September 2, 2011

Prairie Alert: Act NOW!

What bulldozers do to prairie

What bulldozers do to prairie

Today, David Monk asked help spreading the word about this state of affairs:

“Heartland Pathways has received very late notification from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) that an important relocated remnant prairie at the I-57 rest stop near Pesotum is about to be destroyed to make way for expanding sewage facilities. This prairie has genetic and ambient value in a region that has virtually no original prairie left.

The job has been scheduled; the bulldozers come in on Tuesday, September 6.

The adjacent farmer is willing to consider selling land which would allow the proposed facilities to be located farther south, so that the prairie could be saved. This prairie is a prime location for visitors and education.

We are requesting that the project be put on hold for a week so the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and local natural history experts can discuss the possibility of re-locating the new sewer facilities to the proposed farmland site.

There is possibly both federal and state money involved in this million dollar project. We have contacted both Party’s representatives and senators and Department of Transportation jurisdictions.

That we have not been notified in this and other situations is of concern for this and future projects involving natural history concerns.

Please email, requesting a hold on the project, to:

Ann Schneider, Secretary, IDOT c/o lisa.kavanagh@illinois.gov (subject Urgent: attn: Secretary Ann Schneider)

Marc Miller, Director of IDNR marc.miller@illinois.gov

PROPOSED TEXT OF EMAIL:

“I have become aware of the scheduled destruction of important prairie at the rest stop on I-57 north of Pesotum in order to expand sanitary treatment plant facilities. This work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 6, so the matter is urgent.

I am adding my voice to others to request a hold on this project until IDOT, IDNR and local prairie experts can consider the possibility of re-locating the sewer expansion to a site that would save an irreplaceable piece of prairie. An adjacent farmer is willing to discuss selling land for this purpose.

Thanks for your last minute support.”

Kudos to David Monk for his persistent, energetic efforts to restore and save the prairie!

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