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InFocus: Coalition of nature stakeholders send letter to Senators Duckworth and Durbin asking for three new wilderness areas to be designated in the Shawnee National Forest.

Managed forest and one that is not graphic
WSIU Kevin Boucher
/
Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center
An example showing the difference between a managed forest and one that is not; allowing weedy invasives to smother out desirable Oaks and other species. Photograph taken June 14, 2022 at Touch of Nature. This area is not being considered for so-called Wilderness designation.

On this edition of InFocus, we hear from nature and forestry experts on a push to have Congress designate three areas in the Shawnee National Forest as "Wilderness Areas".

Sites with this official designation receive the highest level of protection.

This classification, however, can make it difficult for managers and foresters to go in and efficiently manage the area to maintain a healthy balance. The experts featured here say that, with proper and safe management, a Wilderness area can be both a pristine area desirable for Eco-Tourism, while, at the same time, can also be a healthy forest for years to come.

Many thanks to: Chris Benda, Botanist who works at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Tyler Barron, member of the Policy Team at the Environmental Law and Policy Center
Dr. Charles Ruffner, Professor of Forestry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Tharran Hobson, Southern Illinois Program Director for the Nature Conservancy in Illinois

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