Ecoblitz is an IFA program to document the flora and fauna in our publicly-owned forestland. In 2016, we’re focusing on bats. Donate now to help enable this important research.
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As a member of IFA, you support the belief that Indiana’s state forests need to be treated as treasures, not as a cash crop for state government; that the economic and societal benefits of restoring Indiana’s forest ecosystem that once comprised the heart of the largest and most diverse temperate hardwood forest on the planet far outweigh any benefit that logging can bring to the state.
You believe that the restoration of these forests are vital to conserving our biological heritage. Setting aside significant portions of our state forests will also provide an effective strategy for sequestering carbon to combat climate change.
At the same time, it will sustain a productive and growing wood products industry on private woodland.
It will aid in protecting water supplies.
And it will greatly enhance Hoosiers’ quality of life for generations to come.
As an active member of IFA you become a part of something greater than any one individual could ever hope to accomplish on his or her own. You join a fellowship focused on building the factual case and groundswell of public concern necessary to bring balance back to Indiana’s public lands management policy that went astray a dozen years ago.
How do you do this?
Share your concerns and support with policymakers. Regardless of how much it sometimes feels like you’re pushing a rock uphill.
You are not alone.
Document your experiences visiting our state forests…the good, the bad, and the ugly…and savor our victories…no matter how small they may feel at times…
IFA buried the IDNR Division of Forestry with comments to their so-called draft management plan last fall. Your contact with legislators yesterday is beginning to bear fruit today. We have half a dozen legislators who have signed on as co-authors of legislation that IFA helped draft.
IFA members in Brown, Monroe, Jackson and Lawrence counties met with Representative Erich Koch recently. He has signed on as a co-author to our HB 1155. As a member of the House leadership along with another leader–principal author–Representative Mike Braun, this is a BIG deal.
You joined others in Indianapolis last December for our Wild and Scenic Film Festival. You take advantage of our “Second Sunday Slow Saunters” , discovering and witnessing the beauty of the Wild Areas of Indiana that we are all working to protect.
Financially that is. If at all possible. In the coming days and weeks IFA will be unveiling a new video campaign that was produced by a professional film company, IFA members, staff, and supporters. It will augment the outreach and organizing efforts that are already taking place throughout the state. Unsuprisingly, we are being outspent by powerful interests in the state who prefer to maintain the status quo. But your money, coupled with your time and with your voice, we will prevail.
IFA Development Director
Legislation to protect 10% of our state forests from logging has been introduced in our State Legislature. HB 1155 is authored by Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) and coauthored by Representatives Anthony Cook (R-Cicero) and Eric Koch (R-Bedford) in the House, and SB 365 in the Senate is authored by Senator Eric Bassler (R-Washington). If you want more of wild nature conserved in our state forests, now is the time to contact your state legislators and ask them to please:
- SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION. Please also thank Reps. Braun, Cook and Koch and Senator Bassler if they are your legislators!
- REQUEST THAT THE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEES IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE GIVE HB 1155 AND SB 365 A HEARING!
Here are some facts in support of this “Old Forest” legislation:
- Protecting large areas of the state forests from logging has long been a nonpartisan goal of Republican and Democratic Administrations. As of 2002, the DNR under Republican and Democratic governors had set aside 40% of the state forests, 60,000 acres, from logging. However, the current logging program has reduced the total acres protected from logging to only 4.8% of the state forest, approximately 7,500 acres.
- Since 2005 two Divisions within the current DNR have agreed that at least 10% of the state forests should not be logged. In an Environmental Assessment for the current logging program, the Division of Forestry (DOF) itself stated that appreciable areas of the state forests should not be logged. The Division of Fish and Wildlife stated in 2005 that at least 10% of the state forests should not be logged and should be maintained in an old forest condition (>100 years old) in order to provide mature interior forest habitat for wildlife. To obtain a “green” certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, the DOF agreed in 2011 to “maintain 10 percent of the state forests in an older forest condition.” However, DOF has yet to establish these old forest areas, and instead continues to cut down 8,000 acres of state forests every year under a plan that will log 95% of the state forests within 12 more years.
- Timber sold from Indiana’s state forests is sold for a price that is on average 40% below market value. This undermines prices for private woodland owners nearby and leaves county residents paying through their taxes for damages to their county roads and bridges.
- Setting aside 10 percent of the state forests as “Old Forest” will not hurt Indiana’s timber industry. Consulting Foresters Stumpage Timber Price Reports for 2012 through 2014 show that state forests provide only 4.9 to 7.5% of the timber bought by Indiana saw mills each year.
- Recreation can generate more dollars for local communities from state forests. US Forest Service data indicates that recreation supports nearly 5 times more jobs in communities surrounding national forests than logging.
Your state legislators need to hear from you now for these bills to have a chance of being heard in Committee which must happen before the end of January. The stakes are high; the rampant increase in logging on our state forests has compelled a group of republican legislators to propose that parts of our state forests should never be logged, something that has never happened before and that is not supported by the Pence Administration and hotly opposed by the timber industry. Please raise your voice now with these legislators for the rare and endangered species of our state, the big trees, the last of the wild areas, and for the water that flows through these forests, things that we should not lose in Indiana! Don’t let this moment slip by without acting. To find YOUR legislator, check out this link: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
Because of YOU: We have a strong chance of establishing “Wild Areas” like the proposed Orchard Ridge Wild Area in this photo, by next year.
Because of YOU: The Wild Indiana Campaign has secured bipartisan sponsorship commitments for legislation to set aside tracts of State Forest from private logging in the Indiana House AND Senate during the upcoming 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
In the past year, you and your friends have buried the Indiana Division of Forestry with comments objecting to their proposed 5-year plan to increase clearcutting and continue logging on YOUR publicly owned state forests.
The Indiana Forest Alliance, Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers like yourself have worked tirelessly for years to get to where we are today.
AND WE THANK YOU!
Yes, all of this costs money. With the holidays and the end of 2015 upon us, won’t you please consider making one last tax-deductible donation to the campaign this year? Your financial investment will fund IFA efforts to build and sustain the support needed to protect nearly 37,000 acres of state forest land from logging and roadbuilding. Your investment will allow a new, short film that IFA is producing—which contrasts the destruction of Indiana’s natural heritage from forest logging with the Wild Areas that we are trying to protect—to be seen by one out of every 2 people in Indiana. And it will help to ensure that your family for generations to come will be able to enjoy the last remnants of what was once the largest temperate forest on the continent.
So if you are already an IFA member, consider upgrading your membership to the next level. If you have never donated before, there’s no time like the present to do so!
You can help right now by donating with your credit or debit card. Once you’ve made a contribution through our secure site, you can magnify your support by posting to your Facebook and Twitter letting your friends and followers know that you are an IFA supporter. Tell them how they too can protect Indiana’s forests.
Thank you for your generosity. On behalf of the IFA staff and Board of Directors we wish you Happy Holidays and a joyful 2016!
Matt Socey kicking off IFA’s Wid & Scenic Film Festival in Indianapolis December 3rd
We want to take a moment to thank everyone who came out for IFA’s Inaugural Indianapolis Event!
Thank you to all of the businesses who helped make this event happen, including:
AND MOST OF ALL OUR STAFF AND MANY, MANY VOLUNTEERS!
FROM ALL OF US HERE AT IFA, ENJOY A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON, AND WITH TAX SEASON RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION, UPGRADING YOUR IFA MEMBERSHIP, OR GIVING A NEW IFA MEMBERSHIP TO A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE AS A HOLIDAY GIFT!
At The Athenaeum for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Thursday, December 3rd…just 2 weeks away! This night out on the town will feature incredible and inspiring films about our beautiful Earth and the people who are doing what they can to protect it. We’re also going to have great drinks and food from local favs like Goose the Market, New Day Craft, Rocket 88 Doughnuts, and Mile Square Coffee Roasters. Advanced tickets can be purchased here for as little as $10. Get your tickets now…we can’t wait to see you there!