Of the 24% of the watershed that is state forest (Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood), logging projects are completed, planned, or ongoing in both.
Today, workers and their employers see opportunities for the reflection and experience offered by natural areas as a positive in site selection. Thus, reserving more of our State Forests as undisturbed Old Growth areas enhances Indiana’s desirability as a place to live and work, an obvious economic development opportunity.
According to the latest U.S. Census Data, more than two million people live within 20 miles of Indiana’s state forests and more than 14.5 million people live within 100 miles of our state forests. If the state forests were seen as desirable destinations, more outfitters, bed & breakfasts, and cafes would spring up. The 59% of Hoosiers who participate in outdoor recreation are an untapped market for our state forests.
Now when you hike the great trails like the Tecumseh or the Knobstone, ones that Indiana should be proud to show case, you will likely see them horribly scarred. I know how it effects me, but I wonder how this impacts scores out-of-state visitors and their desire to return to Indiana to hike.
It is inaccurate to think of Senate Bill 420 as an anti-timber bill. It certainly would be wrong to think of Senate Bill 420 as an anti-hunting bill.
It is a forest health bill.