Stop the Logging of Drake Woodland

Prairie Land Council

Image of mature oak tree marked for felling by a line of red spray paint.

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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Champaign, IL

To: Prairie Land Council
From: [Your Name]

Stop the logging and do an ecological assessment of the land and forest. There needs to be more time spent on how the felling of mature trees will affect the land and the health of the forest. This is a project being done for money, which can be generated in a multitude of other ways. For example, charge the University of Illinois ROTC for using the camp and rifle range. Partnerships could be made with the Outdoor Adventure club at the University. A save-a-tree fund could also be put together to raise money so the land doesn't have to be harmed. End the logging, and consult professionals on how forestry can be managed at Camp Drake.