Starved Rock: An Illinois Treasure in Peril

LaSalle County Zoning Board Ok’s Destructive Mining Proposal

After 2 days and 15 hours of testimony the LaSalle County zoning board voted on December 15, 2011, to approve a destructive new special use permit that would allow a sand mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park.

The proposal is scheduled to be heard by the full county board on January 12, 2012, at 707 E. Etna Road, Room 250, Ottawa, Illinois at 1:00pm.  Submit a comment to the LaSalle County Board today and help protect one of Illinois’s special places.

Starved Rock State Park and the rare brackish wetland areas in and around the proposed mine are listed in Illinois’ Natural Area Inventory and have been designated as high quality natural communities to be protected. These areas provide valuable habitat for a wide array of plant and animal life that will be directly and indirectly impacted by the noise, pollution, and constant activity generated by the mine. The mine also has the potential to significantly alter the hydrology of the area.

LaSalle County’s natural areas and Starved Rock are unique assets that not only offer a chance to experience Illinois’s natural heritage but are also a strong economic engine for the County as well. Over two million people visit Starved Rock State park each year providing the county businesses with customers and local governments with revenues.

The location of this proposed mine threatens Starved Rock State Park, contradicts the county’s priorities for preserving natural areas and farmland and jeopardizes one of the County’s primary economic engines. A mine adjacent to the park won’t just scare off wildlife, but will lower park visitation rates and diminish the economic benefits LaSalle County receives thanks to its beautiful natural areas.

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9 responses to “Starved Rock: An Illinois Treasure in Peril

  1. I find it extremely disheartening that nature, wildlife and the geology of this plant can be so easily disregarded. Human beings need nature and quiet to survive. My husband and I come out to Starved Rock (and other state and national parks) to escape the noise and the pace of urban and suburban settings. We come out to the quiet woods and beautiful canyons of Starved Rock to relax and reset out bodies.

    Starved Rock is important to us on a personal level as that is where we had our first big date, our first hike and our first weekend away together. We love Starved Rock so much that we wanted to get married at the lodge.

    To think that the next time we come out to hike in the canyons and wetlands, we may hear and smell the work in the mine saddens me beyond anything you can imagine. To leave Chicago and its noise, traffic, and pollution only to encounter the same out at a beautiful State Park is unfair. Not just to us but to all visitors of the park. Kids on school trips who would never get to go with their families, families who can’t afford Disney vacations but want to get away from home for a day, nature enthusiasts who want to go to the National Parks but can’t; they all come to Starved Rock. Let us not forget about the wildlife that needs the park and the surrounding wetlands to survive.

    We as a human race need to realize that when nature is lost we are all lost. Do not let this sand mine endanger one of the few state parks and areas of natural beauty that Illinois has.

  2. We the people of Illinois do not need a sand mine. We definitely need Starved Rock State Park. What are these people thinking? Sounds like another “Greed, personal agenda, money rules all situation”.

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  4. The LaSalle County Board still has the last say on this. Attend the county board meeting on January 12 at 1 pm at Knights of Columbus Hall at 401 W. Main Street in Ottawa, Illinois. Can’t make the meeting. Use this action link to tell to say NO to a sand mine next to Starved Rock State Park. http://action.sierraclub.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=223022.0&dlv_id=191748

  5. PLEASE DO NOT allow this my family and I have been coming here for years and this will ruin everything!

  6. Normajean Hobaugh Bingaman I wish I could vote I would vote NO My parents and I as a young child always visited Starved Rock and there is a lot of memories….

  7. Christine Larkin

    All is not lost yet…. We still have impact studies to be done.
    Why this research is not required FIRST, by a NON-BIAS party, before zoning approval is RECKLESS and SHORT SIGHTED.
    Keep your chins up and keep fighting to the death.

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