Our Forests Are Threatened by Resource Extraction … But Why Care?
Global Climate Change is one of the most serious environmental, social, and economic threats the world is facing today.
Did you know that global climate is influenced by changes in land cover? Logging and burning for large scale-agriculture, strip mining, road construction and residential and commercial development accelerate the rate of carbon dioxide release. Gas and oil and biomass extraction, transportation, and incineration immediately add huge volumes of carbon to the atmosphere in a negative feedback loop of accelerating carbon release and increasing climate change.
Heartwood Forest Council’s Forest, Climate and Carbon Campaign ties together all of their strategic programs, recognizing and promoting the forest’s role in mitigating climate change. Each year they host an event that brings together educators, professionals, activists, students and the general public, to continue the ongoing work required to protect the forests in our country’s heartland.
This year’s Forest Council gathering will focus on resource extraction. This is because forests in the heartland are subject to increasing pressures for natural gas drilling, coal mining and timber harvesting, putting our forests and their ability to store carbon at risk.
Join EJC at this year’s event, which will take place in Southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest. The weekend will consist of workshops, panels, presentations, field trips, music, merriment and food to fuel the bodies, minds and spirits of folks who want to be active in our fight for the preservation of our cultural and natural heritage. Topics include “forest watch”; baseline water testing; direct action and civil disobedience; and discussions of fighting fracking and coal mining in Southern Illinois and beyond. AND, there will be a Youth Environmental Summit (2014 YES!) taking place concurrently with the Forest Council.
What: Heartwood’s A Climate of Extraction and Youth Environmental Summit
When: May 23 through May 26, 2014
The event is being hosted by Friends of Bell Smith Springs, the Vinyard Indian Settlement, and SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracking our Environment). In addition to plenary sessions and workshops, the weekend also boasts a number of field trips and … entertainment! Music, story-telling, and creative theatrics will be performed by The Better Days Band, Heartwood Allstars, RognboB, and the seemingly endless parade of participants at the Heartwood Talent Show.
Click here for a full schedule of the weekend’s activities.
Eco-Justice Collaborative presents on Sunday, May 25, at 2:00 pm.
2014 Online Registration is live now!
More on the Heartwood Forest Council
HEARTWOOD is a regional network that protects forests and supports community activism in the eastern United States through education, advocacy, and citizen empowerment.
HEARTWOOD was founded in 1991, when concerned citizens from several midwestern states met and agreed to work together to protect the heartland’s hardwood forest. This region was once blanketed with a majestic hardwood forest containing more than 70 species of hardwood trees. Unfortunately, much of this forest has been cleared and what remains is mostly isolated fragments of public land that nonetheless play a critical role in providing habitat for wildlife, purifying the air and water, moderating global climate change, and offering places of beauty and enjoyment.
Today, their efforts remain rooted in the heart of the central hardwood region, with an emphasis on the “core states” of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. Over time, Heartwood has branched out to serve areas of need throughout an 18-state region, giving special attention to the “at risk” national forests in Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia.