Letter: Private sell does not equate to public

From: Christine Linnemeier

Bloomington

I own a woodlot in Washington County with some other family members. At the same time that the state was auctioning off trees in the Yellowwood back country area Nov. 9, we were taking bids on a managed cut in our woodlot. I was shocked at the huge difference in what we were offered for our trees versus what the state was being offered for theirs.

The state sold about 1,730 trees estimated to be 447,644 board feet for $108,785. We are selling 546 trees plus 229 culled trees estimated at 260,944 board feet for $158,600.

If you do the math, you will find that the state sold their trees for 24 cents a board foot and ours are going for 60 cents a board foot. If you do it by the number of trees, the state is getting $62 a tree and we’re getting $290 a tree without including the culls. Including the culls, we’re getting $204 a tree. I don’t see a lot of difference in the type of trees being sold either: yellow poplar, oak, ash, etc. The state is selling our publicly-owned trees at way below market value!

So many citizens want the back country areas preserved and allowed to grow into old growth forest. How can the state justify selling these trees for so little money when most residents don’t want them cut at all? The only people benefiting from this sale are the loggers. Why should they get all the benefit from these publicly-owned trees? It makes one wonder if they are making large political contributions to our law makers.

If you care about this, please contact Gov. Eric Holcomb (GovHolcomb@gov.in.gov or 317-232-4567) and your state representatives. This sale and any future sales can be stopped.