Friday, January 29, 2010

Champaign County Land Resource Management Plan

Last Tuesday evening, Jamuary 26, we attended the open house to review and comment on the LRMP.  There were lots of charts and posters and steering committee menbers on hand to take questions and comments. 

My initial reaction was surprise at how comprehensive the plan is, all 348 pages.  It addresses so many areas of land use in Champaign County.  I encourage you to look at it and express your opinions and ideas. Public comments will be accepted through Feb. 9.

The areas that is of primary interest to this blogger are:
Goal 8 Natural Resources.  Champaign County will strive to conserve and enhance the County's landscape and natural resources and ensure thier sustainable use.

And more specifically:
Objective 8.5 Aquatic and Riparian Ecosystems. Champaign County will encourage the maintance and enhancement of aquatic and riparian habits.  
Objective 8.6 Natural Areas and Habitat.  Champaign county will encourage resource management which avoids loss or degregration of areas represtative of the pre-settlement environment and other areas that provide habitat for native and game species.
Policy 8.7.4.  The County will encourage the establishment of public-private partnerships to conserve woodlands and other significant areas of natural envoronmental quality in CC. 
Action Item 8.7.4. As a cooperative and adjunct effort to any similar action of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District or the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, develop an information package regarding voluntary establishment of public-private partnerships to conserve woodlands and other significant areas of natural environmental quality in Champaign County.

The idea of getting out information, educating private land owners and encouraging them to do the right thing is something I support.  We all seem to be in agreement that we want beautiful natural areas, but how to preserve and maintain them is what is in dispute.  IMHO, educate people, give them support and tools and the people will do it.  This can be much more productive than the restrictive regulation approach attempted a few years ago.  I applaud CC for starting the efforts to encourage people to do so.

FYI the News Gazette also has a review of the meeting

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Champaign County Forest Preserve Trail Stewardship

The Champaign County Forest Preserve is more than a friend to the Salt Fork River.  The Salt Fork River is actually part of the Champaign County Forest Preserve at Homer Lake.   Activites of the CCFP have an impact on the Salt Fork River.  One activity that indirectly affects the river is the Trail Stewardship Program.  There will be a workshop  about the program January 23 from 10 AM -Noon.  There is more information on their web site:

Invasive species have become a serious threat to all our natural areas from prairies to woodlands to riparian corridors.  It will only be the efforts of people willing to take the time to commit to helping eradicate invasives that will finally make a difference.  Please consider being a steward to a Homer Lake trail and in doing so becoming a Salt Fork Friend.

 Hope to at least see you at the workshop. Preregistration required.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Freezing Up

The river is not yet frozen over. This bitter cold weather is to continue so perhaps the Salt Fork will freeze over yet. This photo was taken on our property which borders the Homer Lake Forest Preserve.