Illinois Department of Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2010

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits

Highlighting IDNR programs and events for the month of May

Bike to Work: National Bike-to-Work Week is May 17-21 and this year’s Bike-to-Work Day is Fri., May 21. Riding a bike to work is less costly than driving, is better for the environment and it is great exercise. Bicycling is also a great way for families to spend time together. Many communities in Illinois are sponsoring Bike-to-Work events. There may be no better place to bicycle than in Illinois. From flat prairie land, to rolling hills, to breathtaking river and lakefront views, Illinois has it all. Hop on a bike and take in some of the best scenery Mother Nature has to offer. For more information on bicycling in Illinois, check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) web site at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/programs/biking/BIKEGDE.HTM

Super Saturdays: Bring your children to the Illinois State Museum (ISM) for a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage through fun activities and music on Sat., May 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The event is part of the museum’s “Super Saturdays” series offering free, thematic activities each month in the ISM’s A Place for Discovery for children ages 4-8. Parents and families are encouraged to participate. Registration is not required. Call the museum at 217-782-6044 for more information. The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.

Free Fishing Days: The 2010 Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 11-14. For more information on fishing in Illinois, check out the 2010 Illinois Fishing Information guide at http://dnr.state.il.us/fish/digest/ or check the website www.IFishIllinois.org. Organizations planning special Free Fishing Days events can contact Tom Munroe at 217-524-5861 or by e-mail at Tom.Munroe@Illinois.gov for information on promoting fishing.

OutdoorIllinois: One of nature’s submarines, the pied-billed grebe, is showcased on the cover of the May 2010 issue of OutdoorIllinois, the official publication of the IDNR. A companion article details some of the exceptional characteristics of this bird, and four other species of grebes that frequent Illinois waters. The May issue also contains articles on a turkey depredation study, a veteran’s memorial at Weldon Springs State Park, the Friends of the Sangamon Valley organization and three Illinois sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, readers will enjoy articles on the status of fishing at Clinton Lake in DeWitt County and ongoing efforts to conserve and manage the ornate box turtle, a less-common relative of the eastern box turtle. For a summary of feature magazine articles, listen in on monthly podcasts at http://dnr.state.il.us/OI. 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 http://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.

ESPB Meeting: The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will meet on Fri., May 14 at 10 a.m. at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, 30239 South State Route 53, Wilmington, IL. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, call 217-785-8687.

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits: The online lottery application period for non-resident Illinois archery combination deer permits for the 2010-11 deer season will open on June 1. Non-resident hunters can apply for the lottery through DNR Direct Online License Sales (click on the link on the IDNR home page at http://dnr.state.il.us) or by phone at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). Non-residents may apply for one combination archery permit per season. The cost of a non-resident archery combination deer permit (one either-sex/one antlerless) will be $411. The quota will be 25,000 for non-resident combination tags. Antlerless-only archery permits will be available throughout the season over the counter at local license agents, by phone or through DNR Direct Online License Sales for $25.50 each (if ordering by phone or online, the permit will be mailed within 7 to 10 business days). The upcoming Illinois archery deer season is Oct. 1, 2010 - Jan. 16, 2011 (except closed in firearm deer counties on Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5). For more information on Illinois deer hunting, check the IDNR web site at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/deer.htm

Spring Lake Advisory: Beginning on June 1, 2010, from the South Spring Lake Spillway to the south end of South Spring Lake, trolling motors will only be allowed for use in this specific region of the lake at the Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell Co. This regulation is necessary to control the shoreline erosion which is impacting the integrity of the South Lake levee and road surface, as well as creating a safety hazard for site visitors.

Reminder to boat buyers: Spring and summer are great times for boating, and if you’re buying a boat, remember that watercraft operated on the waters of Illinois must be registered and titled. State law requires that the purchaser of a watercraft make application with the IDNR within 15 days after the purchase for registration and titling. If you’re buying a used boat, make sure you get the clear title from the boat seller before applying for your boat registration. Personal watercraft (jet skis) and boats of 16 ft. and larger purchased from individuals also require an Illinois Dept. of Revenue RUT-75 use tax form. For more details, visit the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/boats.htm.

EL for IL: The Environmental Literacy for Illinois Plan is currently being revised and is available for review and comment at http://dnr.state.il.us/EL4IL/home.htm. A public comment meeting was held on April 13, and a second public comment meeting will be held Oct. 21 at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. All educators and the general public are encouraged to read and provide feedback on this important document.

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://dnr.state.il.us/youthprograms/.

ISM Science Series: The May program in the Illinois State Museum’s monthly Science Series is “Comparing Quarries: Diversity in Neolithic Chert Exploitation in Europe,” to be presented by Dr. Lynn Fisher of the University of Illinois Springfield on Wed., May 12 at 7 p.m. The program will highlight quarry features and artifact assemblages from a recently excavated quarry site in southern Germany dating 5,000 to 2,500 B.C. The program is free and open to the public. It will be held at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash, Springfield. For more information, call 217-782-0061.

Oil and Gas Board: The Oil and Gas Advisory Board will meet on Wed., May 12 at 10 a.m. at the Illinois Oil and Gas Association building, 824 E. Ill. Highway 15, Mt. Vernon, IL. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, please call 217-524-6570.

Wingshooting Clinics: The IDNR and participating partners will 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:

  • May 15-16 – Youth/Women Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217-785-8129)
  • May 22-23 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (866-850-2564)
  • June 5-6 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217-785-8129)
  • June 12-13 – Hunter Clinic – Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (815-857-2320)
  • June 12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217-452-7741)
  • June 26-27 – Youth/Women Clinic - St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, Elburn (630-363-6180)
  • August 21-22 – Youth/Women Clinic – Shabbona Lake State Park, DeKalb Co. (815-758-2773)
  • August 21-22 – Youth/Women Clinic – Raycraft Farm, Piatt Co. (217-935-6860)
  • August 28-29 – Hunter Clinic – Raycraft Farm, Piatt Co. (217-935-6860)
  • September 11-12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Stephen A. Forbes State Park, Kinmundy (618-547-3381)
  • September 11-12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park, Kewanee (309-853-5589)
  • September 18-19 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (815-785-8129)
  • September 25-26 – Youth/Women Clinic – South Fork Dirt Riders Park, Kincaid (217-496-3113)
  • September 26 – Youth Clinic – Decatur Gun Club, Decatur (217-521-9469)