Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Strip Mining in the Banner Natural Area

Capital Resources Development Corporation of Chicago wants to put a strip mine between a conservation area and wildlife preserve. Not a good thing.

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn is organizing an on-line petition drive to support the Heart of Illinois Sierra Club's effort to protect an area along the Illinois River from the proposed strip mine. The mine, to be located on 643 acres between Rice Lake State Conservation Area and Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area is less than a mile from the Illinois River, just southwest of Peoria. Strip mining operations on the site could threaten American Bald Eagle and America White Pelican habitat and might pollute protected waterways with heavy metals and other mine waste. Local residents are concerned that a mine would drain local drinking water wells and even rupture Banner's sewage treatment plant.

The Banner area is the winter home to hundreds of bald eagles and a major stop on the migratory path of the American White Pelican. Great Blue Herons, ospreys and many other birds call the area home, with both Rice Lake and the Banner Marsh sites offering a wide range of recreation and nature-based tourism opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts from hunters to hikers, bird watchers to campers and boaters all enjoy an area slated for recognition as a national scenic byway.

Please take action now to save this local natural treasure!! Sign the petition to protect Banner Natural Areas.

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