The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday approved the 270th state-dedicated nature preserve and a significant addition to an existing preserve.
The new sites are the Wapi-nipi Nature Preserve in Wayne County and the Moraine Addition Nature Preserve in Porter County.
Wapi-nipi is a 114-acre property approximately 5 miles southwest of Richmond and within the Bicentennial Conservation Area announced by Gov. Mike Pence in 2014.
It consists of a tall, west-facing bluff overlooking Whitewater River with the uplands dominated by high quality mixed deciduous forest. The tract is owned and managed by Whitewater Valley Land Trust and was purchased with funding assistance from the Indiana Heritage Trust, and the Bicentennial Nature Trust.
Wapi-nipi is the Miami Indians word for Whitewater.
The Moraine site is 406 acres addition to the existing Moraine Nature Preserve, a 474-acre property owned by the DNR Division of Nature Preserves. The addition protects an area of rolling ridges, steep hills, muck pockets, pot holes, shallow ponds, fens and a tributary of Coffee Creek. It includes a combination of natural communities, including a mature beech-maple forest and a rare sedge meadow.
In other actions, the Commission:
- Preliminarily adopted a rule amendment governing use of motorized carts on DNR property. The amendment responds to a citizen petition and would allow a person with a mobility disability to use a motorized cart in a DNR campground. The proposal conforms to Americans With Disabilities Act standards and is subject to a public comment period before returning to the Commission for final approval.
- Approved new admission fees for the museum at Falls of the Ohio State Park, setting the adult price to $9, and child or school group student admission to $7. Children under 5 are still admitted free. The new fees are comparable to other local and regional attractions. Falls of the Ohio is the only DNR state park without a gate entrance fee. The new fees take effect Jan. 1.
- Readopted a rule (Indiana Administrative Code 312 IAC 6) for navigable waterways that governs activity relative to a license, activity where a license is required, and other statutes administered by the DNR.
Adopted a report to Morgan Circuit Court regarding a petition to establish the Upper Wildwood Shores Conservancy District.