SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, has introduced legislation designating and protecting the former Lone Star Quarry as a site for individuals and groups digging for fossils.
“The Illinois Valley has the unique situation of having several large recreational areas, like Starved Rock, that help promote our area’s natural resources and bring in visitors from surrounding regions,” said Yednock. “Providing this designation through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allows us to set up an archeological site to promote our region while providing a new opportunity for local schools, colleges, and other enthusiasts to visit our area.”
Yednock’s House Bill 2789 would allow DNR to section off part of the former quarry for excavations for archeologists and educational organizations. Since the closure of the quarry, the land was acquired in 2018 by the state of Illinois to conjoin the land with nearby Matthiessen and Starved Rock State Parks. Amateur fossil hunters have been enjoying excavating at the site for more than a decade. Yednock’s bill would allow the state to protect the site and allow responsible use of the land by DNR as a “fossil park”, as well as provide for educational opportunities for people of all ages and for local schools and students.
“We already have some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the state of Illinois,” said Yednock. “By designating part of the site a fossil park, we continue to expand the attractions available in the Illinois Valley, and help promote our region to archeologists, fossil enthusiasts, students and many others to visit.”