By Jack Spaulding
---- — The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 21, gave final approval to allow the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in a defined area of Indiana Dunes State Park and gave final adoption to a number of rule changes regarding fish and wildlife permits and DNR property rules.
The change for Indiana Dunes State Park specifically authorizes possession and consumption of alcohol on the licensed premise of the Pavilion at the state park. In a related measure at its May 2012 meeting, the NRC had authorized the DNR to enter negotiations with a potential concessionaire for a restaurant, snack bar and service area in the Pavilion. Alcohol will continue to be prohibited elsewhere at Indiana Dunes State Park.
Final adoption of rule changes governing fish and wildlife include changes governing the Nuisance Wild Animal Control Permit, Falconry License, Shooting Preserve License and Wild Animal Possession Permit.
The NRC preliminarily adopted rule changes related to hiring and other personnel changes within the DNR Division of Law Enforcement.
The second DNR Law Enforcement rule change preliminarily adopted establishes boating restrictions on designated swimming portions of Lake Michigan. The changes address improvements to facilities in East Chicago, adjacent to the Jeorse Park Beach Swimming Area; and in Gary, adjacent to the Marquette Park Beach Swimming Area.
All rules preliminarily adopted are now open for public comment and will have a public hearing scheduled at a later date. The NRC must give the proposed changes final adoption after the public comment period ends. The rule changes given final adoption must be approved by the attorney general and governor, a process which may take as long as 75 days, after which they are published in the Indiana Register. The changes will be come effective 30 days after publication.
In other actions at the meeting, the NRC:
—dedicated two new nature preserves, Munsee Woods in Delaware County and Trevlac Bluffs in Brown County.
—approved amendments to the non-rule policy listing Indiana’s animals, insects and plants extirpated, endangered, threatened or rare.
—gave final adoption to several DNR property rules, including allowing the release of a pet or service animal from its leash in areas authorized by the DNR (such as the new dog park at Fort Harrison State Park), and clarifying if a person using a trail on a DNR property may leave the trail if participating in an activity authorized by a DNR license.
—approved process to update NRC records-retention schedules.
More details on the items listed may be viewed on the meeting agenda at IN.gov/nrc/2354.htm.
Owl Prowl Opportunity
Whoooo doesn’t love hearing owls’ calls break the silence of night? Join the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services’ staff for an owling adventure on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Salamonie Interpretive Center. The evening will kick off with hot dogs at 4 p.m. and at 5 p.m., participants will meet live owls at the Salamonie Raptor Center. As darkness descends, participants will take to the woods to listen for owls calling.
Participants should dress for the weather. Organizers are asking participants not to bring flashlights. The cost is $3 per person. Advance registration is required by calling (260) 468-2127.
The Upper Wabash Interpretive Services (dnr.IN.gov/uwis) is at 3691 S. New Holland Road, Andrews, 46702.
Hunter Safety Class
The West Side Sportsman’s Club will offer the Indiana Hunter Safety Course to the public. There is no charge for the course. The course is a minimum 10 hours which covers topics dealing with hunter responsibility, firearms safety, water safety, tree stand safety issues, ATV laws, archery and muzzleloader hunting, handguns, and wildlife management.
The dates for the course will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 9. Attendance each day is required for certification. The course will meet the requirements for hunters born after Dec.31, 1986 who need a certification before they can purchase a hunting license.
The course will be held at the West Side Sportsman’s Club which is at 1000 N Peerless Rd Evansville, IN 47712. A map will be displayed when you click on the link to sign up for the class.
Please bring writing utensils. Pre-registration is required with a limit of 35 student for the class, and refreshments will be served.
To register, participants need to go to the web page http://inhea.com/PassItOnIndiana/
Click on Classic Course, type in your zip code, and classes within 75 miles will be displayed. Scroll down to the West Side Sportsman’s Club; click on “Register Now” to register for the class.
‘till next time,
Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by e-mail at email@example.com or by writing to him in care of this publication.