It has been hard to find clear facts on logging in the Shawnee specifically but: Between 1984 and 1997, clearcutting accounted for 59% of the area harvested for regeneration in the national forests. (This excludes salvage, thinning, and other harvesting not intended to establish new stands.) Other “even-aged” cutting systems
(which result in areas that appear similar to clearcut areas) accounted for another 28% of the area harvested. Because of the continuing public outcry over clearcutting, the Chief of the Forest Service announced on June 4, 1992, that the Forest Service would reduce clearcutting by 70% from 1988 levels, and that this would reduce short-term harvest volumes by about 10%. Data show that half of the proposed reduction in acres clearcut had already been accomplished by 1991, but the total harvest volume declined proportionally (because of the economic recession, litigation to protect spotted owls, and a variety of other factors). Acres clearcut annually over the past 5 years (FY1993-FY1997) were 71% less than the FY1988 level, fulfilling the promised reduction. However, average annual harvests were 66% below the FY1988 level, much more than the projected 10% decline. This was 34 years ago. The Forest Service policies are not perfect, but in southern IL our climate is like a jungle - everything grows so fast. We need active management whether it is in our own yards, pastures, fields and certainly in forested land. Otherwise, the invasive species will overtake the forest to the point it cannot be accessed even by foot.