Chesterton Tribune



NRC considers extension of no boating zone off Whiting Whihala Beach from 200 to 300 feet

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At its meeting Tuesday at Fort Harrison State Park, the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) considered an amendment to 312 IAC 5-8-2 which would extend the no-boating zone in Whiting, off Whihala Beach County Park’s East Swimming Beach, from 200 feet to 300 feet.

The purpose of the amendment: to ensure the safety of participants on the “Whoa Zone” from passing watercraft.

The Whoa Zone is an in-water fitness challenge course recently added by the City of Whiting. The proposal seeks to make permanent an emergency rule signed in 2017 and renewed this year.

Endangered List

In other business, the NRC approved amendments to Information Bulletin No. 2, Roster of Indiana Animals, Insects, and Plants that are Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened, or Rare (aka “Special Concern”), as proposed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW). The amendments update the non-rule policy to reflect changes that already had been made by administrative rule as well as removing the Northern leopard frog from the special concern list and adding the plains gartersnake to the special concern list for reptiles.

DFW’s approved changes included adding the three species of bats that were added to the state’s endangered species list earlier this year, Little Brown Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, and Tri-colored Bat; adding Rufa Red Knot to the list of endangered species of birds and removing Osprey; and removing the following mussel species -- Pyramid Pigtow, Orangefoot Pimpleback, Pink Mucket, Tubercled Blossom, Longsolid and White Wartyback -- from the list of endangered species of invertebrates because all are considered to be extirpated from Indiana.


The NRC also granted preliminary adoption to amendments from the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology (DEPP) regarding aquatic invasive species.

The first amendment would add two species to the list of prohibited invasive aquatic plants (312 IAC 18-3-23): Starry Stonewort and Water Soldier. The second amendment would repeal 312 IAC 18-3-21, which governs the control of another aquatic invasive plant, Hydrilla. The purpose of that proposal is to eliminate redundancy, as Hydrilla is already listed a prohibited invasive in 312 IAC 18-3-23 (6).

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR. The NRC is a 12-member board that includes 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 DNR’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.


Posted 11/15/2018





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