The mission of the Illinois Conservation Congress is to give the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (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 IDNR 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 $20-30 million per year in new revenue for the IDNR.