Voices » Ask Renee

Ask Renee: Is saving 10% of Indiana's forests worth celebrating?

The long and short of it is, yes. It's not much, but it's a start.

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Hi Renee - It's been a while - hope you are doing well!

Thank you for the report below (referring to Tuesday’s piece). While I'm very happy to see such support for our forests, do you think protecting just 10% is really cause for celebration?  What is the fate of the other 90%?  It seems to me that if state forests are truly for the people the figures should be reversed and 90% (or more) should be protected against logging and other destructive acts.

Jerry and I were sickened by what we saw a few weeks ago driving through Morgan Monroe State Forest. We are having trouble understanding why we even need to be having this argument in our legislative agenda.

Thanks for listening!

Julie


Hi Julie!

Why only 10%, you ask? The honest answer is that there is no Republican legislator willing to put forth a bill setting aside more than 10% of state forests from logging. Because in our one-party, gerrymandered system, bills proposed by Democrats do not tend to advance. In fact, the Indiana Forest Alliance started by asking for 23% for two straight years, but it simply wasn’t politically viable.

“Therefore, the Indiana Forest Alliance is working with the political capital available to us. The fact that the Senate Natural Resources Committee agreed to listen to testimony about the idea of setting aside 10% was a pleasant surprise, given the strength of the timber lobby and the DNR’s vigorous opposition to SB420.”

So, here we sit, hopeful that the Senate will vote to protect a mere 10% of our old-growth forests. Try thinking about it as slowing the 400% increase of logging in Indiana State Forests.

It may not seem like cause for celebration, but it’s a start and it’s way better than 0%!

Attend the Stand Up For Your Forests! rally on Monday, February 20 to show your support. Afterward, contact your Senator (find your legislators), especially if they sit on the Natural Resources Committee or if there is a state forest in your district to tell them to support SB 420.

While you’re at it, use this Crown Hill Decision-Makers Contact List with Talking Points to help IFA save the old-growth forest at Crown Hill.

Piece out,
Renee

P.S. Keep an eye on HB 1015 to support putting an end to gerrymandering.

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