New Report: Forest Preserve District Needs Own Board

March 17, 2008

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A new report says that the Cook County and Forest Preserve District's double duty commissioners often put the needs of the county first and overlook the preserves.

The report comes from the Civic Federation and the Friends of the Forest Preserves. Benjamin Cox, one of the authors, says some of the highest quality natural areas in Illinois are right here in cook county. But he says the forest preserves are in trouble, in large part because the people responsible for overseeing them are the same people that must make decisions about creating jobs and bringing in new development.

COX: We need people who can focus solely on the issues of the Forest Preserve District. The forest preserves are not a land bank. They are here to be preserved in perpetuity for people to enjoy, to be able to get out and enjoy open space.

The report sites numerous examples, including the sale of forest preserve land for the expansion of the Village of Rosemont's convention center and the transfer of funds from the District to the County budget.