More than 200 scientists and academics presented a letter to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb late last week objecting to the logging of the Yellowwood backcountry area.
The letter was authored by Earlham College professor Leslie Bishop and was signed by 228 academics and scientists.
The letter states that in 2002, more than 40 percent of Indiana’s State Forests were exempted from commercial logging. In 2017, the letter alleges, less than five percent was exempt.
The letter details wildlife that are dependent on old-growth forests in Indiana, including the endangered Indiana bat, which has been located in the Yellowwood backcountry area.
Logging is already taking place in Yellowwood with commercial contracts to be auctioned to bidders this Thursday morning.
Officials from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources have allocated 299 acres of forest in the state park for individual tree harvesting. Opposition to the DNR’s logging plans point out that even selective logging will involve the use of skid-steers and heavy machinery, damaging undergrowth and habitats.
Last week, local environmentalists announced the establishment of an encampment of forest and nature supporters in opposition to the DNR’s proposed logging.
Members of the Mind the Gap organization, which opposes the logging of Yellowwood’s “Low-Gap” area, stated on Facebook that campers will protect the trees and habitat of Yellowwood State Forest from logging.
The DNR plans to hold a public auction for Low Gap timber Thursday.