Letter: Indiana’s forests are in good hands

Perhaps New York City-born Morton Marcus considers himself smarter than the average Hoosier. Why else would a native of the nation’s largest concrete jungle lecture us on hardwood forests? [Indiana’s forests are well worth protecting, Feb. 8]

He questions the financial gain from utilizing state forest timber but ignores the ecological benefits—the true reasons to harvest mature trees. Like the group with whom he has aligned, he presents a series of false choices: “Either you ‘Save Yellowwood,’ or you are against the environment.”

Mr. Marcus has made a questionable investment, by buying into the conflict industry. He can’t be blamed. They make emotional appeals, and choices seem pretty easy. They portray humans as enemies of nature, lining their pockets while you reach for your tissue. The conflict industry markets fear and crisis, vilifying state agencies and industry.

The “industry” they denounce is actually a group of multi-generational family businesses that understand forests and who have invested generations of stewardship in keeping forests healthy and growing. Hardwoods contribute over $10 billion annually to the state’s economy, employing 70,000.

The state agency they attack already saved Yellowwood—back in 1947 when it was barren farmland and abandoned apple orchards. It has grown beautifully, but only because of DNR.

The Division of Forestry, staffed by real foresters, has no intention of liquidating our state forests. That would make no sense. The forest products industry gains nothing by lowering hardwood values and cutting away their futures.

We are not running out of trees in our state forests and never will. These forests are certified sustainable. Decisions are based on forest health, soil and water benefits, and wildlife considerations. Your forests are managed as well as any forests in the world for recreation, wilderness experiences, wildlife and timber.

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Ray Moistner

Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association

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