November 8, 2017

Save Yellowwood Group Camps Out In Protest Of Timber Auction

The tents are set up on private property not far from the planned logging area. - Steve Burns/WTIU

The tents are set up on private property not far from the planned logging area.

Steve Burns/WTIU

A group of Hoosiers is camping out on private property in Unionville to protest the planned auction of nearly 300 acres of timber from the Yellowwood/Morgan-Monroe State Forest Back Country Area.

The Indiana Division of Forestry plans to auction off the timber Thursday morning.

Members of Save Yellowwood are camping out in tents on Dave Shoopman’s property, which sits down the road from the area where logging is planned.

Shoopman says the group isn’t against all logging, but says the state shouldn’t be targeting old-growth areas of the forest.

“There should be a monument built in front of these trees when people come to see those, ‘look how far back this goes and what it represents,’” Shoopman says.

And there are concerns about how the timber harvest could impact the forest’s ecosystem.

Indiana Forest Alliance Conservation Director Rae Schnapp says the back country area provides valuable opportunities for research.

“This really is one of the most well-studied forests in the state,” she says. “So, I think it is important to preserve that knowledge and set aside certain areas as reference areas.”

Save Yellowwood also plans to protest during tomorrow’s timber sale.

The Department of Natural Resources says the increase in logging is “due to historically low harvest levels a decade ago.” Those wishing to purchase the timber will present sealed bids to the Division of Forestry.

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