Landowners in western Cass and Morgan counties are working to restore natural habitats for game animals and prairie. Private landowners in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever, and The Nature Conservancy are in the process of removing dense stands of trees along the hills west of Arenzville to restore hill prairie that existed prior to the 1950s, according to wildlifeillinois.org.
Ray Geroff, a resident of Arenzville and IDNR Natural Heritage Biologist and local resident Deb Burrus, have been leads on the project of working with local landowners to restore over 1000 continuous prairie acres. Currently, landowners are hedging funds from the various agencies involved in the long-term project and are also participating in controlled burns and targeted herbicide applications to restore natural prairie grasses and flowers. The goals are to restore lands from Mud Creek Hill Prairie to Meredosia Hill Prairie, which IDNR has been managing since 1985.
For more information to participate in the restoration effort, contact Mike Budd at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Illinois at 217-557-4474 or via email at Michael_budd@fws.gov. Visit this link to see a video on the project.