Heartwood Forest Council comes to Kentucky!

Note Ripped Edge Bottom Raw@4x

Dear Friends, 

We would like to invite you to the 19th annual Heartwood Forest Council, to be held Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25, 2009, at Camp McKee near the Red River Gorge in Appalachian Kentucky. The theme of this year’s Forest Council is Defending the Earth, Sustaining Ourselves.

As you may know, we had originally planned to hold this year’s Forest Council at Camp Blanton near Harlan KY, in conjunction with Mountain Justice Summer which was to have been held at the same location the week before, but learned that coal interests in Harlan persuaded the Camp management to void our agreement. You can read more about what happened in the Lexington Herald-Leader here andhere .  But our new site, Camp McKee, is a great location just seven miles south of Mt. Sterling, with over 800 acres of forests and trails, a large lake, and sits adjacent to Pilot Knob State Nature Preserveand just a stone’s throw from the beautiful and unique Red River Gorge.

What is the Heartwood Forest Council?

The Heartwood Forest Council is the largest annual gathering of citizens from across the Eastern, Midwestern, and Southern United States who care about the health and well-being of our nation’s forests. This will be the fourth time this event has taken place in Kentucky, the first being at Cathedral Domain in 1993. We will focus on threats to our region and to human and community health, in an atmosphere of collaboration designed to form stronger personal and organizational connections. While addressing the issues we face and celebrating the work that we do, the Forest Council also offers participants an opportunity to identify lasting solutions and proven action steps that will move us as a community toward a shared vision of a healthy, just, and sustainable society.

This year’s Forest Council will explore the whole cycle of coal from extraction, processing and transport to combustion and disposal of wastes. We will look at the health and well being of our region’s forests and waters, and address a new host of threats – from global warming to the proliferation of biomass combustion plants and agrofuels which convert forests and food into electric power and fuel.

Equally important, we will address how we can sustain ourselves and each other in this time of great challenges and threats to the planet we call home. Together we will identify ways to reduce stress and increase a sense of personal well-being in a life of activism. We will share knowledge about how to work together to protect our neighborhoods, our communities, and our planet.

The Forest Council will begin the afternoon of Friday, May 22, and continue through mid-day, Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day). The program will consist of three days of workshops, discussions, keynote speakers, and field trips — interspersed with ample social time, leisure, lively local music, dancing and great food (sourced locally and from organic sources to the greatest extent possible, and lovingly prepared). The Forest Council will be family friendly – kids of all ages are encouraged to attend.

This year’s Heartwood Forest Council will immediately follow the week-long Mountain Justice Summer Camp, now being held at the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, West Virginia.  We encourage you to attend Mountain Justice Summer Camp and to participate in the hands on education and training aimed at forever ending the tragedy of mountaintop removal coal mining, and to then join Heartwood for the culmination of a truly inspiring and transformative week in Central Appalachia.

To find out more information about the Forest Council, including registration, speakers, event schedule, and more, visit the Heartwood website over the coming weeks.

What is Heartwood?

Heartwood is a cooperative network of grassroots groups, individuals, and local businesses working to protect and sustain healthy forests and vital human communities in the nation’s heartland, from the foothills of the Appalachians to the river valleys of the Great Plains, and from the Great Lakes to the Deep South. Heartwood has a nearly twenty year track record of bringing people together to share information, coordinate efforts and devise a common approach — not just to the challenges we face but perhaps more importantly to the positive future that inspires the work we do. 

Cosponsor the Forest Council!

We invite you to become a cosponsor of the 2009 Heartwood Forest Council. Funds raised will be used to underwrite the event and make it affordable for those who might otherwise be unable to attend.

As a cosponsor, you or your organization or business will be listed in all applicable promotional materials and have the option of setting up a display table with merchandise and information at the event. Cosponsors may choose to remain anonymous. Cosponsorship also entitles you to a one-year organizational membership in Heartwood with full member benefits.

For groups and organizations, we offer the following general guidelines based on annual budget:

Suggested donation                       Annual budget

       $35                                      under $25,000

       $75                                       $25K – $100K

       $150                                      $100K – $250K

       $300                                      $250K – $500K

       $600                                      $500K – $2million

       $1,200                                     $2 million or over


To cosponsor, make checks payable to Heartwood, and send to: Heartwood Forest Council, PO Box 1011, Alton, IL 62002-1011. Please make sure to include your name and contact information, and that your donation is intended for the Forest Council.


For more information, please contact:


Andy Mahler


812.723.2430 (h/w)




Jim Scheff, Coordinator

Kentucky Heartwood

859.756.3206 (h/w)

314.971.4023 (cell)