Have you attended a house party, but now need addresses for your legislators, a form letter, and a little motivation? You’ve come to the right page.
We will rotate the information available on this page based upon the part of the state we have most recently travelled to. Information for your representative will stay put here, so you can always come back to check while you write letters or for reference for your friends and family.
UNIONVILLE, October 19th, 2015
Thanks to all of you who attended this meeting! We had a mob of articulate Hoosiers well-fed and ready to caravan to the Statehouse. Thank you to Dave Seastrum and Charlie Cole for agreeing to speak and share your collective wealth of knowledge on the forest issue.
We said that evening we would be adding contact information for representatives on the site; here you go! Please contact either Jason or Sara for any further documents that would aid in your letter writing. There were several good ideas from the evening (Cathy Rountree) that we will be following up on in the coming weeks. It is Sara’s goal to reach everyone who attended for a follow up chat….so get ready, and feel free to provide your candid feedback.
( R ) Rep. Peggy Mayfield, Distrcit 60
1825 Red Fox Ct
W Martinsville, In 46151
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9816, Home (765) 342-3326
( R ) Sen. Rodric D. Bray
210 E Morgan St
Martinsville, IN 46151
Phone: Statehouse (317) 234-9426, House (765) 342-2285
( R ) Sen. Brent Steele, District 44
714 Leatherwood Rd.
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9814
( R ) Rep. Eric Koch, District 65
P O Box 372
Bedford, IN 47421-0372
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9674
Additional Regional Contacts:
R ) Rep. Matt Ubelhor, District 62
2245 W 150 S
Bloomfield, IN 47424
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9863, Home (812) 384-4681
( D ) Sen. Mark Stoops, District 40
4425 North Old State Road 37
Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9847
*thank him for supporting the Wild Areas Amendment
( D ) Rep. Matt Pierce, District 61
200 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2728
Phone: Statehouse (317) 232-9794
* thank him for supporting the Wild Areas Amendment
Sara’s Form Letter*
*please emphasize the points that are most relevant to you; I choose to write specifically as a landowner, and emphasized my personal concerns. Your concerns may be very different, so I encourage you to use this as a template only.
October 19th, 2015
1904 W. Allen St.
Bloomington, IN 47403
Senator Mark Stoops
4425 North Old State Road 37
Bloomington, IN 47408
Dear Senator Stoops,
I am a life-long resident of Indiana, and a landowner in Harrison County, with a border to the Harrison Crawford State Forest and the magnificent Blue River running between the two properties. My family is fortunate that this land has been in our family for many years, and we treat it with deep respect; we cannot ignore the assault on public forests, as public forests fate impacts that of our own land.
I am writing specifically to express my frustrations over the recent Strategic Plan set forward by the Division of Forestry, for 2015-2019. As it is currently, the state forest management program has had severe impacts on public recreational activities, such as hiking, backpacking, hunting, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, and backcountry camping. The DOF’s Strategic Plan would see further cuts on state forests, as well as the selling off of “non-essential” tracts of forestland and a proposed user fee in order to build shooting ranges and expanded facilities. The changes revealed in this plan to do not reflect the vision of state forests as multiple-use facilities, which would could support primitive recreation, biodiversity of habitat, and finally timber harvesting. I am writing to ask for your support in the Legislative Session to address a truly multiple use strategy as opposed to managing our state forests for the timber industry.
In past years, the DOF has solicited Hoosier opinions in advance of setting forth its Plan; this has included a 30-day public-comment period as well as public hearings. These opportunities were neglected before the unveiling of the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan. It is imperative that the public opinion process be expanded to provide clearly defined parameters of how public comment will be accepted and in turn, appropriately responded to by the Division of Forestry.
Perhaps more troubling than the lack of an adequate comment period is the continuation of even-aged cuts (clear cuts) and the targeted number of 14 million board feet of timber to be harvested. If the cutting continues at this rate, we will have effectively removed our forests from the landscape within twelve years. At this rate of harvest, the increased edge from gaps in the forests as well as the massive effects of installation of new logging roads with damage to existing roads will destroy what remains of deep forested habitats. Numerous scientists that have partnered with the Indiana Forest Alliance have demonstrated through their work in the field that interior forest habitats are necessary for the survival of many species. Additionally, research indicates that deep-forested areas with older trees are crucial for the sequestration of carbon. It would be in our state’s best interest to protect all areas that have been documented to remove carbon from our atmosphere, as the reality of climate change is undeniable, scientifically or politically.
Within the Legislative Session, it is crucial that our representatives take the protection of our state forestlands seriously; this can be done through supporting the Wild Areas Amendment, or any legislation that will set aside land from commercial logging. Within any business venture, it is crucial to have a prudent assessment of the resources available to you, as to use them sensibly. I ask for a sensible approach by the Division of Forestry to employ balanced management of our state forests by reducing commercial logging throughout the entire state forest system to pre-2004 levels. In the Legislative Session, please demand that the Division of Forestry be required to set aside suitable portions of our state forests for primitive recreation, scientific inquiry, and its inherent ecological value. Landowners have been told to trust the Division of Forestry with the practical application of silvicultural methods; trust that the Division of Forestry and Hoosier lawmakers will continue to hear from the people of Indiana on this public health and quality of life issue.