Save Yellowwood State Forest

The Efforts to Protect Yellowwood State Forest Continue

Where We Are Now

Even though the state logged 300 acres of the 2,700-acre forest in January 2018 despite intense opposition, a new effort has emerged to protect the remaining forest. Recently, IFA’s Executive Director Jeff Stant and Conservation Director Rae Schnapp, as well as Indiana scientists Leslie Bishop, Save Yellowwood State Forest protest.Paul Rothrock, and John Whitaker submitted a proposal calling for the protection of the Back Country Area (BCA) of Morgan Monroe/Yellowwood State Forests as a High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).

In late 2018, Governor Eric Holcomb met with IFA and committed to considering our proposal. In a letter submitted with the proposal, IFA reminded the governor that old-growth forests in Indiana are under-represented and that the Forest Stewardship Council recommends that more of Indiana’s State Forests be managed to restore secondary old-growth conditions. The proposal is well-supported by research conducted as part of the IFA’s Ecoblitz taxonomic survey.

The IFA also released a press statement regarding the HCVF.

How Can IFA Members Help?

  • Write to Governor Holcomb and ask him to support the HCVF proposal. Contact him at www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm or 317.232.4567.
  • Write letters to the editor.

History of Yellowwood Effort

In November 2017, the State of Indiana sold off 299 acres of our public forests in the Yellowwood BCA. When the Division of Forestry sold off the forest to commercial logging companies, 225 people showed up to protest.

This forest is at the center of Indiana Forest Alliance’s multi-year survey of flora and fauna known as the Ecoblitz. Home to many threatened, rare, and endangered species, campers, hikers, backpackers, and hunters regularly frequent the Yellowwood BCA. This forest is part of our natural heritage, contains at least 50 trees more than 100 years old, and deserved to be protected.

Two hundred forty scientists from universities across Indiana signed a letter encouraging Governor Holcomb to set aside portions of our state forests from logging!  And the Governor received 5,070 comments in opposition to the logging before it happened.

The state’s largest newspaper endorsed pausing this logging plan. Read the Indianapolis Star editorial. Yet, the timber harvest happened in January 2018. A legislator visited in April 2018 to see the devastating outcome of the cut.

View a 15-minute documentary film called “Saving Yellowwood” made by John & Hannah Boggs. And here’s another video worth watching.

Resources

Get involved! Take action!

Indiana’s forests need you! Be part of an active, engaged network of forest advocates from all over Indiana. What can you do? Join IFA! Volunteer! Or write to or call officials on behalf of Indiana’s forests.

Contact IFA’s outreach team for more information.