SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced that four Illinoisans well-known for their life-long dedication to promoting and enhancing outdoor recreation and natural resources conservation have been selected for induction into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Chauncey Niziol of Westchester, the late Casimir “Cass” Sliwa of Chicago, Warren Gale of Orion, and Allie Lymenstull of Quincy are the members of the 2012 Class of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Chauncey Niziol and Casimir Sliwa will be inducted at ceremonies during the ICF Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on Thursday, February 9 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. Induction ceremonies for Warren Gale and Allie Lymenstull will be held during a downstate Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet to be held later this year.
“These four conservation advocates have touched the lives of thousands of youth and adults who can enjoy outdoor recreation in Illinois today because of the work these men have done throughout their lives,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller, the chairman of the Illinois Conservation Foundation. “From promoting fishing, hunting, conservation and safety education to spearheading wildlife habitat, lake protection and river restoration programs, these gentlemen have given all of us great examples to follow.”
Selection to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame is reserved for those “individuals that have made significant contributions to or exhibited unparalleled dedication in preserving, promoting, enhancing or supporting natural resources or outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Philip ‘Chauncey’ Niziol, Westchester
Chauncey Niziol, outdoor writer and broadcaster, is host of ‘Chauncey’s Great Outdoors’ on WMVP ESPN 1000 in Chicago at 6 a.m. each Saturday, featuring interviews with outdoor experts offering information on fishing, camping, hunting, cooking, boating, hiking and other outdoor recreation. Niziol has been a fixture on Chicago and regional media since 1989, promoting outdoor recreation to adults and, as often as possible, to children. Nominators cited Niziol’s dedication to encouraging youth participation in the outdoors. Niziol’s efforts include helping to manage and support a Boy Scout camp in rural Michigan at which scouts, many from the inner city, enjoy outdoors activities. Niziol also promotes youth participation in Chicago area fishing tournaments and fishing derbies, at Chicago Park District and regional forest preserve district activities and events, and at outdoors shows and nature centers.
Casimir ‘Cass’ Sliwa, Chicago
The late Casimir ‘Cass’ Sliwa focused his life-long love of fishing and the outdoors by dedicating himself and recruiting others to the cause of enhancement, preservation and promotion of the Lake Michigan fishery as the longtime president of Salmon Unlimited of Illinois. Nominators hailed Sliwa for decades of advocacy for hatchery production, stocking and fishing for salmon in Lake Michigan – and in environmental cleanup and protection to ensure that the Lake Michigan fishery would be available for generations to come. Sliwa served multiple terms as president of Salmon Unlimited, raising funds to help build and promote Lake Michigan sport fishing, while working tirelessly to promote fishing. He served as an advisor to the Illinois DNR on Lake Michigan commercial and sport fishing issues and served as a delegate to the Illinois Conservation Congress. Sliwa was a charter member of the Waukegan Citizens Advisory Committee that worked for many years on plans to clean up Waukegan Harbor. Cass Sliwa passed away in 1998 at age 63.
Warren Gale, Orion
Quad Cities area conservationist Warren Gale has been one of Illinois’ foremost advocates for conservation education of youth and safety education for youth and adults in the outdoors for four decades. Gale is a longtime board member of the Rock Island Conservation Club and has served as a board member and president of the Quad City Conservation Alliance. Gale has been a volunteer hunter safety education instructor for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources since 1982, along with assisting in safety education programs in Iowa and with the National Bowhunters Education Foundation. Gale has been an active participant in Illinois Conservation Congress sessions, promoting conservation education in schools, safety education in the field, and promoting sport shooting, archery, fishing and other outdoor recreation throughout the region.
Allie Lymenstull, Quincy
Promoting outdoor recreation, waterway and habitat protection for more than 60 years in western Illinois, conservationist and outdoors activist Allie Lymenstull is known as a “watchdog of the river” and a ‘beacon of integrity” by the friends and colleagues who nominated him for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. World War II veteran Lymenstull is the longtime president of the Mississippi Valley Hunters’ and Fishermen’s Association. In addition to his advocacy of outdoor recreation, Lymenstull has been one of western Illinois’ chief proponents of wetland and river restoration efforts along the Mississippi River. Lymenstull has provided valuable counsel to Illinois Department of Natural Resources site staff and biologists and has promoted conservation programs through membership in the Quincy Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and the Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources. Said one nominator: “No person in West Central Illinois has dedicated more time and effort to conservation than Allie Lymenstull.”
Proceeds from the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet assist in funding youth conservation programs and support the development of facilities and programs at the ICF Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center located near Pecatonica in Winnebago County.
For more information on the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet on February 9 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-2003, or check the ICF web site at www.ilcf.org
The ICF is an IRS 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1995 to support the programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.