Group endorses timber harvesting of Shawnee Forest

March 7, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

In a released statement, The Ruffed Grouse Society and its southwest Ohio chapter endorsed timber harvesting in Shawnee State Forest.

According to Mark K. Jones, Chair of the Gilbert Symons Chapter, “Cutting trees results in regrowth and early successional habitat young, brushy woods. One of the most important results of timbering is the creation of new growth, early successional forests or young brushy woods. Young brushy woods are among the most productive habitats for wildlife.

“Neotropical songbirds, such as Kentucky Warblers and many others, grouse, woodcock and others are among the species of wildlife experiencing declines because the dramatic decrease in young brushy woods in Ohio and other central states. Such habitat management supports threatened populations of insects such as the burying beetle in southeast Ohio,” Jones said. “Ordinary life in the US—suburbanization, shopping malls, ranchettes of weekend homes where landowners do no habitat management results in less habitat for wildlife. It is vital that government manage our public lands for wildlife.”

According to The Ruffed Grouse Societies website, www.ruffedgrousesociety.org, members are mainly grouse and woodcock hunters who support national scientific conservation and management efforts to ensure the future of the species.”

Jones said, “Opposition to careful, controlled timber management is a philosophical position not supported by the facts; science supports the need to improve habitat for wildlife through management of our public forests.”

Last month members of the Save Our Shawnee (SOS) Forest organization traveled to Columbus to present Governor John Kasich’s office with more than 3,300 petitions calling for the end of clear-cut logging in Shawnee State Forest.

“Clear-cut logging removes all trees, leaves nothing standing and can take more than a century to re-grow. Ohio citizens want their forests preserved for themselves, their children and their grandchildren to enjoy both now and in the future. They cant’s wait a hundred years for a clear-cut to renew,” said William Tipton, a member of the Save Our Shawnee Forest Organization in a released statement. “Destructive logging activities were greatly increased in nearly all of our 21 state forests in 2012. Here in Shawnee Forest the percentage about tripled. In some state forests the percentage of increase was even greater.”

Upon receiving the petitions Rob Nichols, Press Secretary for Gov. John Kasich responded.

“We appreciate their feedback. This (clear-cutting) has been a longstanding policy of the state,” Nichols said. “It’s beneficial to local schools and promotes habitat development.”

For more information about the The Ruffed Grouse Societies visit them at, www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.

For more information about the Save Our Shawnee Forest Organization, visit their website at www.saveourshawennforest.org.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.