Indiana’s hardwood forests are one of our natural treasures. These woodlands are dynamic landscapes, richly diverse in their range of plant and animal life.
From young stands of poplar and aspen to towering old oak, walnut and beech trees, the largest expanses of forestland in Indiana are found in the southern part of the state. Central and northern Indiana still harbor magnificent forests as well. It is among those southern forestlands where the majority of our public forestlands are located.
Our thirteen state forests are managed intensively by the Indiana DNR for timber production, and not even the three modestly-sized designated “backcountry areas” – in Morgan-Monroe/Yellowwood State Forests, in Jackson-Washington State Forest, and Clark State Forest – are protected from logging.
The 204,000 acre Hoosier National Forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service under a much more balanced approach, yet areas of the forest remain vulnerable to industry pressure to increase commercial logging.
HEC believes that the highest use of our publicly-owned forest lands, including the Hoosier National Forest and the state forests, is for ecosystem protection and outdoor recreation. Timber harvesting is allowable under the state and federal laws that govern our public forests, but logging on these forests should not come at the expense of their critical importance as reservoirs of ecological diversity and their uncommon opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Just over eight-tenths of all timber cut for commercial purposes in Indiana come from private lands. HEC supports sustainable timber harvesting on private lands.
The state endangered
thrives in the Morgan-Monroe/Yellowwood State Forest Back Country Area
Between 2006 and 2015, the DNR sold
board feet of timber from Indiana State Forests, a 368% increase over the prior ten years.
The Hoosier National Forest stores over
tons of carbon, offsetting the annual emissions of 600,000 passenger cars.
How to Make a Difference
Explore Your Public Forests
Tell the Indiana DNR and the U.S. Forest Service that you want our public forests protected for their wild nature, their wildlife and plant diversity, and for their trails, campgrounds, fishing and hunting spots. Send your comments to State Forester Jack Seifert (jseifert@dnr.IN.gov ), and Mike Chaveas (email@example.com) HNF Supervisor.
Help with an upcoming biological survey of a public forest. More information coming soon.