Time to Speak Up & Out – Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site

Abe’s Trail Trek & Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site

Hello Concerned Athletes,

It’s time to speak up and out and we need your voice. 

We wanted to take a moment to address questions we are getting about Abe’s Trail Trek to be held on Nov. 11th at Lincolns New Salem State Historic Site (LNSSHS).

While all events will take place (including the 5K), we will likely need to revise the 10k and Half Marathon courses due to unresolved issues and the actions that are necessary by site staff to allow the use of the Mentor Graham trail bridge, Grist Mill Bridge over Route 97, steps to the village and the Wagon Wheel Log Cabin.

While the site staff are now working on clearing some of the trails, (as is your race team and Menard County Trails and Greenways), much more needs to be done before race day and more importantly for the future of the site.

We now have a commitment from IL Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR staff that if we speak up and out about the work needed at the site they will get it done by race day.

We are optimistic, but realistic about this situation and need your help and a few minutes of your time.

We ask that you contact the key people in charge at the site as well as the IL Dept. of Natural Resources (the Agency recently appropriated to oversee the site) noted below, to let them know you care about LNSSHS and will be watching how the site is managed.

While I was able to affect minor strides in trail upkeep by speaking to the site on behalf of trail runners, I was advised by a legislator/trail runner that ALL OF US need to speak up in order for our voices to be heard.

So please, take a few moments and cut and paste the following text, or write your own.

Let’s collect our voices and make it known to the IDNR policy makers and managers that we care about New Salem.

Dear Site Employees, Managers and Administrators,

Please let this serve as notice that I care about Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site and request that site staff do the labor necessary to maintain the site as described in their respective CMS job descriptions which cover the entire site on both sides of Route 97, including the Pioneer Village and woodland/river trails.

We request that trails be mowed and maintained all year long, fallen trees removed for safe passage and bridges repaired or replaced to allow full access to the site on both sides of Route 97.

We also request that IDNR managers and administrators assure work is done in a timely manner, to high standards and with care for this historic Illinois gem and natural resource.

We understand staff is limited, dollars are scarce and time is tight but none of those are reason or justification to neglect the site or your duties as stewards of state resources.

A proactive, co-operative attitude by site staff is necessary and expected by the public, who not only pay the taxes to keep this site open, but also vote.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation and look forward to making Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site the treasure it was in the past.

Please send the above text or your own text to the following people &/or post it on their FB wall & Instagram – #Lincolnsnewsalem, #ILDNR

Regan Ramsey – Regan.Ramsey@illinois.gov

Ryan Prehn – Ryan.Prehn@illinois.gov

Jack Alexander – Jack.Alexander@illinois.gov

Amy Madigan – Amy.Madigan@illinois.gov

& finally, our local legislator and friend of runners Mr. Tim Butlerbutler@ilhousegop.org

Please understand I only ask this of you because it is needed.

IDNR wants to hear from you, not just us.

We have been fighting this issue for over a year and while we have made headway and see some good, more needs to be done to make management aware of the current neglect and the actions needed to bring the site back to its glory.

Take a moment to think about this and get involved. The future of your local trails and public lands are at stake.

As I often say, if you’re not part of the Solution, you’re part of the Problem.

Let’s be the Solution.