Chesterton Tribune

New DNR firewood management policy rules

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The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has approved a new policy to manage firewood use at state properties and also to set in motion a proposal to make it a permanent rule.

The two-step approach will allow the Department of Natural Resources to implement the change this year while the proposed permanent measure works its way through the normal nine- to 12-month rulemaking process which will include a public comment period, the DNR said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“The intent of both steps is to protect resources on state properties against the spread of emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, and other pests and pathogens that can be transported in firewood,” the statement said.

Effective immediately, visitors will be allowed to bring firewood to DNR properties only under certain circumstances. Bundled firewood must have a U.S. Department of Agriculture or Indiana state certification compliance stamp, be purchased from an on-site concessionaire or the DNR property, or be kiln-dried construction lumber. An exception allows visitors to bring uncertified firewood so long as the bark is removed before entering the DNR property.

In other actions, the NRC:

•Approved state nature preserve designation for two sites at Harmonie State Park in southwest Indiana. Wabash Border Nature Preserve is a 254.62-acre tract on the north side of the park, and Harmonie Hills Nature Preserve is a 334.79-acre tract in the southern portion. Both sites have high-quality forests and are home to state-endangered plant or fish species.

•Adopted a preliminary rule to allow horse tag use on designated properties to be year round rather than the current April through November time frame.

•Repealed a non-rule policy regarding disposition of permanently injured, non-releasable animals taken in by licensed wildlife rehabilitators due to previous NRC approval of administrative rule changes governing the same topic.

•Approved the appointment of Lynda Ellington as assistant property manager at Shakamak State Park.

The NRC’s next meeting is May 17 at Pokagon State Park.

 

Posted 3/17/2011