Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge
The Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge is a 11,122-acre wetland wildlife refuge located in Waterford Township in Fulton County, Illinois across the Illinois River from the town of Havana. Only 3,000 acres are owned by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it is in the Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregion. Most of the wildlife refuge is made up of reclaimed agricultural land. A 7,100-acre reclamation project within the Refuge, the Emiquon Project, is operated by the Nature Conservancy, a partner with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the creation of the Refuge. In February 2012, the Emiquon Complex, centering on the Emiquon NWR, was designated under the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance; the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge and the Emiquon Project cover the historic beds of Flag Lake and Thompson Lake, which were shallow, alluvial lakes created by the Illinois River during the geological period that followed the last ice age. Heavy loads of sand and silt carried southwest by the river created random, undulating topography along the river's bed.
The river responded to these deposits by shifting its course, leaving long, narrow sections of abandoned riverbed behind it. Two of these sections became Thompson Lake. Surrounding these two lakes, strung out along the western bank of the Illinois River, was a characteristic North American riverine ecosystem characterized by dense populations of shellfish, migratory birds, mammals; the Emiquon wetland became a favorite home for many Indians of the Illinois Territory for thousands of years, leaving 149 known archeological sites behind them within the parcels of land that make up the Project. These hunter-gatherers used and lived in and around both the wetlands of Emiquon and the adjacent river bluffs. During the centuries between 1000 CE and 1300 CE, many of them buried their dead in an adjacent blufftop, now the Dickson Mounds National Historic Site; when new Americans of European ancestry began living along the Illinois River in the late 17th century, they brought several wetland diseases with them, notably malaria.
Local Indian populations declined, the settlers tried not to live in or near wetlands, believing them to be unhealthy places to live. When Fulton County was organized in 1823, the settlers selected a blufftop location several miles away as the county seat. A population of local Illinois River settlers thinly settled the Emiquon riverbank, too wet for traditional European-style farming; the region continued to yield a living to fur trappers and fishermen. However, in 1919 Joy Morton, a wealthy Chicago CEO, acquired the Emiquon area and had a levee built around it and drainage ditches dug. Emiquon became the Norris Farm, the former wetlands and lake beds were drained and converted into cornfields; the free-flowing Illinois River was dammed and confined to a narrow channel running between artificial banks. Much of Emiquon was low-lying and required periodic pumping with electric motors so that the land could remain dry and useful as farmland. Throughout the 20th century, alterations to the Illinois riverbed caused severe damage to the ecological diversity and fish productivity of the river.
Beginning in the 1960s, naturalists lobbied for restoration of parts of the riverbed and former wetlands. After extended negotiations, the Nature Conservancy acquired the 7,100-acre property in 2000. In 2007, the Conservancy enrolled a 6,400-acre parcel within the Project in the federally subsidized Wetlands Reserve Program. By 2008, volunteers working with the Nature Conservancy had replanted 300,000 wetland trees, including black walnuts, swamp white oaks, pecans, 8,000 pounds of grassland seed; the Conservancy believed that the Emiquon Project was the second largest wetlands restoration project in the United States, behind the Restoration of the Everglades. As part of the restoration efforts, drainage pumps were turned off and one of the natural lake beds within the Project, Thompson Lake, began to refill; as of 2008, Thompson Lake was a 2,000-acre lake within the Project. This compares to the lake's original size of 1,800-acre; the reborn lake and adjacent wetlands were attractive to waterbirds, with 17 separate species of ducks reported.
As of 2009, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's long-range master plan for the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge including acquiring the Emiquon Project's land, building out the refuge's 11,122-acre footprint, enrolling the new Refuge into the Illinois River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, managed from the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge's headquarters in Havana; the Conservancy's long-range master plan for the Emiquon Project, included restoration of the parcel's natural drainage patterns to the maximum extent possible, including reconstruction of a free-flowing connection between the Illinois River and Thompson Lake. As of 2008, the refilled lakes were stocked with more than 30 species of fish, including largemouth bass, bullhead, channel catfish and sunfish. Several dozen fish-eating black-crowned night herons had arrived. In addition to game fish, heritage fish were planted in Flag Lake and Thompson Lake, such as the state-endangered redspotted sunfish and the state-threatened starhead topminnow.
The Conservancy planned to construct welcome facilities to encourage birdwatchers and other visitors to enjoy the reborn wetland. The Emiquon Project's location, within 40 miles of Peoria and adjacent to the established Dickson Mounds museum, was expected to help draw visitors. In April 2008, the University of Illinois at Springfield opened a field station at Emiquon to conduct research and
Chain O'Lakes State Park (Illinois)
Chain O'Lakes State Park is a 2,793-acre Illinois state park at the inlet of the Fox River into the Chain O'Lakes in Lake and McHenry counties, in the suburban wildlife of Chicago, United States. It is one of the centerpieces of the proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. "Chain O'Lakes State Park". Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2018-07-06. USGS. "Chain O'Lakes State Park, USGS Fox Lake Quad". TopoQuest. Retrieved 2008-07-05
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native Americans in the United States from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west, designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830; the relocated peoples suffered from exposure and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, many died before reaching their destinations. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Seminole and Choctaw nations, as well as their African slaves; the phrase "Trail of Tears" originates from a description of the removal of many Native American tribes, including the infamous Cherokee Nation relocation in 1838. Between 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Creek and Cherokee people were forcibly removed from their traditional lands in the Southeastern United States, relocated farther west; those Native Americans who were relocated were forced to march to their destinations by state and local militias.
The Cherokee removal in 1838 was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. 2,000–8,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way. In 1830, a group of Indians collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South; the process of cultural transformation, as proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox, was gaining momentum among the Cherokee and Choctaw. American settlers had been pressuring the federal government to remove Indians from the Southeast. Although the effort was vehemently opposed by some, including U. S. Congressman Davy Crockett of Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson was able to gain Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the government to extinguish Indian title to lands in the Southeast. In 1831, the Choctaw became the first Nation to be removed, their removal served as the model for all future relocations.
After two wars, many Seminoles were removed in 1832. The Creek removal followed in 1834, the Chickasaw in 1837, lastly the Cherokee in 1838; some managed to evade the removals and remained in their ancestral homelands. A small group of Seminole, fewer than 500, evaded forced removal. A small number of non-Native Americans who lived with the tribes, including some of African descent accompanied the Indians on the trek westward. By 1837, 46,000 Indians from the southeastern states had been removed from their homelands, thereby opening 25 million acres for predominantly European settlement. Prior to 1838, the fixed boundaries of these autonomous tribal nations, comprising large areas of the United States, were subject to continual cession and annexation, in part due to pressure from squatters and the threat of military force in the newly declared U. S. territories—federally administered regions whose boundaries supervened upon the Native treaty claims. As these territories became U. S. states, state governments sought to dissolve the boundaries of the Indian nations within their borders, which were independent of state jurisdiction, to expropriate the land therein.
These pressures were exacerbated by U. S. population growth and the expansion of slavery in the South, with the rapid development of cotton cultivation in the uplands following the invention of the cotton gin. Andrew Jackson's support for removal of Native Americans began at least a decade before his presidency. Indian removal was Jackson's top legislative priority upon taking office; the removals, conducted under both Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, followed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which provided the president with powers to exchange land with Native tribes and provide infrastructure improvements on the existing lands. The law gave the president power to pay for transportation costs to the West, should tribes choose to relocate; the law did not, allow the president to force tribes to move west without a mutually agreed-upon treaty. Referring to the Indian Removal Act, Martin Van Buren, Jackson's vice president and successor is quoted as saying "There was no measure, in the whole course of administration, of which he was more the author than this."In the years following the Act, the Cherokee filed several lawsuits regarding conflicts with the state of Georgia.
Some of these cases reached the most influential being Worcester v. Georgia. Samuel Worcester and other non-Indians were convicted by Georgia law for residing in Cherokee territory in the state of Georgia without a license. Worcester was sentenced to prison for four years and appealed the ruling, arguing that this sentence violated treaties made between Indian nations and the United States federal government by imposing state laws on Cherokee lands; the Court ruled in Worcester's favor, declaring that the Cherokee Nation was subject only to federal law and that the Supremacy Clause barred legislative interference by the state of Georgia. Chief Justice Marshall argued, "The Cherokee nation
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, enacted by the U. S. Congress to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations; the Act is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management that crosses political boundaries and promotes public participation in developing goals for river protection; the Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the height of the United States environmental era, states:"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, geologic and wildlife, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes." The Act established the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System to protect and enhance rivers found to be regionally and nationally significant. Rivers may be designated by Congress or, if certain requirements are met, the Secretary of the Interior; each designated river is administered by either a federal, state, or tribal agency, or as a partnership between any number of these government entities and local NGOs. Designated segments need not include the entire river and may include headwaters and tributaries. For federally administered rivers, the designated boundaries average one-quarter mile on either bank in the lower 48 states and one-half mile on rivers outside national parks in Alaska in order to protect river-related values.
As of August 2018, the National System protects over 12,700 miles of 209 rivers in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. By comparison, more than 75,000 large dams across the country have modified at least 600,000 miles, or about 17%, of American rivers; the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was an outgrowth of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission. Among other things, the commission recommended that the nation protect wild rivers and scenic rivers from development that would change their free-flowing nature and values. At this time, the country was experiencing rapid degradation of its water resources due to municipal and industrial effluent being released into the nation's rivers. Many waterways and the fish in them were toxic. Populations of aquatic species were declining and people were being relocated from their communities due to rampant dam building. All across the country people were writing letters imploring the President and First lady to protect their beloved rivers.
The act was sponsored by Sen. Frank Church and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 2, 1968. A river, or river section, may be designated by the U. S. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior. In 1968, as part of the original act, eight rivers were designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers; as of November 2018, 209 rivers, totaling 12,754 miles of river in 40 states and Puerto Rico, have Wild and Scenic status. By comparison, more than 75,000 large dams across the country have modified at least 600,000 miles, or about 17%, of American rivers. Selected rivers in the United States are preserved for possessing Outstandingly Remarkable Values that fall into the 8 categories: Scenic, Geologic, Wildlife, Culture, or Other similar values; these values can be considered synonymous with ecosystem services, or those goods and services that nature provides and that benefit society. Rivers so designated are set out for protection and enhancement in perpetuity by preserving their free-flowing condition from dams and development that would otherwise diminish the quality of their remarkable values.
National Wild and Scenic designation vetoes the licensing of new dams on, or directly affecting the designated section of river. It provides strong protection against federally funded bank and channel alterations that adversely affect river values, protects riverfront public lands from new oil and mineral development, creates a federal reserved water right to protect flow-dependent values such as fish habitat. Designation as a Wild and Scenic River is not the same as a national park designation, does not confer the same protections as a Wilderness Area designation. Wild and Scenic designation protects the free-flowing nature of rivers in both federal and non-federal areas, something the Wilderness Act and other federal designations cannot do. Despite misplaced fears, WSR designation does not alter private property rights. Federally administered National Wild and Scenic Rivers are managed by one or more of the four principal land-managing agencies of the federal government. Of the 209 National Wild an
Des Plaines River
The Des Plaines River is a river that flows southward for 133 miles through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the United States Midwest meeting the Kankakee River west of Channahon to form the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Native Americans used the river as transportation portage; when French explorers and missionaries arrived in the 1600s, in what was the Illinois Country of New France, they named the waterway La Rivière des Plaines as they felt that trees on the river resembled the European plane tree. The local Native Americans showed these early European explorers how to traverse waterways of the Des Plaines watershed to travel from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and its valley. Parts of the river are now part of the Chicago Area Waterway System; the slow-moving Des Plaines River rises in southern Wisconsin just west of Kenosha and flows southward through marshland as it crosses into Illinois. The river turns to the east and flows through woodland forest preserve districts in Lake and Cook counties, northwest of Chicago.
Numerous small fixed dams have been built on the river starting in central Lake County and continuing through Cook County. The river turns to the southwest and joins with the Sanitary and Ship Canal in Lockport before flowing through the city of Joliet. Here it becomes part of the longer Illinois Waterway. In the industrialized area around Joliet, dams control the river. Just west of Joliet, the Des Plaines converges with the Kankakee River to form the Illinois River; those parts of the Des Plaines River preserved in a natural state are used for conservation and recreation, while altered sections serve as an important industrial waterway and drainage channel. The original course of the riverbed was moved to the west at the town of Lockport during the construction of the Sanitary and Ship Canal in 1905. According to Chicago Wilderness Magazine, as the Des Plaines River runs 95 miles through four Illinois counties, it "changes from prairie creek to a suburban stream, to a large urbanized river, to a major industrial waterway."Sections of the river in the Lake County and Cook County Forest Preserve districts in Illinois create "a nearly continuous greenway though all of Lake County and the northern section of Cook County."
While canoe launching ramps are available, "The lack of ramps for trailered boats makes this long river a quiet, family-friendly river." This greenway supports the Des Plaines River Trail, a multi-use trail that follows the course of the Des Plaines River through Lake County and into Cook County. The Des Plaines River was named by early French coureurs de bois sometime between the 17th and 18th centuries, after the trees lining the banks of the river; the word la plaine, in the 18th-century Mississippi Valley dialect of French spoken at the time, referred to either the American sycamore or the red maple, both of which resembled the European plane tree either in their palmate leaves or similar bark. This meaning of plaine survives in Canadian French: Plaine or Plaine rouge refers to an Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum is sometimes named a plaine blanche; the English word for the plane tree came from the 14th century Old French word la plane. Since the 18th century, the French word for the plane tree has evolved into le platane.
As the Latin name for the plane tree is platanus, this transformation was done as a part of the attempts by late 18th-century French academics to change the spelling of many French words to what was perceived as their Latin origins. A side effect of such action was that the original French meaning of the name applied to the Des Plaines River was obscured. Today, des Plaines in modern Parisian French means "of the plains" or "of the prairie"; this has led to confusion about the meaning of the original French name for the Des Plaines River. Many people today believe that the river was named after the plains and prairies through which the river flows. But, in the 18th-century French dialect, it was more common to use the word "prairie" to indicate a plain, such as Prairie du Rocher in Illinois and Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin; as noted above, it is more that the river was named in reference to the trees rather than the land. The French, like the Native Americans, traveled by waterways rather than overland.
The view of the prairie was nearly always blocked by trees. To this day a large number of both maples and sycamores grow along the Des Plaines River. Although the original French name for the river has survived, its pronunciation has been altered. Today, locals pronounce it in an anglicized way, rather than according to the French pronunciation; the Des Plaines River Bridge in Joliet is a cantilever bridge, six lanes wide—three lanes traveling eastbound and westbound. The bridge is signed as part of Interstate 80; the bridge is located on the south side of Joliet. A Tunnel and Reservoir Plan to reduce the harmful effects of floods and the flushing of raw sewage into Lake Michigan is semi-operational, it diverts storm sewage into temporary holding reservoirs. The megaproject is one of the largest civil engineering projects undertaken in terms of scope and timeframe. Commissioned in the mid-1970s, the project is managed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Completion of the system is not anticipated until 2029, but substantial portions of the system have opened.
A modern flood control study stated that flooding on the Des Plaines River has caused signific
Wilmington, Will County, Illinois
Wilmington is a city in Will County, United States. It is 60 miles south-west from downtown Chicago; the population was 5,724 at the 2010 census. Thomas Cox purchased land near Alden's Island in 1834 and built a sawmill, corn cracker, a carding machine facility all of which were powered by water wheels situated on a mill race off of the Kankakee river which runs through Wilmington; the town is home to the historic Eagle Hotel located on the northwest corner of state Rt 53 and Water street. Wilmington was founded by Thomas Cox, it became famous as a stop on U. S. Route 66, which followed the route of modern-day Illinois Route 53; the only rest-inn within the town is called "Van Duyne's" and is situated right on old Route 66. A notable attraction for travelers along this route is the "Gemini Giant" Muffler Man type statue located next to the former Launching Pad fast food restaurant. Countless photos of travelers, both domestic and foreign, standing at the base of the Gemini Giant are taken each year.
A bus-station scene from Planes, Trains & Automobiles was filmed in Wilmington. The bus station was demolished in 2011. Wilmington is located at 41°18′27″N 88°08′46″W, it is located on the banks of the Kankakee River 50 miles southwest of Chicago and 15 miles south of Joliet. One of Wilmington's most notable geographical features is a large island in the Kankakee River, much of, occupied by a city park; this island divides the river into a large channel and a smaller one, used as a natural mill race during the early years of the city. The island is the source of the city's nickname, "The Island City." According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles, of which 4.2 square miles is land and 0.3 square miles is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 5,134 people, 1,991 households, 1,318 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,218.3 people per square mile. There were 2,097 housing units at an average density of 497.6/sq mi. The racial makeup of the city was 97.14% White, 0.74% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, 0.86% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population. There were 1,991 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.8% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.10. In the city, the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males. The median income for a household in the city was $45,659, the median income for a family was $53,648. Males had a median income of $41,966 versus $25,625 for females; the per capita income for the city was $24,357. About 5.1% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
Damien Anderson, National Football League player Harry Butcher, driver in the Indianapolis 500 George Cutshaw, Major League Baseball player John J. Feely, congressman Leroy Ioas, Hand of the Cause of the Bahá'í Faith Burt Keeley, Major League Baseball pitcher Kiiara, singer Francis Joseph Magner, Roman Catholic bishop Tanner Roark, Major League Baseball player Bob Weidling Jerry Hill Bill Weidling Tony McGann Roy Strong James Martin "Marty" Orr Roy Strong Wilmington has been the featured topic in no less than 4 songs: - "The Wilmington Song" by White Trashistan. City of Wilmington IL, Official Web Site Catfish Days, Wilmington IL Downtown, Wilmington IL
Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is a United States National Forest located in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois, United States. Administered by the U. S. D. A. Forest Service, it consists of 280,000 acres of federally managed lands. In descending order of land area it is located in parts of Pope, Union, Alexander, Gallatin and Massac counties. Forest headquarters are located in Illinois. There are local ranger district offices in Vienna; the Shawnee National Forest is the single largest publicly owned body of land in the state of Illinois. Designated as the Illini and Shawnee Purchase Units, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared these purchase units to be the Shawnee National Forest in September 1939. Most of the land added to the Forest in its first decade of existence was exhausted farmland. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Civilian Conservation Corps planted pine trees to prevent erosion and help rebuild the soil. However, the Forest is home to many hardwood trees and other plant and animal species characteristic of the region.
In the 1980s and 1990s, there was an active history of conservation and protest efforts by local and national environmental groups and individuals ranging from radical movements such as Earth First! to mainstream organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Green Party. The wise use movement once played an active role in lobbying for its vision of the Shawnee National Forest. Today a more cooperative atmosphere has developed. In 2006, the Forest Service completed the development of a new Forest Management Plan for the Shawnee National Forest; this plan, adopted every 10–15 years, outlines the policies and practices of the U. S. Forest Service in overseeing the management of the Shawnee National Forest; the 2006 Forest Plan was completed in collaboration with many environmental and public groups and is designed to maintain and enhance the forest's unique biodiversity. During the Illinoian Stage, the Laurentide ice sheet covered up to 85 percent of Illinois; the southern margin of this ice sheet was located within what is now the area of the Shawnee National Forest.
There are many points of interest marking the southern edge of the glacier. Some are located within the Forest boundary, others are on public land in proximity. Little Grand Canyon is located within the Shawnee National Forest; this is accessible off Illinois Route 127 south of Illinois. A small creek with a tiny watershed has carved an impressive rock canyon, more than 200 feet deep, leading down to the Big Muddy River; the southern edge of the ice sheet was just to the north of Little Grand Canyon. Blocks of ice slid off the face of the glacier, carried by enormous volumes of meltwater, to carve this tiny canyon. In the deep shade of the canyon are relict species of Arctic plants left over from its ancient origin. Cedar Lake is an artificial lake formed by damming Cedar Creek; the lake is accessible off Illinois Route 127, south of Murphysboro, off U. S. 51, south of Carbondale. In this area, the Illinoian Glacier climbed the Shawnee Hills at its southern margin; the glacier blocked the waterways flowing north down the hills.
This drainage formed a creek running northwest along the face of the glacier. This became Cedar Creek, the watershed of, asymmetrical. While the watershed extends only a few thousand feet to the south, up the face of the terminal moraine, the creek is fed by waterways extending miles to the south. Within the area of the Shawnee National Forest, but not at this time US property, is Hicks Dome, an igneous feature in Hardin County, Illinois; this was speculated to be the result of a hot spot, but some argue it was caused by a meteorite impact. There are seven designated wilderness areas lying within Shawnee National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Bald Knob Wilderness Bay Creek Wilderness Burden Falls Wilderness Clear Springs Wilderness Garden of the Gods Wilderness Lusk Creek Wilderness Panther Den WildernessThere are three natural vegetation research areas: Cave Hill and Whoopie Cat Mountain Research Natural Areas in the Shawnee National Forest. Shawnee National Forest appeared on the thirty-first quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters series in 2016.
The Shawnee National Forest was among the best sites from which to view the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 with two minutes 44 seconds of totality. Shawnee National Forest - The official Forest Service site for the Shawnee National Forest