I-69 Open House This Wednesday, October 29th, in Bloomington

From our friends over at Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR):
The I-69 Development Partners (I-69 DP) will hold a Public Open House regarding the new I-69 Section 5 construction in Monroe and Morgan Counties.   The open house will be held on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1710 Kinser Pike in Bloomington, Indiana.

The purpose of this open house is to update the community as we enter the construction phase of I-69 Section 5.  The open house will feature various project maps/displays and multiple information stations where I-69 Development Partners project representatives will be available to explain project details and talk with project stakeholders individually in an informal setting. Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote on aesthetic treatment alternatives.

There will be no formal presentation.

The facility is ADA compliant to accommodate persons with disabilities who would like to attend and participate during the public open house. Please contact Tony Carpenter, I-69 Section 5 Public Information Coordinator for the I-69 Development Partners at (812) 361-8275 should you require additional information regarding the public open house.
It is CARR’s opinion that this “Open House” format is being used to keep citizens from publicly expressing their concerns about I-69.  It is undemocratic and it means there will be no public record of what is discussed. While citizens can speak privately to the I-69 Development Partners, others who attend will not hear all of the concerns. This effectively quashes open public dialogue about the severe damages that this project is causing, and will continue to cause, to our communities.
The recent announcement that there is no funding for Section 6, as well as the larger Canada to Mexico I-69 project, confirms what CARR has said for many years:  Indiana cannot build I-69 without shortchanging other transportation projects across the state. The Environmental Impact Statement for I-69 stated clearly that the project was fiscally constrained and funding was available to complete the project. That is clearly not true and never was.
The promised benefits of the project  depend on a completed highway and it is unlikely that this will ever happen. Any promised benefits are purely speculative.
Funding using public/private partnerships (PPPs) is being tried again, but this funding mechanism has already failed with the northern Indiana toll road deal. A major partner in that PPP has gone bankrupt and what will happen next is unclear. Tolling is still an option for sections of the I-69 project.

Here is a link about I-69 funding from our colleagues the Hoosier Environmental Council:


More Logging Planned Along Three Lakes Loop Trail

The public comment period closes tomorrow for a proposed commercial timber sale in Morgan-Monroe State Forest.  The Three Lakes Loop trail runs the length of the tract, which lies just south of Main Forest Road.  IFA has submitted comments opposing the sale, which you can find here, along with the DNR’s logging plans.  To submit your own comments, visit: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/8122.htm.  In the box for “Subject or File Reference,” enter “Morgan-Monroe State Forest Compartment 13, Tract 2.”

The Division of Forestry continues to implement its radical and unprecedented commercial logging program across the entire state forest system, at the expense of public recreation and much-needed interior forest habitat.  Please tell the Division of Forestry that our state forests should be managed to prioritize low-impact public recreation and the preservation of intact, interior forest habitat that many threatened and endangered species require for survival and successful reproduction, not for commodity timber production.

IFA Annual Member Meeting Tomorrow!

Please join us for IFA’s Annual Member Meeting, where we will present our Wild Indiana Campaign and talk about how YOU can get involved in saving wilderness; sign off on our agenda for next year; elect new members to IFA’s Board of Directors; and share in the camaraderie of our forest protection cause!  Light refreshments will be provided.

When? Saturday, October 18th, 2014– 1:00pm- 4:00pm

Where? Forestry Training Center in Morgan-Monroe State Forest

6220 Forest Rd., Martinsville, IN  46151

Directions from Martinsville
Take Hwy 37 south 4.5 miles, from where Hwy 39 joins Hwy 37 on south edge of Martinsville, to the Highway sign for Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Turn left and follow road for about 0.5 mile where you T into Old 37, turn right and follow for 2 miles to the wood and stone sign for Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Turn left into the state forest, travel 5 miles to property office; the next left past the office takes you to Fire Headquarters and the ForestryTraining Center.

Directions From Bloomington

Take Hwy 37 going north for about 12 miles, from the junction of Hwy 46, to Highway sign for Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Follow road for about 0.5 mile where you T into Old 37, turn right and follow for 2 miles to the wood and stone sign for Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Turn left into the state forest, travel 5 miles to the property office; the next left past the office takes you to Fire Headquarters and the Forestry Training Center.


to Audrey Moore at ifa.director@gmail.com or 812-269-6404.  
If you are not yet an IFA member, you can certainly join at the Meeting,

Hear HFW Coordinator Myke Luurtsema on WFHB’s “Interchange”

Last evening Hoosier Forest Watch Coordinator Myke Luurtsema was interviewed on “Interchange” on WFHB about logging in Indiana’s state forests.  He was joined by expert mushroomer Ron Kerner, who runs the website IndianaMushrooms.com.

To listen to the interview visit:  http://wfhb.org/news/interchange-claims-on-the-forest/

Register for the 19th Annual Heartwood Reunion! Join us on October 10th-12th, 2014

Register for the 19th Annual Heartwood Reunion! Join us on October 10th12th, 2014 for great food, family and friends and much more!
* Music by the Jefferson Street Parade Band and The Magmatix!
* Beer from the Bloomington Brewing Company
* Auction items, activist related workshops and the FAMOUS Heartwood Talent Show!
The Reunion is held each year over Columbus Day weekend at the Lazy Black Bear, a one-of-a-kind rustic farm and lodge nestled in the wooded hills of the Hoosier National Forest near Paoli, Indiana.
Don’t be misled by the name: The Reunion welcomes newcomers and old-timers alike. Learn what’s happening in your world and what you can do to make it better. Enjoy an informative and inspiring program, great food, and lively entertainment, all in a beautiful forest setting. Meet your neighbors and the extended network of friends and family you may not even know you have.
Here is the 2014 SCHEDULE:
Lazy Black Bear, Oct. 10-12th, 2014
Opening Friday Oct. 10th
Registration begins at 4:00 PM
4:00pm – 6:00pm
6:00 – 7:30 PM –  Dinner
Keynote – Tabitha Tripp
Music by the Jefferson Street Band and The Magmatix
Saturday October 11th
8-9:30 Breakfast/ Coffee Hour (feel free to meet and greet new folks)
9:30 -12:00 Opening Circle
check in and “What does 25 years of Heartwood mean to you?”
Afternoon Schedule Group sessions and Field Trips
1:30—4:00 Exploring Old forest — Pioneer Mothers
1:30 — 3:00 Simultaneous workshops
3:00-3:30 free time
3:45 — 4:45 large group session (Place: The Barn) What does the Future of Heartwood look like and how do we make that happen?
6:00—7:00 PM Dinner
7:30—10:00 PM – HEARTWOOD AWARDS — Ernie Reed, Chair
Talent SHOW
Sunday October 7th
8:00 – 9:00 Coffee Hour
9:00 — 10:30: Breakfast (Group announcements of Campaign Work)
12:00: Closing circle – Ernie Reed, Board Chair
1:00: Lunch — Left overs

Former National Park Service Director Speaks Out for Indiana’s Forests

The column was published in the August 31st, 2014, edition of the Bloomington Herald-Times:


As timbering increases, it’s time to stand up for Indiana’s special woodlands

This guest column was written by James M. Ridenour, former director of the National Park Service, former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and professor emeritus for the IU School of Public Health.

I understand that there is some controversy over increased timbering in our state forests. As former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service, I have had more than a few years of experience in dealing with the concepts of preservation and multiple use.

There are times when the preservation of our timber resources makes sense, just as there times when timbering makes sense.

Our state forests are not a major source of timber for hardwood production in Indiana. Only about 5 percent to 7 percent of the timber harvest in Indiana comes from state forest lands. Revenue to the state from those timber sales is only about $3 million per year. Far and away, the majority our forest harvest comes from private lands.

While it makes sense to have timber sales on some of our state lands, it also makes sense to save some of this land for hikers, bikers, campers and other recreational users.

We need to save prime acres of our forest lands for multiple use and also, to tell the story of what Indiana pioneers found when they came to our state.

On the lands to be timbered, let’s use the least intrusive of the timbering processes.

We don’t need large clear-cut areas and we don’t need miles and miles of haul roads. Single-tree selection is a concept that can work in many instances.

In the great forests of the West, we have saved the very best of the Sequoias and the redwoods. Let’s save the best of Indiana’s woodlands.


The original story can be found here.

You’re Invited to the Dance for the Trees Benefit at the Lazy Black Bear!

The Indiana Forest Alliance invites you to Dance for the Trees at the Lazy Black Bear, a beautiful retreat tucked away in the Hoosier National Forest, near Paoli, Indiana.  Join us on Saturday, September 6th for a potluck and square dance to benefit the IFA.  Bring a dish to share for the potluck at 6:30 p.m., and your dancing shoes for the square dance from 8:00-10:00 p.m.  All levels of experience are welcome!

Music will be provided by Fiddle ‘n’ Feet, with Tamara Loewenthal calling and fiddling, Jamie Gans on fiddle and banjo, and Teri Klassen on guitar.

We are asking for a $10 suggested donation.  All door proceeds go towards the Indiana Forest Alliance and our fight to protect Indiana’s public forests.  While you are there, you can also join IFA or renew your membership for $25, and get in the door for free!

Beverage service will be available, with donations benefiting the Lost River Market & Deli.
Limited cabin space is available for overnight accommodations for a small fee, as well as space to set up a tent.  If you would like to stay overnight, please get in touch so we can make sure we have enough space for everyone.

The Lazy Black Bear is located at 3875 S County Rd 50 W, Paoli, Indiana.  For more information, contact the Indiana Forest Alliance at ifa.director@gmail.com or (812) 269-6404.

We’ll see you on the dance floor!

Square Dance Flyer