Protecting Nature's Treasures
A tapestry of nature's treasures is protected in Illinois by a nationally acclaimed program called the Illinois Nature Preserves System. From the Cache River basin's cypress swamps in southern Illinois to the Illinois Beach dunes along Lake Michigan, many of our state's most rare, natural areas are protected as nature preserves.
These last remaining remnants of our state's natural heritage are almost all that is left of the way the state looked in the early 1800s. Today, less than 0.1% of the landscape remains as it did when first seen by Illinois' early settlers.
Permanently protected by state law, nature preserves are private and public lands that have rare plants, animals, or other unique natural features. Ranging in size from one acre to more than 2,000 acres, nature preserves protect tall grass prairies, oak groves, sandstone bluffs, wetlands, bogs and other threatened natural areas. These lands are the last remnants of the Illinois wilderness, which provides homes for endangered species like the prairie white-fringed orchid, the Prairie Chicken and Illinois Chorus Frog.
Without this protection, many of these exceptional areas would be lost forever. Currently, nature preserves protect over 900 occurrences of endangered and threatened plants and animals. In fact, more than 20% of all Illinois endangered species are in state dedicated nature preserves. Please follow this link to more about INPC Vision and Benefits.
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source's civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, IDNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271; 217/785-0067; TTY 217/782-9175.