One Woman’s Words: Questioning Logging at Hardy Lake

By: Karen S. Smith, IFA Member

Why is Hardy Lake State Recreation Area on the logging list? ?IDNR thinks timber revenue is the best way to pay for a nature center. We find it ironic and inappropriate for the IDNR to destroy the best interior forest habitat at Hardy Lake for this reason.

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Trees marked to be cut in Hardy Lake?SRA. Photo by Crowe’s Eye Photography.

Bloomington resident Karen S. Smith?decided to speak out when she saw a cherished place being mismanaged. ?Read what she wrote to Governor Mike Pence when she heard about logging at Hardy Lake.

Dear Governor Pence,

I am writing to express my dismay regarding the timber sale and private harvest planned for Hardy Lake State Recreation Area in deep, interior forest. ?It is especially troubling that no Draft Resource Management Guide has been posted for public review and comment. ?The logging of an estimated 364,107 Doyle Board Feet (DBF) will entail the closing or rerouting of approximately three miles of the Outward Bound and Cemetery hiking trails. ?Logging so close to Hardy Lake could also have a negative impact on watershed quality, something which should be discussed in a DRMG and made available for public review.

Already this year, I’ve submitted comments regarding logging proposals for 29 tracts in Morgan-Monroe, Yellowwood, Putnam, Harrison-Crawford, and Pike State Forests. ?Now, with this logging plan for Hardy Lake, there is not even a management guide to comment on.

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Karen S. Smith during a February hike in Spurgeon Lake Area.

It is very inappropriate for logging to take place in state parks and reservoir areas. While the logging in question is connected to a Bicentennial project, it is also not right for monies to be raised for this project by logging interior forest in Hardy Lake State Park. ?Reportedly, this logging is intended to increase quail habitat for the benefit of hunters; however, the area already has an abundance of early successional habitat.

It is simply not acceptable or sustainable for our state government to continue its policy of dramatically increased levels of logging on public lands to provide funding for the DNR. ?Undermining the integrity and diversity of our state forest lands is surely not in keeping with the mission and responsibilities of the Department of Natural Resources.

I know there are thousands of people throughout Indiana who feel as I do about the need to preserve our public forest lands. ?Please put an end to this policy of destruction.

Respectfully,

Karen S. Smith

Read more from Hardy Lake State Reservoir’s Limited Deep Forest to be Logged, an article published in the most recent issue of the Forest Defender, IFA’s quarterly, printed newsletter.