HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Hanover Township trustee John Burkhart said he has no issues with the proposed changes to the Division of Forestry’s five-year management plan for Mohican-Memorial State Forest.

Burkhart said he grew up in the middle of the state forest on Ohio 97, and he now lives near the planned 23-acre pine thinning in the southern part of the forest.

He said he lives “10 to 15 feet” from the state forest property line.

“I really don’t have a problem with them cutting,” he said. “We have trees here where I live, the pine trees, the older ones are so big, and they’re dying off. It’s not letting the little ones grow, and they’re growing crooked. They’re trying to get to the sun.”

Burkhart said the proposed changes will help the township, which is responsible for removing any fallen trees from roadways, even if they are on state land.

“A third of Hanover Township is state park, and they pay no property tax,” he said. “We have to maintain all the roads.”

Burkhart estimated he knows of nine trees close to falling on roadways in Hanover Township.

If the state removes trees Burkhart says are dying, the township will have fewer fallen trees to remove in the future, he said.

Burkhart also said the fallen trees represent a lost economic opportunity for the township, the county, the local schools and the state.

When the state receives funds for tree harvests, 16.25 percent of the money goes to the township, 16.25 percent goes to the county and 32.5 percent goes to the local school system. The Division of Forestry keeps the remaining 35 percent.

“We’re not gonna get that much money out of it” if the township removes the trees, he said.

Burkhart said after Mohican forest manager Chad Sanders discussed the proposed changes at an earlier township trustees meeting, he feels confident the Division of Forestry will not perform any clear-cuts but will only remove trees by single selection.