What is Conservation Congress?
The mission of the Illinois Conservation Congress is to give IDNR constituencies a formal process to propose and advocate actions that can be taken by elected and appointed officials to protect and conserve the natural resources of the State of Illinois. The goal of Conservation Congress is to ensure through professional management that sustainable use, recreational opportunities and enjoyment of these resources is available for this and future generations.
Conservation Congress began in 1993 and was modeled after the General Assembly to include representatives from various state interest groups. The process was discontinued in 2003, and then reconstituted in 2009. During the last convening of Conservation Congress in April of 2010, Governor Pat Quinn signed an executive order directing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Congress participants to develop proposals for funding clean water, land acquisition, and department operations and create programs to increase public recreational access. That direction served as the basis for the IDNR’s new sustainability package which passed out of the General Assembly and was signed by the governor in late 2012. The sustainability package will generate between $30-33 million per year in new revenue for the IDNR.
Conservation Congress 2014: Setting the Stage - Hosting Online Survey, Webcasts on Key Issues
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is gearing up for Conservation Congress 2014: Charting a Course to Protect & Preserve Our Natural Resources with a series of pre-event activities designed to inform and engage the public on key issues facing the State of Illinois. Last year, the agency began its preparation for Conservation Congress by hosting regional meetings throughout Illinois, and in the new year the IDNR is expanding its outreach efforts to ensure every voice is heard in the lead-up to the April statewide event.
Beginning on January 13, IDNR is inviting Illinois residents to fill out an online survey on natural resources and outdoor recreation issues expected to be discussed at the Conservation Congress statewide meeting on April 11 and 12. The online survey can be reached from this page during the week of January 13-20.
The IDNR will also host a series of live, interactive webcasts – “Thursdays with IDNR” – focused on topics that were discussed at last year’s regional meetings. After reviewing feedback from the public who attended the meetings, the agency is seeking new ways to enhance its communications efforts to provide Illinois residents a greater window into the work IDNR is performing. The live webcasts will feature IDNR staff, and will be held every Thursday from January 23 to February 20 at noon to 1:00 PM.
Registration and a detailed agenda will be available in February. For more information on the online survey, live webcasts, or the Conservation Congress statewide meeting, check the IDNR website atwww.dnr.illinois.gov, or contact Elizabeth Norden by email at Elizabeth.Norden@Illinois.gov.