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Contact Your Legislators To Protect 30% of the State Forests

Contact Your Legislators To Protect 30% of the State Forests

Senate Bill 275

Responding to outcry from across the state that no corner of our state forests is being spared from logging no matter how precious, Senators Bassler (R-Washington), Koch (R-Bedford) and Ford (R-Terre Haute) have introduced Senate Bill 275 (SB 275) to protect 30% of our state forests from logging. It reads:

“Old forest areas in state forests. Requires the Department of Natural Resources (“the department”), before January 1, 2019, to designate at least one undivided area comprising at least 30% of each state forest as an old forest area. Provides that, wherever possible, the size of a designated old forest area must be at least 500 acres. Sets forth certain purposes to guide the department in designating the old forest areas. Prohibits the department from conducting or allowing timber management in the old forest areas. Requires the department to produce and keep on file maps and legal descriptions of the designated old forest areas. Provides that the designation of the old forest areas may not affect hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses of the state forests, the maintenance of access roads in the state forests, or rights of access through the state forests

MATERIAL TO VIEW or DOWNLOAD:

FACT SHEET: SB 275: The Case for Restoring Old Growth Forests

EDITORIAL in the 1/21/18 Bloomington Herald-TimesUrge Gov. Holcomb to be conservative with state forests by IFA Board Vice President P. David Simcox

EDITORIAL by Economist Morton Marcus: Our forests, our future (appeared in papers statewide January 2018)

LETTER to the Editor by IFA Conservation Director Rae Schnapp (appeared in IndyStar 1/21/18)

NOW, let’s work to make this bill a law! For Senate Bill 275 to pass, we must demonstrate massive, broad-based support to legislators … starting with your senators.

Here are 4 things you can do:

  1. Contact your state senator and ask him/her to support and co-sponsor Senate Bill 275. Ask them also to request that Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) hold a hearing on SB 275. Ask your state representative to support state forest protection, in any votes that come up in the House.   
  2. Click here to sign up to phone bank for Senate Bill 275!
  3. Attend “Third House” meetings with your state legislators in your area on weekends in January and February, and ask them to co-sponsor and support SB 275. These meetings are usually hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau or League of Women Voters and allow legislators to hear the concerns of their constituents. We will keep you up-to-date as they are announced, but please let us know if you see one posted!
  4. Spread the word to your friends and networks to help generate the avalanche of support needed for Senate Bill 275! Share Facebook posts and tweets from IFA.

Senate Bill 275 has to receive a hearing and a favorable vote by the Senate Natural Resources Committee to pass the Senate. This hearing will more than likely have to occur on Monday, January 29 or Tuesday, January 30.

Contact Indiana Forest Alliance Outreach Coordinator Samantha Buran at samantha@indianaforestalliance.org if you are willing to set up an appointment with you legislator, or if you are willing to lead a team of people from your area to the Statehouse. Thank you!