DNR once again appears ready to get into the ATV trail business

Lingering debates about whether to build ATV trails on state park land were revived Wednesday when Gov. Bruce Rauner and DNR Director Wayne Rosenthal met up in Carrier Mills to announce the state’s plan to develop a 26-mile off-highway vehicle trail system at The Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Details are still unclear, but Ed Cross, DNR’s director of communications, told the Southern Illinoisan that “there is not a firm date at this point for breaking ground at the site and more details will be forthcoming.”

The state acquired the former mine property from Sahara Coal. The 4,100 acres managed by DNR.

Talk about opening ATV trails have been tossed around for a few years. Hunters and others who use state land are mostly opposed to the idea, citing loss of natural areas and habitat, not to mention the noise and crowds an ATV facility would bring.

We’ll have more details in the Nov. 30 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

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