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.
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