Making Democracy Work

Old Growth Forest Preservation and Creation on State Lands

Old Growth Forests

Old Growth Forest Preservation and Creation on State Lands

Preservation of Natural Resources Resolution

The LWV Muncie‐Delaware County Environmental Group agreed to forward to the Leadership Team a proposal for preservation and creation of old‐growth forest preserves on state lands. At our November meeting the Leadership Team unanimously voted to support the proposal subject to membership approval, which was obtained by December 2, 2017. The text of our Resolution follows:

Old Growth Forest Preservation and Creation on State Lands

Whereas oldgrowth hardwood forests once covered most of the 23 million acres of presettlement Indiana and therefore were a significant part of the state's history and heritage.

Whereas less than 3000 acres of this virgin oldgrowth remains today, and most of these oldgrowth forests are small patches of less than 100 acres.

Whereas the vagaries of nature, including drought, storm, fire, insects, and pathogens, will inevitably destroy these last remnant oldgrowth forests, depriving future generations of Indiana citizens the opportunity to experience the environment that shaped their forbearers.

Whereas, given time and opportunity, forests that have been harvested in the past will recover and can ultimately develop most or all of the characteristics of historical oldgrowth forests.

BE IT RESOLVED that the League of Women Voters supports the proposal that 10% of each state property that historically supported forest vegetation be set aside and protected in perpetuity so as to allow the forests therein to develop into oldgrowth.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Indiana Department of Natural Resources should be directed to identify and designate for preservation areas that contain large contiguous blocks of mature forest with characteristics similar to historical oldgrowth forests of Indiana.