This key bill is under consideration now in the U.S. House of Representatives, and it is a full-frontal assault on your national forests, including our own Hoosier National Forest.
IFA has reviewed the “Preliminary DP Plan 2016-ZON-020” for the proposed agreement negotiated between Keystone Realty Group and supporters of this development and compared this plan to the plan currently authorized in this 2006 zoning document, commonly known as the “Kite Development.”
This relatively undisturbed forest in the Back Country Area (BCA) of Morgan-Monroe State Forest has great species complexity and high species richness in the absence of intense forest management. One tract of Yellowwood has been logged, but other parts of the BCA remain intact for now, and IFA will continue the Ecoblitz in these unlogged areas.
A forest healthy enough to sustain Box Turtles will also be home to a diverse community. That forest will support such a variety of animals, plants and microbes with such complex interactions that the old phrase web of life only begins to describe them.
A mutually-acceptable development is possible on the Haverstick tract. It could be an exemplar of green infrastructure paired with appropriately-scaled building, as we seek to create a more sustainable, resilient City per its 2020 Bicentennial Vision.
The decision to call down this case is the single greatest threat to respecting the wishes of the surrounding Driftwood Hills neighborhood, of 300 plus homes, and would undermine the whole process of zoning denial through the MDC.
So why, in an unprecedented move, is Indianapolis City-County Councillor Colleen Fanning attempting to reverse the decision of the city’s governing land use body and have the woods bulldozed for yet another needless development?
Truth is, we don’t always know what we don’t know even if we are well-trained and well-intentioned scientists or foresters. The Division made its recommendations based on what they knew at the time. Unfortunately for our forests, we are continuing to pay the price for these good intentions.
Using single-tree selection now, and 20 years from now, and another 20 years from now, meaning the forest — which could have be considered an old-growth forest roughly 30 years from now — will never get the chance to become old.
“The debate about our state forests is about politics,” said IFA Executive Director Jeff Stant in a statement to the media. It’s about quality of life in Indiana, the conservation of our heritage, and public input in a democracy. We must insist that some of our state forests remain forever wild, for our emotional well-being and the survival of many declining forest-dependent species.