Indiana is a state in the United States of America with an estimated population of 6,666,818 people living here as of 2016. Indianapolis is the capital of this state and it hosts the state legislature, Supreme Court, and the governor’s office and residence. Bordering Kentucky to the south, Ohio to the east, Michigan to the north, and Illinois to the west, the state is also home to the important national natural landmarks in the country. Conservation of these sites is prioritized by federal and state government agencies and also private organizations to maintain their uniqueness and attractiveness.
Natural Landmarks of Indiana
The forest consists of old wood trees in a vast 48 acre land in Central Indiana. In 1973, it was declared national natural landmark. It is home to several large species of trees. The woods are named after the Meltzer Family that were the previous owners of the property since 1857 when John Frederick Meltzer bought the land. The necessity of conserving the trees is the threat posed by the invasive species of purple winter creeper and garlic mustard which destroys the trees.
It holds the record of being the largest spring in the state of Indiana and it is found in Harrison County. The name is derived from the then US President William Henry Harrison who owned the spring. Harrison used the spring to obtain water to run his mills located downstream. The government in 1980 made the spring a national natural landmark. Unlike other sites, this one is not open to the public and trespassing can lead to prosecution and possible imprisonment.
The cave is named after the place it was discovered in, that is Marengo County, Indiana. Since it was discovered in 1883 by two school children, is a popular stop for school tours and to the general public. Film crews have also filmed at the site on several occasions. The caves were declared a National Natural Landmark in 1984 and it is conserved through private-public partnership since the cave is privately owned.
Dunes State Park
The state owned park covers an area of 1,530 acres and it includes some hiking trails and the dune landscape that covers almost the entire eastern part of the park. The state government declared it a National Natural Landmark in 1974 and it is subject to conservation efforts by the state government. The park is open to the public but entrance fees are charged for prospective visitors. The monies collected in gate charges help to fund the conservation of the park and maintenance of the facilities in the park like the picnic shelters, the beach house, and the camping site.
Importance of the Natural Landmarks
Conservation of the national natural landmark is an important practice especially if taxpayers’ money is used. In this case, it should be used on landmarks that are open to the public and not on privately owned sites. It should also consider sites that are likely to cash in on tourists as opposed to those that are rarely visited in the state of Indiana.