A Jeffersonville man has been arrested after theft of items from a vehicle at Charlestown State Park in Clark County. Aaron Wallen, 47, faces charges of theft, in addition to outstanding arrest warrants, after Indiana Conservation Officers witnessed him stealing items from a parked vehicle near a trailhead at the state park on April 21.

In response to multiple reports of thefts from unattended parked cars at the state park during the previous week, conservation officers and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department set up and observed a “bait” car.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. a conservation officer observed Wallen open the unlocked door of the car and remove items. After a conservation officer made contact, Wallen fled on foot into the woods but was apprehended shortly thereafter and arrested without incident.

The officers soon discovered Wallen was on parole, and he had multiple outstanding felony arrest warrants. The investigation is still ongoing by DNR Law Enforcement and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone with further information concerning the investigation is encouraged to call Indiana Conservation Officers’ Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or anonymously call 1-800-TIP-IDNR, or they can call the Clark County Sheriff’s Department at 812-283-4471.

Indiana Conservation Officers routinely patrol the state’s DNR properties in an effort to ensure the safe use. Citizens are urged to report suspicious or criminal activity by calling the numbers listed above.

Fishing & Hunting Licenses

Indiana’s DNR has given hunters and fishermen a break on many licenses, but be forewarned; the extension is soon to expire.

All 2019-2020 basic hunting, basic fishing, hunt/fish combo, youth licenses and stamps set to expire March 31, 2020, are still valid for use until Friday, May 22, 2020. Please maintain a printed or electronic copy with you while hunting/fishing.

If you do not have a valid 2019-2020 annual license or stamp, a new 2020-2021 annual license will be needed.

For the upcoming 2020 spring wild turkey season, hunters will need a 2020 spring turkey license and valid gamebird habitat stamp.

Licenses may be purchased by visiting the Indiana Fish & Wildlife Online License System, open authorized license vendors, or calling the Indiana DNR Customer Service Center at 877-463-6367, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:00pm.

LARE Grants Awarded

Several Indiana counties will have funds to improve their waterways thanks to $1,243,410 in grants awarded by Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) director Cameron F. Clark through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program.

DNR grants totaling $573,400 will be used in sediment or logjam removal projects and will support 10 projects in 10 counties. The other $670,010 will be used to fight aquatic invasive plants, including 42 projects involving 53 lakes and three rivers in 14 counties.

Funded projects include grants for both planning and removal of sediment. Removal projects help improve recreation and remove excessive nutrients near inlets. Projects to dredge lake inlets or boating access channels receive the highest priority for LARE funding.

Logjam projects include the removal of massive amounts of debris blocking the stream channel. Because some woody debris in streams provides valuable habitat, removal projects focus only on large jams blocking the entire stream and may cause bank erosion and cutting of new channels. To learn more about the LARE logjam projects, call Doug Nusbaum at 260-244-6805 or online by email at dnusbaum@dnr.IN.gov.

Aquatic invasive plant control grants help control or manage aggressive non-native species which out-compete native species and dominate plant communities. Some examples include Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and starry stonewort. The grants also provide economic benefits to lake communities by improving and increasing public access opportunities for people who fish or pleasure boat. To learn more about the LARE invasive plant control projects, call Rod Edgell, 260-244-6805, or online by email at redgell@dnr.IN.gov.

LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The user-funded program benefits boaters all over the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects difficult for local organizations to fund on their own. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and local sponsors share at least 20% of the cost.

The list of projects by water body, county, project type and grant award may be found at wildlife.IN.gov/3304.htm. Learn more about LARE online at LARE.dnr.IN.gov.

Readers can contact the author by e-mail at jackspaulding@hughes.net

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