We were saddened to learn that logging may be harvesting many of the mature trees in Indiana’s State Forests. This is especially true of Salamonie River State Forest.
As a forester, ecologist, and former legislator in Wisconsin, I’ve tried to offer another perspective on Indiana forest issues. We expect our public forests to produce a variety of benefits for citizens, and forest managers must play a critical role in satisfying multiple uses while keeping forests healthy and resilient. As the impacts of climate change and invasive species increasingly affect our forests, that work becomes even more important and more challenging.
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.
That is what our Governor is doing. Gambling with your and your grandchildren’s future: our natural heritage and the species that depend upon us.
The 228 scientists are urging Gov. Holcomb to set aside areas from timber harvest and reduce the rate of logging in state forests.
We disagree heartily with many assertions in the letter. Below, IFA Executive Director Jeff Stant addresses every point in this six-page rebuttal. Here’s Seifert’s letter, with highlights of Stant’s rebuttal inserted in blue.
Habitat loss, deforestation, and pollution have already greatly impacted many lichen species in the United States, such that it is now more important than ever to understand where individual species occur and how rare they are.
Just as the inscriptions on the grave markers are a reminder of, and tribute to, our forbearers, the woods are a legacy of the past, linking generations. Woods of this size and quality are not found in many places in central Indiana.
Stewardship requires emotional commitment, requires that we love what we steward. Increasingly we exercise control over the material world, without knowing what we are controlling, accelerating the exploitation of nature, thereby decreasing true stewardship.