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Indiana forest dept. rakes in cash from trees

Updated: December 9, 2013 11:54AM



The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has harvested 200 million board-feet of timber since 1966. It is not being destroyed, but carefully managed as sustainable crops.

This has netted the state division $41 million. That helps provide financing for park land for recreation for a number of projects within the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“This timber provides both foreign and domestic markets with the finest quality hardwood in the world,” said state forester Jack Seifert. He added, “Indiana State Forests have been recognized by both the Sustainable Forest Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council as meeting rigorous national standards of being well-managed forests.”

Indiana’s State Forests also provide a place for the state’s diverse wildlife to live and prosper.

A Continuous Forestry Inventory is conducted by the Division of Forestry. The information collected will continue to be used to develop the rules and regulations for proper forest farming inthe future. Compared to most farmed crops this is a slow growing crop. An error in judgment as to how much and where this crop can be harvested and then re-planted can have an affect years in the future.

Of the 155,715 total acres of state forest land, 149,727 are forested, with the balance being open water or open areas such as campgrounds, roads and service areas.

Of that forested area 95 percent is made up of hardwoods. Sugar maple trees and seedlings are the most abundant species, according to Seifert. The new tree growth on state Forests exceeds the timber harvest by over 2-to-1 margin. For every tree that is harvested, at least two and sometimes three are planted.

Forests also have invasive species. Some might be considered a garden favorite in other settings. The most prolific invasive plants found in Indiana State Forests include: Multi flora roses, Japanese Honeysuckle and stilgrass.

The inventory is very specific. It includes tree measurements on both live and dead trees, includes species, diameter, height, damage and tree quality. This report annually assesses regeneration in Indiana State Forests. It includes arborists’ estimates of growth, mortality and removals and general stand characteristics.

Visit www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/ for more information.



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