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Governor Fails To Halt Yellowwood Logging

Above Photo: Eddie Jarrett/ Flickr

Forest advocates vow to continue campaign to limit logging in state forests

Nearby residents witnessed logging trucks entering the Yellowwood State Forest Back Country Area today — verifying that Governor Eric Holcomb is choosing to let the commercial logging of a 300-acre forest — one of the most popular in the state for wilderness recreation — go forward.

“This is the people’s forest, not the loggers’” said Jeff Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance. “It’s atrocious to sell off public forests this way, against the advice of scientists, economists, tourism leaders — and against the will of thousands of citizens who have spoken out in favor of saving this forest.”

“We’re not against responsible logging on private land,” he continued. “If the Department of Natural Resources is going to log public land, they should have a balanced policy, not a ‘log 97.5% of it’ policy. The Governor needs to take a good, hard look at what this agency is really doing to our forests, why, and for whose benefit.”

Since the DNR’s announcement to log Yellowwood, the IFA organized the “Save Yellowwood” campaign. Thousands of people called and e-mailed the Governor’s office, more than 400 people made official comments to the DNR, 200 people protested at the Nov. 9 timber sale, and 2,000 “Save Yellowwood” yard signs and flyers were distributed in multiple counties.

228 scientists from sixteen Hoosier colleges and universities including many of the the top experts in forest biology in Indiana, also wrote to Governor Holcomb urging him to set areas like this forest aside to return to the old growth condition which is so rare in the state. Multiple requests to meet with the Governor by these scientists and many citizens were rebuffed without comment. The Governor would not even entertain an offer by a hardwood floor manufacturer to pay $150,000 to keep the forest from being logged, which was $42,000 more than the state sold the trees for!

The Indiana Forest Alliance (IFA) and its allies are preparing to support a bill in the upcoming Indiana General Assembly session that would set aside 30% of state forests from logging. Forest advocates invite the public to make their voices heard regarding the logging in our state forests at an event Tuesday, January 16 at the statehouse.

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