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Indiana Natural Resources Commission

NRC > Department of Natural Resources > Native & Exotic Plants Native & Exotic Plants


Exotic plants often compete with native plants species within Indiana's natural areas. The state statutes to encourage the preservation of native plant species have distinct histories, and are located in different areas of the Indiana Code, from those to control unwanted exotic plants. Yet in many ways, the two legislative designs are inter-connected.

The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for maintaining registers and records of unique natural areas within Indiana. Essential elements of this responsibility are the recordation, preservation, and restoration of native plant communities.

Exotic plant control is pursued at different governmental levels. Much of the responsibility for controlling detrimental plants rests at the local level with the township trustee or with weed control boards that can be established by county ordinance. At the state level, the Department of Natural Resources shares the responsibility for exotic weeds that may harm nursery stock, agricultural crops, other vegetation, or bees. Another important source for information is the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

Responsibilities for the regulation of native and exotic plants are assigned by the Indiana General Assembly in statutes and implemented largely through rules. The Natural Resources Commission adopts permanent rules, and the DNR Director adopts temporary (or emergency) rules. Rules have the force and effect of law.

Permanent Rules

Several regulatory programs consider the protection of native plant species as part of their overall regulatory structures. Prominent among these are the regulatory programs discussed in the Lakes, Floodplains, and Water Management Link.

  • 312 IAC 19-1 Rule governing the sale and export of wild ginseng is administered by the DNR Division of Nature Preserves.
  • 312 IAC 8 Rules managing DNR properties. See, particularly, 312 IAC 8-2-10 for the preservation of habitat.

The Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology is the entity within the DNR that has primary responsibility for seeking the control of unwanted plant species:

  • 312 IAC 18 See, particularly, Rose multiflora and purple loosestrife regulated at 312 IAC 18-3-13.

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