Watchdog Group Banned From State Park Sanctuary

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An environmental watchdog group no longer has access to a nature sanctuary at Illinois Beach State Park in northern Illinois.

The Illinois Dunesland Preservation Society found asbestos and other contaminants at the site along Lake Michigan earlier this summer, nd the Illinois Department of Natural Resources banned all access to the ecologically sensitive area while the material was removed.

A spokesman for the Dunesland group contends the policy change is designed to punish the group for going public with the asbestos find.

DNR spokeswoman Carol Knowles denies that. She says the Dunesland group will be allowed in if they can demonstrate that they have a scientific reason for being there.