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Thread: Illinois is closing State Parks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Illinois Bob's Avatar
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    Default Illinois is closing State Parks GDG

    I mentioned before here how little Illinois has to offer to those that love the outdoors compared to other states.Especially,our Northern part of the state.The petition link and article below are about cutbacks in our DNR resulting in the closure of Illinois State Parks.If you have the time,please sign this petition or write a letter or something.It's hard enough as it is here to find places to swim and train our dogs,go fishing or hunting or hiking without a long drive to somewhere else.And,if you are from Illinois,will you please vote against that MORON Governor of ours.Thanks.

    http://www.gopetition.com/online/21603.html

    This is from the State Journal Register:

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is closing 11 state parks and laying off 39 employees to cope with severe state budget cuts.

    A total of 39 DNR workers are being laid off, 36 of whom are fulltime employees.

    The cuts are the result of $14 million in cuts made to DNR’s operating budget as a result of the budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly earlier this summer.

    “The DNR sustained a 24 percent cut to its operating budget that comes from general revenue funds,” said McCloud. “That’s the fund where salaries come from for 320 state parks, natural areas, state forests and other public properties throughout Illinois (managed by DNR).

    Jonathan Goldman, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said state parks had about 45 million visitors last year and the resulting loss in economic activity probably will outweigh any savings.

    “It's shameful,” Goldman said. “This seems kind of pointless.”

    Goldman said vital maintenance will suffer and parks will be hard to reopen after being shut down.

    “Physically, they can be reopened,” Goldman said. “The issue is more of political will.”

    McCloud said DNR tried to address the pressures on the state’s general revenue fund.

    “I think it’s important to point out that in fiscal 2009, DNR attempted to move toward even greater budgetary self-sufficiency by proposing several modest fee increases to move away from a very strained general revenue fund and on to a more reliable funding source,” said McCloud. “These proposals, however, were overturned in the budget lawmakers sent to the governor in June.”

    The following sites are scheduled to close Nov. 1:

    Castle Rock State Park, Oregon

    Lowden State Park, Oregon

    Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, Sheffield

    Illini State Park, Marseilles

    Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon

    Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris

    Hidden Springs State Forrest, Strasburg

    Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood

    Moraine View State Park, Leroy

    Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton

    Wolf Creek State Park, Windsor

    Total Staff Reductions: 39

    25 site technicians

    4 park rangers

    3 assistant site superintendents

    1 office associate (part time)

    3 office coordinators (2 part time/1 full time)

    1 site security officer

    1 natural resource coordinator

    1 natural resource specialist
    http://www.sj-r.com/state/x499365834...-sites-closing
    Last edited by Illinois Bob; 09-07-2008 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Bob, how awful. I hope someone is circulating a "real" petition as well, as the online petitions are generally not seriously regarded. Terrible for the DNR employees and horrible for anyone who wants to be outside with their dogs and kids. What are they thinking? Are they thinking? Wish I could think of something to do to help. I sure hope this is all over the Illinois news, and if it isn't, it needs to be.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Illinois Bob's Avatar
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    Remember that our state is run by Democrats and that Obama is one of them.I think this is the kind of stuff we'll be dealing with as a nation if he is elected.These are the kind of "changes" you will get.

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    Senior Member Bud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, I e-mailed it to friends/family in Illinois.
    Terry "Bud" Cunningham
    Kankakee River HRC

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    A few years ago Alaska went through the same thing and closed a number of our state parks. Oil was down and we had a budget crisis. It happens all over, I wouldn't necessary blame Obama for this one. Even as a avid outdoorsman, i recognize that perhaps it is better to put our money into highways or education or some other priority item, as opposed to recreation. Ours are now open and operating again. We have some state parks here that are almost as large as some of the states in the lower 48. Perhaps that is why they call them state parks. ha!! bud

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Utterly ridiculous to lose something like a state park, I agree there should be outcries in every state and local news outlet, it's heinous to think of losing a natural resource owned by everyone because of stupid budget cuts. Really criminal and I hope there's enough reaction to oppose this, Bob.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    Member redline's Avatar
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    Blago needs the money so he can fly the state plane back and forth from Springfield to Chicago once or twice a week. Illinois is tenth in money spent on education and gets a D- rating. Somehow I can't imagine how closing state parks will get us to a solid D.
    Jan
    DA BEARS!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    If the money isn't there, something has to be cut. Closing is a temporary thing. Selling them would be a different story. If the budget is being wasted foolisly that is also a different thing.

    In Mn this summer, park use was down over 40% from last year in the outlying parts of the state. Those closer to larger population areas did well. Until the "recession" and gas prices ease, I fear more parks will be closed. Bridges, roads, police, fire and schools will trump parks when it comes to money,and as long as they remain owned by the state, I can live with it. It is either that or raise taxes or use permits and that is just a tempoary fix and doesn't solve anything long term.

    Even with a use downturn, we are trying to add to a beautiful park in Northern Minnesota, near the site of the 08 MN being held by the MIIRC, ( just to remind people this is a dog training and related site) and while developement and public use is years away, it will be preserved from developers and remain a natural resource.

    ( and for what it is worth, we have a Republican as head of state )
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

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    Senior Member caglatz's Avatar
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    Wonder what would happen if the good people of Illinois decided to boycott (ouch) hunting and fishing this year in their home state? Just think about the reduction in state coffers from the lack of revenue from licenses and stuff. Would go to show how much we sportsman contribute to the state.

    How much of sportsman license taxes are diverted to other things than to preserving wildlife and land ? All state's have to realize that the loss of hunting and fishing would be hugely detrimental to the state as a whole. What ashame.

    Good luck, Illinois.

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    Wonder what would happen if the good people of Illinois decided to boycott (ouch) hunting and fishing this year in their home state? Just think about the reduction in state coffers from the lack of revenue from licenses and stuff. Would go to show how much we sportsman contribute to the state.

    How much of sportsman license taxes are diverted to other things than to preserving wildlife and land ? All state's have to realize that the loss of hunting and fishing would be hugely detrimental to the state as a whole. What ashame.

    Good luck, Illinois.
    I have worked in the field of natural resource policy and management for almost 20 years. The attitude expressed in the above quote is typical for hard core hunting and fishing types. If you have this attitude I encourage you to take a look at the document found at http://library.fws.gov/nat_survey2006_state.pdf. It is an eye opener.

    While many with this attitude expect politicians should understand and appreciate the intrinsic and economic value of wildlife lands, hunting , fishing, etc., etc., the truth is that these issues are pretty low on the list of priorities for most policymakers. The fact is that 9 out 10 people do not hunt and almost 9 out of 10 people do not fish in most regions and states of this nation. Even in a state like MN where hunting and fishing participation are at a relatively high rate (e.g. 28% fish) funding for all natural resource and clean water related issues has seen a steady decline and is now less than 1% of the state's general fund budget (half of what is was 20 years ago). None of us should be surprised that parks are closing, wildlife lands are being sold, etc, etc, given the hunting and fishing communities general political apathy, the low participation rates in hunting and fishing, the trends of even less participation, and the demands on state funding. The question is, what, if anything, are we willing to do about it?

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