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Indiana lawmaker plans to reintroduce logging legislation

April 13, 2018

An Indiana lawmaker plans to reintroduce legislation that he says would protect the state's forests after seeing the outcome of a timber cut that removed more than 1,700 trees from a 300-acre site in southern Indiana.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, toured the Yellowwood State Forest on Thursday now that logging has finished. The state forestry division sold the timber to loggers for $110,000.

Pierce introduced a bill in 2014 that would've prevented logging, commercial activity or motorized access to the forest, but it failed to pass.

Pierce said he's concerned about the effects of logging. He said he hopes to see up to 40 percent of state forests protected from logging.

Brown County resident Dave Seastrom generally opposes logging but said positive steps were taken this time to help preserve the soil, limit erosion and stop invasive species from spreading.

Jack Seifert, director of the DNR's Division of Forestry, told IBJ before the logging began that foresters at the site would use a process called single-tree selection, which removes individual trees that are ready for harvest, of low value or in competition with other trees. It also removes individual trees of different size classifications uniformly throughout the stand to maintain an uneven-aged stand.

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