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1,700 Trees Sell For About $108K At Timber Auction In Yellowwood

  • Bidders sat with their backs to the crowd of protesters.

    Image 1 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    Bidders sat with their backs to the crowd of protesters.

  • The top bidder identified as Hamilton and bought the timber for about $108,000.

    Image 2 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    The top bidder identified as Hamilton and bought the timber for about $108,000.

  • The director of the Indiana Forest Alliance, Jeff Stant, spoke with a DNR official.

    Image 3 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    The director of the Indiana Forest Alliance, Jeff Stant, spoke with a DNR official.

  • Protesters gathered ahead of the bidding to deter auctioneers. They shouted

    Image 4 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    Protesters gathered ahead of the bidding to deter auctioneers. They shouted "stop the sale."

  • Protesters held signs and chanted.

    Image 5 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    Protesters held signs and chanted.

  • Image 6 of 6

    Photo: Steve Burns

    "Shame On The Gov," "Save Our Trees" and "A Forest Is A Community Not A Commodity" were just a few of the signs featured at the protest.

A group of activists is asking Governor Eric Holcomb to stop future logging in the back country area of Yellowwood State Forest after the Division of Forestry auctioned off timber from that area Thursday morning.

Echoes of chanting bounced off the trees as protesters held signs reading “a forest is community not a commodity” and “save our trees.”

Protesters hoped to discourage the auctioning of about 1,700 trees, including some from an old-growth area of the forest.

David Seastrom was among the protesters. He hoped Governor Eric Holcomb would stop the sale, which he says is about power.

“It feels vindictive. It feels like the DNR has targeted this area specifically to flex their muscles and to demonstrate that they are the ones in charge,” Seastrom says.

The timber sold for about $108,000 to a buyer identified as Hamilton. A person looking to preserve the trees bid $150,000 but was turned down because they didn’t have a timber license.

Executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance Jeff Stant says the organization isn’t against logging on private land, but takes issue when trees are removed from the back country area of state forests.

“The amount of forest in the state forest that are this old is so small and so precious,” Stant says. “It’s such an important part of our natural heritage to have forests that go back to the time before we were here that represent our pre-settlement past.”

Stant says their fight to preserve the trees is not over and they will continue to bring it to the attention of lawmakers

The DNR declined an interview, but says logging is a way to keep the forest healthy by maintaining a balance of old growth and young growth forest.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

  • Marvant

    We’re selling 1,700 prime trees, some of them old growth, for only $108,000? And the governor turned down a bid of $150,000 (for those of you not good at math, that’s more than $108,000) just to preserve the trees? Is that right?

  • S. Clemens

    That’s only about $88 per tree. Those timber buyers will probably make some handsome contributions to Holcomb’s campaign. I didn’t even realize out forest was sick (“logging is a way to keep the forest healthy”). And what possible difference could it make that the high bidder (by $42,000) didn’t have a timber license? I thought the idea behind an auction was to get the highest price.

  • Robert G. Woodley

    Surely there are members of our state legislature who wish to promote logging on public lands. Who are they? We need transparency so we can work to vote them out of office.

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