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During the late 1980s and the 1990s, a small, dedicated group of activists fought on the ground and in the courts to stop clear-cutting, oil and gas drilling, and ATV use in the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois. They won the support of their community and the struggle in a landmark court case. Seventeen years later, the court lifted the injunction, and the Forest Service resumed logging. Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing portrays the struggle to protect the forest through interviews, photographs, and archival news footage. The film examines how the past struggle can serve to inform the public and activists today in responding to current Forest Service management projects.
Cade Bursell’s 2021 documentary will be shown free of charge. Shawnee activists Sam Stearns and John Wallace will be present for a Q & A after the screening.