Saturday, July 22, 2006

give the new blogger some love, and Indiana: account of last weeks anti-logging blockades

as you might have noticed, there's a new contributor on the blog. i hope you're digging her, cuz then we'd all be digging her and that would be nice

incidentally, i heard that psychosylum mushrooms grow like grass on the cow paddies of Alabama. could this be true?

the below story's copied and pasted from feed:// please, locals, read it and jump in the fray! let's make some fracas

Indiana: Account of last week's anti-logging blockades

Friday, July 21 2006 @ 01:46 PM PDT
Contributed by: Anonymous
Views: 17
On Thursday, July 13, an anti-logging occupation outside of Bloomington was evicted by more than a dozen officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana State Police. This eviction occurred under the pretext of investigating a supposed "meth lab." Officers, armed with sub-machine guns, cordoned off the area and temporarily detained everyone present at the blockade. Another person was forced off of a platform that was hanging 30 feet above the ground when the DNR brought in climbers and threatened to pull him down.

A Growing Threat to Indiana Forests

In the state of Indiana the DNR is charged with the responsibility of managing the state's forests. The health of wilderness areas has, unfortunately, never been their priority. Instead, psuedo-scientific language is used claiming that "over-mature" (healthy and old growth) forest must be eliminated to allow the development of younger trees. This destroys the diversity of the forest and conveniently justifies having private loggers harvest trees from public land. In a profitable coincidence, these over-mature trees also yield the only lumber that fit the high-quality standards for furniture and veneer.

Instead of questioning and publically reviewing these policies, they are massively expanding them- a major factor leading to the occupation. The new state forest plan, outlines a 400% increase in logging. In addition, it permits greater continuity between logging sites, allowing large cuts to be placed next to each other. Furthermore, a DNR spokesman has stated that 40 acre clearcuts will now be allowed, a development which will be devastating to Indiana's state forests.

Unfortunately for Indiana, this new state forest plan is part of a broad turn towards privatization of public resources. In addition to increased logging, the plan includes provisions encouraging the entry of multinational logging
companies into the Indiana market. In concert with these destructive forest policies, there are also efforts, under the direction of the current Governor Mitch Daniels to privatize the Indiana Dunes State Park and sell off both the Indiana Toll Road and the I-69 project.

Resistance and Occupation!

Across southern Indiana people have been organizing against the new state forest plan. Responses include the efforts by the Indiana Forest Alliance to stop the plan by challenging it in the courts. Unfortunately, their lawsuits have been systematically impeded through a variety of underhanded moves by the DNR and state legislature. Due to this impasse and the fast-approaching harvest of vital forest areas, the Hoosier Forest Defense Network acted early last week to create a blockade across a logging road in Morgan-Monroe State Forest, 20 minutes
northeast of Bloomington.

More than two dozen people set up the blockade, which included a campsite and a 30 ft. tall bipod built across the road. The occupation sought to cut off the logging road to an 89 acre cut, situated on steep hills and including hundreds of oak, maple, hickory, and beech trees, scheduled to be logged by September 22.

DNR Response and the Militarization of Law Enforcement

The DNR's claim is that they raided the camp believing it to be a meth lab. This allowed the officers to bring automatic weapons and keep the HFDN's supporters out of the area. The DNR has claimed ignorance, however it is clear they were aware of the blockade as there were environmental protest experts and trained climbers on hand.

People at the site were forced to the ground under the sights of M-16
automatic rifles, and handcuffed for more than an hour and a half.
Upon release, five people received tickets for "illegal camping" and the person
on the bipod was forced down by DNR climbers.

Nearly 30 supporters responded to a request for help from the forest defenders at the occupation. They were able to help document the eviction and help move supplies into and out of the camp, though this was hampered by law enforcement efforts to close the area around the camp. In fact, one person, Bryce Martin, was arrested for attempting to bring water to detainees. Although he was released the next day, he now owes hundreds of dollars in legal fees.

A New Beginning

While the initial blockade was shortlived, and the repression unexpectedly severe, last week's action signals a new beginning for resistance to logging on Indiana's public lands. The DNR's policies will be challenged at every level, with continued efforts to hold them accountable in the courts, to educate the public about the reality of "forest management" in Indiana, and to occupy the forests that we love to prevent their destruction.

Information for action: is an excellent resource for information of Indiana's state forests. The DNR's new state forest plan has been posted there.

The DNR can be reached at (317) 232-4105. Consider calling to demand that the DNR rescind the new state forest plan and that they return confiscated equipment to the HFDN.

The Hoosier Forest Defense Network can be contacted at

The HFDN is in serious need of help with legal costs. If you can, please consider making a donation. You can either email the address above to arrange meeting up with someone or drop off a donation at Boxcar Books, located at 310A S. Washington, Bloomington, IN.

Please join us for a forest defense skill share and to build momentum in
the continuing effort to stop loggin on state forests. Email for more information.

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