Dissent as Defense of Our Forests and Future

ThePowerofDissent.10.24.18.cropBig thanks to our Oct 24 presenters Case Watkins and Kendall Sellars (both in photo at right), and the Nov 17 speakers Chris Bolgiano and Kate Holcomb, for all their great presentations for this two part series!

Below are resources recommended by Kate Holcomb of the Dogwood Alliance:

  • the Stand4Forests website that goes over the ideals the platform is founded on.
  • resources on U.S. forests on the Dogwood Alliance website
  • biomass economics in the southeast paper
  • wetland logging investigation
  • the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Dominion issue brief, and here are more NRDC resources
  • Southern Environmental Law Center Biomass Energy in South
  • the film Burned


We cherish our forests for many things, their beauty, their grandeur, and for all our memories of special childhood, youth and adult experiences there. They give us oxygen, plants, animals, healthy soil, clean water, beauty, peace, and re-creation in the fullest sense.

Are forests essential for our future? What action, if any, do we need to take to protect our forests? The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, invites the public to explore these questions in a two-part education series titled “Dissent as Defense of Our Forests and Future”. It will be held at the Rockingham County Administration Building, Entrance A, at 20 E. Gay Street, Harrisonburg, 7pm, on these two Wednesdays: October 24 and November 14.

Part one, “The Power of Dissent” is a lecture by Dr. Case Watkins, October 24 at 7pm. Watkins, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University (JMU), will talk about the importance and necessity of dissent for social change. His focus while teaching at JMU has been to realize and integrate social, global and environmental justice. He draws on experience in New Orleans, Portugal and Brazil to understand these issues, especially for rural communities and communities of color.

To add the perspective of a current activist, Watkins is joined by Kendall King from Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC). VSEC works with campuses around the state to empower Virginia students and other youth for climate action. They explain, “We are a group of young people striving to build a new world, one in which people are free to express themselves and find community. We fight because people’s needs aren’t being met and we don’t think it’s accidental.”

Part two, the second lecture, on November 14 is “Forests Are Our Future” by Chris Bolgiano, who will explain the national campaign, Stand for Forests. See https://stand4forests.org/. A Wild Virginia representative joins her to speak on “What Can We Do Now?”.

Bolgiano, now Emeritus Faculty from JMU, refers to herself as a “mildly amusing nature writer.” However, she has written or edited six books, several receiving literary awards, and has authored many articles on nature and travel for the New York Times, Washington Post, the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and others. Harvard ecologist, E.O. Wilson, known worldwide, says of her 2011 book, Southern Appalachian Celebration: In Praise of Ancient Mountains, Old-Growth Forests, and Wilderness, “No book of my experience has ever caught the natural beauty and richness of southern Appalachia with greater exactitude.”

Both events are free and open to the public, and there will be time for questions.

Facebook event page here.