Illinois Department of Natural Resources  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2010  

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits
Highlighting IDNR Programs and Events for the Month of March

Spring Turkey Permits:  Random daily drawings for 2010 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Hunting permits begin March 9.  For more information, go to our Hunting link on the IDNR web site home page.  The dates for the 2010 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season:

NORTHERN ZONE SEASON DATES
1st Season - Monday, April 12 - Friday, April 16
2nd Season - Saturday, April 17 - Thursday, April 22
3rd Season - Friday, April 23 - Wednesday, April 28
4th Season - Thursday, April 29 - Wednesday, May 5
5th Season - Thursday, May 6 - Thursday, May 13

SOUTHERN ZONE SEASON DATES
1st Season - Monday, April 5 - Friday, April 9
2nd Season - Saturday, April 10 - Thursday, April 15
3rd Season - Friday, April 16 - Wednesday, April 21
4th Season - Thursday, April 22 - Wednesday, April 28
5th Season - Thursday, April 29 - Thursday, May 6

2010 Resident Spring Youth Wild Turkey Hunt:  Over-the-counter sales of county permits for the Resident Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season will begin on March 2.  Those permits will be available from DNR Direct license and permit agents, and through DNR Direct online and by telephone at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  The dates for the 2010 Spring Youth Wild Turkey season are March 27-28 in the Southern Zone and April 3-4 in the Northern Zone.  For permit application and other information, check the IDNR web site at this link:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/resspringturkey.htm

2010 License Required Starting April 1:  The new license year for Illinois fishing, hunting, and sportsmen combination licenses begins April 1. 

Those licenses are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR web site (www.dnr.state.il.us), or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). DNR Direct makes buying licenses, habitat stamps, and waterfowl stamps convenient and easy. By going online, license buyers can use American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or E-Check and print their own license or receipt – and the system is available 24 hours a day. The 2010 annual licenses are valid through Mar. 31, 2011 unless otherwise noted.

Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet:  Tickets are available for the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on Sat., Mar. 13 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. Four individuals will be recognized for their distinguished service and commitment to natural resource protection and outdoor recreation.  The inductees are Alfred Hayden of Dahinda, John “Jack” Jadel of Wilmette, Denny Sands of Shabbona, and Mary Jo Trimble of Carterville.  The event on Mar. 13 will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner, the Hall of Fame induction and awards program, and an auction benefiting youth scholarships and other ICF initiatives in support of natural resources protection. Tickets and sponsorship information are available by calling the ICF at 217/785-2003.

Maple Syrup Festival:  Be sure to visit Argyle Lake State Park in McDonough Co. on Sat., March 6 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the 13th annual Maple Syrup Festival.   Experience the tapping of the maple trees, collection of the sap, boiling down of sap into syrup, and a taste of the finished product.  Tours to collect sap at the maple grove will depart regularly and several children’s activities will be ongoing throughout the day. The festival is sponsored through the cooperative efforts of the Friends of Argyle Lake State Park and park staff.  Free refreshments will be provided and maple syrup and maple candy will be available for sale.   For more information, call Argyle Lake State Park at 309/776-3422.  (Location:  Argyle Lake State Park, 640 Argyle Park Road, Colchester, IL 62326).

Winter Bird Walk at Volo Bog:  Volo Bog State Natural Area hosts a Winter Bird Walk on Sun., March 7 from 8 a.m. – Noon.  The walk is co-sponsored by the McHenry County Audubon and reservations are requested by calling 815/344-1294.  Volo Bog is located at 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside, IL 60041.

Global Warming:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield will host a presentation on “Global Warming: Past, Present, and Future — Why Florida Should Care about Greenland” on Wed., March 10 at 7 p.m. Presented by Dr. Eric Grimm, Illinois State Museum, the program will discuss the major climate and vegetation changes in Illinois since the last ice age, how scientists reconstruct past vegetation and climate, the major drivers of climate change, and how these drivers may affect future climate change. Only 1-2 percent of the past two million years have been as warm as the current interglacial period. Greenhouse gases have now risen to concentrations higher than any seen during the past 650,000 years, if not longer. The program is free and open to the public at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring, Springfield.

Free Fishing Days:  Mark your calendars for the 2010 Illinois Free Fishing Days on June 11-14. For more information on fishing in Illinois, check out the 2010 Illinois Fishing Information guide at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/fish/digest/ or check the website www.ifishillinois.org.

WPF Grants:  The IDNR is accepting applications through April 1 for the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Small Grant Programs administered through the Office of Resource Conservation’s Division of Natural Heritage.  These programs are funded through a voluntary check-off designation to the Wildlife Preservation Fund on the state income tax form. Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Small Project Program proposals are open to all persons and may address projects including land management, site inventories, education, and/or special outdoor equipment purchases. These diverse projects may focus on a variety of species ranging from insects and fish, to birds and turtles, and habitats unique to Illinois including forests, wetlands, and prairies.  Individual proposals are eligible for up to $2,000 from the Wildlife Preservation Fund.  Proposals for the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Maintenance of Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities That Take Care of Threatened or Endangered Species are also being accepted.  This program is designed to keep wildlife rehabilitation facilities that care for threatened or endangered species in a state of good repair.  Only persons who possess a current wildlife rehabilitation license/permit issued by the IDNR and who have provided care for threatened or endangered wildlife species during the three-year period preceding the date of their application qualify for grant funds from this program.  Such proposals are eligible for up to $2,000 from the Wildlife Preservation Fund.  Grant packets are available online at the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/grants/index.htm.   Packets are also available by request by calling 217/782-2602 or by e-mail at DNR.SPECIALFUNDS@illinois.gov.  The application deadline is April 1 at 5 p.m.

Junior Collector's Day:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield hosts the annual Junior Collector’s Day at the museum on Sat., March 13 from 1-3 p.m. This unique event will feature the collections of area kids and teens (register by March 8). Displays may include rocks and minerals, fossils, coins, sports cards, dolls, and many other topics. Learn how to start a collection and keep it in great shape. The event will be held in conjunction with the Curious Collections Super Saturday program on March 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  During Junior Collector’s Day, no sales or appraisals will be allowed. The event is free and open to the public.  For more information and details on how to register to display a collection, phone 217/782-0061.

Overnight Camp-In:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield hosts “Ice Age Giants:  Children's Overnight Camp-In” on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20.  The event is for children ages 8-11.  Fees are $28 per child ($25 each for two or more children from the same family) for Museum Society members and $38 per child ($35 each for two or more children from same family) for non-members.  The program will feature mammoths, sloths, and short-faced bears as children learn about giant Ice Age creatures, join in exciting experiments, and spend the night in the museum. 

The program begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 19 and concludes at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 20.  Registration is required and the deadline to register is March 15.  For registration or more information, phone 217/782-5993.

OutdoorIllinois:  For the latest news about Illinois' natural resources, pick up the March 2010 issue of OutdoorIllinois, the monthly magazine from the IDNR. Celebrating the popular annual story on recent additions to Illinois’ Big Buck Recognition program, the magazine’s cover image of an impressive Illinois big buck was taken at Wolf Creek State Park in Shelby Co. The March issue also contains stories on the fisheries of the Wabash River, the new Lake Michigan Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, how state facilities have changed since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, discovery of the world’s oldest amber in a southern Illinois coal mine, and recovery efforts under way to prevent the extirpation of the endangered massasauga in Illinois. OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at only $15 for a one-year, 12-issue magazine subscription that includes an information-packed annual calendar in the December issue. Visit dnr.state.il.us/OI or call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. For information on advertising in OutdoorIllinois, call 217/785-8610 or e-mail michelle.silver@illinois.gov.

Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest:  Applications will be accepted through Mar. 15 for the 2010 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.  Details are available at this link: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/ArtContest.htm.  Students of grades K-12 can learn about waterfowl and wetland conservation in this program as they design artwork depicting North American waterfowl species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the IDNR sponsor the contest in Illinois. For more information, contact dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov or 217/524-4126.

ENTICE Workshops:  School teachers are encouraged to register soon for 2010 ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) educator workshops from the IDNR.  Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for the workshop schedule, to register, and for more information.  The workshops provide background information, supplemental resources, networking with other educators, and the opportunity to work with natural resources professionals.  Continuing Professional Development Units are available to all ENTICE participants.

Youth Calendar:  The IDNR is dedicated to fostering and maintaining youth participation in outdoor activities.  Illinois state parks and educational programs offer exciting and unique opportunities that will connect people with nature and the outdoors.   For information on youth and family activities, check this link on the IDNR web site:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/youthprograms/

Wingshooting Clinics:  The IDNR and participating partners sponsor wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois to help improve the shooting skills of participants. Youth/Women's clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques.

The clinics are conducted on weekends throughout the spring, summer and early fall.  For a complete schedule, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us. Upcoming clinics include:

  1. March 27 – Youth Clinic and Hunt – Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (815/857-2320)
  2. March 27 – Youth/Women Clinic and Upland Hunt – Twin Oaks Sporting Clays, Mode (phone 217/496-3113)
  3. April 24-25 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – Moraine View State Recreation Area, Leroy (phone 309/724-8032)
  4. May 1-2 – Hunter Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217/452-7741)
  5. May 15-16 – Youth/Women Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)
  6. May 22-23 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (phone 866/850-2564)
  7. June 5-6 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)
  8. June 12-13 – Hunter Clinic – Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (815/857-2320)
  9. June 12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217/452-7741)

Hunter Safety:  Hunters in Illinois are encouraged to sign up for an Illinois Hunter Education Program safety course.  The course consists of a minimum of 10 hours of instruction and is worthwhile for novice or experienced hunters.  The courses cover the basics of hunter responsibility, wildlife conservation and identification, firearms and ammunition, field safety, wildlife management, first aid, archery, muzzleloading, and state regulations.  Those completing the minimum 10 hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency and a graduate patch.  For more details, check the web site at this link:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/safety/
           
Rain Garden Grants:  The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) and the IDNR Education Section are working together to offer Illinois Rain Garden Initiative grants this spring. Teachers, staff of nonprofit organizations, and staff of public institutions may apply for up to $1,000 to develop a rain garden on public property. The application form and instructions may be accessed at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm.  Developing a rain garden is a great way to involve youth in an outdoor activity and show them that their actions can make a difference for wildlife and for their own lives. Rain gardens offer many educational opportunities, reduce pollution, and help control stormwater runoff. The application deadline is March 19. Partial funding for the Illinois Rain Garden Initiative is provided through a Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, email dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov or call 217/524-4126.

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