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Title:The Illinois Big Rivers : an inventory of the region's resources
Author(s):Krohe, James, Jr.
Subject(s):Ecosystem management --Illinois --Illinois River Watershed
Wetland ecology --Illinois --Illinois River Watershed
Natural resources surveys --Illinois --Illinois River Watershed
Ecosystem management --Illinois --Mississippi River Watershed
Wetland ecology --Illinois --Mississippi River Watershed
Natural resources surveys --Illinois --Mississippi River Watershed
Natural resources conservation areas --Illinois --Illinois River Watershed
Natural resources conservation areas --Illinois --Mississippi River Watershed
Illinois River Watershed (Ill.)
Mississippi River Watershed
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Abstract:Northwest of the town of Grafton, just past Graham Hollow on the Great River Road, 26 miles and about a century from downtown St. Louis, the Brussels ferry shuttles drivers and their cars across the Illinois River to and from the "rugged kingdom of Calhoun" County. Though the peninsular county is virtually surrounded by waters of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, only one state highway bridge connects it to the rest of Illinois, and anyone wishing to enter it at other points must float across. For years Calhoun County's ferries were taken as symptoms of the region's backwardness. Today they are symbols of its unspoiledness, proof that this part of Illinois has been exempted from the modernity that more and more visitors now come here to escape. To rural residents an essential service, the ferry at Grafton is advertised to visiting urbanites as a "fun" attraction, a country carnival ride. The Brussels ferry at once symbolizes the rural past and suburbanized future of Illinois' Big Rivers region. As used here, "Big Rivers" describes parts of five counties of west central Illinois near where the lower Illinois River enters the Mississippi. Centered in Jersey, Madison, Greene, Calhoun and MacoLlpin counties, the Big Rivers region covers some 1,770 square miles. It includes parts of the basins of three large streams-the middle Mississippi, the lower Illinois, and Macoupin Creek-and takes in one of Illinois' 30 "resource rich areas" identified by state scientists and other experts as being especially endowed with biologic resources. Much of the region is broad prairie, growing on the Central Till Plain that dominates the middle U.S. The floodplains of the two big rivers constitute a second distinct ecological realm. Along the lower Illinois River a bit of the Ozarks plateau intrudes in the form of rugged rocky hills and limestone bluffs formed from lime muds deposited at the bottom of ancient seas 320-500 million years ago, when Illinois basked on the equator. The Dividing Ridge, the massive hump of rock that separates the converging Illinois and the Mississippi, makes up southern Pike County and most of Calhoun County.
Issue Date:1997
Publisher:Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
Series/Report:Critical Trends Assessment Program
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:These documents are a product of the Illinois state scientific surveys and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and has been selected and made available by the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They are intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-12-03
Identifier in Online Catalog:4110442
OCLC Identifier:(OCoLC)ocm39514017

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Critical Trends Assessment Program Regional Watershed Assessments
    Detailed assessments of 32 major watersheds in Illinois, conducted through the Critical Trends Assessment Program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Includes contributions from each of the State Scientific Surveys which are now part of the Prairie Research Institute.

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