Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Neighbors can't see forest plan for trees

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Chicago Tribune
by Robert Channick

Despite concerns from some Barrington Hills neighbors over the clear-cutting last winter of 13 acres of mature trees, officials say a habitat-improvement project at Spring Creek Forest Preserve is aimed at re-creating a prairie landscape that flourished two centuries ago.

Planted as picnic groves 30 years ago by the Cook County Forest Preserve District, two large stands north of Penny Road were removed at the 3,910-acre site as part of a joint effort with local conservation groups.

"What we're trying to do is restore the principal ecosystem that has been there most of the time since the glaciers pulled back," said Stephen Packard, director of Audubon Chicago Region, which has spearheaded the 3-year-old project, believed to be the largest contiguous habitat restoration ever undertaken in Cook County.

At the far northwest corner of the 67,000-acre preserve, Spring Creek is home to grasslands, wetlands, oak woodlands and savannas, but vast open spaces have been fragmented by invasive species like buckthorn and well-intended but misguided reforestation, according to Packard.

Hoping to restore the ecosystems and native wildlife such as Henslow's sparrow, bobolinks and other dwindling grassland birds, about 180 acres of brush and woody growth have been cleared, Packard said.

Funded by $140,000 in grants from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and several foundations, volunteers have provided much of the labor, but outside contractors were brought in last winter to raze the tall islands of honey locust, ash and oak trees, opening up a 109-acre grassland and a rift with some neighbors.

"People were upset about it," said Dave Cook, a four-year Barrington Hills resident who volunteers weekly for buckthorn cleanup at Spring Creek. "When you see large trees come down, it's hard to wrap your mind around it, especially if it's called a forest preserve."

In March, project officials met with about 40 concerned residents at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington.

"We like trees, but when they are in the wrong place, then we feel that we need to take some corrective action," said Richard Newhard, director of resource management for the Forest Preserve District.

Although it's the largest, it's not the first grassland restoration project for the district. Using proceeds from a multimillion-dollar Army Corps settlement fund, both the 585-acre Bartel Grassland near south suburban Matteson and the 960-acre Orland Grassland in Orland Township took shape rapidly while the Spring Creek project was still on the drawing board.

Current plans target 1,500 acres at Spring Creek, with a third of it designated as prairie. The project is expected to cost several million dollars and could take decades to complete. Without public consensus, it may not proceed at all, Packard said.

"The Forest Preserve District and Audubon are eager to see ecological health returning, but are not eager to be part of a project that leads to a lot of acrimony," Packard said.

Coalition partners remain committed to the restoration.

"We think it's mostly a communication challenge. We need to explain to people that we are not about clear-cutting woods," said John Rogner, field supervisor for the Chicago office of the Fish & Wildlife Service. "It looked like a good project, and we're still convinced it is."

Citizens for Conservation, a 35-year-old not-for-profit land trust managing more than 300 acres of restored ecosystems in the Barrington area, is providing rare prairie seeds for the cleared areas. Tom Vanderpoel, chairman of restoration for the group, said critics can't see the forest.

"These trees were planted in prairies," Vanderpoel said. "They are deserts compared to what should be growing there."

Jane Clement, an 11-year resident and a member of the Riding Club of Barrington Hills, which helps maintain the trails in Spring Creek, was one of about 100 volunteers removing brush at the preserve on Earth Day.

"I know they have the best intentions,[but]it's still difficult for me to see big trees come down."

----------

rchannick@earthlink.net

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune



Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019
WBEZ News

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP