He was a leading force in the fight against logging in Yellowwood State Forest.
Publicly owned land provides a rich opportunity to create large contiguous sections of undisturbed forest that can be allowed to mature into true old growth conditions that will act as a repository for the plants and animals that need this environment to thrive.
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.
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.
Yesterday, Federal District Judge Jane Stinson denied our request for a preliminary injunction to stay contractors for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from clearing the Crown Hill North Woods while the merits of our lawsuit against the VA for violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are argued.
Today’s state foresters are not allowing this natural cycle to occur, and their interruptive and fruitless efforts to grow currently popular intermediate hardwoods short-circuits this forest succession in the second stage.
It is my hope that the Indiana Department of Natural Resources might come to its senses. There is no scientific reason to increase logging by such a large amount — in fact just the opposite. That leaves only profit generation as an explanation for their actions.
The damaged land seemed to be begging for our attention, as if it had called us each to that place, juxtaposing such beauty with loss.