BC legislators address concerns about BC forest lands

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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

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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
hoosierforestwatch@gmail.com
812-361-9167

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

Donate to the IFA through Paypal!

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

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

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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

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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
Or
e-mail your senators NOW!

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BCH Episode #23 – Feb 2014

BCH Episode #23: 2014-02-02

RobBowden

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 WFHB.org – Brown County Hour

Add your comments below.

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Meet Our Legislators – Feb 8

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bclwv_logo2The League of Women voters of Brown County will host its annual Meet Our Legislators session, in partnership with the Farm Bureau, on Saturday, February 8 at 10:00 am. 

State Representative Eric Koch and State Senator Brent Steele will be there to discuss their legislative priorities and to respond to questions from the public.

BC_OfficeBuildingThis will be an excellent opportunity to express any concerns you may have about the DNR’s logging agenda in Brown County, to take the pulse of our representatives on this important issue, and to respond accordingly should the views of our representatives diverge from your own.

The meeting will be held in the Salmon room of the County Office Building, 201 Locust Lane, Nashville, IN 47448.

Check the map for directions. ===>

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Bloomington Natural – Leaving the Deam Wilderness to others

deam_wildernessNews from the U.S. Forest Service that I can’t take Natural Bloomington ecotour guests into the Charles Deam Wilderness Area sparked conflicting reactions down at my core. As the shining symbol of natural resource protection in Southern Indiana, the 13,000-acre swath of forested ridges on Lake Monroe is the place I have the most stories about. As a neophyte environmental activist in 1982, for example, I drove an aide to U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar there for its dedication.

READ MORE…

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WoodWatch: Who to contact

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If you want to voice your opinion on the DNR’s logging policy that could cost the citizens of Indiana 60% of her state forests, but unsure who your representatives are, you can find your legislator at the following link: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/legislators/ , or you can call or write to them at the phone numbers and addresses below:

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

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History of logging in Indiana – 3/3 (audio)

Audio excerpt from Episode #22 of the Brown County Hour, (January 2014). The third of a three-part extended interview with Charlie Cole and Linda Baden on the history of logging in Indiana.

Charlie and Linda, Jan 2014

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History of logging in Indiana – 2/3 (audio)

Audio excerpt from Episode #21 of the Brown County Hour, (December 2013). The second of a three-part extended interview with Charlie Cole and Linda Baden on the history of logging in Indiana.

Charlie and Linda, Dec 2013

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