Wednesday, July 23, 2008

IL State Parks in Jeopardy?

I was just reading a story in today's Daily Illini about the Illinois state budget problems affecting the state parks. About $14 million has been cut from the Department of Natural Resources budget and the results could be staff lay-offs and reduced park hours. DNR has had it tough since 2001. Some parks may actually close if this new budget stays in its current form. I sure hope they restore the money to DNR and find other areas to cut (hopefully not higher education!). I need Clinton Lake State Recreation Area to remain open for my own selfish reasons...I love to run that north fork trail! And the Clinton Lake ultra is dependent on the trail being open and maintained. Speaking of the trail, the park has cleared just over half the trail and may be done this week in clearing the entire trail. There have been some thick briars, itch weed, and tall grass on many sections. I plan to run the north fork trail this weekend to see how it looks. If it is runnable, then us local trail folks should run it regularly and also trim it back when needed. It's a LOT easier to maintain the trail when it's in good shape rather than hacking through it when it is left to become wild and overgrown.

Cross those fingers and hope that the governor and legislature restores the money to DNR. It wouldn't hurt to make some calls or send some e-mails to your local representative and the governor's office too.

No comments: