Synopsis: Three decades ago, in the summer of 1990, activists from Earth First! occupied the Fairview Timber sale site in the Shawnee Forest "which is located in Southern Illinois"for 79 days using their bodies to block the logging equipment and using legal strategies to challenge the harvesting of the lumber in court.
This historic action has come to be known as the Shawnee Showdown. This relatively small group of activists were successful in stopping commercial logging in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois for 17 years. But in 2013, the Forest Service won a motion to lift the injunction. Currently, thousands of acres at the Shawnee National Forest are scheduled for logging operations. Shawnee is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they allow logging on public lands, wood is then sold to logging companies at a price that is below market value.
The fight to save the Shawnee Forest continues today, with the most recent attempt by organizers to transfer the Shawnee National Forest out of the U.S. Department of Agricultures control and into the hands of the U.S. Department of the Interior, with a proposal that would establish Shawnee as a National Park and designate it as the nations first climate preserve.
Today on Sojourner Truth, we continue our coverage of the fight to preserve Shawnee Forest with our round panel. We will also feature our Global Justice Ecology Project Earth Minute segment.
Our round panel guests are three ecologists that took part in the Shawnee Showdown nearly 30 years ago, joining us today to discuss their experience and the present fight to establish the Shawnee Forest as the nation's first climate preserve.