Indiana Division of Forestry • www.IN.gov/dnr/forestry
Indiana State Forest Facts
Indiana State Forests were established in 1903 to protect and conserve the timber, water resources, wildlife and top soil of these lands. “By the employment of good husbandry, timber which has a substantial commercial value may be removed in such a manner as to benefit the growth of saplings and other trees.
Most of the lands acquired for the State Forests from the 1920’s - 40’s was comprised of eroding farm fields, pasture, or cut-over timberland considered to be of little value. Most of the woodland that was acquired had been high-graded – a practice that removes only the biggest and best trees, leaving low quality, undesirable trees.
State Forests are the only state owned forest lands that include timber production as part of its mission. Timber is harvested on the State Forests to improve forest stands, increase diversity, enhance wildlife habitat, and bring in revenue.
13 State Forests. 158,000 acres. Managed for multiple uses: timber production, forest management demonstration areas, outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, watershed protection. Working landscapes.
2014-15: 97,002 trees harvested (out of estimated 58.5 million live trees on State Forests)
• 51,771 sawtimber trees (11” diameter and larger)
• 45,231 pole/cull trees (less than 11”, dead or
• Total harvest: 0.2%
Most volume is in white oak
Sugar maple and beech are the most abundant species
Fifteen percent of State Forest timber sale revenue is returned to the counties in which the timber sales are conducted. In 2015, 16 counties received $442,000 to help support county government and public safety efforts of rural and volunteer fire departments.
• More than 300 miles of hiking trails, including the Knobstone Trail, Adventure Hiking Trail and Tecumseh Trail for backpacking.
• 270 miles of horse trails
• Over 40 miles of mountain bike trails
• 423 Class C (primitive)
• 210 Class B (electric)
• 55 Class A (water & electricity) campsites a State Forest Recreation Areas
• 102 horse primitive
• 108 horse electric
• 40 camping cabins (electricity, no water)
• 2 family cabins
• 1 group camp
Hunting and Fishing
• Over 125 lakes and 150,000 acres of woodlands await and challenge Indiana anglers and hunters
Managing for wildlife is a priority for State Forests. Encouraging forests with a variety of stand ages and habitat types to provide the greatest benefit to the widest range of species.
State Forests are managed by professional foresters with at least a 4-year degree in Forestry/Forest Management/Forest Science
Indiana State Forests are certified sustainable by two world-recognized bodies www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/7532.htm
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) (FSC-C012858): promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests, by establishing a worldwide standard of recognized and respected Principles of Forest Stewardship.
Sustainable Forest Initiative® Program: promotes sustainable forest management through standards based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.
Indiana State Forests are audited annually by both programs. State Forests have been found in compliance since the initiation of certification for both programs.
Best management practices (BMPs) are included in every timber sale contract and enforced on State Forests. Forestry BMPs are a foundation for water quality protection and provide guidelines for protecting water quality during forest operations. The purpose of BMPs is to minimize the impact of forest activities that may affect soil and water quality.
There are 20 dedicated Nature Preserves protecting over 2600 acres – these are significant natural areas that have been permanently set aside for their unique natural features. These nature preserves ensure that older age trees will always exist in the State Forests.
Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests contain research sites for the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE). https://ag.purdue.edu/hee/
The HEE is a comprehensive, long-term project begun in 2006 that is investigating the impact of different forest management practices on flora and fauna.
Early results are showing that timber management has no significant impact on a variety of threatened and endangered wildlife, and in fact appears to enhance the presence of other woodland species.