We Utilize Science
IFA applies research and science to inform forest management decisions. For instance, IFA’s Ecoblitz is the first-ever multi-year species inventory providing a comprehensive picture of the life that exists within four sites in Indiana’s state and national forests. Ecoblitz scientists document biodiversity within the century-old stands that are returning to these public forests. Scientists from 13 Indiana colleges and universities completed IFA’s Ecoblitz in the Yellowwood/Morgan-Monroe Back Country Area and are launching inventories at a second site in the Hoosier National Forest. Additionally, IFA has partnered with stream biologists at the Ecosystems Connections Institute to conduct water quality monitoring that examines the effects of logging on declining populations of the state-endangered Eastern hellbender, the largest salamander in North America.
We Advocate to Decision-Makers
IFA leverages bipartisan support to advocate in the Indiana General Assembly for legislation that preserves more state forest land from logging. IFA has invested three years on an economic analysis of Indiana’s logging program titled “Concealed Costs, Hidden Values.” The study examines the revenues from state forests being logged at unprecedented rates, their timber being sold at below-market prices, and less destructive alternatives that will generate more revenues. IFA is also working to moderate plans for increased logging in Hoosier National Forest within the watershed of Lake Monroe, southern Indiana’s largest water supply.
We Protect Forests
IFA works for the protection of forests, including urban forests which are crucial to a city’s quality of life. For instance, in 2017, IFA spearheaded an initiative that kept a rare stand of old-growth woods within Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery from being razed. Through its Forests for Indy program, IFA works with neighborhood organizations to protect forests throughout Indiana’s capital city to create a model for urban forest conservation efforts across the state. IFA also seeks creative ways to protect at-risk forests across the state, from Francis Slocum State Forest in northern Indiana to Yellowwood State Forest in southern Indiana, and many more.