By Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A new state-run program backed by nearly $1 million in federal funding will enlist southern Indiana landowners to plant 3,000 acres of new forests.

The state Department of Natural Resources says its Division of Forestry will oversee the 5-year Southern Indiana Young Forest Initiative. The program will provide about $960,000 in cost-share funding to eligible landowners in 43 southern counties to plant new forests.

DNR foresters will help landowners apply for the funding and develop forest management plans for their properties.

State Forester John Seifert says land use changes during the past century have left Indiana lacking in young forest habitat.

He says the multi-agency effort that includes conservation groups will also give a boost to the American woodcock, the whip-poor-will and other bird species.

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