Trees are everything

During this uncharacteristically warm February, it is easy to have mixed emotions about the weather. It is so nice to get outside, to rid yourself of the captivity of Winter, but most of us have mixed emotions as we know it as a sign of global warming.

I myself did get out and was able to walk around our beautiful forest at Eagle Creek with my pups and thought to myself: trees are everything. They are one of our greatest natural forces in fighting climate change and they add so much value to our lives. The forests in Indiana are one of our state’s greatest assets and there has been a bill proposed, known as the “Old Forest” which would set aside 10% of Indiana’s State forests from logging (SB420).

Saving these natural resources from logging is not a partisan issue as we have a history in this state of Republican governors and Democratic representatives working to save portions of the forests. The current logging program has unfortunately reduced the acres set aside from logging from 60,000 in the 80’s to only 7,500 acres today. Losing this asset to our state would be devastating for our environment.

The bill tries to protect the oldest standing trees — hence the “old forest” coinage — as large, healthy trees, remove almost 70 times more air pollution each year than a small, newly planted tree. In one year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by the average car’s annual mileage. In addition to the environmental benefits our forests provide us, they are also one of our state’s largest tourist attractions.

U.S. Forest Service data concluded that forest related recreation supports nearly 5 times more jobs in communities than logging does.

If you are anything like me, these forests provide a mental respite from the chaos of city living. These forests are integral to our state identity and they mean so much to locals using the parks for recreation, but also for visitors who travel to visit the lush forests we have to offer. Trees help us reconnect with nature while doing their part to help us lead healthier lives. Help us protect these assets, call your representatives and ask them to support bill SB420.

For more on this bill visit Indiana Forest Alliance.

Thanks for reading Monday Memos,

Kait

Upcoming opportunities for action:

Our youth-led Climate Recovery Resolution will be heard on Monday, Feb. 27. The full City-County Council will vote on the Resolution; meeting is at the City County Building, 200 E. Washington, downtown Indy, starting at 7 p.m. More information here.

Last year our youth were recognized at Earth Charter Indiana Night at the Indiana Pacers. Our youth took over Pacers Square before the game and shared presentations on sustainability and climate action. If you would like to join us for this year's ECI Night at the Pacers, go here for more details and to purchase tickets. The password code is earth. And/or, if you like you can make a donation to us on behalf of us sending even more kids to this game vs. the Utah Jazz.

Earth Charter