Our college is very fortunate to be on the edge of the Cook County Forest preserves. This provides our students with a local, “natural” habitat to study, and it gives us some amazing views. I love the preserves in the fall and right after snow storms.
Since we benefit from these preserves, I thought that this program from Chicago Public Radio’s 848 program was appropriate for us. Chicago’s Ailing Forest Preserves describes a bit of history of the preserves, but it also discusses the political battle that is going on about who should control this land. Two issues are really at the heart of this debate. The first issue is how the preserves should be “restored.” What species should be removed and on what scale should it happen? The second issue is the impact to the habitat that political push and pull has. For instance, what happens when the county robs the forest preserve budget or when the Forest Preserve Board sells land to other municipalities?
This is a debate that should interest all of us that live and work close to the Cook County Forest Preserves.