Forest preserve district is muddying the water
The letter that prompted a damage control response from the DuPage Forest Preserve's president was completely accurate, and I would like to thank President Hebreard for so perfectly proving that writer's point.
If the district's mandate is "to acquire and hold lands that contain forests, prairies and wetlands ... or lands capable of being restored to such natural conditions" why was the existing wetland at Blackwell destroyed?
The forest preserve district's interest in preservation and restoration is always secondary. Their main focus is to use granted money to create parklike areas and then actively sell their projects as real restoration to the public.
Blackwell's Spring Brook Project replaced a high-quality wetland with a fast-moving channel that may or may not increase populations of water clarifying mussels. The president touts that "green frogs, toads and mallards" have now been seen at the site. It is unfortunate and unacceptable that the forest preserve president is unaware of the extremely diverse populations of mammals, amphibians and birds that were on site before the wetland was destroyed, and is pleased that those three species, which can be found in any city park, are the sole survivors.
Was a wildlife inventory taken prior to the destruction? And, if so, who decided that mussels were more important than ospreys, mergansers or soft-shell turtles? What was the carbon footprint of this project? Acres of trees were cut down and underbrush removed. Existing land was bulldozed, and the wasted trees, land and rocks were moved with an outrageous amount of heavy machinery.
When demolition was completed, a newly paved road was installed. This project was rammed through with little or no public input and now the forest preserve is doing its best to make the public believe that they were done a service.