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Help Keep Indiana’s State Forests Wild

Help Keep Indiana’s State Forests Wild

Knob and Valley Audubon Society has partnered with the Indiana Forest Alliance, Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, and other organizations to launch a “Wild Indiana” campaign, which seeks to establish 13 large, contiguous areas of our state forests as “State Wild Areas.” The proposed State Wild Areas would protect a total of 36,820 acres, or 23.6 percent of total state forest acreage from commercial logging, road building, and other heavy management; and would provide mature, interior forest habitat for such species as the cerulean warbler, hooded warbler, eastern box turtle, timber rattlesnake, Indiana bat, and northern long-eared bat, just to name a few.

Indiana’s state forests consist of roughly 156,000 acres; however, only about 1.5% of state forest property is protected from commercial logging spread across 17 state-designated nature preserves. These nature preserves average less than 150 acres in size, and most are smaller than 80 acres—much too small to maintain viable interior forest habitat that many rare, threatened, and endangered species require for successful reproduction.

The Wild Indiana Campaign working with Representative Pierce introduced House Bill (HB) 1580 in the Indiana House Natural Resources Committee and working with Senator Stoops introduced Senate Bill (SB) 548 in the Indiana Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Please visit https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/legislators to find you  state representative and senator and write a letter, make a phone call, or send an email urging them to support legislation that would establish State Wild Areas in Indiana’s state forests!