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NRC approves new nature preserve
Start Date: 7/18/2017
Event Description:
The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) approved Ravinia Seeps Spring Nature Preserve in Morgan County as a new nature preserve during its regularly scheduled meeting today at Fort Harrison State Park.

The move increases to 280 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act, which is 50 years old this year.

Ravinia Seeps Spring Nature Preserve is owned and operated by the DNR Division of Forestry. The preserve is in the Brown County Hills Section of the Highland Rim Natural Region and comprises 52.40 acres. It protects a geologically unique and biologically rich valley and associated uplands.

The site contains a valley filled with gravel, sand, and other outwash deposited at the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age through the action of meltwaters, which formed a Northern wetlands complex at the extreme southern limit of the range in Indiana.

The preserve provides outstanding insect and amphibian habitat. Eastern box turtle has been observed in abundance. Two open sedge meadow prairie fens, each smaller than an acre, are present and contain plants like queen of the prairie and golden alexanders.

In other action, the NRC

— Designated a standard formula to set annual Free Fishing Days for future years. Dates will be the third Saturday in April, which is the week before the stream trout season opens; the third Saturday in May, which is also Kids to Parks Day and Armed Forces Day; and the first weekend in June, which is National Free Fishing Weekend. The dates also correspond with the DNR’s Go FishIN Family Learn to Fish Workshops each year.

— Repealed a non-rule policy document for setting dates for the Free Youth Hunting Days to conform to what has been current practice since 2014. That year, the DNR started publishing the dates, once approved by the DNR director, in its annual Hunting & Trapping Guide and on the DNR website rather than posting them in the Indiana Register.

— Recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approve proposed rates increases for 2018 for using facilities at Hoosier Hills Marina on Patoka Lake.

— Adopted an amendment to 312 IAC 8-2-8(i) to prohibit knowingly operating over DNR property an unmanned motor-driven airborne device, such as a drone, that is launched from an adjacent property, except at a site designated for that purpose or pursuant to a license. The Division of State Parks is developing such a license.

— Preliminarily adopted amendments to 312 IAC 6.2, which governs management of groundwater and surface water within the Great Lakes Basin in Indiana. The amendments are a response to a petition from Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes. The amendments define the following terms: baseline volume abandonment, discontinued significant water withdrawal facility, and inactive significant water withdrawal facility, and update the list of salmonid streams.

— Readopted 312 IAC 11, which provides standards for regulating construction along and within public freshwater lakes; 312 IAC 11.5, governing surface-water emergencies on lakes; 312 IAC 12, providing standards for regulating water-well drilling and groundwater; and 312 IAC 13, governing water-well drillers and water-well pump installers.

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the Indiana DNR. More details on these actions are available at nrc.IN.gov/2350.htm under “July Agenda.”

NRC members include the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Environmental Management, Tourism Development, and Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan basis, the chair of the NRC’s advisory council, and the president of the Indiana Academy of Science. The Academy of Science president and the agency heads, other than the DNR director, may appoint proxies to serve the commission in their absences.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: (317) 233-3853
Email: MBenson@dnr.in.gov
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State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
Announcements
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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