New State Parks Guide: Illinois State Parks are great parks. Check out the new edition of the Illinois State Parks guide and head to a state park. The booklet is a great resource for information on visiting a state park, fish and wildlife area, recreation area, or other IDNR site. The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications/documents/00000715.pdf
To order a free copy of the booklet, visit the IDNR publications webpage and look for “State Parks Magazine” at www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications
Online Dove Permits: Applications will be accepted through July16 for the second lottery for Illinois Free Dove Hunting Permits. Applications will be accepted from resident hunters who were unsuccessful in the first lottery, or residents who did not apply in the first lottery. Applications will also be accepted from non-resident hunters for the second lottery drawing. After the second lottery permit application deadline on July 16, hunters may apply for remaining free dove permits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m. on July 30 – Aug. 25. For more information on dove hunting permit areas and free dove permits, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/dove
Renew Watercraft Registration by Phone or Online: Watercraft owners in Illinois are reminded that boat registrations (except for non-powered watercraft) are good for three years and have expiration dates of June 30. Watercraft owners can renew registration online at https://www.il.wildlifelicense.com/vehicle.php?action=vehiclelkup
or by phone by calling 1-866-867-3542. When renewing, watercraft owners should have handy their Illinois registration number and hull identification number (located on the registration card) and pen and paper to record their confirmation number.
Non-motorized watercraft, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats in Illinois are no longer required to be titled or registered in Illinois. Non-motorized watercraft owners are now required to purchase a Water Usage Stamp for $6.00 per calendar year for each of the first three vessels, and $3.00 each for any additional vessels (plus an agent fee of $.50 will be charged per vessel). The annual stamps expire on December 31 each year. Water Usage Stamps are available from all DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Check on DNR Direct vendor locations at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Endangered and Threatened Species Notice: The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board is accepting comments and evidence regarding the Board’s preliminary decisions for revision of the Illinois Lists of Endangered and Threatened Animal and Plant Species. The Board will receive written comments through July 11, 2014. Directions about how to submit comments and evidence via email, as well as a complete list of the Board’s proposed changes and additional references, including the current list of endangered and threatened species approved in 2011, can be accessed at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/espb/index.htm
. To request a hard copy of the list of proposed changes, other materials, or to submit hard copy written comments, contact the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Natural Resources Advisory Board: The IDNR Natural Resources Advisory Board will meet on Friday, July 25 at 1:30 p.m. at IDNR Headquarters in Springfield. Agenda items include wildlife management updates, grant program information, the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center, and an off-highway vehicle trails update. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-0075.
Cache River Junior Naturalists Day: Parents and children are invited to explore the ecology and history of the Cache River wetlands through art, hands-on learning, and simply getting out into the wild. Children who complete the program will become a Cache River Junior Naturalist, receiving a patch and certificate. The event for children ages 7-15 is on Sun., July 13 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Register at 618-634-2231. The Cache River State Natural Area Wetlands Center is located at 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, IL 62923.
National Championships: The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL welcomes the Scholastic Clay Target Program National Team Championships and the Scholastic Pistol Program Junior/Senior Championships on July 14-19. For information, check the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation website at www.sssfonline.org
Grand American: The Amateur Trapshooting Association’s 115th Grand American World Trapshooting Championships are scheduled for Aug. 6-16 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL. Check the ATA website for details at www.shootata.com
Oregon Trail Days Festival at Lowden State Park: Visit Oregon, Illinois during the annual Oregon Trail Days Festival at Lowden State Park on July 19-20. The event celebrates the region’s Native American heritage, highlighted by Lorado Taft’s Eternal Indian statute, a Rock River bluff landmark at Lowden State Park that was dedicated in July 1911. Proceeds from the festival will assist in the restoration of the iconic statue. The $7 per person entry fee includes parking (children 6 and under admitted free). For details on the Oregon Trail Days Festival, check the website at www.oregontraildays.org
Conservation World: Make plans now to attend the 2014 Illinois State Fair and visit Conservation World on the state fairgrounds, Aug. 8-17. Conservation World features nearly 30 acres of family activities including fishing, archery, and family entertainment, plus expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry. Conservation World is open weekend days from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and weekdays from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. throughout the state fair in Springfield.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop: The IDNR invites women to register now for the next ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ workshop, Sept. 26-28 at Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton. BOW workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction in outdoor-related activities. Classes are conducted in a casual and non-competitive atmosphere by experienced instructors. The cost is $170 per person, which includes the workshop, meals, class supplies and equipment, overnight lodging, prizes and more. Registration is limited, so sign up today. Workshop and registration materials can be found on the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/bow
Camping Reservations: Summer is a great time for camping in Illinois. Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com
using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/camping/camprsvp.htm
Wingshooting Clinics: Wingshooting clinics will be conducted at sites throughout Illinois through early November. Most clinics are conducted on weekends. Wingshooting clinics are held on IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs, hunting preserves, and farms. Wingshooting clinics for youth (age 10-15) and women provide instruction on safely firing a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability. Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on, and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specifically designed for teaching typical hunting situations. For the wingshooting clinic schedule and more information, check the IDNR website: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/wingshooting/wingshootinghome.htm
Satur-Play for Kids: Every Saturday is Satur-Play! at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, with fun science experiments and art projects for children and families. From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays in July, kids can create engineer a paper toy boat on July 19, and use gelatin as a printmaking plate on July 26. Activities are free. For more information, call 217-782-5955 at the Illinois State Museum, 502 South Spring, Springfield.
Super Saturdays: “The Secret Life of Prairies” is the ‘Super Saturdays’ children’s program at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., July 12 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Illinois was known as the Prairie State because over half of it was once covered by tallgrass prairies. Now, less than 1% of the prairie is left. From wildflowers to herds of bison, kids can learn the secrets of our tallgrass prairies. For more information, phone 217-782-6044.
Summer Fun Fridays: Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown is hosting a summer program series for kids ages 9 - 11 years old on Fridays in July. The ‘Summer Fun Fridays’ series will be offered July 11, 18, and 25 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. with a different topic featured each week. Call the Dickson Mounds Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
Photos Needed from Kids for Conservation®: IDNR is reviving the Kids for Conservation® program in an online format, launching the program in August by featuring monarch butterflies. Interested kids are asked to send in images of monarch butterflies (all life stages) in Illinois, and the images will be posted on the new Kids for Conservation® webpage – and at Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair in August. Photos must be taken in Illinois by an Illinois youth. The photos should not include people. The images will be posted with the first name and age of the photographer with each photograph, so please include that information (no more than three images per youth). Images should be emailed to dnr.teachkids@Illinois.gov
Living with Wildlife: The IDNR and UI Extension have teamed up to provide residents of Illinois with information about how to coexist with wildlife, especially in urban areas. Wildlife helps us maintain our connection with nature. Helpful information on preventing problems with wildlife can be found on the “Living with Wildlife in Illinois” website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/
Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/about/Pages/SocialNetworking.aspx