Natural Land Institute Statement about Temporarily Halting Development and Construction on Bell Bowl Prairie

Natural Land Institute is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached through the US District Court with the Greater Rockford Airport Authority, Board of Commissioners and Michael P. Dunn the Executive Director to TEMPORARILY halt development and construction including grading, earthmoving, or other construction activity that would damage or destroy any and all portion of Bell Bowl Prairie until MARCH 1, 2022.  (Case Number 3:21-cv-50410)

This means that a Temporary Restraining Order is no longer needed at the moment and NLI agrees to withdraw its Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction not forfeiting its ability to file at a later date. Therefore there will be no hearing Friday morning October 29th.

This halt to construction activity until March 1, 2022 will allow us time to work with the Airport Authority to explore alternative design concepts that protect the prairie and the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.

HOWEVER, this timeframe does not allow time to determine if the bee is nesting on the prairie, which must be done in the summer.

ADDITIONALLY, the media release by the Rockford Airport today ONLY references removing a detention basin from the design, and makes no mention of the planned roadway going through the highest quality part of the prairie, or re-siting the proposed building.

Natural Land Institute will continue to pursue legal remedies to protect the remaining prairie and make sure we have access to monitor the prairie.

Natural Land Institute is grateful to all its partners and the grassroots activists for making this construction delay possible.

Read the legal document here: Stipulated Motion to Withdraw the TRO

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