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Lobbyists Are Trying To Halt Logging Near Yellowwood Forest

The Heart of the Yellowwood Back Country Area

A group of trees in the 2700 acre back country area (Sean Hogan/WFIU)

The Indiana Forest Alliance is proposing that the entire Yellowwood Back Country Area be labeled as a High Conservation Value Forest.  Currently 300 of the nearly 2700 acres are protected.

The dominant trees in the backcountry average 110 years. The alliance says fewer than two percent of forests in the state are that old.

The designation means the area would be considered instrumental in conserving plant and animal life.

And Division of Forestry Wildlife Specialist Scott Haulton says logging in that section would only be allowed in rare situations. 

“In most cases those nature preserves have in their articles of designation what the management prescription is and typically timber harvesting is not a part of that,” Scott says.

There would be an option for trees to be removed if they presented a hazard… such as a dead tree that might be leaning and pose a threat to a hiker.

IFA Executive Director Jeff Stant says the proposal would allow the forest to retain its natural, old-growth state.

“Older, dead, and dying trees are fundamentally important to the functioning of a forest ecosystem.  Without that forests die," Stant says.

The back country was last harvested during the winter of 2017 when nearly 300 acres were logged.

The official proposal from the IFA will be published on the Division of Forestry’s website and will be open to public comment. There’s no timeline for that yet.

A review committee comprised of members of the Division of Forestry and possibly other experts will ultimately vote on whether to accept the proposal.

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

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