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Streambank Stabilization and Restoration Program

Streambank Erosion has become a serious threat to the land, water, plant and animal resources along many streams in Illinois.  Streambank erosion, when not managed, can lead to the loss or damage of valuable farmland, wildlife habitat, buildings, roads, bridges and other public and private structures and property. 


SSRP will provide assistance to Illinois landowners, to stabilize or restore severely eroding streambanks that qualify. They also provide full funding for selected demonstration projects.  They utilize low-cost vegetative and other bio-engineering techniques to stabilize eroding streambanks.


Streambank Stabilization and Restoration Program is a cost-share program that has many possible Control Methods.  Willow Posts, Bendway Wiers, Stream Barbs, Pool and Riffle and Stone Toe Protection are some examples of SSRP Methods, each Method is determined by our Regional Streambank Specialist.  Maximum cost-share for this program may not exceed 75% of the actual cost of construction.  If you have any questions about this program, please call the LaSalle County SWCD at 815-433-0551 ext.3

Conservation Practices Program

The Conservation Practices Program is administered by the LaSalle County Soil & Water Conservation District.  The purpose of this program is to provide cost-share assistance to eligible landowners.  The landowners in return will install conservation practices that conserve the soil and protect other natural resources.  The LaSalle County SWCD will provide plans for the practice or practices that are necessary. 

Grassed Waterways, Cover Crops, No-till, Strip-till, Filter Strips, Field Border Strips, Structures, Terraces, and Water & Sediment Control Basins are a few of the practices that the Conservation Practices Program helps to cost-share.  The maximum cost-share with this Program is 75%, it has a minimum length of 10 years.

Natural Resources Inventory Report (NRI)
Call office to request an application.

The purpose of the Natural Resource Inventory report is to inform officials of the local governing body and other decision makers with natural resource information.  This information may be useful when undertaking land use decisions concerning variations, amendments or relief of local zoning ordinances, proposed subdivision of vacant or agricultural lands and the subsequent development of these lands.  This report is a requirement under Section 22.02a of the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District Act.


The intent of this report is to present the most current natural resource information available in a readily understandable manner.  It contains a description of the present site conditions, the present resources, and the potential impacts that the proposed change may have on the site and its resources.  The natural resource information was gathered from standardized data, on-site investigations and information furnished by the petitioner.  This report must be read in its entirety so that the relationship between the natural resource factors and the proposed land use change can be fully understood.


Due to the limitations of scale encountered with the various resource maps, the property boundaries depicted in the various exhibits in this report provide a generalized representation of the property location and may not precisely reflect the legal description of the parcel in question.


This report, when used properly, will provide the basis for proper land use change decisions and development while protecting the natural resource base of the county.  It should not be used in place of detailed environmental and/or engineering studies that are warranted under most circumstances, but in conjunction with those studies.


The conclusions of this report in no way indicate that a certain land use is not possible, but it should alert the reader to possible problems that may occur if the capabilities of the land are ignored. 

This report contains the following:

  • Parcel Location

  • Site specific information on nearby Ag Areas, Cultural Resources Information, Drainage and Runoff

  • Watershed Characteristics

  • Location of parcel on the Flood Insurance Rate Map.  The FEMA map would indicate if the property is location in a floodplain.

  • Location of the parcel on the Illinois State Geological Survey.  This map would indicate the topography of the site.

  • Location of Wetlands on the parcel.  Wetlands are identified by the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife Service.

  • Woodlands situated on the property.

  • Geological information of the parcel.

  • Soils found on the parcel.  Soils are derived from the Soil Survey of LaSalle County.  Information on the soils, Building Site Development Limitations, and Limitations for Sanitary Facilities is also taken from the Soil Survey of LaSalle County.

  • Threatened and Endangered Species information.

  • Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System (LESA) Report.

  • Information regarding stormwater management and water quality impact, soil erosion and sediment control.

Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System (LESA Report)

The LESA is included with the NRI report.



The Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System is recognized nationally as an impartial system that helps determine the value of land for agriculture. Local LESA systems are currently in use in many counties in Illinois. It is prepared by the LaSalle County Soil & Water Conservation District, using an approved format for the system.


How it works:


This system is used whenever a zoning change is requested for a parcel of land currently zoned as “agricultural”. Prior to the zoning hearing, the Land Evaluation and Site Assessment system will be used to determine the agricultural value of the land. The score sheets will be completed by the LaSalle County Soil & Water Conservation District. The LESA value is scored on a scale of 0 to 300, with land scoring from 200 points and greater being extremely valuable for agriculture, and from 0 to 100 points having little value for agriculture. This score will be reported to the zoning board, which will use it in making a decision on the request for a zoning change.


The LESA system has two parts. The first is the Land Evaluation (LE), which considers the productivity of the soils on the land; any limitations that it may have for crop production, and whether the soils are considered to be “prime” or “important” farmlands by USDA. This information is in the LaSalle County Soil Survey. The Soil Survey shows the types of soils that have been identified on all parcels of land within the county. Each soil has a relative value (a score of 0 to 100 with 0 being the worst and 100 being the best).


The Site Assessment (SA) is the second part. It considers such factors as the land’s distance to towns and cities; the quality of roads adjacent to the site; the availability of sewer and water; and surrounding land use. It also considers whether a proposed use is compatible with agricultural operations, if substantial investments have been made to develop infrastructure, and whether the proposed use is compatible with existing land use plans. Each factor contributes to a score that ranges from 0 to a maximum of 200 points.


Once the Land Evaluation Score and Site Assessment scores have been made, they are added together for a total LESA score. Those sites scoring high (200 and above) are valuable for agriculture and should not be considered for a zoning change. Those sites scoring less than 200 are not as valuable for agriculture and may be suited for some other land use. 



The systems’ scoring will show the following:


  • Land that is highly productive and located in rural areas will score high on both the land evaluation and site assessment parts.  It probably should be kept in agricultural use.

  • Land that is highly productive but close to cities and towns will score high on the land evaluation part and low on the site assessment parts.  A land use change should be carefully considered.

  • Land that has low productivity in rural areas will score low on the land evaluation part and high on the site assessment part.  However, the loss of this land for crop production may be acceptable.  The impact of the change in land use on roads. school districts and compatibility with farming operations needs to be considered.

  • Finally, land that has low productivity close to town will score low on the land evaluation part and low on the site assessment part.  This land would probably be suited for a land use change.


In summary, the system is designed to show how valuable farmland is for agriculture.  It helps to identify the land that is best suited for agriculture so that it can be kept in agricultural use. 


(LaSalle County Comprehensive Plan, May 1999)


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