Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area and Horseshoe Lake State Park are closing indefinitely.

Legislation Would Ban Sales of Bobcat Pelts

Apr 7, 2016
e_monk / Flickr/Creative Commons

Illinois senators Thursday passed legislation out of committee to ban trapping bobcats and selling their pelts. The state recently allowed for the hunting of bobcats. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources opposes the legislation. DNR's Mike Stevens says allowing hunters to sell the pelts is a better use of bobcats' fur than leaving it on the field or getting thrown away. 

 Stevens says no one will make a lot of money on selling pelts. He says even when the department proactively culls herds of deer, everything possible is put to use. 

Peabody Energy has three coal mines in far southern Illinois, all of which are still producing coal.

When those mines eventually shut down, the company is required by state and federal laws to pay for the clean-up and reclamation of the land. St. Louis-based Peabody has guaranteed the state of Illinois it has the estimated $92 million to cover that work.

But as the company considers bankruptcy, some question whether the St. Louis-based company’s promise is worth much.

A Midwest environmental group is questioning the ability of the country's largest coal producer to guarantee it has enough money for future cleanup of its Illinois mines.

chesbayprogram / Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois dairy faces a lawsuit, which claims runoff from the operation's septic system killed hundreds of thousands of fish.

 Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office filed the lawsuit last month against Stone Ridge Dairy, which is located south of the village of Bellflower. 

The state is seeking more than $7,000 to cover the investigation and the destruction of fish and aquatic life in Lone Tree Creek.

 A phone message left by The Associated Press at the dairy seeking comment on the lawsuit was not immediately returned. 

corvidaceous / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is proposing rules to regulate bobcat hunting and trapping throughout the state.

The agency released its proposals Monday to amend a wildlife hunting law that took effect Jan. 1.

 Proposed rules include prohibiting bobcat harvesting in the northeastern and east-central regions of Illinois and requiring hunters to purchase a $5 Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit. The department also proposes bobcat hunting season run from Nov. 10 through Jan. 31 and close during firearm deer hunting season. 

Illinois Natural History Survey

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) - Presence of a rare mollusk has delayed repairs to a bridge in northern Illinois. The Belvidere Public Works Department's plans to repair a bridge five miles west of downtown will have to wait until 2017. That's because the Illinois Department of Natural Resources needs to determine if a colony of black sandshell mussels should be removed from the Kishwaukee River. 

Illinois authorities are urging hunters to be safe as firearm deer-hunting season gets underway.  The seven-day season starts Friday for a three-day period. A final four-day period starts Dec. 3.  Hunting hours will be from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - It's not always clear why deer cross the road, but it is clear many don't make it. That's the message from Illinois conservation officials who warn motorists to be on the lookout for deer - especially this time of year, noting deer have a habit of stepping into traffic.

I Bird 2 / Flickr/Creative Commons

A descendant of a previous owner of the Dickson Mounds property is hoping his familial ties will help keep it open.

Dickson Mounds State Museum,  along with other historical sites and museums in Illinois, is closing due to the state budget stalemate.

istorija / Flickr/Creative Commons

If you've been meaning to visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archeological site, or museum shops in Lockport and Chicago, you have one month left to do it.

A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, which manages the sites, says they're set to close Sept. 30.

That's also when layoffs will take effect for all but three museum employees.

Advocates, like Erika Holst, a curator at Springfield's Art Association, have asked legislators to help save the museum.

A measure that would allow hunting bobcats in Illinois has won Senate approval. The legislation sponsored by Carlinville Republican Sen. Sam McCann would allow the Department of Natural Resources to issue as many as 200 permits a year to keep the animal's population in check.  It was approved 32-17. 

A second attempt to establish a bobcat-hunting season in Illinois is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote.

A railroad company has agreed to pay $570,000 to help settle claims over a 2009 derailment that spilled ethanol and killed tens of thousands of fish in northern Illinois.

Illinois officials are reminding hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to renew their state licenses. The new license year begins April 1 for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation.

Documents show Illinois has a nearly $130,000 contract with a Chicago engineering firm to evaluate the closed, taxpayer-owned Eagle Creek Resort on Lake Shelbyville.

Illinois hunters and outdoors enthusiasts see Gov. Bruce Rauner as a potential new ally in Springfield as they advocate for a number of pieces of legislation this year.  

Bourne youngest lawmaker to serve in Illinois

Feb 20, 2015
Peoria Public Radio

Twenty-two-year-old Avery Bourne is the youngest lawmaker to serve in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is offering 32 wing shooting clinics across the state this year.

 The new director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says his farming and military experience will help make for a smooth transition.

Fracking is off to a feeble start in Illinois as slumping oil prices and the rigors of Illinois' new regulations have energy interests waiting on the sidelines.

Illinois hunters harvested about 2 percent fewer deer this season compared to last season.

A state senator is still smarting from Governor Pat Quinn's last minute veto of a proposal to once again allow bobcat hunting in Illinois. Carlinville Republican Sam McCann says he's going to reintroduce the bill now that Quinn's out of office.

Two months since Illinois enacted rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling, no company has applied for a state permit to put hydraulic fracturing to use.

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have allowed bobcat hunting in Illinois for the first time in more than 40 years.


Osprey that are part of an initiative to reintroduce the fish-eating hawks in Illinois have flown south for the winter.

Some Illinois hunters are helping needy families by donating at least part of their deer harvest. It's done through Sportsmen Against Hunger. The program is sponsored by the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Deer-vehicle accidents in Illinois continue to decline.  Deer can be more than a nuisance. They can be dangerous when they venture on to roads.   

It will be at least another month before legislators take up regulations of hydraulic fracturing. A bipartisan panel Tuesday voted to spend more time reviewing, and potentially rewriting them.

Drillers and environmentalists alike have been waiting for Illinois to come out with its guidelines for "fracking."  The state's Department of Natural Resources finally published its draft today.