Fight over state forest tree removal continues

Posted at 11:20 PM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 10:34:00-05

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -- The Indiana Forest Alliance is fighting to stop a planned tree removal at the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. 

Jim Allen, property manager at Yellowwood State Forest, says a Martinsville company will be removing close to 1,700 trees from the 300 acres of land by next March. He says his team has only marked trees to be removed that are dead, sick or pose a risk to visitors at the forest. 

“There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into marking these harvests to make sure we do them in a scientific and environmentally sound way,” said Allen.

He predicts the project will remove about six trees per acre of land, compared to other harvest efforts which usually take 12-20 trees per acre.

The Indiana Forest Alliance, on the other hand, doesn’t see things the same way.

“Our public forests are for public enjoyment, public purposes, not to be treated like state cornfields or state soybean fields,” said Jeff Stant, Executive Director of the Indiana Forest Alliance.

READ | Letter to Indiana Forest Alliance | Letter to Gov. Holcomb

Stant says they have more than 200 scientists on their side that don’t believe removing trees from a forest will make it any healthier. They believe the process happens naturally.

“We don’t buy that forests thin themselves naturally,” said Allen. “How are they saving the forest? We feel like we’ve been saving the forest all along.”

DNR | Timber harvest at Yellowwood State Forest

Several state lawmakers are hoping to look into the logging process when the legislative session begins next month.

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