WoodWatch: Hiking the wasteland

WoodWatch_update_bannerAnother beautiful day gave me the perfect excuse to work on my stay fit during winter plan. I’ve been wanting to hike the area next to us that was recently logged. It would’ve been smarter if I’d gone while the ground was still frozen, but I was filled with desire, and it was fifty degrees with sunshine.

Click to view full size

Click to view full size

The state had a “do not enter” tape stretched across the trail head, so rather than violate the law, I took a different path to the trail. The trail we’ve been hiking and skiing on for thirty five years is obliterated, in its place is a new road bed that’s wide enough for heavy equipment to drive on. This new terrain road will serve as a corridor for the extensive logging the state will conduct until this area is completely logged out.

I wanted to walk the entire area where the recent logging took place, and it was impossibly muddy. The disturbed soil is in the process of eroding down the face of the ridge system where this new road is situated, and it was almost impossible to find firm ground to walk on.

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I was able to see an overview, and it looks like they’ve left a handful of older trees as seed stock and bulldozed the space in between to remove all of the “undesirable” species.

Poplar, iron wood, sassafras, maple, ash, and beach are reduced to the point of non existence, in favor of white and red oak. The money trees.

I also observed a modicum of erosion control on the wide road they’ve built. The steep hill sides, stripped of most trees, had none, and this soil is bleeding down into the creek beds at the bottom of the ravines.

This is what an industrial tree farm looks like. The new focus is to maximize profit at the expense of diversity.

Click to view full size

Click to view full size

I laboriously picked my way along the edge of this new road until I came to the clearing they’re using to yard the logs. There are several huge piles of cutoffs where they trimmed the logs and loaded them onto the trucks we’re seeing everywhere on our county roads.

This area was logged at least once during my tenure, but that was using the old guide lines that were in place form the beginning.

There’s no mistaking what we’re seeing now is a complete sea change. The new plan is a radical departure from all of the management practices I’ve ever seen in our forests.

As part of my fitness plan I intend to hike this area and track the consequence of the IDNR’s new plan.

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Click to view full size

I’ll also spend as much time as I can hiking the areas that haven’t been ruined, and breath in the last sight of what was once the greatest unspoiled expanse of state forest land in the Midwest.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS HERE =>>>

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BCH Episode #34 – January 2015

BCH Episode #34: 2015-01-04
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Pam Raider, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig & Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • David Bartlett

    David Bartlett

    Musical guest David Bartlett talks about his recent CD, Lead Your Life By A Song, produced by Jeff Foster, and we hear several tunes from the project

  • Cari Ray returns with the second of her new BCH series, For A Song, wherein she explores the creative processes involved in finding your muse
  • Rick Fettig with an original story, It’s A Boy, about growing up (and old) in a changing world, with background music by Barry Ginsbarg
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another pithy essay
  • Poetry by Gunther Flumm
  • And music recorded live at our Nov 1 2014 BCH Studio Fundraiser held at the Brown County Inn, including tracks by Dave Sisson & Sam Herrin, Trish Rieke and Cole O’Day.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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BCH Episode #33 – December 2014

BCH Episode #33: 2014-12-07
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Pam Raider, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig & Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Musical guest Kenan Rainwater talks about his recent CD, As The River Flows, produced by the Reverend Peyton, and we hear selected tunes from the project

    Kenan Rainwater

    Kenan Rainwater

  • Director of Mother’s Cupboard Sherry Houze discusses the Cupboard’s work to help feed Brown Countians in need
  • Brown County singer/songwriter extraordinaire Cari Ray launches the pilot segment of her new BCH series, For A Song, wherein she explores the creative processes involved in finding your muse
  • Rick Fettig offers a heartfelt perspective on public assistance, and also some thoughts on a persimmon tree
  • Our old friend Pete Sebert returns to visit Brown County, and offers some uplifting thoughts in a freewheeling interview with Pam Raider
  • Poetry by Gunther Flumm
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another pithy essay
  • FOSTER JONES perform Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas in this archive recording from our December 2010 episode.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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Let’s NOT allow this to happen

 

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loggingI’m beginning to find a whole new attraction to cold and rainy days. When the weather is inclement the loggers don’t work, and the forest is allowed one more day of existence.

This situation also bought me enough time to come up with a camcorder. Time is of the essence, and the delay of even a week or two would spell a lost opportunity to document the logging taking place right next to us.

All logging is unattractive. Over the last thirty eight years, I’ve been observing forest management practices, and it’s always a painful sight.

However under the old management system, that existed from the first managed timber sales in the sixties until 2004, the seventeen percent new growth cut rate was a selective cut, and the forest recovered quickly.

Then along came the new plan, instituted single-handedly by former governor Daniels.

What was once valued and protected by both republicans and democrats, for almost a century, became fodder for the bottom line.

When the spokespeople for the IDNR tell you “we’ve always cut trees” this is true. But what they are in fact doing, is skillfully leading Hoosiers down the garden path.

This is also part of the new plan.

It’s well understood in government circles that the overwhelming majority of Hoosiers are in favor of no logging in state forests. So it’s vital to the plan not to be forth coming or honest in their descriptions.

Actually, the success of the plan is dependent on keeping the public uninformed.

This is where the camcorder comes in.

The state can lie all they want. And they most certainly will. They stand in front of the cameras with big grins on their faces as they spin their false tales of proper management based on science.

But no one will be smiling when these images of the new plan are made public. The comparison between the old management system and the new plan will become completely obvious.

The IDNR publicly states the new plan is based on science. The problem with these assertions are, they’re simply not true.

The foresters and silviculturists working for the IDNR received the same education. Around here they all went to the same school, and many of them studied under the same professors.

If it was simply a matter of science there would be a general agreement, and this is not the case.

No less than James M. Ridenour, former director of the National Park Service, former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and currently professor emeritus at the I. U. school of Public Health, completely disagrees with the new plan and has stated so publicly.

As I mentioned he has the same education as the current managers of the IDNR, only he has a lot more experience.

The science didn’t change, the emphasis on the bottom line changed.

I run the risk of become annoying to my friends and readers when I constantly harp on this topic, but I tell you truly, if we don’t act now, it will be too late.

Let’s not allow this to happen.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS HERE =>>>

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BCH Episode #32 – November 2014

BCH Episode #32: 2014-11-02
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Pam Raider, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig & Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Musical guest Lauren Robert with a discussion of living the big life in NYC, returning to Brown County, her experiences as a peace officer, and her new band Soul Medicine, plus four songs from her vast repertoire of great R&B tunes
  • Director of the Indiana Forest Alliance Jeff Stant discusses the current state of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ controversial forest management plan in an important extended interview

    Lauren Robert

    Lauren Robert

  • Poetry by Chris Curtin and Tramp Starr
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another pithy essay.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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BCH Studio Fundraiser Event – Nov 1, 2014

 

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THE BACKSTORY: The Brown County Hour is well into its 5th year of production, and about to air our 32nd episode. The growth and development of the show has been greatly facilitated by our association with the Brown County History Center (BCHC), which has kindly provided our studio space since very early in the show.

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The new Brown County History Center under construction

As you may know, BCHC has been building a beautiful new facility on their property on Gould Street, and the space is almost ready to go. The History Center and the Brown County Hour have worked out an arrangement to continue our association, and the result is a large new studio space in the new building, more than twice the size of our current studio. The room we’re moving into will be finished (ie, electrical, drywall and drop-ceiling), but it’s up to the BCH crew to build the studio infrastructure itself.

Members of the BCH production crew, Dave Seastrom, Rick Fettig (both experienced carpenters and contractors) and Jeff Foster (a guitar player who can swing a hammer with a fair degree of aplomb) have drawn up plans to create a proper recording studio by building a soundproof control room separate from the larger sound room, hard-wiring the mic, audio and computer connections, applying sound treatments on the walls, and otherwise furnishing the studio to create a comfortable, professional recording environment. The BCH crew will be providing all the labor at no cost.

Of course, we will still require a good bit of cash for building materials. So with the kind support of our friends at the Brown County Inn, Pine Room Tavern, Muddy Boots Cafe, and the Hobnob Corner Restaurant, we’re planning a special, one-night-only fundraising event to be held Saturday evening, November 1 @ 7pm in BCI’s Town Hall, with 100% of the proceeds going into the BCH Studio Fund so we can create the studio we’d like to see.

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Our studio will be on the ground floor, tucked back and insulated from any street noise.

The event will be a 3-hour live version of the Brown County Hour (to be recorded for broadcast in future episodes of BCH), and will feature music performed by several of Brown County’s favorite local musicians:

  • Cari Ray & Chuck Wills
  • Rob Bowden & Dave Gore
  • Jeb Allen & Rich Morpurgo
  • Trish Rieke
  • Dave Sisson
  • Cole O’Day
  • and BCH’s own Rick Fettig

We also plan to hold a silent auction, and offer other attractions as well. It’ll be a fun night, for sure. And since BCH is affiliated with WFHB, a 501-c3 non-profit corporation, all donations to our fund are tax-deductible.

The best parts of the live recording will be heard on upcoming episode(s) of the Brown County Hour on WFHB. So come on out, support the show, and raise your voice to help us continue the important community service we love to do!

Want to help spread the word?
Here’s a PDF promotional flyer you can print out and pass around to friends.

Want to donate to the BCH Studio Fund right now?
Write a check made out to WFHB (include a note indicating
the money is a donation to the BCH Studio Fund), and mail to:

WFHB
Brown County Hour Studio Fund
108 W Fourth St
Bloomington, IN 47404

Thanks to all our supporters who have helped keep the Brown County Hour on the air over the years.
You are the community in community radio!


There are even rumors the famous BCH Outhouse will be making a special appearance!

There are even rumors the famous BCH Outhouse will be making a special appearance!

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BCH Studio Fundraiser Flyer

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BCH Episode #31 – October 2014

BCH Episode #31: 2014-10-05
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Pam Raider, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig & Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Our special WFHB Fall Fund-drive episode, featuring:
  • Metal worker Brad Cox discusses the dedication of the new Teen BETA sculpture

    The new Teen BETA sculpture

    The new Teen BETA sculpture

  • A tall tale, “The Death of Sliver Milo”, by Hank Swain
  • Poetry by Chris Curtin and Gunther Flumm
  • Rick Fettig with another Brown County News Update
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • and our musical guests, Frank Jones and Slats Klug, featuring their individual adaptations of Carl Wilson (“Tramp Starr”) writings.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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BCH Episode #30 – September 2014

BCH Episode #30: 2014-09-07
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Bob Gustin, former editor of the Columbus Republic, discusses his perspective on the current state of journalism
  • We talk to two young local participants in the National History Day competition held in Washington DCnhd_logo
  • Rita Simon of the Brown County History Center discusses the grand opening of its new facility in Nashville
  • John Mills, former Brown County School Board member, continues his discussion in part two of the interview we aired last month
  • Larry Pejeau and John Mills discuss their early days in the pottery business
  • Poetry by Chris Curtin and Gunther Flumm
  • Rick Fettig with a Brown County News Update: “Fox News”
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • and our musical guest, Barry Johnson, shares stories of his work as a songwriter pitching tunes in “Music City USA”, and we hear demos of his work produced in Nashville, TN.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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WoodWatch: Living next to Ground Zero

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by Dave Seastrom, BCH Producer and unabashed tree-hugger

Becky and I live right next to “ground zero”. Soon the chainsaws, skidders, and dozers will have their way with this once pristine forest and this track will become a product of the new forest plan. I use the word product because that’s the way the state sees this land, as a commodity.

I was thinking about all of this as I weed whacked a clearing in the grassy area where the Bio-Blitz will take place this weekend, at The Weaver Plantation off of Low Gap road.

The weather was perfect for this activity, cool and cloudy. As I worked, I reflected on clearing this same area during high summer, in the blazing heat and full sun. Everyone was hot, but the dedication of the scientists, and the belief our work has real meaning, keep spirits high.

Tuesday night I listened to an interview with the head state forester with the DNR, John Siefert. I was very impressed with his smooth delivery, and the cool detached way he offhandedly spun a revised history of the new forest plan. If I didn’t know better, based on this interview, I would assume the forest is being properly managed.

Mr Siefert refused to appear with anyone who would challenge his view points, and he was free to paint a fantasy portrait of the new plan. It all sounded so good, unfortunately for Mr. Siefert, his remarks are not supported by the facts.

When he was asked about the dramatic increase in the timber harvest, he replied “we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done, harvest timber.” Not only did he not acknowledge that there is a new plan, he completely disavowed the 1,000% increase in the rate of harvest. He also left out that 100% of the state forest land will be affected.

In this weeks Brown County Democrat, James M. Ridenour, former director of the National Park Service, and the former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources condemned the new plan. If you haven’t seen his letter I advise you to read what he has to say.

“While it makes sense to have timber sales in some of our state lands, it also makes sense to save some of this land for hikers, bikers, campers, and other recreational users. We need to save prime acres of our forest lands for multiple use, and to tell the story of what Indiana pioneers found when they came to our state.”

He went on to say; “On the lands to be timbered, let’s use the least intrusive of the timbering processes. We don’t need large clear-cut areas, and we don’t need miles and miles of haul roads. Single-tree selection is a concept that can work in many instances.”

Mr. Ridenour’s views completely echo the position the Indiana Forest Alliance is taking.

Having passed a bill calling for a review of the forest plan, (officially called a “study”), only to have it shot down by lobbying efforts from the logging industry, the IFA has decided to become pro-active.

This fall we will be introducing a series of bills designed to establish multi-use preservation areas in our state forest lands. With allies like Mr Ridenour, and as may Hoosier voices we can muster, we intend to launch this campaign for the upcoming legislative session.

Now we have a clear plan of action. There will be more information as the plan is finalized, and we’ll be calling on everyone who shares this concern.

Mr. Ridenour concluded his letter by saying; “In the great forests of the West, we have saved the very best of of the Sequoias and the Redwoods. Let’s save the best of Indiana’s woodlands.”

Yes please, and let’s get it done before the state removes that option.

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