Chesterton Tribune



State Natural Resources Commission okays new nature preserve in Brown County, considers rule changes

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The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) approved Lucas Hollow Nature Preserve in Brown County as a new nature preserve at its meeting on Tuesday at Fort Harrison State Park.

The move increases to 282 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act.

The new nature preserve is located in the southwest portion of Brown County, southeast of the town of Belmont, and features one of the best examples of relatively undisturbed mesic upland forest in that region of the state, characterized by Northern red oak, white ash, American beech, and sugar maple.

Petitions for Rule Changes

In other business, the NRC approved the addition of four petitions for rule changes to the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2018 biennial rule change process.

Instead of evaluating each one individually this year, the petitions would be incorporated into the rule review process that starts in 2018 with other rule changes.

The proposed changes:

* To allow crossbows that propel an arrow by means of compressed air to be used for hunting.

* To change the spring wild turkey season to start earlier in April.

* To remove the minimum size requirement for Eastern snapping turtles or exempt the size limit from snapping turtles taken on private land.

* To increase the minimum size limit of muskellunge at Bass Lake in Sullivan County from 36 inches to 44 inches, with a maximum limit of one fish per day.

Special Concern Species

The NRC also amended its “Roster of Indiana Animals, Insects, and Plants that are Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened, or Rare (also described as Special Concern) as follows: it added black bear, Northern bobwhite, American woodcock, and American eel to the list; and it removed red-shouldered hawk and five fish species, longnose sucker, Ohio River muskellunge, lake whitefish, cypress darter, and Tippecanoe darter.

2018 Meetings

In 2018 the NRC will meet on Jan. 16, March 20, May 15, July 17, Sept. 18, and Nov. 13 at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. 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.




Posted 11/15/2017




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