The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has given approval for two nature preserves in Owen County. The locations bring the total number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act to 279.

The NRC approved nature preserve status for Section Nine Seep Springs, which covers more than 46 acres in the Shawnee Hills Natural Region. The DNR says the preserve contains a combination of seep spring, mesic-upland forest and stream-natural community types. It is also home to tree clubmoss, which is rare in Indiana.

Pleasant Grove, also located in the Shawnee Hills Natural Region, received nature preserve status as well. The DNR says the nearly 58-acre preserve's seep springs are the largest known in Owen-Putnam State Forest. The seep springs, combined with mesic upland forest, sandstone cliff and stream-natural community tapes "make the area a place of natural significance," according to the DNR.

Both nature preserves are owned and operated by the DNR Division of Forestry. They join three others approved by the NRC in January.