Shawnee National Forest Announces Invasive Species Events in Support of Illinois Invasive Species Awareness MonthHARRISBURG, Ill. (APRIL 21, 2014) – On Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m., the Shawnee National Forest will host an Invasive Species Presentation. The event will be held at the Crab Orchard Visitor Center located in Marion, Illinois. Matthew Lechner, Shawnee National Forest, and Karla Gage, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Coordinator with Crab Orchard Wildlife Management Area, will be the hosts for the presentation. On Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 at 3:30 p.m., the Shawnee National Forest will host an Invasive Species Workshop for Educators. The event will be held at Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District in Jonesboro, Illinois. Karla Gage, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Coordinator, will be the host for the presentation. Both events are being held as part of Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month. To learn more about ISAM, including additional events being held around the state, please visit http://www.invasive.org/illinois/. Administered by the USDA Forest Service, the Shawnee National Forest is one of 155 national forests nationwide. As the only national forest in Illinois, the Shawnee offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 280,000 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southern Illinois, the fields, forests and streams of the Shawnee welcome you. To discover more about the Shawnee National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee and follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/shawneenf. The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes twenty states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R9. The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.