Destruction of forest preserves is shocking

January 18, 2012

I am writing about the ongoing destruction of one of the Rockford area’s most precious assets: the Winnebago County forest preserves. I have been walking in the preserves for more than 20 years. I have enjoyed many peaceful and happy hours wandering through the lovely woods and prairies. I was shocked to discover last year that a large part of the Sugar River-Alder Preserve had been clear cut and logged. Much of the natural habitat has been destroyed. Recently, I was again shocked and saddened to find the same devastation has occurred in the Pecatonica River Forest Preserve. I understand that this is also occurring in the Roland Olson Forest Preserve near Roscoe. Several small signs reading “Habitat Restoration” are posted in these preserves. I submit that this is not restoration but devastation of habitat. I have attempted without success to obtain some reasonable explanation for this habitat destruction. The lumber harvested from the preserves is obviously being sold. Who is getting this money? I believe that we as taxpayers have a right to be consulted before undertaking such wholesale destruction of our precious assets.

Joseph G. Pittman, M.D.

From the Jan. 18-24, 2012, issue


  1. Josh Price

    January 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I know it is probably shocking to see a place you are accustomed to drastically changed, but change can be for the better. Give the prairie a couple years to establish itself and you may find it more beautiful than the overgrown non-native forest and pine plantations that it replaces.

  2. Gloria Maloney

    January 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I don’t see Josh Price on the “Certified Foresters” list.

    Prairies in populated areas are not a good idea because they must be burned periodically. This is a breathing/health issue.

    This isn’t 1830. The peoples’ health is more important than the idea that prairie is more biodiverse than forest, especially when most people prefer forest.

  3. Josh Price

    January 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    No Mrs. Maloney, I am not a Certified Forester. Are you? Even if I was I doubt you would listen to what I have to say. Especially considering that you have ignored everything Mr Hartley says regarding forest health, when he obviously has more knowledge on that topic than both of us combined. I do agree with you that public health is more important than restoring prairie. Prairie can be maintained by mowing rather than fire where public health is an issue. Could it be that your opposition to these moves has nothing to do with public health or what the mojority of people want and everything to do with the fact that the view from your house is affected?
    With all due respect.
    Josh Price

  4. Gloria Maloney

    January 27, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Mr. Posh,

    I can only see a small area of Kieselburg from our home. I was aware of coughing and trouble with breathing before we realized they were burning in Kieselburg. We can’t see the prairie areas they burn from where we live.

    We can’t see Roland Olsen or the other preserves from our home, either. But we hike, bike, and kayak in other preserves.

    I very much object to the destruction of the forests that all of us have a right to enjoy, no matter where we live. What is your interest in defending the clear cutting of the forests?

  5. Stop it....

    January 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Gloria Maloney,
    You’re an idiot……….

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