The Natural Resources Commission recently approved creation of Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest Nature Preserve in Greene County.

The new nature preserve protects 68 acres that contain 1.6 miles of moderate trails, as well as upland forests, scenic ravines with large sandstone outcrops, intermittent creeks, and several waterfalls.

In action regarding the Division of Fish & Wildlife, the NRC approved the DNR’s response to a citizen petition to allow the 28-gauge and .410 shotguns for hunting wild turkeys, as well as No. 9 tungsten super shot. The DNR will now move forward with creating rule language that will be brought to the NRC at a future date for consideration for preliminary adoption.

The NRC approved a request from another citizen petition to amend the rule governing muzzleloaders that can be used for deer hunting by removing the sentence that limits the definition of a muzzleloading gun to one capable of being loaded only from the muzzle, including the powder and the bullet. The DNR will now move forward with creating rule language that will be brought to the NRC at a future date for consideration for preliminary adoption.

Also regarding hunting with muzzleloaders, the NRC did not approve a citizen petition request to add a primitive muzzleloader deer hunting season.

In other action, the NRC:

Approved two nonrule policy documents that respectively refine in-lieu fee mitigation and amend habitat mitigation guidelines, as recommended by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Granted preliminary adoption to restrictions on boat operations on Lake Manitou in Fulton County and the establishment of a special boating zone on Simonton Lake in Elkhart County, as recommended by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Granted preliminary adoption to amendments to boating restrictions on Prairie Creek Reservoir, as recommended by the DNR Division of Law Enforcement.

Regarding the Division of Hearings, readopted rules governing standards and operating procedures for the commission, public hearings, the management of ground water and surface water within the Great Lakes in Indiana, the withdrawal or release of water supply storage from reservoirs, and cemetery preservation.

Granting preliminary adoption starts a long and deliberative process, including a public comment period that includes the ability to participate in public hearings conducted by the NRC’s Division of Hearings.

The NRC also approved July 21, Sept. 15 and Nov. 17 as the dates for the rest of the meetings this year. All meetings are tentatively set for The Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

More details on all actions taken by the NRC and supporting documents can be found at nrc.IN.gov/2354.htm.

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR and the NRC Division of Hearings.

NRC members include the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Office of Tourism Development, and the Indiana Department of 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.

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