April 11 & 12
Friday, April 11
1:00pm-1:30pm Welcome and Overview of Conservation Congress
1:30pm-2:30pm Preserving & Protecting Our Natural Resources Through
Advocacy & Regulation (panel discussion)
3:00pm-4:00pm Breakout Session #1
1) Communicating IDNR’s Work to the Public: Getting Info When and How You Want It
2) Enhancing the Visitor Experience at State Sites: What Programming and Services are Most Important to You?
3) Illinois Conservation Laws: Protecting the Public and our Natural Resources
4) We’re All in It Together: Working with Friends Groups and Attracting Volunteers to Serve
5) New Dollars for IDNR: Prioritizing Facility and Maintenance Needs at State Sites
6) Preserving Our Natural Habitats: Giving Focus to Habitat Acquisition and Management Needs
7) Wildlife Management: A Look Ahead
4:10pm-5:10pm Breakout Session #2
1) Making Conservation Relevant to Illinois’ Urban Communities: Enhancing Outreach Efforts and Expanding Our Constituencies
2) Conservation Education: Giving the Public a Greater Knowledge and Appreciation of Our Natural Resources
3) Managing a Healthy Deer Population: Informational Briefing
4) Protecting Our Environment from Invasive Species: Prioritizing IDNR’s Resources in This Effort
5) Let’s Get Outdoors: Providing Opportunities for All Constituents to Recreate at State Sites
6) Open Forum: Choose Your Topic
5:30pm-7:00pm Reception/IDNR Headquarters
Saturday, April 12
9:00am-10:15am Reports from Breakout Sessions
10:15am-10:45am Voting and Break
10:45am-11:45am Apex Predators in Illinois: Now and in the Future (panel discussion)
11:45am-12:30pm Review of Prioritization/Moving Forward
What is Conservation Congress?
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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
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is gearing up for Conservation Congress 2014: Charting a Course to Protect & Preserve Our Natural Resources. Last year, the agency began its preparation for Conservation Congress by hosting regional meetings throughout Illinois, and in the new year the IDNR has expanded its outreach efforts to ensure every voice is heard in the lead-up to the April statewide event.
The IDNR hosedt a series of live, interactive webcasts – "Thursdays with IDNR" – which 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 l feature IDNR staff, and were be held every Thursday from January 23 to February 20 at noon to 1:00 PM.
Please take a look at the webcast videos below.
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