Group working to save forest
by Brenda Gibson
An alert to danger- Loss of our forest as we have known it!!
Who is sending the “SOS” ?
Answer- A grass roots group of people who are committed to be the voice of the forest.
This voice was amplified as many more people who live near the forest, and also some who don’t live in close proximity to Shawnee State Forest, became aware that “their” forest was being changed as the state allowed commercial logging to increase potentially to 3-4 times what it had been in 2011. Surveys taken at Scioto County Fair, the John Simon Festival, and the Conservation Fair can be construed to be a limited sample of overall public opinion on this subject. The great majority of opinions taken during these limited surveys showed that the owners of our forest were against the great increase in clear-cutting which has taken place in the last several years!! About 3300 surveys were signed, with many giving also an added written statement of displeasure about the increased logging in the ” beautiful” forest. These statements and surveys will be delivered, to Governor John Kasichs’ office by representatives of SOS on Feb. 20th of this year. We hope also to meet with other lawmakers who need to hear our message while we are there.
We feel like our voice was heard to some extent when ODNR made their recent good decision to repair the Churn Creek Lake Dam , and we feel somewhat confident that the Pond Lick Lake will be saved also! There have been several recent newspaper articles on this subject. A number of letters were also written to the editor of this paper. Petitions were circulated by SOS and signed by local people!
There has been in the past year an increased awareness that the practice of controlled burns in Shawnee Forest, as related to Oak-Hickory regeneration, does not produce the hoped for results. This is still controversial.
We hope the State will re-consider the questionable economics involved with State endorsed logging in “Our” forest, will be willing to consider the possibility of more areas in the forest being protected with a “High Conservation Value” classification, and also re-think the questionable and sometimes dangerous practice of controlled burns which utilizes our tax money thru federal funds which are available for such practices.
For more information about Save Our Shawnee Forest visit them at, www.saveourforest.org or email email@example.com
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