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Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Director’s Letter

Chris Young, Director of the Office of Resource Conservation

Welcome to the August 1, 2019 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources.

As summer draws to a close, many outdoor enthusiasts turn their attention to the upcoming hunting season. In addition to an article detailing exciting new content in the Annual Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, we look back a century and examine the contents of the 1919 regulation booklet. A lot has changed in 100 years and the contributions of outdoorsmen and women have vastly improved the state of Illinois’ wildlife. Also related to the upcoming hunting season are the annual forecasts of the deer, wild turkey and squirrel seasons.

In this edition we continue our series on Illinois’ Special Funds and how the Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp Fund contributes to increasing waterfowl production in the Prairie Pothole Region. This year, 50 percent of the stamp funds has allocated for work in Canada, where 86.8 percent of the banded waterfowl harvested in Illinois are produced.

Recently, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and numerous partners received $1 million in North American Wetlands Conservation Act funds to be used on a multi-year Conserving the Illinois River Legacy initiative. Our feature story discusses the project area, which will cover 13,000 acres of backwater lakes, marshes and bottomland hardwood forests, and the work to protect, enhance or restore lands across 19 counties bordering the middle and lower stretches of the Illinois River.

On the research front, the newest postings include a story on Illinois joining the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, which is designed to increase the amount of useable habitat for bobwhites. Under this initiative, researchers at Southern Illinois University are working at Illinois’ first Quail Focal Area, Burning Star State Fish and Wildlife Area, to understand how bobwhite populations respond to active quail management and grassland research. In another feature, author Tom Simpson relates how his fascination with the nut-burying behavior of squirrels caused him to wonder why oak seedlings pop up where they do.

Included among the many other articles for you to read are how the Illinois Recreational Access Program is providing places to recreate and assisting landowners improve wildlife habitat, tips on preparing for the upland hunt, how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Private Lands Program is helping landowners enhance properties for wildlife, the value one woman places on mentoring new hunters and more.

OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journalis a collaborative effort led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. Funding for OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journalwas made available through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W-147-T.

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