The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a strong impact on the economy of the State of Illinois. From coal mining to agriculture to tourism, the economic effects of IDNR activities reach statewide. Activities associated with IDNR support 90,000 jobs and at least $32 billion worth of economic impact annually. IDNR activities and functions outlined below also support state government’s most important priorities: the economic well-being of Illinois citizens, the protection of lives and property, the protection of our most vulnerable citizens, providing quality education and opportunity, improving government efficiency and stability, and improving the quality of life of all Illinoisans.
Office of Land Management - Improved Quality of Life of Citizens/Economic Well-being of Citizens
- Manages and maintains 324 state-owned and leased state parks, fish and wildlife areas, state forests, state trails, natural areas and recreational sites; with 45 million visits annually, these sites contribute nearly $1 billion in visitor spending and support 8,500 jobs statewide. Outdoor recreation opportunities such as boating, camping, fishing, hunting, picnicking, sightseeing, wildlife observation, swimming and trail use create a $3.2 billion annual economic impact in Illinois, supporting 33,000 jobs statewide. The recreational opportunities we provide, in great part, help address child obesity and other pressing health conditions in Illinois.
Office of Law Enforcement - Protection of Lives and Property/and our Most Vulnerable Citizens
- Illinois Conservation Police have full, statewide police powers, spending 160,000 man-hours protecting Illinoisans, many in underserved areas and on Illinois waters. 35,000 citations/warnings are issued yearly, generating revenue of more than $500,000. CPOs strictly enforce Illinois firearms and FOID laws, including safe transportation and use. CPOs are members of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, are involved in Homeland Security efforts, drug prevention operations, and environmental enforcement. CPOs serve as front-line disaster relief and search and rescue responders. CPOs activated for the February blizzard rescued or assisted 550 stranded motorists and have executed hundreds of rescues during past flooding events.
Office of Mines and Minerals - Protection of Lives and Property/Economic Well-being of Citizens
- Oversees the Abandoned Mines Land Reclamation program, mine safety, oil and gas safety and responsible permitting, as well as mine blasting and explosives. Responsibly regulates mining and oil and gas production which sustains 50,000 jobs and $6 billion of annual production. Approved mine permits from January 2009 to the present will mean more than 800 new jobs. Expansions of six existing mines approved during the last two years mean retention of nearly 2,000 coal mine employees. Safety initiatives and enforcement protect miners and the public, as Illinois has the lowest fatality rate per tons of coal mining of any coal-producing state.
Office of Water Resources - Economic Well-being of Citizens/Protection of Lives and Property
- Oversees the Lake Michigan water allocation program which supplies 330 billion gallons of water annually, serving 7 million people in over 200 communities, sustaining homes, businesses and the regional economy of northeast Illinois. Administers the state water supply in the Carlyle, Shelbyville, Rend and Kinkaid reservoirs, supporting more than $10 billion in downstate economic activity. Protects 4.4 million acres of land by ensuring the sufficiency of engineering designs of levees and levee modifications under the IDNR’s regulatory oversight protecting approximately 1 million acres of agricultural land valued at $5.6 billion and $543 million in annual commodities. Regulates construction in the floodways of rivers and streams and shore waters of Lake Michigan and all other Illinois public waters. Coordinates the National Flood Insurance Program saving Illinois citizens $1.2 million in reduced premiums on 11,000 policies.
Office of Coastal Zone Management - Economic Well-being of Citizens/Improved Quality of Life of Citizens
- As the trustee of Lake Michigan, administers the Coastal Zone Management Program channeling federal dollars to protect Lake Michigan’s natural resources. Administers the Great Lakes Restorative Initiative which provides environmental cleanup, habitat and wetland restoration, and invasive species protection. The Lake Michigan coastline supports billions of dollars in trade and supports property values among the highest in the nation.
Illinois State Museum - Quality Education and Opportunity
- Six educational facilities throughout the state annually attract more than 321,000 individuals, including urban and underserved rural populations, 6,300 teachers and 36,000 students from across the state, international tourists. Serves an additional 93,000 students and other individuals through off-site programs. More than 2.3 million online visitors, including teachers, students, and individuals from throughout the world learn about Illinois through the Museum's award-winning website.
Office of Architecture, Engineering and Grants - Improved Quality of Life of Citizens/Improved Efficiency and Stability
- Manages and executes the IDNR capital program through construction projects and grants to local governments, administers and coordinates $44 million in recreational/matching grant programs facilitating construction, development, and land acquisition to spur local economic development and tourism.
World Shooting and Recreational Complex - Economic Well-being of Citizens
- The world’s largest and most prestigious shooting event, the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s Grand American Trapshooting Championship is hosted at the Complex. Significant economic engine for the southern Illinois, generating approximately $25 million in annual revenue to the regional economy.
Office of Community Outreach - Quality Education/Protection of our Most Vulnerable Citizens
- Provides outreach to African-American and Latino populations, concentrating on youth programming, for increased understanding of urban conservation and environmental education. ‘IL Sportsmen Against Hunger’ has provided 2.7 million meals to needy citizens of Illinois and the ‘Target Hunger Now!’ program has fed more than 1,000 people and donations to these programs have increased by 20% over the past year. Mud to Gardens helps provide a sustainable and healthy local food source to combat urban food deserts. Wounded Warriors provides hunting and fishing experiences for armed services members who have returned with injuries.
Office of Resource Conservation - Economic Well-being of Citizens/Improved Quality of Life of Citizens
- Manages the state’s fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, trapping, commercial forestry and fisheries, endangered and threatened species, and natural heritage protection programs. Programs are supported largely through license revenues, and the investment in Illinois of millions of dollars in federal fish and wildlife restoration program funds, federal wildlife grants, and USDA land conservation (CREP) funds. Directs multi-agency assessment and response to the Asian carp invasion in the Chicago Area Waterway System minimizing the need to close shipping locks and preserving the economic viability of billions of dollars of trade of the commercial and industrial uses of the canal system; also supports development of commercially viable Asian carp products.
Office of Realty and Environmental Planning - Economic Well-being of Citizens/Improved Quality of Life of Citizens
- Manages all IDNR land acquisition and other property interests; negotiates and administers more than 1,500 concessions, land leases, rights of way, special permits, utility licenses and other agreements covering all owned or managed IDNR properties. 14,000 economic development projects are reviewed to ensure no adverse impacts to threatened and endangered species, wetlands, historic and cultural resources to facilitate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth statewide. Provides planning for greenways and trail sites, capital budget and land review, and park road projects which have economic development and tourism benefits in urban and rural communities. Protects public safety by evaluating and responding to pollution on IDNR-owned land, as well as assessing injuries and performing restoration on lands and waterways held in trust for the State.
Office of Strategic Services - Economic Well-being of Citizens/Quality Education and Opportunity
- Facilitates IDNR’s most significant economic impact through license and permit sales generating $40 million for the State, special events attracting hundreds of thousands of tourism visits, and management of educational programs. $2.1 billion is annually spent in Illinois on hunting and fishing, enough to support 22,000 jobs and a $700 million annual payroll. Distributes 1.5 million pieces of natural resources teaching tools to educators.