Thursday February 22 11:37 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

NRC approves two new nature preserves

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Calumet Prairie Nature Preserve in Lake County is in the northeast portion of Lake County, within Lake Station. Measuring about 119 acres, it lies within the Northwestern Morainal Natural Region.

Owned and managed by the DNR Division of Nature Preserves, the site contains the largest sedge meadow and wet prairie natural community complex in Indiana, and provides habitat for associated rare plants and animals.

The approximately 519-acre Outbrook Ravine Nature Preserve, in Clark and Scott counties, encompasses a large, rugged area with a range of high-quality forest community types (mesic through dry), including the most northwestern extension of naturally occurring Virginia pine. The Knobstone Trail, Indiana’s long-distance trail, traverses the site, which is owned and managed by the DNR Division of Forestry.

The NRC also received a report from the DNR review committee regarding a petition for rule change to add standards to specifically govern cultivated ginseng seeds and plants. The committee agreed with the concept of allowing for separate rules for cultivated ginseng, but the current statute does not allow for such a separation. As a result, a change to the ginseng law will be required.

The NRC also granted final adoption for a rule to prohibit the use of an airborne human transportation device or an unmanned motor-driven airborne device (i.e., drone) on a DNR property, unless the operator has obtained a permit or is doing so in an area designated for that activity. The rule was granted preliminary adoption at the September 2016 NRC meeting.

As an informational item, the NRC was given information about the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources regarding support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that was introduced in Congress and if passed, would provide a funding source for species of greatest conservation need throughout the country.

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR. More details on these actions are available at nrc.IN.gov/2354.htm under “January Agenda.”

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 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.

To view all DNR news releases, please see www.dnr.IN.gov.