[BCNnet] Open House - US Army Corps Rice Lake Project in Fulton
jward199 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 11:42:57 CST 2010
The US Army Corps plans to cut 4+acres of trees at Rice Lake State
Conservation Area. Any one concerned about this project should attend
this open house on January 27, 2010 at any time between 5:00-7:00 pm
at Banner Township Hall, 273 S McArthur, Banner, IL.
This project has caused concern for local residents because of the
mature trees that will be destroyed. This area is known to be a
wintering roost for Bald Eagles. One pair of Osprey nest at the nearby
Banner Marsh, and a second pair has attempted unsuccessfully to nest
at the Rice Lake area. Both species would be affected by the removal
of mature trees.
Residents are also concerned about impacts on other wildlife with the
addition of a major levee and huge pumps on the Illinois river that
can be used to pump water in and out of the facility.
Local residents believe that much of the degradation at Rice Lake
stems from the way the area has been managed by IDNR.
Many of us would like to know how will this help migrating birds and
other area wildlife, as this project appears to be directed at helping
boost hunting areas by making most of the wetlands subject to adding
or removing water as IDNR wishes, not necessarily in a way beneficial
to migrating birds and other wildlife.
This Army Corps project was originally planned at $7 million, and as
of last fall is now about $14 million.
Below is an invitation sent out by the Corps:
Rice Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources invite you to attend an open house for the
Environmental Management Program’s Rice Lake Habitat Rehabilitation
and Enhancement Project.
The purpose of the open house is to discuss with and gather comments
from the public on the draft report findings. The project goals are to
enhance wetland, aquatic, and floodplain habitat.
Proposed project features include:
1) a perimeter water control levee to protect interior areas from
frequent Illinois Waterway stage fluctuations during the critical
growing season for moist-soil food plants;
2) an overflow spillway to protect the perimeter water control levee
from erosion by equalizing water levels on either side prior to
3) a pump station to bring water into the site and discharge channel
to allow water level manipulation in the fall (timely flooding) that
is crucial to improving the success rate of submergent/emergent
vegetation and their eventual use by migrating birds;
4) mast tree and native grassland plantings on Duck Island to restore
historic floodplain cover type, diversity, and provide food and cover
for resident and migratory birds and mammals; and
5) fish egress structures to create access to deep water refuge, which
increases the probability of survival for individual fish during the
summer drawdown periods.
All interested persons are invited to participate in the open house on
January 27, 2010 at any time between 5:00-7:00 pm.
At the open house, the Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of
Natural Resources personnel will be available to explain the draft
report results and to answer questions and listen to comments on the
proposed modifications on a one-to-one basis to each open house
The open house will be held at Banner Township Hall, 273 S McArthur,
This invitation has been sent to involved federal and state agencies,
city and business representatives, and many members of the public in
the Fulton County area. If you are aware of someone who may not have
seen this notice, please encourage him or her to participate in the
If you have technical questions about the draft report, please call
Mr. Darron Niles at 309/794-5400. Logistical questions about the open
house may be directed to Ms. Marsha Dolan at 309/794-5648 or visit our
website at http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/emp/hrep/ricelake.htm.
We look forward to seeing you at the open house
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