IRAP's Public Access Opportunities Include:
Turkey hunting (spring)
Archery Deer hunting (October)
Fishing on shoreline (April-September)
Non-Motorized Boat access on public waterways (April-September)
Outdoor hiking, photography and birding activities (May-September)
Small Game Hunting (August/September & December)
More Place To Go…
One of the more challenging issues facing the Department of Natural Resources is providing public outdoor recreational access and opportunities. Illinois ranks 46th in the nation for publicly-owned land with more than 95% of the land is privately owned. In order to carry on our outdoor traditions, we need to connect youth and families to the land. IDNR has created the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) by utilizing resources obtained from the US Department of Agriculture’s NRCS Voluntary Public Access–Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP).
More Habitat Restoration Projects to Implement…
Using VPA-HIP grant funds, IDNR is helping private landowners to protect and restore their land. Landowners who chose to lease their property to IRAP will have a comprehensive habitat/forestry management plan written and be eligible for assistance to implement habitat restoration projects.
Since IRAP’s inception in 2011, more than 17,600 acres in 48 counties have been leased for outdoor recreational activities. Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts have accessed these sights, hundreds of youth and adult turkey hunters have enjoyed calling in a gobbler and archery deer hunting is in high demand.
Even more impressive is what IRAP is doing on the ground. IRAP has written more than 70 habitat/forestry plans; conducted non-native invasive species (NNIS) control on nearly 6,000 acres using aerial spraying and on-the-ground removal; conducted more than 2,340 acres of prescribed burning and prepared miles of burn breaks; and 682 acres of Timber stand improvement and another 350 acres of grass plantings and tree planting.
It’s a “win-win” for the landowner, wildlife and the participant!
"What a great experience! Thank you IDNR, IRAP program, and most importantly the landowner.".................." IRAP youth Hunter and father