Letter: Logging of backcountry area must be stopped


To the editor:

The IDNR Division of Forestry recently announced that it would soon be accepting bids for timber to be removed from zone No. 1 in the Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood Back Country Area north of Lake Lemon.

This area was previously identified and set aside from traditional forest management practices by past Indiana Republican Govs. Robert Orr and Doc Bowen with a bipartisan legislative effort many years ago. Since that time it has served as a special area reserved for primitive recreation such as hiking, camping and hunting. It is the home to many, many rare state and federally endangered species of plants and animals found nowhere else in Indiana. The incredible diversity of species hosted here has already been thoroughly inventoried and validated by a host of (non-DNR-employed) scientists working with the Indiana Forest Alliance on behalf of we residents.

The Division of Forestry has, in recent years, lost its moral compass. Originally organized to help repair erosion damage in Indiana state forests, the Division of Forestry, under the newest director, John Seifert, is inexorably destroying that very same forest that they nurtured for so many years. Logging at historically unprecedented rates, they will destroy this area, as they have run amok and do not value public input.

The only possible hope is for Hoosiers to ask our governor, Eric Holcomb, who is a decent man, to intervene to stop this madness.

The Division of Forestry is invalidating its “green” certification by NOT declaring 10 percent of their forest protected from their current management depredations. If they won’t follow their own rules, only the public can make them accountable for their irresponsible and immoral efforts.

Contacting Governor Holcomb is the only viable solution, as Forestry Director Mr. Seifert will not defend his ideas in the give-and-take of public discussion and citizen examination.

The Indiana Forest Alliance has a Facebook page that explains this backcountry issue in much greater detail. Check it out.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcolmb, ph: 317-232-4567.

Again, many thanks to the Brown County Democrat for allowing me this forum. I will be happy to lead any group on a backcountry tour to personally show you the situation. I can be reached at [email protected].

Charlie Cole, for the Friends of Yellowwood

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