STRONG ROOTS! Heartwood Forest Council Schedule
FRIDAY, May 26th
3:00 pm – Registration opens
5:30-7:00pm – Supper
7:00-7:30pm – Welcome and Introduction to the 27th annual Heartwood Forest Council and Camp Spring Creek
7:30-8:30pm – Keynote from the Cherokee Nation, Indigenous Environmental Network
9:00pm – Contra dance with the Carolina Wildcats
SATURDAY, May 27th:
7:30-9:00 am – Breakfast
9:00-10:30am – Opening Circle & Council Fire
10:45-12:00pm – Plenary session: The State of the Forest Movement: Ideas for Strengthening Our Collective Work – Orin Langelle, Anne Petermann, and BJ McManama
12:00-1:00pm – Lunch
1:00-5:15pm – Issue workshops. Workshop descriptions are listed following the schedule. There will be two or three sessions of concurrent workshops. Exact start times of workshops will be announced as the schedule is finalized. Additional workshops may address mountaintop removal coal mining, fossil fuel infrastructure/pipelines, and forests and climate change.
- Agency Deference Doctrine under Fire: what that could mean for environmentalists – Carol Polsgrove and Kevin Kamp.
- Stinkburgh: Renewing the Fight for Clean Air in Pittsburgh – Mark Dixon
- Atomic Appalachia and the Militarized Southeast U.S. – Coleman Smith
- Our Forests Aren’t Fuel: biomass and Southern Forests – Emily Zucchino
- American Chestnut trees in the Southern Appalachians – John Johnson
- Genetically Engineered Trees: The Growing Threat – Anne Petermann and BJ McManama
5:15-6:00pm – Free time
6:00-7:30pm – Dinner
7:30-8:30pm – Keynote: Danna Smith, Executive Director, Dogwood Alliance
9:00pm – Screaming J’s – Acoustic Piano Boogie Woogie Rag and Roll Trio from Asheville, NC
SUNDAY, May 28th
8:00-9:00am – Breakfast/Morning announcements
9:00-10:00am – Morning session
10:15-11:45am – Concurrent workshops:
- Forest Watch, part 1 – Davis Mounger
- Tree Medicine: Forests and Mental Health – Christina Wulf
12:00-1:30pm – Lunch
1:30-5 or 6:00pm – All afternoon
- Forest Watch, part 2 (timber sale field trip) – Davis Mounger
- Medic’s Tool Bag – Dave Pike
- Roan Mountain field trip, TBA
Exact times TBD:
- Forest Farming in the Spirit of Zone 5 – Rodney Webb
- Mycologizing and Botanizing walk – Joey Allowas
- Up-Cycling Pallets – Dave Cooper, Kentucky Pallet Artist
- Capturing the Movement Moment – Orin Langelle and BJ McManama
4:30-6:00pm – Free time
- Heartwood Songwriting Challenge – Andy Mahler
6:00-7:30pm – Dinner
7:30-9:00pm – Heartwood Benefit Auction
9:15pm – Heartwood Talent Show
MONDAY, May 29th –
7:30-9:00 am – Breakfast
9:00-11:00am – Facilitated large group discussion: From Strong Roots to a Stronger Community: Forest Protection in 2017 and beyond
11:00-12:00pm – Douse the Council fire & Closing Circle
12:00-1:00pm – Lunch: Highlights from the weekend’s culinary delights
1pm and beyond – We hope to spend the afternoon supporting an action or protest in the area. Stay tuned!
WORKSHOP & SPEAKER DESCRIPTIONS
Our Saturday night keynote comes from Danna Smith, founder of the Dogwood Alliance. For 20 years, she has been at the forefront of forest protection in the US, leading hard-hitting campaigns and negotiating ground-breaking forest protection commitments from some of the largest companies in the world. She is a leading voice connecting the dots between climate change, forest destruction and social justice and pushing for forest protection in the U.S. at a scale necessary to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. She holds a law degree from Emory University.
Saturday morning, full group discussion: “The State of the Forest Movement in the era of Trump.” Orin Langelle, Anne Petermann, and BJ McManama will present ideas for strengthening our collective work in order to bring in new energy, consolidate and coordinate existing campaigns and efforts, and create a movement powerful enough to stop further devastation of these crucial ecosystems. BJ works with the Indigenous Environmental Network. Anne and Orin have decades of experience with forest protection, organization building, and direct action. They work now with the Global Justice Ecology Project. BJ McManama works with the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). She is Seneca and has been involved with Indigenous and environmental issues for the past 20 years, working with IEN for the past 8 years.
Note: We will revisit the questions raised in this session on Monday morning in a facilitated all-group discussion of our collective journey from Strong Roots to a Stronger Community.
“Stinkburgh: Renewing the Fight for Clean Air in Pittsburgh.” After waking up one too many times to a foul, acrid, industrial stench in Pittsburgh, filmmaker Mark Dixon decided to do something about it. He bought air quality sensors and teamed up with academics and activists from across the country to get to the bottom of the stench with the goal of eliminating it. While he can’t declare success just yet (he’s still hopeful, and unwilling to rest while Allegheny County, PA remains in the “top 2 percent” for U.S. cancer risk from air pollution), he has learned quite a bit about the nature and history of Pittsburgh’s air pollution, what is being done to improve it, what is NOT being done, and what you can do to protect yourself and help support a modern era of clean air. He’s making a film about his adventures and will likely screen a few snippets of that project at this presentation.
“Our Forests Aren’t Fuel: Biomass and Southern Forests.” Our forests store carbon, provide clean drinking water, protection from flooding, and critical wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, these forests are increasingly coming under threat from the biomass industry. Across the South, forests are being clearcut, trucked to facilities, put through an energy-intensive production process to be turned into wood pellets, put on huge ships, and sent across the ocean to Europe where they are burned to produce electricity. The wood pellet industry is bad for the climate, bad for forests, and bad for communities. Emily Zucchino, the Community Network Manager at Dogwood Alliance, will present this workshop.
Reintroduction of American Chestnut Trees in the Southern Appalachians by John Johnson, a researcher in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at University of Tennessee. (Additional workshop details to follow.)
“Agency Deference Doctrine Under Fire: what that could mean for environmentalists.” Under the deference doctrine, federal courts have often deferred to executive agency decisions. An example is the recent US District Court ruling that gives deference to the US Department of Energy and thus permits the DOE to ship highly radioactive liquid waste from Canada to South Carolina without producing an EIS. The workshop will explain the doctrine and explore current developments, in Congress and the Supreme Court, that are likely to modify the deference doctrine in significant ways. The workshop will be presented by Kevin Kamp and Carol Polsgrove. Kevin is Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog. He specializes in high-level waste management and transportation, as well as new and existing reactors, decommissioning, Congress watch, climate change, and federal subsidies. Carol is a former board member of the Indiana Forest Alliance, an environmentalist, environmental writer, and professor emerita of journalism at Indiana University.
“War on Earth! Environmental Impact: Atomic Appalachia and the Militarized Southeast U.S.” The presentation reveals the extent of the deadly environmental impacts on the SE region from the concentration of military bases and facilities that manufacture and store conventional high explosives, incapacitating and nerve agents, rocket fuel, weaponized uranium, thermo-nuclear weapons, commercial nuclear power and radioactive waste. This indictment of the Military Industrial Complex, its multiple environmental impacts and toxic legacy on the people, politics, and culture of the SE U.S. is a wakeup call about the scope and depth of the social, economic, racial, political, and cultural injustices thrust upon the South – the most militarized region of the country. Coleman Smith with the New South Network of War Resisters will lead this workshop.
“Genetically Engineered Trees: The Growing Threat.” Anne Petermann and BJ McManama will discuss the problem of GE trees in the US–from the proposed GE eucalyptus trees planned for planting along the Gulf Coast, to the GE loblolly pine and poplar trees planned for pulp & paper and bioenergy plantations, to the GE chestnut planned for forest restoration and Mountaintop removal remediation, GE trees pose irreversible and unpredictable threats to forest ecosystems, wildlife, water and communities throughout the Appalachians and the US South and the upper midwest. This workshop will discuss these GE trees, their traits and threats, their current status, and what can be done to stop them.
“USFS Forest Defense and Watch” Davis Mounger’s workshop is designed to help regular folks defend their forest. Part one on Sunday morning will be a presentation and discussion of forest law, regulations, agency doublespeak, and how to respond. The afternoon session will be a field trip to a nearby timber sale where we will “ground truth” the project from an ecological and legal view. Basic tools for walking a sale will be covered. Davis Mounger is national forest chairman for the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club and is co-director for Tennessee Heartwood.
Tree Medicine: Forests and Mental Health. Researchers are beginning to quantify how forests and nature in general increase our health, happiness, and overall well-being. At the same time, mental health problems of all kinds are on the rise. Environmental degradation and climate change seem out of control. What factors lead us to destroy what can help and heal us – both as individuals and as a society? How do we change?
Additional programming TBA
“Forest Farming!” Led by Rodney Webb of Salamander Springs Farm in Marshall, NC. Forest Farming is typically described as the utilization of woodlands to produce non-timber forest products—food, medicine, native ornamentals, and other products. The goals of Forest Farming may vary from traditional gathering of wild “crops,” to establishing/restoring plant communities, to utilizing by-products from forestry activities. Historically the use of non-timber forest products has been an integral part of people living in or near forests. Modern life has separated most people from that interaction with the forest and its hidden abundance. Forest Farming is a much needed opportunity to re-engage humanity with a forest symbiosis.
Mycologizing & Botanizing Walk – Explore the forests around Camp Spring Creek with Joey Allowas. Joey teaches biology and botany at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and is the former co-owner of Asheville Fungi.
“Medic’s Tool Bag” Dave Pike will lead a discussion about staying healthy while risking your neck, preparing for resistance, ways to keep your $%#! together and the red stuff inside when engaged in direct action, whether in the street or field.
“Up-cycling Wood Pallets” Dave Cooper offers a workshop on the Wood Pallet Industry as it relates to logging in the region. For the past 30 years, this low-wage, low value-added, wasteful industry has been the largest consumer of hardwoods in America. Learn about the industry and participate in a demo about Up-cycling Wood Pallets into simple furniture. Dave has spent decades focused on protecting Appalachian mountains and communities, including eight years on a national speaking tour opposing mountaintop removal coal mining. He founded the Whippoorwill Festival, as well as Alternative Spring Break–in Appalachia, and moonlights as the Kentucky Pallet Artist.
“Capturing the Movement Moment:” How to accurately and effectively record images from phones or cameras. As activists, we need to capture historical events that tell our story—not the corporate media’s “alternative facts.” Our movement needs to document demonstrations, whether the images are to be used by mainstream media, blogs, or Facebook. And they should be quality images. The purpose of this skill share and discussion is to provide tips for people with camera phones and cameras on how to shoot videos or still images that are of quality and inspire viewers—and how some images should not be shown or viewed over the airwaves by everyone (authorities included). Presenters are BJ McManama, an accomplished videographer from the Indigenous Environmental Network, along with Global Justice Ecology Project’s Orin Langelle, a photojournalist (with a regular camera) for over 4.5 decades of work in the field.
Heartwood Songwriting Challenge (during late afternoon free time) with Andy Mahler
to capture this moment
this moment in time
in a simple and powerful
that anyone can remember
and everyone will want to sing
a song to inspire us
to move us
and move through us
make us laugh
make us cry
and help us engage joyfully
til that beloved time.