Division of Forestry Overview
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry promotes and practices good stewardship of natural, recreational and cultural resources on Indiana's public and private forest lands. This stewardship produces continuing benefits, both tangible and intangible, for present and future generations.
Communities consist of natural resources, people and the structures they create. Almost 70% of Indiana's population live in cities and towns. Most of these urban and suburban residents don't realize they live in a forest-an urban forest. Unfortunately, this natural resource needs attention. Urban forests are being stressed by natural factors such as age, insects, diseases and storm damage. They are also stressed by human factors such as development and urban sprawl. The Division of Forestry's Community and Urban Forestry (CUF) program is trying to help communities address these issues. We work with cities, towns and not-for-profit organizations to develop tree ordinances, coordinate tree planting project, and establish tree maintenance programs-all to improve the quality of life. This assistance is offered through training and grant programs. If you think the CUF program could help your community, go to the next page.
Check out some Frequently Asked Questions about the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.
Fire has always played an important role in human existence. Controlled fire warms our homes, cooks our food and helps manufacture thousands of products we use. But uncontrolled fire can be devastating, destroying both lives and property. Our Fire Management program seeks to eliminate uncontrolled wildland fires, while using controlled fire as a resource management tool. We work with volunteer fire departments throughout Indiana by offering training, equipment and grants to combat wildland fire. We also work with natural resource managers as they use fire to maintain ecosystems that are critical to some populations of plants and animals. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, go to the next page.
FOREST RESOURCE AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION The wood-using industry utilizes one of Indiana's most valuable renewable natural resources - timber. Proper management of Indiana's timber resource will help guarantee primary wood-using firms a sustainable supply of quality wood fiber. The Division of Forestry - Utilization and Marketing Program’s primary focus is to provide assistance to the forest industry. Current program emphasis is the statewide forest inventory and analysis, timber product output information, logger training and technical transfer. For additional information, check it out.
The term "forest health" refers to the condition and vigor of our forests relative to human values and needs. The purpose of the Forest Health program is to monitor the health of our forests (both rural and urban) and act to protect them from harmful insects and diseases. Working cooperatively with the U.S. Forest Service, our Forest Health program takes on a regional dimension. We survey natural resources personnel to detect forest health problems, recommend appropriate management options, further monitor and evaluate problem areas, and keep the public informed about forest health issues. The movement of Gypsy Moth into Indiana and the introduction of the Asian Longhorn Beetle just outside our borders in Chicago are current priorities of the program. If you would like to learn more about these or other forest health issues, Check It Out!
Indiana's Forest Legacy Program provides long term protection to environmentally important forest lands in selected areas of Indiana by acquiring development rights from donors and willing sellers. The owners of Forest Legacy tracts retain all rights not transferred by a "conservation easement". The retained rights may include the right to manage and harvest timber, hunt, fish, control public access, recreate and others. The rights conveyed through the conservation easement are permanent and insure long term protection of enrolled forestlands. If you are interested in a program that will protect your forest from development the Forest Legacy program may be right for you.
Non-point source pollution (NPS) from forest lands occurs when the protective ground cover is disturbed. Sources of this disturbance include land use change, construction, woodland grazing and timber harvesting operations.
Logging has the greatest impact of the typical forestry activities. The use of best management practices (BMPs) by loggers, landowners and land managers offers the greatest potential to reduce NPS and reach water quality and other forest health goals. For more information about Indiana’s voluntary Forestry BMP program or to access an online guidebook summarizing BMPs for logging and forestry practices, check it out.
Using natural resources wisely should be everyone's goal. The natural legacy we leave our children and grandchildren will be determined by how we use and manage our natural resources today. The Forestry Education program strives to prepare Indiana citizens to make responsible decisions about natural resource management, believing that a healthy environment and thriving economy are our ultimate goals. Through workshops, multimedia educational materials, and interactions with State Forest property visitors, we prepare educators to deliver factual information using effective techniques. If you think our Forestry Education program can help you as an educator, go to the next page.
Contact Indiana Division of Forestry Staff
The Division of Forestry offers a variety of grant & assistance to encourage the stewardship and protection of Indiana's forest resources. These programs may have application deadlines or open enrollment periods and most grants require the recipient to cover part of the project expenses. Available grants fall into the following categories: 1) Stewardship of community and urban forests, 2) Private forest owner grants to conduct forest stewardship activities, 3) Forest Stewardship Challenge grants to promote rural forest stewardship, 4) Fire fighting assistance grants for rural community fire departments, and 5) Forest industry grants for best management practices (BMPs). Check it Out!
The Timber Buyers Licensing Law requires all buyers of standing timber and their agents to be licensed with the Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry. Buyers must apply for a new license each year.
Forestry Related Links
There are over 3.8 million acres of privately owned forest land in Indiana. Together nearly 200,000 private forest owners account for over 85% of Indiana’s forest, providing countless benefits to the people of Indiana. Their forests are the primary source of forest products fueling a major part of the state’s economy. These privately owned forests protect watersheds and produce clean water. They provide valuable wildlife habitat, clean the air, and provide many other benefits often taken for granted.
Recognizing the fact that Indiana’s privately owned forests produce these and many other benefits the State of Indiana offers a variety of programs to assist woodland owners in the management and care of their forests. The Division of Forestry's landowner assistance program provides publications for self-study, on-site visits from a forester, and much more for Hoosier landowners wanting to make the most of their forestland.
Fill out our form to receive information about...
The Indiana state forest system consists of 13 properties containing 150,000 acres. This system was started in 1903 and was one of the first in the country.
The state forests are managed for multiple uses/multiple benefits. The state forests provide outdoor recreation ranging from camping and hiking to hunting and caving. The state forests conserve and protect all the forest resources - water, wildlife, herbaceous plants, archaeological sites, historic features, geological features, soil and trees. They serve as demonstrations of good forest stewardship and help train loggers and forest landowners in proper timber harvesting methods and other sound management practices.
The DNR Division of Forestry operates two tree nurseries which produce conservation tree and shrub seedlings and windbreak conifer trees for Indiana landowners' use. Landowners may order and plant these trees for restoration, erosion control, wildlife habitat development, watershed improvement, wetlands enhancement, windbreak timber or other conservation purposes