A state commission has approved three new Indiana nature preserves, including one within the boundaries of a state park named in honor of the late Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
The nature preserves approved by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Thursday include the 470-acre Mouth of the Blue River Nature Preserve in Harrison County's O'Bannon Woods State Park. It has deep ravines and steep bluffs that are home to endangered plants and animals.
The commission also approved the 43-acre Laura Hare Nature Preserve, a Lawrence County property owned by the Sycamore Land Trust that harbors abundant stands of eastern hemlock.
The third new preserve is the 40-acre Smith-Crisler Nature Preserve. The Henry County site is owned by the Red-tail Land Conservancy and protects an upland forest noted for its spring wildflowers.