U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Approves Hackmatack Feasibility Study

Openlands created this Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge map. It is used with permission.

Last week, the McHenry County Board endorsed creation of a wildlife refuge in northern McHenry County and southern Wisconsin. Now a feasibility study has been approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The following press release has been issued by Openlands:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Approves Feasibility Study

TERRIFIC NEWS! The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has approved the preliminary project proposal for Hackmatack and will now move forward with conducting a feasibility study.

Another Openlands map showing ecological assest of the proposed refuge area, used with permission. (Click to enlarge any map.)

The study is an important next step in making the refuge a reality and ultimately designating its boundaries.

The study area includes portions of McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois and Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties in Wisconsin.

Still another map, this one about connectivity and biodiversity, from the Openlands study, which McHenry County Blog has permission to republish.

Openlands Policy Director and McHenry County resident Lenore Beyer-Clow has been instrumental in leading advocacy efforts for the refuge, and we will continue to work with The Trust for Public Land and the local Friends of Hackmatack grassroots coalition to conduct outreach and gain additional support. We will also continue to coordinate efforts with the USFWS as they conduct the study. (Learn more about the study here.)

This is an exciting project that illustrates the potential for significant landscape-scale conservation that gives people an opportunity to connect with nature, the foundation of Openlands’ mission.

This bi-state refuge would provide extensive recreation and education.

For more information about this project, please contact Lenore Beyer-Clow at 312-863-6264 or via e-mail.

To support this project and many other sustainable green initiatives throughout northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region, please consider making a contribution to Openlands today:

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