Shawnee Showdown, a film by Cade Bursell, was screened at the Yale Environmental film festival earlier this year. It documents the colorful and successful protests to prevent logging in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The protests along with legal efforts were successful in winning a 17 year moratorium on logging. Now, activists are working to make the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, the first climate preserve in the United States. The designation would prevent logging and other resource extraction from disturbing the forest in order to allow it to continue to act as a natural and highly effective carbon sink. Supporters argue that allowing natural forest and public lands to stand is an efficient and necessary tool in fighting climate change.
In this episode of Breaking green, we will talk with John Wallace who is working to make the Shawnee National Forest, the nation's first climate Preserve.
Wallace is a former public land and municipal water source manager, John also worked as an environmental educator from Southern Illinois University's Touch of Nature Environmental Center.
As a forest activist on the Shawnee National Forest and public land in and around the southern Illinois region for 33 years, he has taken on public awareness campaigns, tackled pro se litigation and participated in non-violent direct action in defense of the natural world.
John is a founding member of the Shawnee Forest Defense! and the 28 -year-old Shawnee Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society (IAS).
He is currently the Shawnee Audubon Chapter president and serves on the Land Acquisition and Sanctuary Committee of IAS, the oldest, non-governmental conservation organization in Illinois.
John has served as a volunteer land steward for IAS, has a BS in Plant and Soil Science from SIU and has been known to portray the writer, mountaineer and conservationist, John Muir, in living history performances.
This podcast is produced by Global Justice Ecology Project.
To become a sponsor of Breaking Green click here.
You can learn more about saving the Shawnee National Forest at shawneeforestdefense.org.
See the trailer for Shawnee Showdown at trailer.
See photos from the 1990s blockade in the Shawnee at Langelle Photography.
Breaking Green is made possible by tax deductible donations from people like you. Please help us lift up the voices of those working to protect forests, defend human rights and expose false solutions. Simply text GIVE to 1 716 257 4187.