Prairie River Notes – Winter 2015 Newsletter

PRN 2015 Winter Newsletter_Page_1Read Prairie Rivers Network’s PRN 2015 Winter Newsletter, featuring articles on:

  • Prairie Rivers Network Endowment
  • The Charles Goodall Fund
  • Miles for Monarchs at the Illinois Marathon
  • 2015 Accomplishments
  • Annual Dinner Round Up
  • A Just Transition: Building a Future for Former Coal Communities
  • Thank you Business Sponsors

And an important message from our Coal Program Coordinator and Water Policy Specialist:

Dear Friends,

When I started working at Prairie Rivers Network in 2013, we had already been fighting the proposed Bulldog coal mine in East-Central Illinois for over a year. We know that this coal mine would threaten the health, quality of life, and economic vitality of our communities, as well as our area’s rich farmland. We share your concerns that the mine may damage clean drinking water and the health of the Salt Fork River.

The mine was originally slated to begin mining in January 2014. For the past five years, Prairie Rivers Network has been successfully working with residents, farmers, and land owners to keep the Bulldog coal mine from beginning operations. We have been highlighting discrepancies and flaws in the mine’s permit applications, which prompted serious review and extensive questioning of the permits. As it stands today, the Bulldog mine has not secured either of the permits it needs to begin mining.

Through countless petitions, public meetings, agency hearings, and public pressure, we continue to thwart the Bulldog mine. As the recent Paris climate talks have demonstrated, we need to keep more coal in the ground, not harm our farmland and vital water resources with more coal mines.

We know grassroots activism can permanently stop coal mines, because it has! Earlier this year, Canton-area residents celebrated after winning an eight-year battle to halt the proposed North Canton coal strip mine – successfully protecting Fulton County communities and their right to clean water. The coal company never had the chance to mine the site, in part because they never received a water pollution permit from the Illinois EPA. Prairie Rivers Network and our partners successfully challenged this permit. Thanks to the financial support of members like you and concerned citizens speaking up, we won—and clean water was protected!

But the fight to stop the Bulldog coal mine is not over. While we have been successful in delaying and fighting this coal mine, Sunrise Coal continues to seek the necessary permits for the mine. That is why I am asking you for your financial support. We do not currently have any grants to fund our coal mine program. We rely on the generosity of our members to fund this important work.

Please support Prairie Rivers Network by becoming a first-time member, renewing your membership, or making an extra year-end donation today.

We could not achieve these successes without the support of our members. The money we raise now will allow us to operate at full strength next year.

Thank you for your support and for caring about clean water and healthy rivers.


Tyler Rotche
Water Policy Specialist