By REBECCA THIELE
Officials with the Hoosier National Forest are drawing attention to an effort to preserve “forest openings.” These are pockets in the forest where older trees have been cut down to make way for younger trees, shrubs and grasses.
Hoosier National Forest Wildlife Technician Brian King says before humans started changing the landscape, these openings were created naturally through things like forest fires.
“So we’re trying to bring back this habitat that once was here and has now gone away because we as humans have kind of stopped that flow,” he says.
King says more than 4,000 acres of the Hoosier National Forest is set aside for these clearings, with the average size being about six acres. They’re good habitat for species like the ruffed grouse — which the state says is on track for extinction.