Concerns Over Sand Mine Near Starved Rock State Park Discussed in Springfield

Recently, LaSalle County voted to approve a sand mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park. Concern over that decision has reached the statehouse.

Both sides of a controversial proposal to develop a sand mining operation on the eastern edge of Starved Rock State Park brought their concerns to Springfield and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon Monday.

“My reaction was probably similar to everyone else’s reaction,” she said. “What can we do to protect the park?”

Opponents of the mine say it will hurt Starved Rock, the state’s most popular park. They believe increased truck traffic, blasting and dust will threaten tourism and wildlife.

Proponents of the project tout the 40 jobs to be created and say environmental concerns are being addressed. LaSalle County already has a number of mines, including half a dozen within a few miles of Starved Rock, they add.

Mississippi Sand LLC of Maryland Heights, Mo. Wants to mine St. Peter sandstone for use in the oil and natural gas industry.

As part of her duties, Simon chairs the Illinois River Coordinating Council and related councils for the Mississippi and the Wabash and Ohio Rivers.

Parks and public land are discussed briefly in SUST 210 The Sustainable Future, and Roosevelt Professor Greg Buckley’s  SUST 390 Special Topics course on national parks. If you are interested in participating in the Sustainability Studies special topics course on national parks, contact Professor Buckley. To learn more about our curriculum, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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