As we ring in the New Year, we're also ringing the alarm bell to protect one of Illinois's most unique and special places, Starved Rock State Park.
Contact the LaSalle County Board and tell them that Starved Rock and the area wetlands are a state treasure to be protected, not mined!
A proposal for a new sand mine adjacent to the park would dewater a high quality wetland and impact the watershed of Horseshoe Creek, which feeds directly into the park. Sadly, even with the vast benefits that wetlands offer, providing habitat and filtering contaminants out of water, the mine would be allowed to cut this marsh off from its water supply. Starved Rock and the rare, brackish wetlands on the proposed mine site are listed in the state's Natural Areas Inventory among the highest quality natural communities in the state, but this affords them little protection.
Over 2 million people visit Starved Rock State Park each year, for the beautiful sandstone canyons and waterfalls. An active sand mining operation will include the sound of dynamite explosions, a landscape clouded by dust and the ceaseless traffic and noise of diesel-belching trucks.
The mine has passed the first hurdle. After 15 hours of public hearings, the LaSalle County Zoning Board approved a special use permit for the mine. The proposal is now set to go before the full county board on January 12, 2012.
Let's start the New Year right and tell the LaSalle County Board to deny the special use permit for Mississippi Sands, LLC and to protect one of our most valued natural treasures!
Happy New Year,
P.S. If you have not visited Starved Rock in the winter months, it's a sight not to be missed. Bald eagles fishing the Illinois River, the frozen waterfalls, and the silence of the park all come together and inspire awe. I urge you to get out and experience this yourself this season! Check out our schedule of outings to Starved Rock and other special places here.
P.P.S. Tell your friends to help protect these precious wetlands, and get your social media circles involved: