Journey Indiana

S3 E12 | FULL EPISODE

Episode 312

We're featuring a few of our favorite animal stories...meet the pups changing Hoosier's lives each and every day; meet a real life guardian angel in Vincennes; see the prairie restoration underway just outside Morocco, Indiana; and witness the annual sandhill crane migration in Pulaski County.

AIRED: January 06, 2021 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> PRODUCTION SUPPORT FOR

"JOURNEY INDIANA" IS PROVIDED

BY:

>> COMING UP, MEET THE PEOPLE

CHANGING HOOSIERS LIVES EACH AND

EVERY DAY.

>> MEET A REAL LIFEGUARDIAN

ANGEL IN VINCENNES.

>> SEE THE PRAIRIE RESTORATION

UNDERWAY OUTSIDE OF MOROCCO,

INDIANA.

>> AND WITNESS THE ANNUAL SAND

HILL CRANE MIGRATION.

THAT'S ALL ON THIS EPISODE OF

JOURNEY, INDIANA!

>> WELCOME TO "JOURNEY INDIANA."

>> I'M ASHLEY CHILLA.

>> AND I'M BRANDON WENTZ.

WE'RE TAKING A LOOK BACK AT OUR

FAVORITE ANIMAL STORIES.

PRODUCER RUBEN BROWNING HAS THE

STORY OF ICAN.

>> ICAN IS A REALLY UNIQUE NOT

FOR PROFIT IN CENTRAL INDIANA.

WE TRAIN SERVICE DOGS TO BE

PLACED WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH

DISABILITIES, BUT WE DO IT IN A

REALLY UNIQUE WAY.

WE ACTUALLY USE INCARCERATED

INDIVIDUALS TO DO THE TRAINING.

SO THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE

DOG 24/7, AND THROUGH THE

TWO-YEAR PROCESS, THEY ACTUALLY

ENGAGE THE DOG IN DIFFERENT

ACTIVITIES TO PREPARE THEM TO BE

WITH INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABLE.

SO WE LIKE TO SAY THAT WE ARE

CHANGING LIVES ON BOTH ENDS OF

THE LEASH.

>> THE PROBLEM STARTED WHEN I

WAS 40 YEARS OLD AND NOW I WALK

EITHER WITH A WALKER OR ON A

SCOOTER.

A FRIEND OF MINE WHO ALSO HAS A

SERVICE DOG SUGGESTED I

CONTACTED ICAN.

I HAD APRIL AN INTERVIEW.

THEY WANTED TO SEE WHAT TYPE OF

DOG I WOULD REACT TO.

>> THE WHOLE PREMISE AND THE

REASON WHY ICAN WAS STARTED WAS

TO GIVE PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO

GAIN MORE INDEPENDENCE.

THE INDEPENDENCE FOR THE

INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY,

BUT ALSO THE INCARCERATED

INDIVIDUAL TO GIVE THEM A

PURPOSE, TO GIVE THEM AN

OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE

COMMUNITY RIGHT FROM WHERE THEY

ARE.

>> BUT I WASN'T PREPARED FOR WAS

THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT.

BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN, I

REALIZED HE MAKES A DIFFERENCE

IN HOW I FEEL.

LET'S SAY I GO SHOPPING AND I

TAKE HIM WITH MY WALKER AND WE

ARE GOING VERY, VERY SLOWLY

THROUGH THE AISLES, AND I DON'T

MIND.

AND THAT'S ONE OF THE GREATEST

GIFTS, REALLY.

HE MAKES ME FEEL NORMAL.

I CAN TAKE OLIVER WITH ME

ANYWHERE, RESTAURANTS,

SUPERMARKETS.

I MEAN, HE GOES WITH ME

EVERYWHERE, DOCTORS' OFFICES.

>> SINCE 2002, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE

TO PLACE OVER 210 PEOPLE WITH A

SERVICE DOG.

THAT DOG MAY IMPACT TEN PEOPLE A

DAY, OR 100 PEOPLE A WEEK, OR

1,000 PEOPLE A YEAR.

SO THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF THAT ONE

ANIMAL PARTNERED WITH THAT ONE

INDIVIDUAL IS IMMENSE.

THIS IS A LIFETIME COMMITMENT.

SO WE WANT THE DOG TO BE THE

BEST SUITED FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL,

FOR THEIR FAMILY, FOR THEIR

SITUATION.

>> SO IT'S A TWO-YEAR TRAINING

PROCESS FOR EACH DOG AND THERE'S

ASSESSMENTS ALL ALONG.

THE SPECIALIZED SKILLS CAN GO

FROM EMPTYING A WASHER AND DRYER

AND PULLING A BASKET OVER TO A

PERSON.

OPENING DOORS WITH BUTTONS,

TURNING ON LIGHTS, TURNING OFF

LIGHTS.

THEY PULL DOWN THE BED SHEET AND

PULL IT BACK OVER.

THEY WILL PULL OFF YOUR SOCKS OR

GLOVES, YOUR COAT, PUT THE LEG

BACK IN THE WHEELCHAIR.

>> HE'S VERY GOOD IN KEEPING ME

IN THE MOMENT.

I'M RIGHT THERE, AND I'M NOT

WORRIES AND I DON'T MIND HAVING

A DISABILITY, AND SO, I MEAN,

THAT'S THE GREATEST THING.

I MEAN, IT'S HARD TO LOOK AT A

DOG WITHOUT SMILING.

>> ICAN CURRENTLY FACILITATED

OUT OF THREE PRISONS IN INDIANA.

WE DO TWO AT THE PENDLETON

CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AND THOSE

ARE MEN FACILITY, MAXIMUM AND

MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON.

AND THEN WE ALSO HAVE DOGS

LOCATED AT THE INDIANA WOMEN'S

PRISON HERE IN INDIANAPOLIS.

AND WE TREAT IT LIKE A JOB.

FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF OUR

PARTNERSHIP, THE ONLY

REQUIREMENT THAT WE HAVE IS THAT

THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS A HIGH

SCHOOL DEGREE OR A G.E.D., AND

THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT

ATTITUDE TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS

WORK, BECAUSE IT'S NOT EASY.

SO WE WANT THEM TO TAKE THE JOB

VERY SERIOUSLY.

AND FROM THERE,S THE SKY IS THE

LIMIT.

THEY CAN LEARN HOW TO EACH THE

DOG TO LEARN ALL THE SKILLS THAT

THEY NEED IN ORDER TO BE PLACED

WITH AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A

DISABILITY.

>> AND THE HANDLERS HAVE GONE

THROUGH A NINE-WEEK PROBATIONARY

TRAINING.

THEY WORK IN GROUP SESSIONS AND

ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS WHERE THEY

TEACH NINE BASIC CORE BEHAVIORS

PUPPYBEHAVIORSTO THE PUPPY.

WE ARE DEVELOPING INDIVIDUALS

NOT JUST DOGS.

WE TEACH LIFE SKILLS,

INTERPERSONAL, ANGER MANAGEMENT

AND WE TRY TO INCORPORATE THAT

IN OUR TRAINING AND GIVE THEM

THE TOOLS, ARE THE OPPORTUNITY

TO CHANGE.

>> OUR HOPE IS WHEN THEY DO GET

OUT OF THE PRISON, THEY CAN USE

THESE SKILLS TO WORK FOR A VET

CLINIC OR GO WORK FOR AN

ORGANIZATION WHERE THEY MIGHT BE

DOING DOG TRAINING OR DOG

GROOMING.

PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN

INCARCERATED, THEY HAVE A GOOD

JOB AND THEY STAY EMPLOYED, THE

LIKELIHOOD OF THEM RETURNING TO

THE PRISON SYSTEM IS SMALLER.

AND SO THIS GIVES THEM A LITTLE

BIT OF HOPE.

>> IN THE BEGINNING, YOU KIND OF

FEEL -- YOU FEEL KIND OF WEIRD

BECAUSE THESE ARE -- THESE ARE

SERIOUS OFFENDERS.

WE AS CLIENTS, WE DON'T -- WE

DON'T APPROACH THEM AS

OFFENDERS.

WE APPROACH THEM AS HUMAN

BEINGS.

WETHEY HAPPEN TO BE EXPERTS WHO

TRAINED OUR DOGS IT.

AS I MATTER OF PRIDE THAT THEY

GIVE BACK TO SOCIETY.

>> WE TYPICALLY HAVE OUR

GRADUATION CEREMONIES IN THE

PRISON, AND SO WE INVITE THE

PUBLIC.

WE USUALLY HAVE ABOUT 300 PEOPLE

OR SO COME IN AND WITNESS THE

CHANGING OF THE LEASH.

SO THE INMATE HANDLER THAT'S

BEEN WORKING WITH THE DOGS AND

ACTUALLY GIVES THE LEASH OVER TO

THE CLIENT AND THEIR FAMILY IS

THERE.

AND HERE ARE THESE MOST UNLIKELY

PEOPLE.

YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE SOMEBODY WHO

IS COMMITTED A CRIME, AND THE

MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR PROGRAM,

THEY ARE IN PRISON FOR A LONG

TIME.

AND THEN ON THIS SIDE, YOU HAVE

AN INDIVIDUAL WHO FELT ISOLATED

FROM MAYBE THEIR COMMUNITY

BECAUSE OF THEIR DISABILITY.

SO BOTH OF THEM HAVE A PROBLEM,

RIGHT?

AND THEN THEY COME TOGETHER TO

SOLVE EACH OTHER'S PROBLEMS.

AND NOW THE INMATE HAS THIS

OPPORTUNITY TO HELP SOMEBODY AND

CONTRIBUTE TO THE WORLD RIGHT

WHERE THEY ARE, AND THE CLIENT

HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE

THIS GIFT OF THIS DOG, AND BE

ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THEIR WORLD

IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY.

AND WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT

THAT IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IN A

MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON?

THAT'S OUR GOAL THAT THIS DOG IS

THE CONDUIT OF HOPE, AND THAT

THEY CAN PROVIDE SOME TYPE OF

EXPERIENCE FOR VOLUNTEERS, FOR

HANDLERS, FOR CLIENTS, THAT IS

NOT MATCHED BY ANYTHING ELSE IN

THEIR LIFE.

>> WANT TO LEARN MORE?

JUST HEAD OVER TO ICANDOG.ORG.

ASHLEY?

>> THANKS, BRANNON.

UP NEXT, WE'RE HEADED TO

VINCENNES, TO MEET A FEW OWLS, A

COUPLE OF ADORABLE BOBCATS AND

THE HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM WHO

ARE NURSING THEM AND OTHER

ANIMALS BACK TO HEALTH.

PARTICIPATE.

>> I WAS BORN AND RAISED HERE IN

KNOX COUNTY, VINCENNES, AND ALL

THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD, MY DAD

ALWAYS HAD COON DOGS, PIGEONS

AND WE HAD ABOUT EVERYTHING.

WE ENJOYED LIFE AND WE DID A LOT

OF FISHING AND A LOT OF HUNTING.

WE JUST ENJOYED THE OUTDOORS.

>> ROBERT LANG, ANGEL TOLL JUST

ABOUT EVERYONE WHO KNOW -- TO

JUST ABOUT EVERYONE WHO KNOWS

HIM GREW UP SURROUNDED BY

ANIMALS AND TODAY AT 70, LITTLE

HAS CHANGED.

FOR INSTANCE IN A FIELD BEHIND

HIS HOUSE ARE HIS PETS.

>> MY PETS ARE AMERICAN EISON, ICE --

AMERICAN BISONS, LONGHORNS AND

THOSE ARE MY PETS.

>> AND SOMEHOW THOSE ARE THE

LEAST SHOCKING.

THESE ARE NOT YOUR EVERY DAY

HOUSECATS.

THEY ARE BABY BOBCATS.

DEFINITELY NOT PETS.

ANGEL AND HIS WIFE JOANNE ARE

LICENSED WILDLIFE

REHABILITATORS, HOUSING AND

CARING FOR SICK, INJURED OR

ORPHANED WILDLIFE.

>> WHAT HAVE WE GOT HERE?

>> MOMMA GOT HIT IN FRONT OF THE

COAL MINE THIS MORNING WITH

THREE BABIES.

>> SHE HAD TRIPLETS?

>> YES.

THREE OF THEM.

THIS IS THE ONLY ONE THAT MADE

IT.

SHE'S STILL BLEEDING A LOT

FROM -- I WOULD SAY HE SEEMS

LIVELY BUT STILL BLEEDING A LOT

FROM THE UMBILICAL AREA.

>> THAT'S A NEWBORN.

>> YES.

THEY WERE STILL IN THE SACK.

>> THE WORK CAN SEEM ENDLESS.

>> IT'S ALL HOURS AND DAYS OF

THE NIGHT.

BOTTLE FEEDING, THE FAWNS AND

STUFF LIKE THAT.

IT'S JUST CONSTANT BOTTLE

FEEDING.

CLEANING BOTTLES AND STERILIZING

THE BOTTLES AND FIXING FORMULA.

IF ANYBODY HAS EVER RAISED A

CHILD, BOTTLE FEEDING, YOU KNOW

WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH.

OKAY.

THAT'S ABOUT ALL YOU ARE GOING

TO BE ABLE TO TAKE IN ONE

NURSING.

WE'RE NOT PROFESSIONALS.

WE DO COMMON SENSE.

WE DO THE BEST WE CAN.

>> AND THEIR BEST IS PRETTY DARN

GOOD!

OVER THE COURSE OF MORE THAN 40

YEARS, THEY HAVE CARED FOR MORE

THAN 1500 ANIMALS AND BIRDS.

ACCORDING TO THE INDIANA

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES,

THE VAST MAJORITY, MORE THAN

90%, HAVE BEEN RELEASED BACK

INTO THE WILD.

>> IT USED TO BE HEARTBREAKING

BUT NOW WHEN IT'S TIME TO GO,

GET RID OF IT, BECAUSE WE GOT

MORE COMING IN, YOU KNOW?

I TELL YOU, WE HAVE BEEN DOING

THIS NOW FOR ABOUT 44 YEARS.

SHE'S AWFUL SMALL.

AWFUL SMALL FAWN.

SHE'S AWFUL LITTLE.

I HAVE ONLY BROKE DOWN ONE TIME

ON LOSING AN ANIMAL.

I HAD AN EAGLE THAT WAS BLIND.

WHY IT WAS BLIND, WE HAVE NO

IDEA.

AND I PLAYED WITH IT OUTSIDE IN

THE YARD.

I WOULD TEASE IT, FEED IT, AND

FINALLY, IN LaFAYETTE, IT

STARTED HAVING SEIZURES AND THEY

COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN BECAUSE I

HAD THE FEDERAL LICENSE.

I HAD TO GIVE THEM PERMISSION.

THAT'S THE ONLY TIME I BROKE

DOWN ON ANY ANIMAL.

HE WAS SO HELPLESS BEING BLIND.

IT WAS SO HELPLESS.

I DON'T KNOW.

IT JUST -- I DON'T KNOW.

THAT'S THE ONLY ONE.

>> DUE TO THE RESTRICTIONS

IMPOSED BY THEIR STATE AND

FEDERAL LICENSES, THEY CAN'T

SOLICIT FUNDS, AND THE BILLS CAN

BE SIGNIFICANT.

FOOD, VET VISITS AND TRIPS FOR

RELOCATIONS CAN RUN INTO THE

THOUSANDS.

>> IT ALL COMES OUT OF OUR

POCKET, EVERYTHING.

EVERYTHING COMES OUT OF OUR

POCKET.

THAT'S WHY I WENT BACK TO WORK

AFTER I RETIRED.

>> IT'S COSTLY WORK, BOTH

PHYSICALLY AND FINANCIALLY, BUT

IT HASN'T GONE UNNOTICED.

IN 2018, THE INDIANA D.N.R.

AWARDED ANGEL THE POSITION OF

HONORARY LIEUTENANT COLONEL FOR

HIS DECADES OF SERVICE.

>> IT SURPRISED ME.

IT REALLY GOT TO ME.

I MEAN, I USED TO BE HARD-NOSED.

I'M GETTING -- IN MY OLD AGE,

I'M GETTING MORE SOFT HEARTED.

GETTING AN AWARD LIKE THAT, IT

SHOWS THAT THEY APPRECIATE IT.

SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO DO IT.

SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO DO IT, AND

WITH ALL THE RESPONSIBILITIES,

THE PAPERWORK AND EVERYTHING

ELSE, THE COST FACTOR, I DON'T

KNOW.

I DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE THE RIGHT

MIND TO DO IT OR NOT, BUT I HAVE

BEEN DOING IT FOR SO LONG.

THAT'S THE ONLY THING I KNOW

ANYMORE.

AS LONG AS MY HEALTH HOLDS UP,

AND THE GOOD LORD KEEPS ME

UPRIGHT, I WILL PROBABLY KEEP

DOING IT.

IT KEEPS ME ALIVE, I GUESS.

I DON'T KNOW.

I ENJOY IT.

OF.

MAYBE THAT'S MY CALLING.

I DON'T KNOW.

>> AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN

WILDLIFE REHAB, YOU CAN GET MORE

INFO AT THE ADDRESS ON THE

SCREEN.

UP NEXT, WE'RE HEADED TO RURAL

NEWTON COUNTY, WHERE PRODUCER

JOHN TIM BRINGS US THE STORY OF

KANKAKEE SANDS.

JET.

>> THIS IS REALLY THE ONLY PLACE

IN INDIANA WHERE YOU CAN GO AND

SEE LANDSCAPE SCALE NATIVE

GRASSLAND.

THE PRESERVE IS 8400 ACRES IN

SIZE.

IT'S THE LARGEST PLANTED PRAIRIE

IN THE COUNTRY.

WE WANTED OVER 7,000 ACRES OF

PRAIRIE TO DATE AND IT'S ALSO

ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE.

IT'S TRULY AN IMPRESSIVE SCALE

FOR A PRAIRIE RESTORATION.

WE ARE STANDING ON THE KANKAKEE

SANDS PRESERVE IN NORTHWEST

INDIANA, LOCATED IN NEWTON

COUNTY, RIGHT ON U.S. 41.

KANKAKEE SANDS IS PRIMARILY

LOCATED IN WHAT WAS THE HISTORIC

BEAVER LAKE.

IT WAS THE LARGEST LAKE IN THE

STATE OF INDIANA.

IT WAS DRAINED IN THE 1800s

FOR AGRICULTURE, AND RIGHT NOW,

WE'RE STANDING ON WHAT IS LEFT

OF IT, AND YOU CAN SEE ONE OF

THE DEEPEST PARTS OF BEAVER LAKE

BEHIND ME.

OBVIOUSLY IT'S NO LONGER A LAKE,

IT'S HIGH DIVERSITY PRAIRIE AND

IT'S THE SOUTH BISON PASTURE,

WHERE THE BISON ARE CURRENTLY.

>> THIS IS REALLY ONE OF THE

MOST DIVERSE PLACES IN INDIANA.

MY PARTICULAR HISTORY WITH THE

SITE GOES BACK QUITE A WAYS.

IN THE EARLY 2000s, I DID

PLANT SURVEYS OUT HERE WHEN I

WAS IN COLLEGE AS PART OF A

RESEARCH PROJECT.

SO MY PERSONAL HISTORY WITH THE

SITE GOES BACK PUSHING 20 YEARS.

SO I ACTUALLY HAD THE

OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE SITE GO

FROM MOSTLY CORNFIELDS TO REALLY

NICE DIVERSE PRAIRIE, WHERE WE

COULD BRING BISON BACK AND GET

THE LANDSCAPE SCALE IMPACTS THAT

YOU CAN'T SEE ANYWHERE ELSE IN

INDIANA.

>> THE NATURE CONSERVANCY WAS

ABLE TO PURCHASE 7200 ACRES IN A

SINGLE PURCHASE IN 1996.

IT'S GROWN TO ABOUT 8400 ACRES,

BUT WE PLANTED OVER 7,000 ACRES

OF THAT TO HIGH DIVERSITY

PRAIRIE PLANTING.

AND SO IT'S A LANDSCAPE THAT'S

CHANGED FROM ROW CROP

AGRICULTURE, TO HIGH DIVERSITY

PRAIRIE RESTORATION.

>> WE'RE LOOKING AT TODAY A

REALLY WIDE ASSORTMENT OF NATIVE

GRASSES AND WILDFLOWERS.

THE FLOWER YOU SEE HERE IS

SPIDERWORT IT BLOOMS THIS TIME

OF YEAR.

WHAT YOU ARE SEEING IS REALLY

DYNAMIC.

AND CERTAINLY IN-TACT ECOSYSTEM

THAT WE MANAGED TO PUT BACK

TOGETHER.

THERE'S A LOT OF INTERESTING

PROCESSES GOING ON, THE PLANTS

WE PUT HERE, RISING AND GROWING

AND OUR MANAGEMENT CONTROLLING

THE SPECIES.

AND WE HAVE LOTS OF INTERESTING

THINGS HAPPEN.

LOTS OF NATIVE REPTILES AND

INSECTS HAVE RECOLONIZED THIS

AREA AND THE BACKGROUND, YOU CAN

SEE THE BISON WHICH HAVE ONLY

BEEN HERE FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS.

>> WE BROUGHT THEM BACK FOR

PRAIRIE MANAGEMENT.

WE DIDN'T BRING THEM BACK FOR

BISON CONSERVATION.

IT WAS TO CONSERVE PRAIRIE.

AND SO WHAT DO BISON DO?

BISON EAT GRASSES AND THEY MAKE

LITTLE BISON.

AND SO WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?

IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE THESE

SYSTEMS EVOLVED WITH NATIVE

GRAZERS AND SO THERE'S A WHOLE

HOST OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS THAT

NEED SHORT GRASS.

IT'S EASY TO PLANT A PRAIRIE AND

GET 6-FOOT TALL GRASSES.

IT'S DIFFICULT TO PLANT A

PRAIRIE AND GET 1 FOOT GRASSES

AND THERE'S A WHOLE HOST OF

SPECIES THAT NEED THE 1 FOOT

TALL GRASS AND BISON CREATE THAT

ON THEIR OWN, JUST BY BEING

BISON.

THEY ARE A GREAT TOOL FOR LAND

MANAGEMENT.

>> WE THINK OF BISON AS

PRIMARILY GRASS GRAZERS AND

THAT'S REALLY TRUE OUT WEST AND

THEY DO GRAZE ON GRASSES AS WELL

HERE BUT THINGS LIKE THE WILLOWS

AND THE SCOURING RUSH ARE KIND

OF LITTLE SURPRISES WE DIDN'T

EXPECT AND AS IT TURNS OUT THEY

ARE A GREAT BENEFIT TO US THAT

WE DIDN'T EXPECT WE WOULD GET.

>> 2016, WE BROUGHT IN 23

ANIMALS, AND 2017, WE BROUGHT

ANOTHER TEN FROM WIND CAVE

NATIONAL PARK AND SINCE THEN THE

HERD HAS GROWN, WE ARE SITTING

AT OVER 70 ANIMALS TODAY.

THE BISON ARE THRIVING ON THE

SITE.

THE ANIMAL WEIGHTS ARE CERTAINLY

OVER AVERAGE, WHAT YOU WOULD

NORMALLY SEE.

WHERE THESE ANIMALS CAME FROM IN

SOUTH DAKOTA, THEY GOT ABOUT

18 INCHES OF RAIN.

HERE WE AVERAGE ABOUT 38 INCHES

OF RAIN.

ADDITIONALLY, THEY ARE REALLY

HIGH DIVERSITY PRAIRIE.

SO THERE'S PROBABLY OVER 600

SPECIES BEHIND ME RIGHT NOW IN

THAT PRAIRIE AND THOSE BISON

HAVE ACCESS TO THAT.

AND SO WHAT THAT MEANS IS THEY

ARE ABLE TO SELECT WHAT THEY

LIKE TO EAT.

>> I'M EXPECTING TO SEE QUITE A

BIT DIFFERENT RESULTS THIS YEAR.

WE HAVE SOME IMPACTS IN

VEGETATION HEIGHT WHICH WE

EXPECTED AND WHICH WE DESIRED.

INTERESTINGLY BASED ON THEIR

GRAZING, THEY DO HAVE UNUSUAL

PREFERENCES THAT WE DIDN'T

EXPECT.

>> AND IF THE BISON ARE DOING

WHAT BISON DO.

THE BISON ARE DOING A LOT OF

WORK FOR US.

IT'S NOT ONLY EXCITING TO SEE

THE ANIMALS BUT IT'S ALSO

EXCITING TO SEE THE EFFECTS THAT

THE BISON ARE HAVING ON THE

PRAIRIE ITSELF.

>> NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT A

RESTORED PRAIRIE LOOKS LIKE

BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE.

PRAIRIE IS NOT A -- A -- PRAIRIE

RESTORATION IS NOT AN END STATE.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT HAS YET TO

BE DONE.

WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS HERE

BASED ON THE CONNECTIVITY, AND

SO WHAT HAVE WE SEEN?

WE HAVE SEEN NUMEROUS PLANTS AND

ANIMALS MOVE ACROSS THAT

LANDSCAPE, THAT WAS ONCE

FRAGMENTED AND IS NOW SOME OF

THE PRETTIEST PRAIRIE THAT YOU

WILL EVER SEE.

>> I DIDN'T REALLY EVEN KNOW

ABOUT PRAIRIES GROWING UP, AND

COMING OUT HERE TO DO THE PLANT

SURVEYS IN COLLEGE, I LEARNED

ABOUT PRAIRIE AND WHAT A REALLY

INTERESTING SYSTEM IT WAS AND

HOW IMPERILLED IT WAS IN

INDIANA.

JUST THE FACT THAT I'M ABLE TO

COME BACK AND BRING BACK PRAIRIE

ON A LANDSCAPE SCALE.

IT'S A COMPELLING REASON TO GET

UP AND COME TO WORK IN THE

MORNING.

>> FOR MORE INFORMATION, JUST

HEAD OVER TO NATURE.ORG AND

SEARCH FOR KANKAKEE SANDS.

BRANDON?

>> THANKS, ASHLEY.

FINALLY, WE'RE HEADED OVER TO

THE JASPER PULASKI FISH AND

WILDLIFE AREA THAT'S ANNUALLY

OVERRUN BY THOUSANDS OF UNDER

SAND HILL CRANES -- OF SAND HILL

CRANES.

WE HAVE THE STORY.

>> THE SAND HILL CRANE IS ONE OF

15 SPECIES OF CRANES WORLDWIDE

AND THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT

POPULATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED

STATES.

THERE'S LOTS OF CRANES THAT

WINTER RIGHT HERE IN INDIANA.

THEY WILL BE HERE ALL WINTER.

THE CRANES THAT COME THROUGH

JASPER PULASKI, EVERYBODY WANTS

TO KNOW WHY THEY COME HERE, AND

IT JUST BASICALLY HAS TO DO WITH

THE RANGE THAT THE GREATER SAND

HILL CRANE OCCUPIES AND THE FACT

THAT WE WERE IN THE RIGHT PLACE

TELL RIGHT TIME.

>> WE SHOULD GET 25.

>> THIS PROPERTY STARTED IN

1929, AND THE FIELD OF WILDLIFE

MANAGEMENT WAS BEGINNING TO

UNDERSTAND MORE WHAT WILDLIFE

NEEDED IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.

AND ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS WAS

HABITAT.

>> AND THE 1800s, INTO THE --

WELL INTO THE 1900s AND

CONTINUING TODAY, WE'RE STILL

LOSING HABITAT, BUT WE WERE ABLE

TO PROTECT KEY HABITAT FEATURES

IN TERMS OF THE SAND HILL

CRANES.

THOSE WERE WETLAND AREAS.

AS WE PROTECTED MORE HABITAT,

THAT SMALL NUMBER OF CRANES IN

THE CORE NESTING AREA IN

WISCONSIN BEGAN TO INCREASE AND

THEN REPIONEERED NEW AREAS.

SO WE WENT FROM IN THE 1930s,

'40s, TO MAYBE JUST 300

NESTING PAIRS OF CRANES, TO

ALMOST 100,000 IN THIS

POPULATION NOW.

AS THE SAND HILL CRANE

POPULATION BEGAN TO REPOPULATE

AND INCREASE, THE CRANES THAT

USED THIS AREA CONTINUED TO USE

IT, AND I MENTIONED THAT

WISCONSIN WAS THE CORE NESTING

AREA.

AND IF YOU WERE TO PUT YOUR

FINGER IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN, AND

A FINGER ON YOUR OTHER HAND IN

CENTRAL FLORIDA, WHICH IS WHERE

THE MAJORITY ROOSTED, OR SPENT

THE WINTER IN THE '50s,

'60s, '70s AND EVEN INTO THE

'80s, JASPER PULASKI WOULD BE

RIGHT UNDERNEATH THAT LINE.

SO THE MAJORITY NESTED IN

WISCONSIN, MIGRATED TO FLORIDA.

SO THEY CAME THROUGH HERE IN THE

FALL AND TO A LESSER EXTENT THEY

ALSO CAME THROUGH HERE IN THE

SPRING.

>> THE PEAK HAS MOVED FROM

MID-OCTOBER TO LATE NOVEMBER,

EARLY DECEMBER.

BASED ON THE FACT THAT THEY

ROOST IN OUR WETLAND AREAS AT

NIGHT, WE CAN USE SEVERAL

OBSERVERS AND COUNT THE CRANES

AS THEY FLY OUT IN THE MORNING.

THE COUNT WAS 19,908.

JUST SHY OF 20,000.

SO WE ARE RIGHT -- THAT COULD BE

A TYPICAL PEAK.

WE HAVE HAD PEAKS AT 35,000.

A FEATURE THAT THEY JUST

DEVELOPED ON THEIR OWN IS THEIR

OWN BEHAVIOR, IS THEY WILL

LAND -- A LARGE NUMBER WILL LAND

IN THIS FIELD, WHICH ACTUALLY

WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR

CANADA GEESE, BUT THE CRANES FAR

OUT NUMBER THE CANADA GEESE NOW.

>> ONE THE THINGS THAT MAKES

THEM SO INTERESTING TO PEOPLE,

IS THEY ARE A BIRD THAT FLOCKS

TOGETHER.

THEY ARE EASILY SEEN.

THEY MAKE A LOT OF NOISE.

THEY HAVE A LOT OF INTERESTING

BEHAVIORS, PARTICULARLY THEIR

COURTSHIP RITUAL.

SO THEY ARE JUST ATTRACTED TO

PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE SUCH

GREAT NUMBERS.

>> LAST YEAR'S MIGRATION IS

COMPLETE, BUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE

INFO ON THIS FALL, JUST GO TO

IN.GOV/DNR AND SEARCH FOR SAND

HILL MIGRATION.

AND AS ALWAYS, WE WOULD LIKE TO

ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAY CONNECTED

WITH US.

>> JUST HEAD OVER TO

JOURNEYINDIANA.ORG.

THERE YOU CAN SEE FULL EPISODES,

CONNECT WITH US ON FACEBOOK,

YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM AND

SUGGEST STORIES FROM YOUR NECK.

WOODS.

>> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD-BYE, LET'S

SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE SAND

HILL CRANES AT THE JASPER

PULASKI FISH AND WILDLIFE AREA.

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