If you haven’t already seen it, the Benjamin Harrison National Recreation Area and Wilderness Establishment Act of 2023 (S 2990) was officially by US Senator Mike Braun. If approved, this legislation will add approximately 15,300 acres to Charles Deam Wilderness, more than doubling its size from the current 12,953 acres to 28,253 acres. It will also establish the 29,382 acre Benjamin Harrison National Recreation Area on national forest land surrounding the expanded Deam Wilderness to protect the drinking water provided to more than 120,000 Hoosiers from the Monroe Reservoir and expand recreation such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and mountain biking beyond the Wilderness.
If this bill becomes law, it will preserve the largest expanse of wild forest in Indiana’s history.
WE NEED YOU TO HELP this bill become law. The only way we can pass this bill is if Rep. Houchin (whose 9th Congressional District includes the proposed Wilderness and National Recreation Area in S. 2990) introduces it in the House.Please contact Congresswoman Erin Houchin  today and urge her to introduce S. 2990 Benjamin Harrison National Recreation Area and Wilderness Establishment Act of 2023. 

If you live in Representative Houchin’s District, please click here to write to Rep. Houchin today.

If you do not live in her district, please email Rep. Houchin’s Legislative Director, Jonathan Van Buren at: or send the Rep. Houchin an old-fashioned letter to:

Congresswoman Erin Houchin
1632 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

You can also call Rep. Houchin’s D.C. Office at 202-225-5315

After Rep. Houchin introduces this bill into the House, we will also need US Sen. Todd Young’s support in the Senate.

Click here to contact Sen. Young. and ask him to Co-Sponsor S 2990 in the Senate.

The staff person or “point of contact” for Senator Young on S.2990 is his Legislative Assistant for Public Lands, Burke Miller, at:

To assist in writing these letters, IFA has prepared a brief fact sheet. Feel free to include any of this information in your letters to Rep. Houchin and Sen. Young, as well as any additional information or personal connection to the proposed Wilderness and National Recreation Area which you feel may be relevant.

Click here to view the fact sheet

A massive outpouring of public support will be necessary for this bill to pass the Congress. It will have to pass the US House after it clears the Senate.  Congress must pass the bill before Senator Braun retires from the Senate at the end of 2024.  Another opportunity to save such a wild expanse of nature in Indiana may not come in your lifetime.

The clock is ticking. Please act today! 

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