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Purdue experts available to discuss planned timber harvest for Hoosier National Forest

Logging may soon begin in the Hoosier National Forest, a predominantly hardwood forest located in south central Indiana, in the area of the Lake Monroe Watershed. The watershed is south of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness area.

The proposed timber harvest would take place across roughly 4,000 acres, clear-cutting up to 417 acres. Harvests like this have long been used as a practice to promote the diversity and health of forests across the state.

Several professors within Purdue University’s College of Agriculture are available to discuss forest management practices, hardwood forest ecosystems and the impact harvests can have on wildlife and plant life. All of these professors are team members of the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, a century-long, statewide project examining the effects of forest management on hardwood forests. These experts – all in Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources - include:

* John Dunning: Dunning specializes in wildlife ecology and ornithology and can discuss how forest management impacts bird populations.

* Michael Saunders: Saunders specializes in hardwood silviculture, the practice of managing growth, composition and health of woodlands.

* Michael Jenkins: A professor of forest ecology, Jenkins can speak on issues of understory vegetation in hardwood forests and the impact timber harvests can have on flora.

* Robert Swihart: Swihart’s focus is on wildlife ecology, and he can discuss how wildlife within hardwood forests are impacted by management practices like timber harvests.

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