E162 6th sense final draft - Running head EXPANDED LOGGING...

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Running head: EXPANDED LOGGING IN INDIANA STATE FORESTS Expanded Logging in Indiana State Forests: The Good, the Bad, and the Continuation By The 6 th Sense: Luis Cambron, Michele Pinkins, Ray Sobczak, Matt Szabo, Sara Wright, Alyssa Zinola Indiana University SPEA
EXPANDED LOGGING IN INDIANA STATE FORESTS 2 Social/Political Conditions: There are political perspectives in each and every aspect of American culture. Whether one knows it or not, his beliefs are almost always shared and equally opposed. Virtually any side offered in a given issue has some sort of political interest group backing it up or fighting against it. In the case of expanded logging in Indiana state forests, it’s easy to see why many social and political figures have strong words to say on the matter. First of all, the logging industry in Indiana in 2000 brought in a whopping $200 million dollars to the state’s economy (Bratkovich, 2003). Because the timber industry, sustained by logging of forests, is so large and influential to Indiana, various politicians have voiced their personal platforms on the matter. Joe Biden, the current term Vice President of the United States, is a well-known environmentalist. He has voted in favor of nature conservation on various past issues, one such issue being the building of roads through national forests (Gordon, 2015). He has also been outspoken about his belief that national forests should be protected from disruption, which includes logging for economical profit in state forests such as the ones in jeopardy in Indiana. Vice President Biden is a member of the Democratic Party, which often identifies with the environmentalist mentality by believing that protecting the environment is “top priority,” much more than their republican or independent counterparts (PewResearchCenter, 2013). Bernie Sanders, a socialist candidate currently running for the Democratic ticket, also gives a prominent amount of attention to environmental issues such as logging in state forests, much like a plethora of members aligned with both the Democratic and Republican Parties. The recent focus from the prominent parties on environmental issues has brought more attention nation- wide to conservation efforts as a whole. It is this attention that has caused the masses to ask
EXPANDED LOGGING IN INDIANA STATE FORESTS 3 whether policymakers should allow the continuation of economic prospects such as expanded logging in protected forests or not (Bratkovich, 2003). On the Republican side of the debate, the GOP lawmakers have been involved in the idea of logging in state forests. According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, GOP lawmakers passed legislation in May that called for the use of “more land in six state forests” despite Democratic protest and argument (Bergquist, 2015). Because the logging industry itself employees about 52,000 people in Wisconsin annually, the lawmakers in that region see the expansion of logging as not only appropriate but also necessary (Bergquist, 2015). This

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