At a special meeting Monday, Dec. 3, the Lake County Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners elected their new leaders, choosing to retain Ann Maine of Lincolnshire as president and Linda Pedersen of Antioch as vice president. Both will serve two-year terms that end December 2014.
As newly re-elected Forest Preserve president, Maine will focus on continuing her efforts to complete and extend popular multiuse trail systems like the Millennium Trail and Greenway; restore wetlands, prairies and forests; and open new preserves throughout the county.
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"It is a great honor to be chosen by my fellow commissioners to serve a second term as president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. I'm very thankful for their trust in me and humbled by the support," Maine said.
"I look forward to working alongside new and returning board members to provide residents of Lake County even more opportunities to enjoy their preserves and to learn about our area's natural and cultural history.
"Our new board has inherited a 54-year history of strong community support for the forest preserves that stems from the hard work of our predecessors. It's our challenge to make sure that legacy endures," Maine added.
"In the coming two years, the board and I will continue to raise awareness of the many benefits and amenities of our preserves and facilities and encourage all residents to visit and use them. We will work together in a thoughtful process to broaden access to newly acquired preserves, extend miles of trails, and preserve and restore land, while continuing to exercise fiscal responsibility and leverage funds so we can do more for the families of Lake County."
Since being elected in 2002, Maine has held the following leadership positions on the Forest Preserve Board: president since 2010; chair, Land Preservation and Acquisition Committee; vice chair, Legislative Committee; member, Ethics Committee, Finance and Administrative Committee, Facilities Committee; voting member, Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves; liaison, Friends of Ryerson Woods Board.
Maine has been a member of the biology department at Lake Forest College since 1994, where she is a Senior Lecturer. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Williams College, Mass., and received a master's degree and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Rochester, N.Y.
Before joining the forest preserve board, she also served as a village trustee in Lincolnshire. She is an active member of the Lincolnshire Garden Club. She resides in Lincolnshire with her husband and four sons.
Vice President Pedersen has served as a Forest Preserve Commissioner since 2008 and has held the following positions vice president since 2010; chair, Finance and Administrative Committee; member, Land Preservation and Acquisition Committee; member, Rules Committee; voting member, Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves.
As the newly elected Forest Preserve leadership team, they will oversee more than 30,000 acres of Forest Preserve land, 168 miles of trails, 194 full-time, and 379 part-time and temporary employees, and a fiscal year 2013-14 budget of $114 million.
The Lake County Forest Preserve District was created by referendum in 1958 and serves as Lake County's principal guardian of open space and natural areas. Its boundaries are the same as those of Lake County.
The forest preserve district is managed by an elected board, made up of 21 commissioners who also serve as members of the Lake County Board.