By Kathy Klawitter
Hello. I’m Kathy Klawitter from Orange County. I’ve recently retired after working for 40 years for the Northeast Dubois County School Corporation as a teacher and a Central Office employee. Thank you for this opportunity to express my views on Senate Bill 420.
I grew up in Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi. Moving to Southern Indiana and attending Indiana University then moving further South to my current homestead, I missed the big river but was taken by the wooded hills and hollers which distinguish Southern Indiana. I spent time wandering the woods and appreciate and enjoy particularly the unique beauty and subtle natural diversity only available in the forest ecology manifested in vanishing and scarce older growth forest lands.
One of the places I was privileged to have this kind of forest experience was in Ferdinand State Forest, which is a reasonable distance from where I live. Sharing this with my child and now grandchildren have been especially precious to me. Please help ensure this opportunity is available to their children. We can’t insure such forestland will be available privately. Once the trees are cut, a generation or more will pass before the forest can regrow into old or older growth forest land. As eco-tourism continues to grow, this disappearing forest resource will draw people to the area. It would be particularly unfortunate to eliminate it just as it comes into its own.
The kinds of organisms that live in older contiguous blocks of forest are different from forest edge species. Multiple-use of public land should include a provision for preserving older contiguous blocks of forest interior for us to continue to explore and save for our children and grandchildren. Once it’s gone it will be gone for them. The conservative thing to do is to keep some of it for us and for them.
Thank you for your consideration.
Kathy Klawitter submitted the preceding testimony to the Indiana Senate Natural Resources Committee during the hearing on Senate Bill 420 on Monday, February 13, 2017. Klawitter was active in the fight to revise the Management Plan that restricted logging by 50% in the Hoosier National Forest.
Please contact your state senator and request they support Senate Bill 420.