Hack-ma-tack Wildlife Refuge
Open Letter from the BVA Board to the Bull Valley CommunityPage 2
On the surface, and from their published information, it would appear that the goals of USFWS for Hack-ma-tack are similar to, and in alignment with, the goals of the manyenvironmental and preservation organizations already working in our area. They include,but are not limited to our own McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD), theIllinois Nature Preserve, the Boone Creek Watershed Alliance, the Land Conservancy of McHenry County, the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water, the Bull Valley RidingClub, and the Bull Valley Garden Club. However, the impact of the proposed refuge onthe residents of the Bull Valley area (and McHenry County) will be quite different.
the Perceived Benefit?
MCCD has the admirable goal of preserving 50,000 acres of which about 25,000 havebeen purchased thus far
mostly through the efforts of our Community taxpayers. Somemonies have been made available through federal, state and private sources. In the statedviews of MCCD, the perceived addition of USFWS funds would accelerate them towardtheir ultimate goal of acquiring more lands.In the case of other organizations, they are accomplishing their goals of conservation andpreservation through the very successful methods of dedications and easements whilemaintaining and enhancing private ownership.
What is USFWS Currently Doing?
Underway currently is an Environmental Assessment of the areas being studied todetermine those areas to be targeted for inclusion USFWS
. The 12 person studycommittee is comprised (by USFWS regulation) of only environmentalists. Twomembers of McHenry County Conservation District are on the study committee
. BullValley was added to the study boundaries by an amendment. While we were notoriginally considered, we were informed
that Bull Valley‟s addition ca
me at the requestof the President of the Village of Barrington Hills
. The results of that study are due outin the fall.
Once their study is completed, there will be little anyone can do to influence
the outcome in spite of the mandated „public meetings
How will Hack-ma-tack Affect Us?
No identifiable additional benefits would result from Bull Valley being within theboundaries of a federally designated National Wildlife Refuge that we, the Community,
already have by working closely with our local agencies. While the perceivedadvantages might possibly include: slowed development; lowered demands on resources;
and potential „buyers‟ for property owners seeking land disposal at any price, the
potential disadvantages could be far reaching and would be out of our ability to control. Itmight well amount to a loss of freedom within our community in exchange for openingup our area to millions of nonresidents for hunting and fishing. Equestrian activities, anextremely important facet to hundreds of our residents, and snowmobiling are severelyrestricted on refuge lands, and would only be permitted on motor vehicle roads