Logging In Hoosier Forest Draws Controversy
July 25, 2013 — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has expanded logging operations on state forest land, a move that has angered many environmental groups around the state. TheStatehouseFile.com’s John Sittler has the story:
Within the last month, the state has sold almost two million board feet of state forest timber. Two of the sales in Morgan-Monroe State Forest total more than was logged in the entire state forest system in 2002. Jeff Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance, says he can’t believe the state is calling the cuts balanced management.
“I’ve certainly seen better days when it comes to the management of our natural resources.”
But State Forester John Seifert says these operations are in-line with a 2005 strategic plan.
“We’re sort of where we want to be. We’re actually managing and providing some older forests.”
Seifert says the DNR determined that state forests were growing fast enough that an increase in logging would still leave plenty of reserve. However Stant says timber harvested from state land accounts for less than five percent of total board feet cut in the state every year and the timber market doesn’t depend on state forests.
The Hoosier Environmental Council’s Tim Maloney says his biggest issue is the timber sales that stray into backcountry areas.
“We just don’t see the reason for logging that after it’s been unlogged for 30 years and so much of the rest of the state forests are being managed for timber. This is an area that should be protected.”
The state is set to sell two more tracts of land in Yellowwood State Forest – totaling approximately 200,000 board feet – this week. For TheStatehouseFile.com, I’m John Sittler.