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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BCH Episode #29 – August 2014

BCH Episode #29: 2014-08-03
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Bees in Indiana: a roundtable discussion with Chuck Wills
  • Essay by Jeff Tryon: “Our Brown County”
  • Larry Pejeau, CEO of the Brown County Community Foundationlogo2
  • John Mills, former Brown County School Board member
  • Larry Pejeau and John Mills discuss the Brown County Literacy Coalition
  • Poetry by Chris Curtin
  • Rick Fettig with a Brown County News Update
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • and selected tunes from the 2014 Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Competition
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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BCH Episode # 28 – July 2014

BCH Episode #28: 2014-06-01
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Cheeky Rose.

First aired Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Chuck Wills and Kara Barnard bring us up to date on the Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Competition
  • S.G. Stratigus delivers Ron Dye’s adaptation of the Frank Hohenberger tale of attorney Bill Jones’ summation in the the moonshine trial of Alex Mullis
  • Tramp Starr’s poem Farm DoorsISFGC_logo_bw
  • Keith Bradway remembers the early days of Fruitdale
  • The Land & Lore of Brown County by Bill Land: Lake Monroe
  • Another installment by Bill Miller, sharing his memories of Brown County
  • Poetry by Chris Curtin and Gunther Flumm
  • Rick Fettig interrupts a BCH meeting to take a call from the First Lady
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • and selected solo guitar recordings from last year’s Indiana State Fingerstyle Competition
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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WoodWatch Update: Being A Good Steward

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forest_alliance_logoFATHER’S DAY 2014 — In times past forest preservation groups have tried many different methods to bring public attention to the cause of forest preservation. There were protests at timber sales, tree sitting, and lots of sign carrying. These groups had their hearts in the right place, unfortunately the net effect of their protests was to allow the opposition to marginalize their efforts. Their spin went something like this, look at those crazy hippies up in the trees, obviously no right thinking person can be expected to take them seriously.

Interestingly the forest plan they were protesting was the old one when the cut rate was 17% and a tract was “visited” once in twenty years. The new plan has increased the cut rate by a 1,000% and includes visiting a given tract twice, or even three times in twenty years.

The realization that we were facing a complete alteration of the forest, indeed the removal of the forest (including the formerly protected Back Country areas), upped the anti, and a new approach was called for.

This is what we’re seeing now. People from all walks of life, on both sides of the isles are joining hands to oppose the new plan, and one of the important tools is science.

I mentioned the Eco-blitz the IFA is conducting over the next few weeks, scientists from several universities are gathering to conduct a complete inventory of all the plants and animals currently residing in the forest. Several endangered species have been identified, and this is a first step.

The DNR is charged with practicing good forest management designed to sustain and protect the forest in perpetuity. The original plan called for sustained timber harvest and to provide multi use opportunities.

Since their formation a hundred years ago they have never conducted a study of this scope and scale, the few and far between studies were short term and limited to small areas. In other words they have no firm information what’s actually out there and what if any creatures are dependant on undisturbed forest land.

You might think the DNR would be pleased this study is being conducted, especially since they didn’t have to pay for it. Well, think again.

As a condition to issue the permit, the DNR drew up an agreement that included a clause forbidding the IFA, or the participating scientists from using any information they gathered to oppose the new plan. The IFA refused to sign, and it looked like the Eco-blitz would have to be canceled.

At the last minute the DNR backed down and is allowing the study to take place.

This is what we’re up against, the DNR doesn’t want anyone to review the new plan, even by the people who own the forest, namely the citizens of Indiana.

Being a good steward is a lot like being a good father, it takes patience and love with a look ahead to consider the consequences of your actions.

Something to think about on Father’s day.

~~~ David Seastrom
BCH Co-Producer and unabashed treehugger

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WoodWatch: Study of DNR plan approved but stopped by SOH Bosma

WoodWatch_update_banner by David Seastrom, BCH Co-producer

Yesterday I had a conversation with Jeff Stant, chairman of the Indiana Forest Alliance, and I am disappointed to share the news, Speaker of the House, Mr. Brian Bosma, has decided not to allow the study of the new DNR plan to proceed.

This study was approved by a majority from both houses and received across the board support. It’s generally understood Mr. Bosma was persuaded by the DNR and the logging industry that no further study is necessary. The idea they presented is, we already know all we need to know, and the new plan should be implemented without encumbrance.

This news does not mean the fight to save Indiana State Forests is over, far from it. There will be new legislation presented this fall aimed at protecting the previously set aside Back Country areas, but in the mean time there’s a lot we can do.

First and foremost please consider contacting Mr. Brian Bosma directly through phone calls, letters, and emails, and tell him about your concern for forest preservation.

It’s also important to thank your representatives if they supported the study, and encourage them to contact Mr. Bosma and ask him to reverse his decision. If your legislators did not support the study, please contact them and ask for their support.

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Ecoblitz

This week end, the Indiana Forest Alliance is co-hosting, along with the Hoosier Environmental Council, an Ecoblitz.

Essentially, this is a group of scientists representing different disciplines who will conduct a survey of the diverse life forms contained in the Morgan Monroe State Forest Back Country area.
They will be identifying Birds, Plants and Fungi, Aquatic Macro Invertebrates, and Reptiles and Amphibians.

The data they accumulate will provide an important base line for understanding the complexity of the ecosystem contained in the Back Country, and identify any protected species that depend on this system to survive.

The hope is to demonstrate how important to the overall ecology this area truly is. It’s well known the Back Country is a primary breeding ground for the federally endangered Indiana Brown Bat, and the Cerulean Warbler, a song bird that needs dense canopy to produce offspring.

It’s been shown that without the dense forests of Brown County there will be no Cerulean Warblers in places as far flung as Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Here’s an excerpt from BCH #26 with our interview with wildlife expert Geoff Keller:

Excerpt from BCH #26, May 2014

The new plan is a drastic departure from management the DNR has practiced from the first timber sales in the sixties. The science of forest management hasn’t changed… what has changed is the emphasis on the bottom line.

We must not lose heart. The overwhelming majority of Hoosiers support forest preservation, and it’s up to us to let the legislators know they’re on the wrong side of this issue.

Please consider joining us and contact Mr. Bosma and your own legislators, and tell them how you feel.

~~~ David Seastrom
BCH Co-Producer and unabashed treehugger

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BCH Episode #27 – June 2014

BCH Episode #27: 2014-06-01
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Cheeky Rose.

First aired Sunday, May 5, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB (Spring Fund Drive Special)

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Jim Schultz of the Salt Creek Preservation Project gives us an update on developments
  • Multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/artist Kara Barnard

    Multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/artist Kara Barnard

    Bill Miller shares his memories of Brown County, including a history of Elkinsville, a small town that disappeared with the creation of Lake Monroe

  • Mike Hater, on ukeleles and the Ukelele World Congress event held every year in Needmore
  • Dave Seastrom delivers another fine essay
  • a Brown County News Update by Rick Fettig
  • and an interview with our musical guest, Kara Barnard, including some outstanding songs featuring her fingerstyle guitar, mandolin, banjo and singing.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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Hunting the Elusive Morel Mushroom

morel_mushroomIt’s that time of year when many, many folks in Brown County boot up to hit the woods in search of southern Indiana’s tastiest volunteer wild food, the Morchella (aka the Morel mushroom).

The internet is, of course, abuzz with reports of sightings, captures, and recipes for this delectable little dirt fruit, but the Brown County Hour can offer something unique — the insights of one of Brown County’s most famous (and notorious) shroomers, a man who measures his catch by the feed bag, a man almost as elusive as the fungus he hunts with such success, Mr. Bird Snyder. He also happens to be a banjo picker in the White Lightening Boys, a not irrelevant factoid.

Here’s the Snyder segment BCH aired in Episode #16, our April, 2013 show, in which, among other things, Bird proceeds to detail his approach to awesome shrooming in the hills of County Brown:

Bird Snyder on mushrooming

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BCH Episode #26 – May 2014

BCH Episode #26: 2014-005-04
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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, May 5, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB (Spring Fund Drive Special)

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Wildlife field recording engineer Geoff Keller talking about the impact of excessive logging on the ecosystem

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    Visit CD Baby to check out Lost Lonesome Train by Jeb Allen

  • Taylor Roberts, one of the students from Brown County Jr. High School who traveled recently to Washington DC to win the WE THE PEOPLE national competition for the 2nd straight year
  • poetry by Gunther Flumm, Chris Curtin, Mike Bube and Tramp Starr
  • essays by Dave Seastrom, Rick Fettig and Bill Land
  • and an interview with our musical guest, Jeb Allen, including some tracks from his recent CD, “Lost Lonesome Train”, plus live acoustic music recorded in the BCH studio with Jeb accompanied by Brown County musical luminaries Slats Klug and Dan Bilger.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Also available for downloading/streaming at WFHB.org

Add your comments below.

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