More Places To Go...
One of the more challenging problems facing the Department of Natural Resources is providing public recreational access and outdoor opportunities to our constituents. In order to carry on our outdoor traditions, we need to connect youth and families to land and opportunities. Utilizing resources obtained through a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Illinoisans have more places to enjoy the great outdoors through IDNR’s new Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). IRAP will increase public outdoor recreational opportunities on private lands through payments to eligible land owners who agree up to a three-year lease for one or more of the following IRAP activities:
- Youth Turkey Hunting,
- Fishing (ponds, rivers and streams),
- Non-motorized Boat access on public waterways,
- Outdoor Naturalist - birding and outdoor photography.
In addition, and very important, are incentive payments that will be made for habitat management plans written by IDNR on IRAP-leased property, as well as a stipend to the landowner based on activities.
It's a “win-win” for the landowner, wildlife and IRAP participant!
IRAP began signing up landowners in late 2011 - Within the first ten months, almost 11,000 acres have been leased!!!
In the spring of 2012, 75 youth participated in turkey hunting on private land through IRAP.
"What a great experience! Thank you IDNR, IRAP program, and most importantly the landowner."..................".IRAP youth Hunter and father."