IHLA will be promoting legislation that would allow for the transport of logs, chips, bark, dust, and possibly even lumber over state highways up to 97,000 pounds if spread over six axles. If passed, this would include these hardwood products under the Equivalent Standard Axle Load (ESAL) formula that is available to other agricultural products.
State Forest Management
Since 1903, Indiana law has directed the DNR Division of Forestry to manage the 13 Indiana State Forests for multiple use, which includes the harvesting of timber. For the past several years, an anti-forestry activist group has been trying to stop state forest timber management, at times using radical methods. More recently, they have engaged in an expensive multi-media campaign to spread misinformation and propaganda to the legislature, and in 2016, they have gone all-in by contributing a staggering amount of campaign cash to a candidate for governor. At their annual meeting in April, the group boasted that they had been promised a “total housecleaning” at the DNR from that same candidate if elected.
The activist group is small in numbers, and includes no individuals with actual degrees in forestry. By contrast, the DNR Division of Forestry employs 30 degreed foresters, with over 540 combined years of experience in managing forests. The IHLA is calling for “all hands on deck” from our members to get involved in this issue and help make sure that your elected State Representatives and Senators hear from you on this issue. For a realistic look at what’s at stake, please take a few minutes and watch this video.
IHLA will also support efforts to increase funding for the DNR Division of Forestry, especially for the purposes of providing service to the private landowners who provide over 85% of Indiana’s commercial timber supply. Since losing approximately 40% of its funding in 2006, the Division has been stretched too thin in providing the critical expertise needed to support the state’s largest agricultural industry, which adds $13.5 billion annually to the state’s economy.
The goal of IHLA-PAC PAC is to provide direct monetary contributions to support those elected officials or candidates for state offices who support sustainable forestry, regardless of party affiliation or stances on other issues. These offices include Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Senators, and State House members.
Why should you give to the IHLA-PAC?
We improve our chances of getting the right people in office who support our cause. It levels the playing field for small businesses. It gives us the opportunity to participate politically. It makes IHLA and OUR industry visible. It’s an investment in YOUR future.
Who can give to the IHLA-PAC?
Individuals and businesses can give to the IHLA-PAC. Our contributions range from $25 to $2000 annually, and all are useful and appreciated. We need more companies giving, so smaller amounts are quite welcome. When we give in numbers, we can make a significant difference with the legislation that supports our industry. Again, your contribution is an investment in YOUR future. We need your help.
Regardless of your feelings about politics or politicians in general, the fact remains that decisions are made every day that affect your business and your industry. By being a part of the process, we make sure that we are at the table, but not “on the menu!”
Those who participate in the process determine the fate of those who do not. Please support IHLA-PAC as we work to look after YOUR interests.
If you don’t care about your industry, who will? Decisions are made every day that affect you. Do you want to be a player in those decisions, or a victim?
If you want to see a first-hand example of a current issue which could affect the entire industry, and eventually the private landowners who rely on the Division of Forestry for vital services and expertise, please click here to watch IHLA’s latest video on the battle for the state forests.
You can find your Federal and Indiana State Legislators here.