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Shawnee Showdown film screening in Harrisburg on March 14

A free screening of the documentary film Shawnee Showdown- Keep the Forest Standing, by

Southern Illinois University School of Arts and Media professor Cade Bursell, will be showing

at 6:30 PM, Monday, March 14 at Harrisburg Middle School. Doors open at 6 PM. The film

retraces the battle over commercial logging within the Shawnee National Forest for more than

three decades and raises concerns over climate change and present public land use. Masks


Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A with Bursell and local

environmental activists who participated in the protests and who remain active to this day.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, a small, dedicated group of activists fought on the ground &

in the courts to stop clear-cutting in Southern Illinois' Shawnee National Forest. They won the

support of their community and the struggle in the court. Logging was stopped in the Shawnee

for seventeen years.

This is their story.

Using archival photos and video footage as well as contemporary interviews with the activists,

Bursell has made a film that captures the passion and pain of those who stood up and fought

against logging, oil and gas drilling and illegal ATV use in the Shawnee.

Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing portrays the struggle to protect the forest

through interviews, photographs, and news footage. The film examines the ways the past

struggle can serve to inform the public and activists today in responding to current Forest Service

management projects.

These activists are once again asking hard questions about public land use. Should our public

land be degraded to generate commercial profit for a few? With the effects of climate change

intensifying and the knowledge that mature forests sequester more carbon, why not keep the

Shawnee National Forest, Land Between the Lakes and other Forest Service lands standing as

regional carbon sinks? How can the forest remain a healthy habitat for struggling forest species

like forest interior and migratory songbirds?

Will our Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky treasures be despoiled? How do we keep the

forest standing?

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