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US Forest Service Uses Cover of Pandemic to Usher in Controversial Project; Letters needed


The Forest Service is pushing forward with a huge logging, burning and herbicide project on the Shawnee, all in the name of forest health. The Bean Ridge Project proposal encompasses over 2,600 acres in Alexander County. The area is within the Illinois Ozarks natural division and contains beautiful and mature oak/hickory forests, steep slopes, hilltops, ridges and lowlands. To make matter worse, the FS intends to fast track this project and bypass important environmental review, all in the name of “forest health.” Scoping is slated to wrap up on May 1, all while the public is distracted with the coronavirus pandemic public health emergency.

Please write the agency at comments-eastern-shawnee@usda.gov; call the FS project leader, Justin Dodson at 618/281-2111 and demand that they put a hold on this project and the scoping comment period until well after the current public health emergency. Coupled with the project size and scope, the Forest Service intends to side step the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with this project, making their proposal especially egregious. Clearing forest habitat of mature trees by the truck loads (taxpayer funded) in the name of forest health is dishonest and illegal! It is simple industrial exploitation.

Help us buy some time to save Shawnee National Forest and all its inhabitants from the agency tasked with overseeing our public land. Chain saws, log skidders and log trucks will not “restore” or protect the forests, nor will large-scale burning and spraying. This public forest belongs to all of us. Stumps Suck!

For more information on this project, and an agency (Forest Service) out of control, contact shawneeforstdefense@gmail.com.

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