Chesterton Tribune



Natural Resources Commission okays two new state nature preserves

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The Indiana Natural Resources Commission dedicated two new nature preserve sites on Tuesday.

The new sites: the Mark and Myrna Peterson Nature Preserve in LaGrange County and an addition to the Lubbe Woods Nature Preserve in Dearborn County.

The 35.5-acre Peterson site is adjacent to Olin Lake Nature Preserve and protects undeveloped shoreline on Oliver Lake. The 34.9-acre Lubbe Woods addition protects examples of old growth forest. Both sites provide habitat for a number of species which are state endangered or of special concern.

In other actions, the NRC did the following:

* Approved tour pricing for Little Wyandotte Cave and Big Wyandotte Cave in Harrison County. Both caves have been closed since 2009 but are scheduled to re-open for tours this summer following the completion of site renovations. The standard fee for a one-hour walking tour will be $4 for children ages 6-11 and $8 for adults (12 and older). Fees increase with longer tours.

* Amended its policy on citizen petitions for administrative rule changes by requiring petitioners to explain or justify the proposed action and by establishing a 24-month waiting period between petitions for the same rule change.

* Agreed to let expire a rule (312 IAC 6.5) that assists with the registration of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. The rule will become obsolete on Jan. 1, 2017, when sections of Indiana Code 14-16-1 expire since registration requirements are under the authority of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

In other business on Tuesday, the NRC heard a report from the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife on citizen petitions to extend the pheasant hunting season, to allow multiple turkeys to be taken in the spring wild turkey hunting season, and to open the fall firearm season for wild turkey to statewide. The NRC approved the divisionís decision not to proceed with these petitions and to include additional citizen petitions in the divisionís next biennial rule revision process, which will begin in April.

Finally, DNR State Parks and Fish & Wildlife introduced several new assistant managers to the NRC, including Mickey Rea at Indiana Dunes State Park.


Posted 3/17/2016





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