Our Position

Open space protection
Conservation funding should be a high priority for Indiana’s elected officials. Indiana needs a permanent and dedicated funding source for the President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust (formerly Indiana Heritage Trust), the state fund which acquires new lands for state parks, state forests, fish and wildlife areas, and nature preserves.  Our members of Congress should support annual funding for land acquisition for Indiana’s federal outdoor lands — the Hoosier National Forest, the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
HEC will take a leading role in working with our allies to promote meaningful action, including:
•     State budget appropriations for the Harrison Conservation Trust.
•     Annual congressional appropriations for the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Indiana, and the Hoosier National Forest.

Public Forest Protection
HEC believes that our publicly-owned forest lands, including the Hoosier National Forest and the state forests, are more valuable for ecosystem protection and outdoor recreation than as a timber supply.  About nine-tenths of all timber cut for commercial purposes in Indiana come from private lands.  HEC supports sustainable timber harvesting on private lands.

What our opposition says
Change requires dialogue between those on both sides of the issues. In that spirit, here we give voice to those who think that all forest lands should be harvested.

Indiana DNR State Forests:  Environmental Assessment

Green Communities
Our vision for green communities will encourage state and local planners to consider the land and resource impacts of growth and development policies.  Indiana’s metropolitan areas will experience reduced sprawl, provide meaningful transportation choices for all residents, and reduce development pressures on forestlands, farmlands, and wetlands.  Neighborhoods will once again be thriving centers of community life, and offer more walking, bicycling and transit options, leading to healthier lifestyles.

HEC will take a leading role in working with our allies to promote meaningful action, including:

•    Urging that state economic development and infrastructure funding be focused in population centers and existing developed areas
•    Seeking reform of planning and zoning guidance for localities to encourage mixed use, high density, pedestrian and public transit friendly developments
•    Seeking better integration of land use and transportation planning, so that land use policy decides the need for transportation infrastructure, rather than having land use dictated by the prior existence of transportation facilities.


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