Protecting forest benefits and ecosystems now and into the future
In different ways forests have always sustained societies in Indiana but the relationship
between society and forests has not been static and is constantly evolving. Our Forest Action Plan presents a view of society’s changing relationship with forests. With an increased demand by a growing human population upon the various benefits forests provide, from timber and lumber to clean air, water and wildlife habitat, there are questions as to the sustainability of the forest resource in the state. The Indiana Forest Action Plan is the result of consensus opinion from natural-resource professionals, landowners, conservationists, land stewards and forest stakeholders. It recognizes a nearly unanimous understanding of the most important issues that increasingly threaten the sustainability and ecological capacity of Indiana’s forests to provide the benefits of clean air, carbon sequestration, soil protection, wildlife habitat, wood products and other values, goods and services to all Hoosier citizens.
Sustainable management of forestland provides economic incentives and guards against conversion, fragmentation and parcelization
Indiana’s largest remaining contiguous forest patches are treasures that provide habitat and protection for a number of threatened and endangered species
Restoring and connecting forests along riparian areas improves the prospects for increased biological diversity and soil protection
Indiana forests and their management are dependent upon diverse and sustainable markets to ensure economic return for landowners. Strategies in the Forest Action Plan direct DNR to (among others): develop existing survey techniques and forestry remote sensing capabilities to assess forest composition and growing stock, develop incentives and otherwise promote the use of Indiana forest products within the state, help to ensure that any harvest of biomass from Indiana’s forests is conducted in a sustainable manner and provide incentives for the production and manufacture of certified sustainable wood products to Indiana businesses.
To ensure the long-term health and sustainability of Indiana’s woodland resources, it is paramount that existing forests, especially large-tract forests, be conserved, managed and expanded. Particular emphasis is given to action steps that keep forests on the landscape, promote landscape-level diversity and address threats presented by invasive species. The centerpiece of this strategy is the development of a Strategic Forestland Conservation Program with a directed focus on protecting tracts, forests, habitats and forest communities of especially high public benefit.