The Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) and Ohio State Parks (OSP) are asking for comments on their proposed plans to log state parks. We suggest that you submit comments by December 3rd; however, OSP has stated that it will take comments beyond that date.

The budget bill recently passed by the General Assembly gives OSP the ability, for the first time ever, to commercially log state park lands under the guise of “implement[ing] sustainable forestry practices.” As a result of this new grant of authority, DOF has unveiled 5-year management plans for four state parks. Links to the plans are provided below. Two of the parks, Forked Run and Tar Hollow, have timbering scheduled to occur this fiscal year.

Talking Points:

· The offered plans fail to disclose how much timber will be cut – neither board feet nor acreage figures are provided to the public. This is the most basic and important aspect of a public logging plan – the agencies need to disclose to the public just how much timber they intend to log on a yearly basis.
· OSP and DOF have zoned the parks lands that are the least fragmented by roads and trails for the most intensive forms of logging. This makes little sense from an ecological standpoint: interior, unfragmented tracts of forest are the most rare and needed forest type in Ohio.
· Older, damaged, and dead trees provide vital homes for many species of wildlife. Nevertheless, DOF has stated that this fiscal year’s logging of Forked Run will focus on a storm-damaged area, and that the focus on Tar Hollow will be older, damaged trees and snags. Logging these wildlife havens will have a net negative effect on wildlife in the parks.
· There is no need for OPS and DOF to commercially log state parks under the guise of “sustainable forestry practices.” OSP has long had the authority to cut trees that present safety hazards, and to cut for wildlife habitat purposes.

Be sure to indicate that you desire a written response.

Mail your comments to:

Ohio State Parks
Forest Resource Management
19852 State Route 664 S
Logan, Ohio 43138