(UNDATED) – The Hoosier National Forest will host two public open houses in August to discuss a forest management project proposal for forest system lands in Jackson County. This project area, known as the Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project, involves treating vegetation and conducting related management activities to improve forest health and increase the sustainability of oak-hickory ecosystems, while also improving wildlife habitat.
- Monday, August 5, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. (EDT) at Brownstown Central High School, 608 W. Commerce St., Brownstown, Indiana
- Wednesday, August 7, 2019 from 6-8 p.m.(EDT) at Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, Indiana
These open house events will allow the public to engage with Hoosier National Forest subject matter experts who have been conducting the NEPA assessment. While the events will last for two hours, people are invited to stop by anytime during those hours to visit the individual stations devoted to different specific aspects of this project area.
The Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project would move the forest toward its desired future condition as identified in the 2006 Hoosier National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. The majority of the project area is in the northwest corner of Jackson County on the Brownstown Ranger District. A small portion occurs in the northeast corner of Lawrence County. Maps and project details can be viewed online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55119.
The purpose and need of the proposal are to implement a wide array of vegetation management to provide a mosaic of forest conditions dominated by hardwoods and to restore dry hardwood forest ecosystems. The proposal also includes the need to reduce the amount of non-native pine in the project area to encourage the growth of oak/hickory stands to provide more suitable habitat to a wider array of wildlife species. During the planning and analysis process, there may also be a need to repair poorly maintained roads, trails, eroded areas, and replace undersized and obsolete infrastructure that prohibits upstream movement of aquatic species. If approved, implementation of the project would occur in a phased manner over the span of approximately 10 years or longer. Please refer to the project website above and draft project proposal map for details on the actions being considered and analyzed through this process.