On December 19, 2017, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), along with National Deer Alliance, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, and Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society, submitted a letter in support of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) efforts in the Yellowwood State Forest.
Developed with input from public comments, the Indiana DNR’s Division of Forestry is currently implementing their forest management guide on 299 acres in the Yellowwood State Forest. The guide calls for a combination of single-tree selection and improvement cuts designed to harvest stressed, diseased, or damaged trees at an average rate of 5-7 trees per acre.
This science-based forest management will provide numerous benefits to both game and non-game wildlife species, and increase the health of the forest. The harvest in the Yellowwood State Forest will allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, promoting the growth of new plants and providing diversity of habitat for wildlife. Disturbances from fire, wind, or tree harvests promote young forest habitat essential to native Indiana wildlife like the golden-winged warbler, white-tailed deer, Indiana bat, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and timber rattlesnake.
The revenue generated from timber harvests allows the DNR to support conservation programs and provide recreation opportunities for all Hoosiers, while protecting water resources, improving forest health, and supporting diverse wildlife populations across the state.
“We are appreciative of the support and involvement from the sportsmen’s community,” said David Bausman, Indiana DNR Legislative Director. “Our department takes great pride in managing Indiana’s natural resources for every citizen.”
The letter was sent to the Indiana DNR, Co-Chairs of the Indiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the office of Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Eric Holcomb.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?