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Public Comments needed for State Forest High Conservation Value Forests

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Paul_Arlinghaus:
 On October 28 the Indiana Department of Natural Resources division of Forestry announced a proposal to dedicate 3 areas as High Conservation Value Forests.  These areas are:
 
Clark State Forest: Outbrook Ravine
http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-HCVF_Outbrook_Ravine_10262016.pdf

Ferdinand State Forest: Hurricane Creek
http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-HCVF_Hurricane_Creek_10262016.pdf

Yellowwood State Forest: Yellowwood Conservation Area
http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-HCVF_Yellowwood_10262016.pdf
 
 
These areas have been identified as having species of that would benefit from a conservation management focus.  Since these areas would be protected from commercial timber operations, these areas would also provide opportunity for recreational trails in High Quality Forests.
 
State Forests are currently taking public comments on these areas.  It is important that the mountain bike community provides public comment on these areas.  While the charters for these areas allow for recreation corridors, mountain biking is not specifically mentioned.  This leaves the inclusion or exclusion of mountain biking up to future interpretation. HMBA supports the HCVF proposals with the exception that we want to see mountain biking specifically included in the charters.
 
We believe that there will be additional HCVF and Nature Preserves dedicated in State Forests in the next few years and it is important that the mountain bike community is engaged in this process, or we risk permanently loosing access to areas that have some fantastic trail opportunities. 
 
Public Comments are due by November 25, 2016.  Please take a few minutes and provide comments on these areas.  You can see HMBA’s comments below.
 
To make a comment go to
 
http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/8122.htm
 
Please comment on each specific HVCF. Please comment on all 3 (In 3 separate comment forms)
 
You must enter the following into the “Subject or File Reference” line


* Outbrook Ravine HCVF
* Hurricane Creek HCVF
* Yellowwood HCVF 
HMBA comments on each area are below.  Your comments have greater value if you provide personal comments on the value of mountain bike trail access in these areas.  Talk about
 

* How you use the areas.
* Your volunteer / financial support for trails.
* Why recreation in High Quality Forests is important to you.
* That you would like to see mountain biking specifically listed in the Charter.
 
 
Outbrook Ravine
 
The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association supports the proposed Outbrook Ravine High Conservation Value Forest in Clark State Forest.  The selected area contains species of significant conservation value. 
 
While we note that the HCVF does contain language that supports “recreation trail corridors”, we would like to see mountain biking specifically mentioned in the language of the HCVF charter.  This HCVF is vital to connecting Deam Lake and Clark State Forest area trail systems. While there is currently only one mountain bike trail in Deam Lake, these properties are part of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s long term plan.
 
We believe that sustainably designed recreation trails are compatible with the conservation mission of this area. Including “mountain biking” specifically in the language is important because this area is being considered for additional Nature Preserves.  Nature Preserves have ruled that unless specifically mention, mountain bike trials are prohibited.
 
Providing recreational trails in these areas is important, as it will give Hoosiers the chance to see conservation at work. We need the public’s long term support to ensure our public lands are properly funded and protected for generations to come.  This area is ideal for recreational trails as trails in these areas will not be impacted by timber harvests
 
 
Hurricane Creek
 
The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association supports the proposed Hurricane Creek High Conservation Value Forest in Ferdinand State Forest.  The selected area contains unique forests that are appropriate for protection. 
 
While we note that the HCVF does contain language that supports “recreation trail corridors”, we would like to see mountain biking specifically mentioned in the language of the HCVF charter.  There is currently a mountain bike trail area’s Western Border.  The recreational value of the existing trail would be increased if the trail was allowed to use the HCVF area.  The public would also benefit from recreation trails in this area, as they would be able to see the large Red and White Oaks that are in this mesic upland forest.
 
We believe that sustainably designed recreation trails are compatible with the conservation mission of this area.  Including “mountain biking” specifically in the language is important because this area is being considered for additional Nature Preserves.  Nature Preserves have ruled that unless specifically mention, mountain bike trials are prohibited.
 
Providing recreational trails in these areas is important, as it will give Hoosiers the chance to see conservation at work. We need the public’s long term support to ensure our public lands are properly funded and protected for generations to come.  This area is ideal for recreational trails as trails in these areas will not be impacted by timber harvests.
 
Yellowwood Conservation Area
 
The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association supports the proposed Yellowwood High Conservation Value Forest in Yellowwood State Forest.  The selected area contains unique forests that are appropriate for protection. 
 
While we note that the HCVF does contain language that supports “recreation trail corridors”, we would like to see mountain biking specifically mentioned in the language of the HCVF charter.  There are currently several mountain bike trails in this area:
* 10 O’Clock MTB trail
* Miller Ridge
* Trail D
* Crooked Creek Lake Trail
The current language for the HCVF specifically mentions hiking, horse back riding, and handicap hunter trail access and we would like for mountain biking to be specifically mentioned as well.
 
We believe that sustainably designed recreation trails are compatible with the conservation mission of this area.  Including “mountain biking” specifically in the language is important because this area is being considered for additional Nature Preserves.  Nature Preserves have ruled that unless specifically mention, mountain bike trials are prohibited.
 
Providing additional recreational trails in this area is important, as it will give Hoosiers the chance to see conservation at work. We need the public’s long term support to ensure our public lands are properly funded and protected for generations to come. This area is ideal for recreational trails as trails in these areas will not be impacted by timber harvests.
 
 

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