The Forest Guardian Program in action


~~ by David H Seastrom, BCH co-producer and unabashed tree-hugger


Visit for more info and resources – click the pic

This Saturday, my wife Becky and I are hosting a group of concerned citizens who will survey the marked forest behind our house. This survey is part of the Forest Guardians program designed to bring more information to the public about the Department of Natural Resources’ deforestation plan.

In using the term “deforestation,” I’m wading into the semantics surrounding this debate.

I consider forestland to be undisturbed, unbroken, and contiguous, with trees that are allowed to mature. It supports habitat for plants and animals native to the area, creating an environment that occurs naturally, without human management.

We might use the term “wild forest lands.” The state, on the other hand, is creating tree farms and calling it forestland. The difference is obvious. A natural system supports diversity of life, prevents erosion and flooding, creates carbon sequestration, and provides a sanctuary for Hoosiers who love the woods.

The new state plan does none of these things. At the expense of promoting life, it grosses three million dollars per year. We have no idea what the state nets—it won’t tell us.

This goes to the heart of the philosophic difference: does one see the forest as a living entity, or is it merely another commodity to be used and discarded when the money is harvested?

The Forest Guardians believe this plan is not how Hoosiers want their forest managed. We’re spreading the word, and the Forest Guardians will provide real information for anyone who wants more understanding.


tree-hugger_seastromDavid H Seastrom, long-time resident of Brown County, is a writer, boat-builder, story-teller, grandchild enthusiast, canine supporter, retired carpenter, jewelry artist and bus driver. These days Dave works tirelessly as co-producer and primary voice of the Brown County Hour… and is an unabashed tree-hugger. Known for his life-long study and encyclopedic recollection of local, regional and world history, Dave is never at a loss for words (just ask his wife, Becky Stapf, also a gifted voice talent for BCH), and contributes mightily to the good camaraderie enjoyed by the Brown County Hour team during our meetings and other activities. He is also known for his awesome hair and mustache, which he swears is a result of his decidedly Scandinavian descent. Maybe he’s right.

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HR 16 and SR 61 Adopted by Indiana Legislature


Some good news….


We are pleased the announce that two resolutions have been adopted by the Indiana General Assembly that urge the Legislative Council to study the need for wilderness areas on state-owned land.  Both of these resolutions, HR 16 and SR 61, have received strong bipartisan support, with more than half of all Representatives and Senators signing on as coauthors.

Read more…

“We have the option to become informed, and voice our opinions to the lawmakers who, ultimately, will make a decision on the fate of our forests. The survival of our forests depends on us, please consider lending your hand, before it’s too late.” ~~ David Seastrom, BCH WoodWatch contributor

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BCH Episode #24 – Mar 2014

BCH Episode #24: 2014-03-02


The Whipstitch Sallies

Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB.

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

more_stuff_buttonTheme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at

Add your comments below.

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BC Legislators respond to citizen concerns


State reps respond to citizen concerns

On February 8, the Brown County League of Women Voters sponsored a Meet Your Legislators meeting, held at the Brown County Building. On hand were Representative Eric Cook and State Senator Brent Steele, who addressed a wide variety of concerns, including questions from BCH co-producer Dave Seastrom regarding the destructive logging plans of the Department of Natural Resources and the potential effects it would have on Brown County and other areas. This is the audio report, aired March 2, 2014 on the Brown County Hour on WFHB.

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Epi 24 Media Supplemental

A few additional artifacts from Episode 24 (Mar ’14) of the Brown County Hour


The Whipstitch Sallies
l-r: Kat, Katie, Sam and Allie

photo 3

The Whipstich Sallies performing live in the BCH studio


The Artist Colony Inn Murder Mystery Players
Brad Zumwalt, Russel Moss, Susan Christenberry, Julie Powers, Danny Tuttle and Jane Smidebush


Your tireless BCH producer and webmaster, Jeff Foster, hardly at work in the studio

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BC legislators address concerns about BC forest lands


rep_mugsAs previously announced, today State Representative Eric Koch and State Senator Brent Steele held a meeting at the Brown County Building (sponsored by the BC League of Women Voters with support from Farm Bureau) to take the pulse of their constituents. Many subjects were discussed. About halfway through the meeting, BCH co-producer Dave Seastrom broached the topic of the Indiana DNR’s plan to harvest 60% of our state forests, which many folks in Brown County (increasingly so as they are made aware of the plan) adamantly oppose.

The BCH team was on hand to capture the audio from this meeting. The full segment will air in our March 2 broadcast. However, we feel this matter is urgent enough to post this teaser clip from the meeting, wherein our elected officials offered encouragement and advice on how YOU can make a difference to help preserve our state forests for the people today, and for future generations.

If you value our state forests and want to see them preserved
rather than exploited for modest state monetary gains
that will subsequently take several decades to heal,
please listen, and most importantly, take action!

Excerpt from legislators’ meeting, Feb 8, 2014

Again, to catch the full segment, tune into the Sunday, March 2 9am airing of the Brown County Hour on WFHB. If you miss it, the episode is slated to be re-broadcast the following Wednesday, March 5, at 6pm. Thank you!

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Indiana Forest Alliance Newsletter, 2/5/2014

February 5th, 2014
Dear Friends and Supporters,

forest_alliance_logoThe Indiana General Assembly is approaching the midpoint of the 2014 legislative session.  As you know, the Indiana Forest Alliance (IFA) has been hard at work in the Legislature trying to garner support for protecting Indiana’s public forests.  State Representative Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) introduced HB 1179, a bill that would protect the three state forest Back Country Areas from commercial logging and roadbuilding.  On the other side of the rotunda, State Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) introduced SB 398, the Bicentennial Wilderness Act.  This bill would create a state wilderness preservation system and charge the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) with the creation and management of state wilderness areas on state-owned land, and allow for public input in the process.  Many of you have done your part by calling or writing your state legislators and asking them to support these bills.  THANK YOU.

Despite our best efforts, however, neither of these bills received a committee hearing.  This means that the bills will not reach the floor of their respective houses to be voted on this session.

But there is good news to report!  Thanks to all your hard work, State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford) has introduced House Resolution 16 (HR16), which acknowledges the numerous benefits of protecting wilderness areas and the need for the state “to ensure that there are wilderness areas for future generations to enjoy.”  HR16 also urges the Legislative Council of the Legislature to assign the appropriate committee to “study the need for, costs, benefits, and impacts of a wilderness preservation system on state public lands.”  State Representative Peggy Mayfield (R-Martinsville) has agreed to co-sponsor this resolution.  Its passage will provide a strong statement that the Legislature wants its Natural Resources Study Committee to study the wilderness preservation issue despite possible opposition from the IDNR, whose representatives told IFA last week that IDNR was opposed to even studying this issue.  Therefore, it is crucial that we encourage our state representatives to sign on to HR16 to overcome such an extreme position from the IDNR.  We also need to encourage our state senators to offer an identical resolution in the Senate.

Please call, email or write your state legislators and to express your support for HR16.  Ask your representatives to sign on to HR16 and your senators to sponsor this study resolution in the Senate.  You can find your legislators here.

You can also write or call them at:

Indiana House of Representatives
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2786
(317) 232-9600
(800) 382-9842

Indiana State Senate
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2785
(317) 232-9400
(800) 382-9467

Another way to show your support for public forests is to bring up the issue at a Third House session in your area.  Third House sessions are public events that provide the opportunity for constituents to meet their state legislators in their home districts.  For a listing of Third House events in your area, check your local newspaper, or visit this link.

For our forests,

Myke Luurtsema
Hoosier Forest Watch Coordinator
Indiana Forest Alliance

Jeff Stant
Executive Director
Indiana Forest Alliance
phone: (H) 317-359-1306; (O) 317-602-3692; (C) 317-489-7112

Donate to the IFA through Paypal!

Indiana Forest Alliance –
112 N. Walnut St., Ste. 600, Bloomington, IN, 47404

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The Forest Situation in Brown County – Charlie Cole (audio)


From the February 2014 (episode #23) of the Brown County Hour, Charlie Cole summarizes today’s forest situation in Brown County. This is the unedited interview.

Today’s Forest Situation in Brown County by Charlie Cole

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New Federal Farm Bill caters to logging interests


On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Farm Bill that includes language that would be disastrous for all National Forests: Section 8204.

This section of the Farm Bill would void the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to allow logging projects up to 3,000 acres in size to be implemented on National Forests without any environmental analysis of harmful effects to water quality, wildlife or rare, threatened or endangered species.

It would also eliminate administrative appeals on these projects, eliminating public participation in these forest management decisions.

While Section 8204 supposedly applies only to areas “at risk” of pests or pathogens, it actually applies to much of our national forest system, and promotes lawless logging even where the best available science shows that logging won’t help.

The U.S. Senate may vote on the Farm Bill as early as this week–the first week of February!

Act now and urge your Senators to strike Section 8204 from the 2014 Farm Bill because of the harm that Section 8204 would cause to our national forests. If Section 8204 is not removed, urge them to vote against the 2014 the Farm Bill.

Call the capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121
e-mail your senators NOW!

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BCH Episode #23 – Feb 2014

BCH Episode #23: 2014-02-02


Singer/songwriter Robbie Bowden
onstage at the BC Palace Theater

Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB.

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Vera Grubbs interviews Artist Michele Pollock of Lost Lake Studio
  • Charlie Cole continues his commentary on Yellowwood logging
  • Dave Seastrom – essay on Groundhog Day
  • Bill Land – Land and Lore of Brown County
  • Poems by Chris Curtain, Rick Fettig, Gunther Flumm and Tramp Star
  • Top ten reasons to visit Brown County by Rick Fettig
  • and our musical guest, fifth-generation Brown County singer/songwriter, Robbie Bowden.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at – Brown County Hour

Add your comments below.

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