Ottawa, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced today that previously closed portions of Buffalo Rock State Park in LaSalle County will temporarily reopen to the public on Sunday, March 25.
On March 15, 2012, a LaSalle County judge issued an order prohibiting the discharge of any firearms at Buffalo Range Shooting Park and set the matter for further hearing on March 26. After that order was issued, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) land management staff assessed the condition of the closed portion of Buffalo Rock State Park to determine how long it would take to open for public access if appropriate.
It was the Department’s hope that the matter would be resolved quickly in Court. However, on March 22, the shooting park’s attorney requested a continuance.
“Because of the delay, and the temporary restraining order from the court, the decision has been made to temporarily reopen the closed portion of the trail at Buffalo Rock to the public on Sunday pending further order from the LaSalle County Court,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.
The five-mile section of the I&M Canal between the I&M Canal trail head access parking lot north of the entrance to Buffalo Rock State Park and west to Utica, IL that has been closed will be temporarily reopened. Additionally, the portion of Buffalo Rock State Park known as the Effigy Tumuli Area will also be temporarily reopened.
The public is welcome to use previously closed portions of Buffalo Rock as well as all other areas but should be aware that portions of the Buffalo Rock State Park may have to be closed again if safety concerns resurface.