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Oak Ecosystem Recovery Effort Launches

Tuesday, August 25, 2015  

Chicago Wilderness, in partnership with Lake County Forest Preserves and The Morton Arboretum, recently released the Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan Executive Summary. This coordinated effort aims to preserve, restore, and expand oak ecosystems across the region.

Oak trees are considered keystone species in the Chicago Wilderness Region, underpinning the biological diversity of some of our most crucial ecosystems. They also provide over $2 billion worth of flood control and other water management services.

Despite their importance, only 17% of Northeast Illinois’ original oak ecosystems remain, and these swaths are declining due to intense combined pressure from a number of threats.

Chicago Wilderness members created the Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan to guide collective action and secure a healthy future for oaks and their ecosystems.


The plan includes:

Mapping remnant oak ecosystems for the rest of the Chicago Wilderness region, including parts of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan;
Partnerships with landowners;
Outreach to stakeholders;
Active restoration and management;
Research guided by the best available science; and
Access to new technical and financial resources.

By coordinating action across a variety of landowners in the region, Chicago Wilderness works to ensure a thriving future for oak ecosystems.


Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance leading strategy to preserve, improve, and expand nature and quality of life.