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Letter to the Editor expressing concern about the Shawnee & Lake Kinkaid by Jan Thomas

Photo by Orin Langelle

Voice of the Reader: I'm very concerned

Mar 18, 2022

To the Editor:

I am responding to articles by Mike Baltz being published in the Carbondale/Murphysboro Times about the Shawnee National Forest. The one regarding watershed management is particularly concerning.

The Forest Service has an abysmal record on this subject. As an example I urge you to go to this site: and learn the true story of one such project, the Lee Mine Project in Hardin County, May 2019.

In violation of the Service’s standards, this logging project was allowed to clearcut (“Shelterwood Harvest/Hardwood Restoration” in Forest Service language) 681 acres of the SNF, during songbird nesting season, in an unusually rainy spring. All the young hardwood trees that the Forest Service says it wants to restore were destroyed in this “harvest.” The photos are saddening and sobering. Logging in rain destroys forest soils, creating deep ruts and muddy run off into local waterways. The watershed of Big Creek, a “Zoological Area of the Forest,” and a candidate for Wild and Scenic Waterways, was definitely NOT PROTECTED by the Forest Service.

Now the Service is planning a similar project in the watershed of Lake Kinkaid, the drinking water supply for Murphysboro, with the addition of applying glyphosate, a known carcinogen, and other herbicides to control the overgrowth of invasive species which the removal of the forest canopy will unleash.

I am deeply concerned about the effect this misguided project will have on my drinking water, and the recreational value of Lake Kinkaid. To learn more: We need the SHAWNEE NATIONAL PARK.

Jan Thomas


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