Save Drake Woodland

Champaign, IL
The image show a picture of a oak tree in the foreground, which has been marked with red spray paint to be cut. In the background is a sign that says "Ecology" and the pavilion where 'Environmental Science Merit Badge' is taught to scouts. In the back the

Camp Robert Drake, located just south of Oakwood Illinois on the banks of the Salt Fork River, has just approved a plan to log 1400 trees. Camp Drake is located at the site of a former coal mine. The coal company who had cut the trees, drove deep cuts into the land, and ran away was forced to return and clean the remaining coal ash left behind by the mining, allowing the ecosystem to rebound and host a beautiful mature walnut, oak, and hickory forest. This logging would increase erosion, and cause more nutrients to enter the Salt Fork River. The Salt Fork is National Wild and Scenic River, and one of the cleanest in Illinois. This would cause an increase in algal blooms, as well as harming fish populations. Additionally the removal of mature trees will create a heightened risk of land falls at Camp Drake, which has steep ravines (scars from the mining done one hundred years ago).

Scouting has been under much scrutiny for its role in the abuse of many people by leaders and fellow scouts, leading to lawsuits by survivors of abuse. The need to raise money for survivors' settlements prompted Prairieland Council to embark on a logging campaign. To atone for the abuse of former scouts, the council has decided to place scars upon the land which will take hundreds of years to heal.

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