Plan for State Forests Criticized

From our conservation partners at Indiana Forest Alliance, this letter suggests INPAWS members should weigh in by writing to the DNR Department of Forestry…

September 14, 2015

Dear Friend,

The Division of Forestry has released a new Strategic Plan for our state forests that will continue the unprecedented increase in commercial logging for the next five years. The DOF held no scoping meetings to develop this plan nor will there be any public comment period as has occurred for previous Strategic Flans.

In addition, this Strategic Plan:

• calls for more clearcutting
• proposes selling areas of state forests deemed “non-essential”
• instead of designated any areas off limits to logging for hiking, back packing and backcountry camping, proposes more developed recreation facilities with new buildings, roads, cabins and shooting ranges
• proposes gate passes and user fees across the state forests to pay for this recreational infrastructure

[After being criticized for seeking no input, the DOF decided to hold three public meetings in September to gather input on this new Plan.] 

To learn about the proposed 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, visit this link:

http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-State_Forest_Strategic_Plan_2015_2019.pdf

The continued advice that IFA receives from our state’s elected officials is that we must present a strong, unified voice of opposition to logging at these meetings to change the management of our public forests. The state forests are the only public lands managed by the state that allow for primitive recreation where appreciable amounts of unlogged deep forest remain. You own these forests, not the timber industry. You deserve a chance to give your input into how your forests are managed. These after-the fact meetings are very inadequate. We need to demand that the DOF hold a 60-day public comment period.

For the forests.

Jeff Stant, Executive Director and Sara Waters, Outreach Coordinator
Indiana Forest Alliance
”Protecting Indiana’s Public Forests”
Box 1074, Bloomington, IN 47402
812.269.6404
indianaforestalliance.org

Leave a Reply