The Natural Resources Commission (NRC), during its regularly scheduled bi-monthly meeting on Jan. 21 at Fort Harrison State Park, approved the creation of a new nature preserve, Patoka Hills Nature Preserve, in Crawford County.

The action increases to 290 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act.

The new 26.79-acre nature preserve contains one of Indiana’s finest paleontological sites and consists of predominantly upland forest with smaller early successional areas and tree plantings. It features dramatic limestone outcrops and a small but highly significant cave.

Since 1987, the Indiana State Museum has been excavating the cave. As a result, scientists have gained information about Indiana’s past climate, plants, and animals during the latter part of the ice age. In addition, many noteworthy animal and plant species are found in Patoka Hills—a cave-adapted springtail insect and a cave millipede, both of which lack eyes and pigmentation and are rare worldwide. Noteworthy plant species at Patoka Hills include two state endangered plants. The preserve is owned and managed by the Division of State Parks.


Thursday, January 23rd 2020, 12:53 PM EST

By Reed Parker, Writer/Reporter Inside INdiana Business