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11/10/2017 4:30:00 PM
Protest fails to stop Yellowwood State Forest timber sale
Logging company representatives sit in chairs in a secure area near the Yellowwood State Forest office, waiting for their sealed bids to be opened during Thursday’s timber sale as protesters voice their opposition in the background. The sale includes trees in a back-country area of the state forest that the Indiana Forest Alliance says is meant to be protected from logging. Staff photo by Chris Howell
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Logging company representatives sit in chairs in a secure area near the Yellowwood State Forest office, waiting for their sealed bids to be opened during Thursday’s timber sale as protesters voice their opposition in the background. The sale includes trees in a back-country area of the state forest that the Indiana Forest Alliance says is meant to be protected from logging. Staff photo by Chris Howell
+ click to enlarge

Laura Lane, Herald-Times

YELLOWWOOD STATE FOREST — With a backdrop of thick mist rising off Yellowwood Lake Thursday morning, the state sold off 1,733 old-forest trees — ranging from a single bitternut hickory to 417 chestnut oaks.

About 200 protesters chanted “Stop the Sale! Stop the Sale!” in an attempt to keep the logging plan from proceeding. But there was no last-minute reprieve from the governor, who was focused instead on Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Indianapolis on Thursday.

The high bid for the timber, $108,785, came from Hamilton Logging based in Martinsville. That averages out to $63 per tree. Three other bids from area lumber companies ranged from $70,160 to $91,345.89.

Logging on the 299-acre remote wilderness tract in Yellowwood State Forest in northwestern Brown County has drawn much interest and concern. Those against the plan cite the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ 1981 designation of the area as “back country,” a place free of roads and other manmade improvements, intended to remain in its primitive state. The trees, environmentalists say, were to be left alone to grow.

They were. Until August, when the state marked mature trees to be cut, some 200 years old, and announced the timber auction.

The Indiana Forest Alliance launched an attack against the plan and asked Gov. Eric Holcomb to call it off.

Holcomb also received a letter signed by 228 Hoosier scientists and academics outlining the benefits of preserving old-growth forests, pointing out that current state policies allow for logging on 95 percent of state-owned land.

Related Links:
• Herald-Times full text

Related Stories:
• Protesters hope to stop Yellowwood State Forest logging plan
• There is unrest from some advocates on management of Indiana state forests

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