On January 20, 2023 Natural Land Institute’s (NLI) lawyers sent a 60 day notice letter to Greater Rockford Airport Authority (GRAA), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Defendants (U.S. Department of Transportation, Secretary Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary, Deb Haaland; Federal Aviation Administration, Administrator, Billy Nolen; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Director, Martha Williams), of intention to file a complaint in federal court regarding the destruction of Bell Bowl Prairie.

The complaint will be filed in order to allege violations of the Environmental Species Act (ESA) because Federal Defendants, IDOT and the GRAA have failed (and are continuing to fail) to ensure that their funding, authorization, construction, expansion and operation of RFD does not jeopardize the health and existence of the federally-listed endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) – whose existence on Bell Bowl Prairie was confirmed on August 8, 2021 – have failed (and are continuing to fail) to ensure satisfaction of their ESA Section 7 obligations.

A letter sent by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) on Nov. 14, 2022 concurred with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that authorizes destruction of approximately 15 acres of Bell Bowl Prairie. NLI alleges that such an authorization is incompatible with USFWS’ own conclusions as to why the very existence of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is in jeopardy.

For more information about the effort to save Bell Bowl Prairie please visit    www.SaveBellBowlPrairie.org.

Letter from our Attorneys:
Additional documents:



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