Let Gary Jury do his job

Let Gary Jury do his job

By Ron Schneider

I would like to make the following observations regarding our Winnebago County Forest Preserves.

l Forest: A dense growth of trees, together with other plants, covering a large area.

l Preserve: An area maintained for protection of wildlife or natural resources.

I submit we have not had “forests” in Winnebago County since the Native Americans controlled the Rock River Valley, and we have not had “preserves” for the past decade or more that Mary Ann Aiello has fought to tie the hands of many of our public land managers.

We no longer live in a “natural habitat.” Farmers and settlers have cleared land, industries have been developed here, and more than a quarter of a million people now live in our county. The “forests” are now “green spaces,” and they are surrounded by farms that act as giant food sources for many animals. These deer, turkeys, raccoons, pheasants, quail, and squirrels live off the food that is available to them. These animals are mobile and can retreat to woodlots and parks when farmers harvest their crops. They will eat anything that can sustain them. If we are not allowed to regulate these unnaturally high populations with controlled hunting, then we will not have anything to “preserve.”

Mary Ann Aiello thinks we can best manage our forest preserves without a controlled archery deer hunt by our local hunters. In fact, she would rather spend our tax dollars, (yes, more than $8,000 of it already) to have deer shot on preserve property by paid professionals. The land belongs to us all, Mary. Quit spending my tax dollars to do something I would like to do for free on land I pay for.

There are more than 19,000 acres of forest preserve land that needs to be actively managed. Gary Jury, chairman of our Forest Preserves Board, has a plan to manage our natural resources so they are available to future generations. We may even need to resort to gun hunting manage our animal populations someday. Man has hunted, by various methods, for thousands of years to provide for his family. Non-hunting is a rather new concept, Mary, but that does not necessarily mean it is a good concept.


R.D. Schneider is treasurer of the Northern Illinois Thundering Toms, local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (Rockford), Recording Secretary, Roscoe Sportsmen’s Club, (Roscoe).

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