SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is gearing up for Conservation Congress 2014: Charting a Course to Protect & Preserve Our Natural Resources with a series of pre-event activities designed to inform and engage the public on key issues facing the State of Illinois. Last year, the agency began its preparation for Conservation Congress by hosting regional meetings throughout Illinois, and in the new year the IDNR is expanding its outreach efforts to ensure every voice is heard in the lead-up to the April statewide event.
Beginning on January 13, IDNR is inviting Illinois residents to fill out an online survey on natural resources and outdoor recreation issues expected to be discussed at the Conservation Congress statewide meeting on April 11 and 12. The online survey will be posted on the IDNR website during the week of January 13 at www.dnr.illinois.gov
The IDNR will also host a series of live, interactive webcasts – "Thursdays with IDNR" – focused on topics that were discussed at last year’s regional meetings. After reviewing feedback from the public who attended the meetings, the agency is seeking new ways to enhance its communications efforts to provide Illinois residents a greater window into the work IDNR is performing. The live webcasts will feature IDNR staff, and will be held every Thursday from January 23 to February 20 at noon to 1:00 p.m. Viewers can access the live webcasts from www.dnr.illinois.gov
on the following dates:
• January 23: Habitat Restoration & Protection
• January 30: Land & Water Management
• February 6: Outdoor Recreation
• February 13: Partnerships to Promote Education & Volunteerism
• February 20: Communications & Customer Service
“The online survey and live webcast roundtable discussions will help get us ready for the statewide Conservation Congress session this spring,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “The Conservation Congress process gives the public an opportunity to help IDNR set priorities on a wide range of natural resources issues.”
On April 11 and 12, IDNR will host Conservation Congress at its headquarters in Springfield. The event, which will be free and open to the public, will also be available in real time for members of the public who cannot attend in person. Sessions will feature priority-setting on a range of topics discussed during the regional meetings and live webcasts, and will incorporate the results of the online survey. In addition, IDNR intends to provide an update on the IDNR Sustainability Law, as well as host panel discussions on two key topic areas: IDNR: Advocate vs. Regulator; and, Apex Predators.
Registration and a detailed agenda will be available in February. For more information on the online survey, live webcasts, or the Conservation Congress statewide meeting, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov
, or contact Elizabeth Norden by email at Elizabeth.Norden@Illinois.gov
Follow the IDNR on Facebook and Twitter