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Natural Resources Commission Approves Two New Nature Preserves

Last updated on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

(UNDATED) - The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday gave its final approval for two new nature preserves, preliminarily adopted an administrative rule and gave final approval on readoption of a number of other rules that were set to expire.

The two new nature preserves are the Blossom Hollow Nature Preserve in Johnson County and the J.D. Marshall Nature Preserve in Porter County, which is the first Indiana nature preserve of its kind. It is a 100-acre shipwreck area located in Lake Michigan, 600 feet offshore of Indiana Dunes State Park. The ship sank on June 11, 1911.

The rule preliminarily adopted, 312 IAC 26-6, identifies "white-tailed deer lawfully taken in Indiana" as the species qualified for grants under the Sportsman's Benevolence Fund, which will be administered by the DNR Division of Law Enforcement.

All rules that are preliminarily adopted are subject to review and approval by the Attorney General and Governor, a process that can take as long as 75 days, after which they are published in the Indiana Register. Rules become effective 30 days after publication, unless a later effective date is specified in the rule.

The NRC also set Free Fishing dates for 2014 and 2015. The 2014 dates, which Indiana residents will be able to fish without a license, are April 19, May 17 and June 7-8.

In other business Tuesday, the NRC:

-- Amended definitions in 312 IAC 11-2 to standardize DNR rules for the classifications of shorelines on public freshwater lakes with those of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

-- Added 272 acres to the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve, increasing its size to 576 acres.

-- Amended 312 IAC 5-6-9 regarding an ecozone on Lake James to remove the Jan. 1, 2014 expiration date and reduce its size.

-- Took final action to readopt the following: 312 IAC 25 governing surface coal mining and reclamation; 312 IAC 1, which provides definitions with broad application to the Historic Preservation Review Board; 312 IAC 4 governing DNR law enforcement; 312 IAC 10.5 governing dam regulations; 312 IAC 20, which governs the Historic Preservation Review Board; 312 IAC 21, which governs Archaeological Review and Recovery; and 312 IAC 22, which governs Human Remains, Burial Objects, and Artifacts.

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