These magnificent trees are not a crop. They are home to a myriad of plant and animal life. Trees give us shade. They block noise pollution. Trees clean our soil and provide life-giving oxygen. They provide us inspiration, beauty and the rejuvenation of our spirits.
In March, the Spencer Evening World (the newspaper of record in Owen County) published a front page article in which the Owen-Putnam State Forest property manager was quoted extensively… Two frequent users of the forest (both IFA members) wrote letters to the editor in response, the first of them published April 29, the other awaiting publication.
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.
Senate Bill 420 would set aside a small portion, 10%, of Indiana’s state forestland to be off limits to logging. Here’s an inside look as to how public forests are being managed outside of Indiana.
We had a list of compartments and tracts that were protected from logging so we knew exactly where they were. But then DNR changed their minds. They no longer recognize those Old Forest areas and some of those tracts have now been logged.
Old-growth forests provided habitat that support rare biological diversity and unique assemblages of animals, plants, and fungi that are found nowhere else but in old-growth 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.
In the time that we have been identifying the specimens collected, it has become very clear that we have very limited knowledge of how many species exist in our Indiana forests. Efforts of the IFA, with help of scientists from many different institutions, have led to one conclusion: without preserving large tracts of old-growth forests, we could lose hundreds of thousands of species that rely on these forest habitats for survival.
One of the places I was privileged to have this kind of forest experience was in Ferdinand State Forest, which is a reasonable distance from where I live. Sharing this with my child and now grandchildren has been especially precious to me. Please help insure this opportunity is available to their children.
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.