting apple trees and witnessing for his mystical Swedenborgian faith. He was an unlikely frontier hero: almost an American St. Francis of Assisi, but not poor. (He owned 1200 acres when he died.) His hilltop grave (click here for picture) overlooking the Memorial Coliseum parking lot in Fort Wayne used to be shady and grassy. Now it's paved over with cobblestones. Am I the only one to find a disturbing message in that?

It's a little-known fact that the founder of the modern environmental movement, John Muir (1838-1914) spent most of the years 1866 and 1867 in Indianapolis working as an industrial engineer. In his spare time he botanized in Indiana's rich hardwood forests. Recovering from a factory accident that almost cost him his eyesight, Muir abandoned engineering to devote his life to the great cause he is now remembered for.

She's probably Indiana's most celebrated environmental refugee. Famed novelist (Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, Freckles, The Harvester, etc.) and pioneering nature photographer Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) was a Wabash County native who later lived in Adams County near the Limberlost Swamp, where she took wildlife pictures and drew inspiration for her books. Sinning against both literature and the environment, the morons who ran Adams County drained the Limberlost in 1913, driving Stratton-Porter to Sylvan Lake near Rome City.

He wasn't exactly an environmentalist, but he loved nature and was one of America's funniest humorists. Will Cuppy (1884-1949), was a native of Auburn. He wrote The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, How to Attract the Wombat, How to be a Hermit and How to Become Extinct. He left Indiana in 1905 when there was talk of amending the state constitution to outlaw irony. He once wheedled Robert Moses, the czar of New York City's parks, into letting him keep his hermit cabin at Jones Beach, although it ended up smack in the middle of a golf course. In 2003, an asteroid, 15017 Cuppy, was named in his honor.

Ross Lockridge, Jr. (1914-1948) was born in Bloomington and educated at Indiana University. His novel Raintree County, set in a fictionalized Henry County, has been hailed as "an ecological novel written before its time." Making the land itself a character in the novel, Lockridge condemned the nineteenth century's exploitation of the environment and lamented that man "destroys all the beautiful, insubstantial dreams that made him think he had a home forever on this earth."

To contact me, Click Here!

There's More Than Corn in Indiana!

ACRES ... Website of Indiana's premier land stewardship trust. Take a virtual hike through one of 35 ACRES nature preserves in NE Indiana.
A Model Wetlands Ordinance for Indiana Communities ... The Old Muskrat's own work. Local protection for Indiana's wetlands.
BioMuncie ... Promoting biodiversity in Delaware County.
Cedar Creek Wildlife Project, Inc. ... Protecting the Cedar Creek ecosystem in Allen and DeKalb Counties since 1965.
Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management ... The "Herp Center" at IPFW is dedicated to saving the Midwest's declining populations of reptiles and amphibians.
Central Indiana Land Trust ... Preserving nature in the heart of Indiana since 1990.
Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads ... A magnificent all-volunteer group valiantly defending Hoosier farms and forests from the new-terrain I-69 boondoggle.
Citizens' Organized Watch ... A Whitley County group fights state-sponsored air pollution and urban sprawl.
Climate Change Impacts on the Midwest ... The Global Change Research Group's assessment of what climate change might mean in the Midwest.
DeKalb County Chapter - Izaak Walton League of America ... DeKalb County's defenders of soil, woods, water and wildlife.
DeKalb County - The Endangered Mollusks of Fish Creek ... Pesticides and the threat to the most diverse community of freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes area.
Edge of the Prairie ... Sand prairies and oak savannas of the Chicago region.
FalconCam ... From high atop One Summit Square in downtown Fort Wayne, here are views of peregrine falcon chicks updated every 30 seconds!
Fish Creek ... Home to 43 fish species and 31 mussel species (three of them endangered), Fish Creek may support the most diverse stream community in the entire Great Lakes watershed.
Global Warming and Indiana Songbirds ... How will Indiana's birds fare in a warmer world? (PDF document. Requires Acrobat Reader.)
Grand Calumet Task Force ... Working for environmental justice in northwest Indiana!
Great Lakes Watershed - 43 Areas of Concern ... Environment Canada lists 43 contamination hotspots in the world's largest freshwater ecosystem. One of the worst? The Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal. View a profile of Indiana's contribution to an international disgrace. Also check out the profile of the Maumee River.
Hoosier Environmental Council ... Standing like Fort Apache in the midst of one of America's most militantly brown states, HEC lobbies to make Indiana safe for terrestrial life. Check out this undervisited site with links to other groups dedicated to saving Indiana from the Once-lers.
Hoosier Wetlands ... Well-organized site with facts, figures, events, legislative updates and a kids' page!
Hoosier Wetlands Newsletter ... A cooperative effort among Indiana state agencies, this online resource highlights threats to Indiana wetlands and features gorgeous pictures, too!
Howell Wetlands ... The Evansville Dep't of Parks and Recreation manages this wetland complex, which includes marsh, cypress slough and oxbow surrounded by prairie and bottomland hardwood forest.
Improving Kids' Environment ... Fighting for environmental justice for Indiana's kids!
Indiana Audubon Society ... An online guide to Indiana birding...and more.
Indiana Dep't of Environmental Management ... Sure, IDEM is only supposed to MANAGE the Hoosier environment, NOT protect it. But IDEM's site still has lots of helpful info & links. Got a beef about air or water quality? Use IDEM's own in-box to make your point.
Indiana Environmental Professionals' Website ... Federal and state rules updates, IDEM personnel changes. Dull, but essential. Mostly text.
Indiana Environmental Report ... Daily earth-news from around the state from Steve Higgs
Indiana Geomorphology ...Descriptions and line drawings of 40 unique Hoosier landforms.
Indiana Karst Conservancy ... Saving Southern Indiana's caves.
Indiana Land Use ... False-color satellite image shows forests, watersheds and urban sprawl.
Indiana Uniform Conservation Easement Act ... Legal stuff. Dull as watching grass grow. But here's a useful tool for securing voluntary ecosystem protection.
Indiana Waterfalls ... Take a tour of seven Indiana mini-Niagras!
Indiana Wildlife Federation ... Protecting biodiversity in Indiana.
Kankakee River Log ... Follow the Grand Kankakee Marsh Restoration Project.
LaGrange County - Health Effects of Drinking Nitrate-Contaminated Water ... A 1996 report from the Centers for Disease Control.
List of Indiana Land Trusts ... Find the land trust working in YOUR area...from the Land Trust Alliance.
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center ... You can learn to make your own maple sugar at this dedicated nature preserve owned by Goshen College.
Montgomery Creek ... Visit this tributary of the Big Blue River through photos and whimsical drawings of the critters that live in its weeds.
Nature Conservancy of Indiana ... Find out what America's biggest private land stewardship trust is doing to protect our endangered Hoosier landscape.
Notre Dame Squirrel ...Astounding photo by nature photographer Julie LaFollette (1945-2004) shows the corrupting influence of civilization on Indiana wildlife.
Our Land, Our Literature ...Innovative Ball State Univ. site explores the links between Indiana's land and authors.
Pigeon River ... Spring-fed marshes and Indiana's largest stand of tamarack trees make Pigeon River a unique Indiana wildlife habitat. Take the Ngo family's photographic tour!
Pipe Creek Sinkhole ... A description of Indiana's most important paleontological site.
Pleistocene Glaciation in Indiana ... The Univ. of Rocester uses maps and text to tell how the last glacier shaped the landscape of northern Indiana.
Potawatomi Wildlife Park ... A 200-acre not-for-profit nature preserve near Tippecanoe, Indiana, with five miles of hiking trails and a dark sky preserve for astronomical viewing.
Prehistoric Indiana ... GeoBop tells you about the ancient seas that gave Indiana its limestone.
Project LEAP ... Join Freddie the Frog in the Indiana Dep't of Environmental Management's "Learning & Environmental Awareness Partnership" program. Aimed at grades 3-8, LEAP offers teacher resources and invites junior scientists to monitor acid rain, track butterflies and study milkweeds to help build a database of Indiana's environmental health.
Red-tail Conservancy ... Planning for a future where the natural beauty of east-central Indiana still exists.
Raptor Chapter ... N.E. Indiana's premier effort to save injured hawks, owls and other birds of prey.
Save the Dunes Council ... They started in 1952 to save the Lake Michigan sand dunes...and in 1966 they did it!
Soarin' Hawk Avian Rescue ... Helping injured and orphaned raptors in N.E. Indiana.
Steve Higgs' Hoosier Environmental Heroes ... Eternal vigilance is the price of being a good Hoosier.
Sycamore Land Trust ... Preserving south-central Indiana's disappearing landscape.
Teays River ... Before the Ohio and the Wabash was the Teays...and it's still there, buried by the Pleistocene glaciers, a fossil river under Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. This Ohio DNR site will help you understand just how recent our Midwestern landscape really is.
Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve ... Old-growth lowland forest in Evansville offers opportunities for nature education and wildlife rehabilitation. Frames site. A little hard to navigate.
Wildcat Wildlife Center ... Volunteers run this rehabilitation program for injured wildlife near Lafayette.
Wildflowers of Twin Swamps ... Take Rick Mark's virtual tour of the Twin Swamps Nature Preserve in Posey County, where the Wabash meets the O-hi-o!
Wood-Land-Lakes ... Not-for-profit public-private partnership promotes good forest management, farmland protection and water quality in six N.E. Indiana Counties.

"All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir!"

(*) When you click on the links above, a new browser window will open.

Visitors since
April 21, 2003

Advertising that appears below is not necessarily endorsed by this site's administrator.