Monday, May 09, 2011

The Story Behind the Forest Service Sale of Warehouses

I was fiddling around, resting from some landscaping efforts (these days I work a half hour and rest for 1 1/2) and found the Forest Service has a bunch of warehouses for sale in Illinois. They're listed on the White House's website for sales of surplus government property.  Now I don't think of the Forest Service as having a lot of action in the East so I was curious.  What seems to have happened is this: the Army surplused (presumably through a BRAC) the Joliet Ammunition plant which covered 20,000 acres near Joliet. They had to do an environmental clean up of the land.  The Forest Service picked up some of it, or maybe all of it.  They say:
The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established in 1996 on the former Joliet Arsenal. It is the first national tallgrass prairie in the country and one of the newest units of the National Forest System.   Midewin represents a major effort to restore 20,000 acres of farmland and industrial land to a unique American landscape and the complex ecology of the prairie. Its mission also includes providing education and recreation opportunities. All of Midewin’s programs and progress are thanks to the support of hundreds of volunteers and partner agencies, businesses, and organizations. Midewin Tall Grass Prairie site
So the 10 pages of warehouses  and other buildings, including some as small as 26 square feet, FS lists for sale are really storage buildings associated with the old Army Arsenal.

[Updated:  Turns out almost all of the 175 buildings in Maryland are at the Beltsville location of the Agricultural Research Service.  Wonder if the building my uncle once worked in is included.]

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