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Purdue researchers release white paper on Indiana forest management issues

A team of forest and wildlife researchers from Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources has published a white paper addressing three critical questions in the ongoing discussion about management of Indiana state forests.

Bob Wagner, department head and professor, said the purpose of the paper, titled “Addressing Concerns about Management of Indiana’s Forests,” was to provide useful information to policymakers and the public.

“This is our best science-based assessment from decades of research on these issues,” Wagner said.

Questions addressed in the paper are:

* Are natural disturbances alone adequate to maintain a desirable structure and diversity of Indiana’s forests and wildlife?

 * Is timber harvesting bad for wildlife?

* How is “old-growth” forest defined, and is it a relevant term for managing Indiana’s forests?

In addition to Wagner, other contributing authors are John Dunning, professor of wildlife ecology; Lenny Farlee, hardwood Extension specialist; Elizabeth Jackson, hardwood Extension specialist; Michael Jenkins, associate professor of forest ecology; Brian MacGowan, wildlife Extension specialist; Charlotte Owings, hardwood ecosystem experiment project coordinator; George Parker, forestry and natural resources professor emeritus; Michael Saunders, associate professor of hardwood silviculture; Robert Swihart, professor of wildlife ecology; Harmon Weeks, forestry and natural resources professor emeritus; and Patrick Zollner, associate professor of wildlife science.

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