WoodWatch: Study of DNR plan approved but stopped by SOH Bosma

WoodWatch_update_banner 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

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BCH Episode #27 – June 2014

BCH Episode #27: 2014-06-01

Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Cheeky Rose.

First aired Sunday, May 5, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB (Spring Fund Drive Special)

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Jim Schultz of the Salt Creek Preservation Project gives us an update on developments
  • Multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/artist Kara Barnard

    Multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/artist Kara Barnard

    Bill Miller shares his memories of Brown County, including a history of Elkinsville, a small town that disappeared with the creation of Lake Monroe

  • Mike Hater, on ukeleles and the Ukelele World Congress event held every year in Needmore
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • a Brown County News Update by Rick Fettig
  • and an interview with our musical guest, Kara Barnard, including some outstanding songs featuring her fingerstyle guitar, mandolin, banjo and singing.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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Hunting the Elusive Morel Mushroom

morel_mushroomIt’s that time of year when many, many folks in Brown County boot up to hit the woods in search of southern Indiana’s tastiest volunteer wild food, the Morchella (aka the Morel mushroom).

The internet is, of course, abuzz with reports of sightings, captures, and recipes for this delectable little dirt fruit, but the Brown County Hour can offer something unique — the insights of one of Brown County’s most famous (and notorious) shroomers, a man who measures his catch by the feed bag, a man almost as elusive as the fungus he hunts with such success, Mr. Bird Snyder. He also happens to be a banjo picker in the White Lightening Boys, a not irrelevant factoid.

Here’s the Snyder segment BCH aired in Episode #16, our April, 2013 show, in which, among other things, Bird proceeds to detail his approach to awesome shrooming in the hills of County Brown:

Bird Snyder on mushrooming

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BCH Episode #26 – May 2014

BCH Episode #26: 2014-005-04

Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, May 5, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB (Spring Fund Drive Special)

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Wildlife field recording engineer Geoff Keller talking about the impact of excessive logging on the ecosystem


    Visit CD Baby to check out Lost Lonesome Train by Jeb Allen

  • Taylor Roberts, one of the students from Brown County Jr. High School who traveled recently to Washington DC to win the WE THE PEOPLE national competition for the 2nd straight year
  • poetry by Gunther Flumm, Chris Curtin, Mike Bube and Tramp Starr
  • essays by Dave Seastrom, Rick Fettig and Bill Land
  • and an interview with our musical guest, Jeb Allen, including some tracks from his recent CD, “Lost Lonesome Train”, plus live acoustic music recorded in the BCH studio with Jeb accompanied by Brown County musical luminaries Slats Klug and Dan Bilger.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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BCH Episode #25 – Apr 2014

BCH Episode #25: 2014-04-06

Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB (Spring Fund Drive Special)

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • In Memory of BC elder Hank Swain: essay by Pam Raider

    John Franz, recipient of the 2014 Brown County Music Awards Lifetime Achievement award

    John Franz, recipient of the 2014 Brown County Music Award for Lifetime Achievement

  • Hank Swain with his story, Scuprats
  • Poems by Chris Curtin, Rick Fettig, Gunther Flumm and Tramp Star
  • Dave Seastrom with another pithy essay: Earth Day
  • And our Awesome Musical Guests: live recordings from the 2014 Brown County Music Awards (held on March 8), including music by Bonz, Lauren Robert, the Indiana Boys, Cari Ray, Marvin Parish, and a special Lifetime Achievement Award to beloved Nashville busker, John Franz.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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The Forest Guardian Program in action


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


Visit HoosierForestWatch.com 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….

forest_alliance_logoSource: http://hoosierforestwatch.com

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 WFHB.org

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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