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ATV Use (copy)

The wheel of a Polaris ATV.

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants to build a series of off-road vehicle trails at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in Southern Illinois.

The department announced Tuesday it is seeking a $1.5 million federal grant for the first phase of design and development work.

The fish and wildlife area west of Harrisburg was created on land that was once a strip mine. The Sahara Coal Co. donated the site to the state in 1999.

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The motorized trail project would be the first on lands managed by the Natural Resources Department.

Off-road vehicles include dirt bikes, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

Department Director Wayne Rosenthal says the reclaimed strip mine land is an ideal site for challenging trails.

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