Proposed forest management project in Jackson County

Release Date: Nov 26, 2018

Contact(s): Marion Mason, (812) 275‐5987


Bedford, Ind. – The Hoosier National Forest is announcing a forest management project proposal and invites the public to participate during a 30 day scoping period. The forest is in the early stages of analysis and no decisions have been made yet on the actions being considered. The proposed project involves treating vegetation and conducting related management activities to improve forest health and increase sustainability of oak-hickory ecosystems, while also improving wildlife habitat. The project will be known as the Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project, and would move the forest toward its desired future condition as identified in the 2006 Hoosier National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. The majority of the project area is in the northwest corner of Jackson County on the Brownstown Ranger District. A small portion occurs in the northeast corner of Lawrence County. Maps and project details can be viewed online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55119.

The purpose and need of the proposal is to implement a wide array of vegetation management to provide a mosaic of forest conditions dominated by hardwoods and to restore dry hardwood forest ecosystems. The proposal also includes the need to reduce the amount of non-native pine in the project area to encourage growth of oak/hickory stands to provide a more suitable habitat to a wider array of wildlife species. During the planning and analysis process, there may also be a need to repair poorly maintained roads, trails, eroded areas, and replace old culverts to increase aquatic habitat passage and stream stability and enhance stream viability. If approved, implementation of the project would occur in a phased manner over the span of approximately 10 years. Please refer to the project website above and draft project proposal map for details on the actions being considered and analyzed through this process.

In order for the Forest Service to develop the proposed action into a viable project that meets the identified objectives, they need assistance from the public they serve. Please submit comments to the Forest Service so they know your interests and concerns can be informed by your knowledge of the area. Comments are most useful when they include specific items along with supporting facts. In order for your comments to be considered in the next stage of analysis, they should be submitted by December 26, 2018. Written comments may be submitted by letter, email, or fax. Those who wish to comment orally need to concur that they will be relying on the individual taking their comments to accurately transcribe and record those comments.

In your comments, please include the following information:

  • Your name, address, email address (if available) and telephone number
  • The project you are commenting on: Houston South
  • Site specific comments about the proposal along with supporting information you believe will help identify issues, develop alternatives, or predict environmental effects of our proposal

Written comments:

* Mail to: Hoosier National Forest, ATTN: Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project; 811 Constitution Ave., Bedford, IN 47421

* FAX: (812) 279-3423, ATTN: Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project

* Email: Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), Word (.doc or .docx) or Portable Document Format (.pdf) to comments-eastern-hoosier@fs.fed.us. Please include the subject header “Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project” in your email. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required. A scanned signature may serve as verification on electronic comments.

Oral Comments:

Comments can be received in person at the Hoosier National Forest office at 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN or via telephone (812) 275-5987 during normal business hours, Monday - Friday (8:00 am – 4:30 pm), excluding holidays.

Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will become part of the public record for this project and will be available for public inspection.

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The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes 20 states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R9.

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.

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