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updated: 6/12/2013 10:01 AM

Some opposing logging plans for 2 Ind. forests

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Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana officials have proposing additional logging in two state forests near Bloomington that could result in the cutting down of some 1,500 trees.

Environmentalists oppose the plan for logging within the 2,700-acre back country areas of the Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood state forests, The Herald-Times reported.

The state designated the back country areas in 1981 to protect those forests from development. Hoosier Forest Watch spokesman Myke Luurtsema said the group believed those sections should remain untouched.

"This wild forest is arguably more unique and valuable to Hoosiers in its un-logged condition today than it was in 1981," Luurtsema said.

The Department of Natural Resources' public comment period on the proposal ends Wednesday.

The agency has proposed allowing logging on a 129-acre tract in the Morgan-Monroe forest, with 20 acres within that area remaining untouched, DNR spokesman Phil Bloom said.

Luurtsema objected to some trees in the forests already having been marked with blue paint for cutting.

Bloom said the marking is done ahead of time so that if permission is granted, tree cutting can begin immediately.

"Our folks have a narrow window of time to work in, so marking does not necessarily mean cutting," he said.

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