By Jeff Stant, IFA Executive Director
Updated March 22, 2019
Virtually every week, the Indiana Forest Alliance hears from concerned Hoosiers about proposed logging in their favorite areas of Indiana’s state forests. Added to this are rampant cutting of private forests, and even County-owned forests like the famed Bean Blossom overlook in Brown County enjoyed by generations of Hoosiers. The overlook was “accidentally” clear cut by a timber buyer who was given the green light by Brown County officials with little instruction to limit logging on the site. (See the news coverage of the cut.) On the heels of this cut, the time is now to take action.
Please Ask Your State Representative To Support Amendments to Protect Indiana’s State Forests!
On Monday March 25, two amendments attached to SB 363 are being considered on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives. These amendments would:
- Set-aside 10 percent of each state forest where no logging would be allowed in tracts of at least 500 acres where possible; and
- Establish a commission consisting of 10 members (nine of them with voting powers) representing the general public, Democrats and Republicans, preservation groups, recreation groups, foresters, loggers, the timber industry, and the IDNR. This Commission will hold at least seven public hearings to solicit public input and develop a plan by 2021 to balance the allocation of state forest acres between logging and non-logging uses as specified in SB 610. The plan would have to be adopted into regulation by the IDNR.
The Indiana Forest Alliance strongly supports both of these amendments. The set-aside amendment would require a minimum amount of state forest land, 16,000 acres or 10%, to be set aside. More than three times the 3% now set aside, these blocks would be large enough to provide viable habitat for forest animals and wilderness recreation.
The commission amendment would finally give the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on how our state forests, which belong to all of us, should be managed. AND it would require that this management balance logging with non-logging uses. These will be requirements IN LAW, instead of merely guidelines.
Find your legislator name and contact information.
Tell them you want them to support amendments to:
- Create a 10% set-aside in Indiana’s state forests where no logging would be allowed; and
- Establish an independent commission to solicit public input on a plan to balance the uses of our state forests to serve the needs of Hoosiers best.
Also, tell your representatives why Indiana’s state forests are so important to you—personalize your message.
Year after year, legislators make decisions in favor of the timber industry without hearing the pleas of Hoosiers who continue to be concerned about the destruction of our limited public forests. Would you tell your representative what is happening to Indiana’s precious few wild places that you care about?
Please ask your State Representative to support these amendments.