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Updates to Illinois Wildlife Action Plan Open for Public Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACTS:
Chris Young
217-557-1240
Updates to Illinois Wildlife Action Plan Open for Public Comment
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is seeking public comment on revisions to the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan. Comments are now being accepted through Sept. 18 through a link on the IDNR website.
See link below (IWAP Comments Page).

In 2005, IDNR and its conservation partners developed a comprehensive strategy to conserve our state’s wildlife and their habitats. This Illinois Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) was originally developed in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) requirement that states develop Action Plans in order to qualify for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program. The original IWAP can be found here.
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IWAP/Documents/WildlifeActionPlanFinal.pdf.

One purpose of the Action Plan is to prevent rare and declining species from becoming threatened or endangered in the future. To this end, the original Action Plan also contained a list of Species in Greatest Need of Conservation. For the past two years, IDNR has been working with its partners to review and revise the Action Plan.  In order to maintain eligibility for federal funds through the State Wildlife Grant program, IDNR must submit a revised Action Plan to the USFWS by Oct. 1. 

New in this version are specific sections devoted to particular habitats and ecosystems. These “Campaign” sections provide more detail by dividing the original overall strategy into subsets. They also have been expanded to better guide conservation efforts on the ground.  The revised Campaign sections, along with a revised list of Species in Greatest Need of Conservation, will be main components of Illinois’ revised plan.  At this time, the Department is seeking comments on the completeness, appropriateness, and feasibility of the revised Campaign sections.  The revised species list will be available for public review and comment later in September.
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