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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2001

Governor Ryan Announces Acquisition of 147 Acres in Vermilion County

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the acquisition of 147 acres along the Little Vermilion River in east-central Illinois through his Open Land Trust Program.

"This stretch of the river to the Indiana border has a very high natural quality," said Ryan in announcing the $375,000 acquisition. "It connects two sites already owned by the state and provides excellent habitat for wildlife. Protection of these types of properties by the state for public enjoyment is what the Open Land Trust Program is all about."

The Illinois Open Land Trust is the Governor's four-year, $160 million initiative to acquire real property for conservation, natural resource protection and recreation purposes.

The property, known as Camp Cherokee Boy Scout Camp, is located at the south end of Harry "Babe" Woodyard State Natural Area in Vermilion County. The natural area was first acquired in 1996 and was named for the late Senator who represented that area of east-central Illinois.

"I certainly appreciate the work of the Department of Natural Resources and Governor Ryan in making this acquisition possible," said Rep. Bill Black (R-Danville). "I'm very familiar with the land involved and there's no question in my mind that the best use possible for the land is that it become part of the Babe Woodyard Natural Wildlife area."

The new acquisition links the main natural area with another 40-acre site managed by the Department of Natural Resources and brings the total size of the site to nearly 1,250 acres. The property includes forest lands, camping facilities and ponds. A segment of Yankee Branch, a small tributary of the Little Vermilion River, flows through the south end of the property. This area of the Little Vermilion is believed to be home to more than a dozen state endangered plant and animal species.



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