by David Seastrom, BCH Co-producer
Yesterday I had a conversation with Jeff Stant, chairman of the Indiana Forest Alliance, and I am disappointed to share the news, Speaker of the House, Mr. Brian Bosma, has decided not to allow the study of the new DNR plan to proceed.
This study was approved by a majority from both houses and received across the board support. It’s generally understood Mr. Bosma was persuaded by the DNR and the logging industry that no further study is necessary. The idea they presented is, we already know all we need to know, and the new plan should be implemented without encumbrance.
This news does not mean the fight to save Indiana State Forests is over, far from it. There will be new legislation presented this fall aimed at protecting the previously set aside Back Country areas, but in the mean time there’s a lot we can do.
First and foremost please consider contacting Mr. Brian Bosma directly through phone calls, letters, and emails, and tell him about your concern for forest preservation.
It’s also important to thank your representatives if they supported the study, and encourage them to contact Mr. Bosma and ask him to reverse his decision. If your legislators did not support the study, please contact them and ask for their support.
This week end, the Indiana Forest Alliance is co-hosting, along with the Hoosier Environmental Council, an Ecoblitz.
Essentially, this is a group of scientists representing different disciplines who will conduct a survey of the diverse life forms contained in the Morgan Monroe State Forest Back Country area.
They will be identifying Birds, Plants and Fungi, Aquatic Macro Invertebrates, and Reptiles and Amphibians.
The data they accumulate will provide an important base line for understanding the complexity of the ecosystem contained in the Back Country, and identify any protected species that depend on this system to survive.
The hope is to demonstrate how important to the overall ecology this area truly is. It’s well known the Back Country is a primary breeding ground for the federally endangered Indiana Brown Bat, and the Cerulean Warbler, a song bird that needs dense canopy to produce offspring.
It’s been shown that without the dense forests of Brown County there will be no Cerulean Warblers in places as far flung as Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Here’s an excerpt from BCH #26 with our interview with wildlife expert Geoff Keller:
Excerpt from BCH #26, May 2014
The new plan is a drastic departure from management the DNR has practiced from the first timber sales in the sixties. The science of forest management hasn’t changed… what has changed is the emphasis on the bottom line.
We must not lose heart. The overwhelming majority of Hoosiers support forest preservation, and it’s up to us to let the legislators know they’re on the wrong side of this issue.
Please consider joining us and contact Mr. Bosma and your own legislators, and tell them how you feel.
~~~ David Seastrom
BCH Co-Producer and unabashed treehugger