Outdoors

Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area hosts summer grazing

From Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Those visiting Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) this summer may notice cattle grazing on the property.

Property managers are trying a new vegetation management method. Prescribed grazing is used to create beneficial disturbance on FWAs and accomplish specific vegetation management goals using domestic livestock. A limited number of livestock will graze or browse an area of land for a pre-planned timeframe to benefit native plants and improve wildlife habitat.

In partnership with a local private cattle producer, cattle grazing is expected to occur in two fenced-in areas on the western side of Hillenbrand FWA until Sept. 24. Cattle will be back on the property again in 2021 from May 15 to Aug. 15. The producer will get extra land to feed their cattle and in turn will provide an important habitat tool for FWA managers. Public access will not be affected, but visitors should be aware and take caution when entering areas where cattle are present.

By applying prescribed grazing on properties, managers can combat invasive species, increase native plant diversity, and provide ideal habitat for game species like Northern bobwhite, turkey, deer, and Eastern cottontail rabbit. Livestock can also beat down vegetation to create natural trails, making grasslands more accessible for hunting and hiking.

Plan your visit to Hillenbrand FWA at on.IN.gov/hillenbrandfwa.

Photo by Ray Bilcliff from Pexels

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