Updated Fri, Nov 4, 2011 5:03 am
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is revealing forest resource plans for four state parks in our region, but not everyone is happy about it.
An open house was held in Athens last night to talk abut the timber management plans for Lake Hope, Forked Run, Tar Hollow and Scioto Trail State Park.
Legislation approved this year authorizes the chief of Ohio State Parks to manage timber resources on state park property.
ODNR officials say the plans are designed to salvage damaged or unhealthy trees that threaten public safety, increase wildlife diversity potential habitat for threatened or endangered plants, and boost the resilience of the forests to disease and insect attacks.
They plan to begin a sustainable timber harvesting program in selected locations this year.
Opponents to the plan, which includes environmental groups such as the Buckeye Forest Council, say the plans are too vague.
"There's no indication in any of the plans they've provided to the public in terms of how much they're going to be harvesting, in terms of board feeder or acrage and that sort of thing, and there's no indication of why they're going to be harvesting, at least in terms of the plans," says Buckeye Forest Council Staff Attorney Nathan Johnson.
He says that the trees they are planning on cutting down are actually ideal habitats for animals.
ODNR foresters say they will soon begin a 10-year study at each park to assess the overall health and condition of forests with the parks.