Starke County Commissioners Accept Trusteeship to Create a Starke County Forest

Bruce Wakeland (L) took the Starke County Commissioners on a tour of the property in 2010

The Starke County Commissioners accepted trusteeship of a piece of property offered by professional Forester Bruce Wakeland this week. The County will be the trustee of the property that the Commissioners hope will be come a real asset to all who live here.

“129 acres is available to create a Starke County forest and I hope the public can enjoy it,” said Bruce Wakeland. “The public can learn about the marvelous wildlife area we have here in the County and how you can have good, healthy forest management and still have a beautiful place to see and enjoy. I think it’s going to be a really good asset for the County and I’m going to enjoy working with the property over the next however many years I have left.”

Wakeland talked more about the land, and what he hopes it will be used for.

“Last year, I made the original offer to create a Starke County forest,” he continued. “Really, there’s only one other County forest in the State of Indiana and that’s Marshall County Memorial Forest and I work with Marshall County on the management on that because I am a Forester by profession. I see a lot of ways that it can be done better and I thought this could be our chance to show the rest of the State what an asset County forests can be. Most states have a lot of County forests. Indiana has one in Marshall County and now we’ll have another one in Starke County. I hope this will be a really good example of what can be done in other counties and in the meantime, Starke County is going to have an asset that they can enjoy. People can go out and hike and watch birds and enjoy the property.”

The entrance to the property will be off Division Road. The property is on the north side of State Road 8 East, almost directly across from The Roundup.

The irrevocable trust entered into by the County does not commit it to use any taxpayer money for maintenance or improvements. That will be funded by the sale of timber from the land.