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Logging plan for Indiana forest draws opposition

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Environmentalists are pushing against a Department of Natural Resources plan to allow the logging of about 1,100 trees in largely undeveloped area of a central Indiana state forest.

The group Hoosier Forest Watch maintains that the logging work would damage the 1,500-acre back-country section of Morgan-Monroe State Forest near Bloomington.

DNR officials are scheduled to sell the rights to the timber during an auction Thursday that will include three other sales of timber spread across Morgan-Monroe and the nearby Yellowwood State Forest, The Herald-Times reported. A total of about 7,500 trees are being included in the sales.

Hoosier Forest Watch coordinator Myke Luurtsema said Morgan-Monroe's back-country provides an ecosystem that includes the federally endangered Indiana and gray bats and state-endangered hooded, cerulean and worm-eating warblers.

The area also is important because it has few roads or trails, Luurtsema said.

"The state parks are so developed and heavily populated," he said. The back-county section "provides a unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the state of Indiana."

John Seifert, director of the DNR's Division of Forestry, said surveys found the back-country area has no species that require that specific habitat such as the old-growth forest and that the agency has a long history of responsible logging on state properties.

"It always grows back if you take care of it," Seifert said.

Luurtsema said the forest alliance is asking members to make phone calls to Gov. Mike Pence's office and ask for the timber sale to be stopped.

Logging in Indiana's state forests has increased from 1.4 million board-feet in 2002, to more than 14 million board-feet in both 2011 and 2012.

Seifert said 3,000 acres are set aside as nature preserves in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood state forests and that there are thousands of acres designated for recreation as well. Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood state forests are each 25,000 acres.

The Indiana Division of Forestry gives 15 percent of revenue from its timber sales back to the counties where the trees are harvested. Indiana counties received $381,440 from last year’s timber sales. Half of that money is spent on fire control in state forests.

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  • Regaurding Logging
    If the property is managed right and logged correctly it does not disturb the forest as much as you think. For those of you against this don't buy any paper products and try building your house out of all metal see how you like that price. I notice some of you think logging pushes animals into towns that is not correct people building more housing additions and taking all the farm land push the wildlife into towns
  • granny annie
    this is obscene - leave both of these alone - they are serene -NONCOMMERCIAL- places that are wonderful to just hang out in - i got married here in 1971 - we do not need this
  • Not sad Brian
    Sorry Brian it's not sad or irresponsible, if you think you're meeting your maker in heaven in a few years. I think the word you're looking for is stupid.
  • Logging
    I lost an awesome mushroom site due to logging three years ago. Selmier State forest was logged in Jennings County. I never saw anything reporting that they were going to log the site. I was heart broken when I drove past and saw that the forest had been logged out. It amazes me that they have the right to destroy that land, when we do not have the right to so much as remove a twig.
  • It's a "crop".
    The DNR always has and always will view the forests of Indiana as a supposedly "sustainable crop. Everything they do is to raise a forest in order to cut down that forest later. It's called "forest managment" but when you ask who was managing the forests before we got here, they just get blank look on their faces. When you cut down a tree that is 200 years old you are cutting down an entire ecosystem. Those cannot be replaced. I've seen it happen and it takes decades to come back from that type of dense shade and overstory. The plants below that tree die out because of too much sun. And the trees that replace it are often the most aggressive types instead of the type that may have been cut down. I don't want a forest full of sugar maple and oak, I want beech hickory, ash, persimmon, spice bush, witch hazel, paw paw. Do you see these trees when the forest recovers? Many times you do not, instead you see "crop" trees which they encourage. It's time to STOP managing the forests and let them manage themselves. Thank God I have a large parcel of acreage and I don't do ANYTHING and it's the most beautiful forest around, everything surrounding it has been logged and guess where the wildlife hang out? My place, not the mono-culture "crop" forest that they've left behind. Forest management is a hoax hiding behind supposedly "responsible" forestry. It's a sham, it's all rigged to make money. Greed wins again.
  • Stop!
    Trees are a God/nature given gift to human beings. They supply us with O2, necessary to breathe. We've killed many many many of them. Please stop the killing.
  • "Please no logging"
    I'm really sad over this topic. I enjoy Indiana's forestry especially in Morgan, Monroe, Brown and Jackson counties. I love this statement that was given. The back-county section "provides a unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the state of Indiana." I agree so much with that statement because of the beautiful property we camp on is right next to the Hoosier National Forestry. So, please no logging!
  • Bad for economic development in Central Indiana
    The Backcountry Area is about an hour's drive from downtown Indianapolis. Places to hike and overnight camp near Indianapolis help attract younger people to Central Indiana and retain people already here. I have walked through logged areas in the state forests, including directly on the Tecumseh and Knobstone Trails, and the logging destroys the experience. No wonder younger people and people of all ages interested in outdoor recreation move away from Indiana.
  • Sad
    This is very sad and irresponsible...we have limited natural landscapes left in this state. We should be encouraging the growth of these spaces, not their destruction. What's even more disappointing is that DNR supports it.
  • The Voice of the Natural World
    This TED talk offers insight into the damage being done by loggers, even when it's not visible: http://www.ted.com/talks/bernie_krause_the_voice_of_the_natural_world.html
  • WILDLIFE HOMES OVER PROFIT NO!
    And you wonder why wildlife is being seen in towns running around now and cities? THIS IS WHY YOU ARE TAKING THEIR HABITAT AWAY TO COMMERCIALIZE PLEASE STOP LET THEM HAVE THEIR HOMES TOO!! We have had even around here subdivisions and stores being built in wooded or what once were wooded areas, now wildlife such as deer , fox and coyotes are going into those busy areas and jumping through store windows and into traffic in populated areas in search of a new home being ran out of theirs! STOP NOW!

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