- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - 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.

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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