Thursday, August 16, 2012
U.S. Interior OK's Wildlife Refuge Including McHenry County
The refuge is planned to be within easy driving distance of the two cities "eventually providing" 11,200 acres of habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreational opportunities. The final map doesn't extend as far south into McHenry County as originally conceived, however, One possibility considered would have come down as far as Crystal Lake but the one planners picked only extends to about McHenry.
The refuge won't be officially established until the first parcel of land is purchased, which depends on when a current landowner wants to sell some. "Land conservation methods for the core areas would include fee, conservation easement, and NGOs/private opportunities aimed at creating contiguous natural habitat," said the Interior release. That translates to land condemnation.
Hackmatack is supposed to provide for restoration of wetlands, prairie and oak savanna habitat and a home for 109 species of animals and plants that are of concern. The list includes 49 birds, 5 fishes, 5 mussels, one amphibian, 2 reptiles and 47 plants. The lastest plan is here: www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/Hackmatack