The Shawnee NF turns 80! - Shawnee NF - IL - PIT Blog - Passport in Time

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The Shawnee NF turns 80! - Shawnee NF - IL

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Pooped.jpg by US Forest Service
Come on out to the Shawnee National Forest this summer as we celebrate the Forest's 80th Anniversary! On October 31, 1933, shortly after President Roosevelt became President of the United States, and as part of the New Deal, the first Forester arrived in southern Illinois. From there, things began to happen very quickly: five lookout towers and 11 pick-up trucks were delivered, and 28 FS staff arrived and began acquiring worn-out and eroded farmlands, planting trees that soon would become the Shawnee NF. The peak year of planting was in 1941, when 600 Works Progress Administation (WPA) laborers, 100 CCC enrollees and 100 hired men planed 8,000 acres. By the next spring, the United States was at war. In all, there were 12 CCC camps scattered across southern Illinois, and 15 fire towers staffed by young people. This June, we'll be building another commemorative quilt to celebrate the works done by the CCC and WPA all those years ago. So, bring your scissors and needle and thread and join us as we remember 80 years of CCC and WPA history on the Shawnee!

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