The Big Pine Creek watershed is a specialty watershed project that brings additional projects and funding to the farmers and landowners whose land drains into both Big Pine Creek and Mud Pine Creek. It’s mission statement is:
“Voluntarily conserve and improve the natural environment while balancing interest of stakeholders in the big Pine Creek Watershed”
This watershed encompasses land in four counties including Benton, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White. The total acreage in the watershed is 209,709 acres or 329 square miles and is predominantly used for row-crop agriculture. Primary resource concerns aimed to address through this project include the reduction of excess agricultural nutrients in the stream and preventing sediment from entering the waterbody.
This watershed project began out of a study of the Wabash that was completed in 2007. The Nature Conservancy looked to find subwatersheds of the Wabash River to invest efforts. Once the Big Pine Creek Watershed was identified as a potential priority area local Soil and Water Conservation Districts were contacted to see if they would be interested in leading efforts at a local level. With a local entity involved, additional partners joined the group and a Watershed Management Plan was established with the help of funding through the Nina Pulliam Foundation.
With a watershed management plan and a steering committee including individuals from a variety of partners including NICHES Land Trust and Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), multiple grant applications were submitted. With the help of these partners all grants sought after were awarded bringing millions of dollars to farmers and landowners in the watershed to implement conservation.