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DNR will close 11 parks on Nov. 1

August 28, 2008 at 01:41 PM

As part of a cost-saving measure, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced it will close 11 parks as of Nov. 1 and will lay off 39 workers.

“The sites will close their doors on Nov. 1,” said Chris McCloud, a DNR spokesman. “We knew this was a possibility at DNR. The budget the governor got was $2.1 billion underfunded.

“This is a tough day. I think it’s important to understand these are not decisions we wanted to make.”

Parks that have been slated for closing include the following:

  • Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
  • Illini State Park near Marseilles
  • Wolf Creek State Park
  • Castle Rock State Park, Oregon
  • Lowden State Park, Oregon
  • Hidden Springs State Forest, Strasburg
  • Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon
  • Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris  
  • Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood
  • Moraine View State Park, Leroy
  • Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton

“We still have over 300 state parks and conservation areas we hope people will still enjoy,” McCloud said. “And those sites remain open free of charge.”

The 39 workers to be laid off include: 25 site technician II, 4 rangers, 3, site assistant superintendents, 1 office associate (part-time), 3 office coordinators (2 part-time, 1 full-time), 1 site security officer (IFPE union), 1 natural resource coordinator and 1 natural resource specialist.

 

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

There you go more Illinoins out of work,and less opportunity for sportsmen, I wonder how manny locals will lose thier only place to hunt and fish way to Blowgo!! Hey mabey the state should lease the property to outfitters.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 02:22 PM

What a bunch of crap. What are our permits and license fees’s paying for. Not to mention the billions he hasn’t paid the teachers retirement fund. At least I didn’t vote for the SOB

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 02:46 PM

I FOR ONE AM UPSET 2 OF THEM I CAMP AT SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR MORAINE AND WELDON BOTH OF WHICH ARE VERY NICE AND QUITE FAMILY SPOTS. I USED TO GO TO SHELBYVILLE ALOT BUT WITH GAS AS HIGH AS IT IS I TRY TO STAY CLOSER TO HOME, I STILL TRY TO MAKE IT TO SHELBYVILLE ONCE IN AWHILE AND STAY AT WOLF CREEK. DO THEY NOT REALISE HOW NICE THESE PLACES ARE!! NOW IF YOU LIVE IN THE PEORIA AREA YOU ARE LOOKING AT ABOUT 3-4 HRS AS APPOSED TO 1-2HRS, LETS JUST GIVE’EM MORE MONEY IN GAS UNTIL NONE OF US CAN AFFORD TO HUNT,CAMP,FISH, OR HIKE. WAY TO GO ROD.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 03:08 PM

if they’re closing November 1 and laying off the site personnel, i don’t see how they could be open for deer season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 04:07 PM

@%!$ What the beep is going on.  I posted a comment on the what is going on in springfield, with hopes for a response.  I know we need to get Blago out of here but what is the short term solution.  We have to get something figured out.  THIS IS BULL$&@*.  I don’t know of all of these but I do alot of camping at Wolfcreek and Weldon Springs, come on.  This is just the begining to losing our recreational land.  I don’t think we have seen anything yet.  Seriously What can we do?????????????

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 04:10 PM

Illinois hunters are being bent over each year.  This has to stop!  Politicians use our money to fund their campaigns and grant their cronies gov’nt contracts all the while the law abiding gun totting citizens in Illinois are being slapped in the face.
If the state was run honestly and with integrity we would not be in this predicament.  I live and work in the city of Chicago, I hate this city!  I hate this state.  Each day on my way to work I read in the paper of another Illinois politician taking bribes and kickbacks.
Like you all I have had enough.  I am taking my guns and moving out!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 05:04 PM

Grew up in Illinois and now happily live out west in a state where liberals don’t crash the budget with entitlement spending. You get what you vote for nothing else.  If you could get rid of Chicago you might have a chance.  Check out Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and compare some of the differences in taxes and services.  I think the main difference is less handouts and government workers, also less union, means better living for the rest of us.  it is not a surprise to me that services are being cut parks don’t vote. Remember it when you get crappy service from a state worker, school teacher, or elected official, that is where your money is going.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 05:14 PM

To mike:  Join me out west.  I pay 1400.00 property tax on a 200K home outside Denver. Sales tax is 7.25.  State income tax is also way less than Ill.  You couldn’t dream of these types of low taxes in Illinois anymore.  You are right bend over and take it while the free loaders in your state live off the government. 

BTW a vote for Obama will get you much more of the same.  Hope you don’t think he will lower your taxes or increase your state parks.  Did he do it while he was in the Illinois senate?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 05:20 PM

I currently live in Austin, TX.  My father is the ranger being laid off at Kickapoo State Park.  I think it is despicable that a man who has put in close to 25 years with the DNR and is a few years from retirement is being thrown away like a piece of trash.  Kickapoo is a beautiful park, as are many of the others closing I’m sure.  I’ve been to Moraine View and enjoyed it.  My high school uses Kickapoo for cross country meets.  I know many people who hunt and fish there.  I never imagined they would think about closing that park.  There are only four workers there.  Come on, how many fuel-ups of your commuter jet would it take to pay their annual salaries, Rob? 

They are leaving the road through Kickapoo open because it is a county road.  I hope the locals take up in arms to fight the closing, or they will be enjoying a not-so-scenic drive when passing through.  I for one will be writing local politicians, whom I’m told are the reason these parks were targeted, as they are in Republican represented areas.  Politics disgust me most of the time, and this is just another reason why.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 05:52 PM

I just visited kickapoo a couple of months ago.
What a beautiful park, I planned on visiting it more…
What a shame.
Maybe the “interim” DNR director, Sam Flood, who is completely unqualified for the position yet has held it for (interim? HAH!) over two years, wouldn’t mind giving up his salary and big fat expense account to the department’s budget, since he doesn’t do a damn interim thing.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 06:01 PM

What if you have a deer tag at one of these parks? Then what? Are you freaking kidding me? I am beyond angry. This state needs an enema.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 06:24 PM

To Bill:  Nice political rant you got going.  But you need to get one thing clear!  Don’t lump all the hard working front line state employees and teachers in Illinois into your “free loader” category.  The IDNR employees targeted for layoff are as dedicated and hard working as anyone from Denver to Peoria!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 06:31 PM

ALL DNR EMPLOYEES!!!!!!!

STRIKE AND SAVE OUR PARKS!!!!!!!!!

WE MUST COME TOGETHER AND SAVE ALL THE HAS BEEN BUILT!!!!!!!!

STRIKE NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 06:58 PM

Just today on the radio I herd an interview that
D$%$ROD Blago thought he was doing a great job for the people of this state sure if we want to keep losing great parks and the great people that run them this is really sad next we need to start laying some of the people off in Springfield starting at the top we REALLY NEED the recall vote now and bad.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 07:13 PM

I Myself have never been to most of those parks, yet I am still outraged over it. WTF are my fees going to anymore? And honestly $2.1 billion under budget? I’d like to know what their budget looks like. I hear rumors over the past month that they may close Mazonia after the 1st of the year! Seriously, I have a wife and 2 daughters that go to public grounds with me at least once a week in the summer, now what. Will I be required to join a private club just to have outdoors time with my family?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 07:35 PM

My reaction to hearing the news was probably the same as everyone’s - disbelief and 4 letter-words followed by outrage.  I’ve been to a number of these parks and know how well utilized they are.  It would be sad to see a state that ranks among the lowest in the country in terms of public lands, take a huge step backwards.  Contact your state representative and tell your friends to do the same.  This needs to be fought tooth and nail.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 07:48 PM

My family has had many wonderful days trout fishing at Hennepin Canal State Park. This is a beautiful park and nice place to get away. They have a nice little museum and bike trails. This park is an ideal place to take your kids fishing and have nice indoor restrooms for my wife and little ones. This place has alot to offer like all the other parks on the list. What a waste! I can’t believe these park workers that have put thier heart and soul in these parks for years will be kicked to the curb! We have to stop Blago before he guts everything. Its time for the sportsmen,sportswomen and anyone that enjoys outdoor recreation to flex our muscle. We need to be heard. If we all need to show up in Springfield so be it. Sorry, I just remembered the goofus doesn’t spend much time there! If anyone has any ideas on how to turn this around or who we need to contact please post. It’s time to take this state back!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 08:26 PM

Go here to get phone numbers and addresses for all General Assembly members.

http://www.ilga.gov/

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 08/28 at 08:55 PM

Thanks for the link Jeff. I will be making calls in the morning.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 10:04 PM

Bottom line guys is they give a sh!%. Now those places that overpopulate will have gov. shooters go in and kill all the deer.All part of the big plan to take away gun rights. When hunter numbers go down they will claim that hunters have lost interest. We did vote him in and I know there were many people that use those parks that voted for him. Now what happens to those areas ? Are we still allowed to go on them, can you still access fishing areas or do we have to sneek on to go fishing, not that any wardens would be around.

For the guys who have permits at those places a few thoughts. Can you sue for breach of contract. Can you go anyway as you have a document from the state that says you can. The antis sue all the time. Wonder what would happen if all the people affected got together and filed a class action suit.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 12:08 AM

Cap Bill:  Dude, you really need to quit saying “we” voted him in.  There is noone from my area that voted this bozo in.  You can blame Chicago for that one.  And for all the fools who think Obama will be the answer is just fooling themselves.  Our whole government just plain sux.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 04:10 AM

This is politics by the Governor pure and simple. Look at the list of layoffs and parks closed. They have not been selected for lack of public use or money saved. They are all parks that are close to the major downstate population areas. Maximum impact to folks downstate so the citizens will pressure their legislators. The Gov thinks that he will then get what he wants. Note that NONE of the closed sites are in Region IV where DNR Director Sam Flood hired his son as Reginal Lands Manager.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 06:49 AM

I think stumpsitter is right.  If you look at the legislative districts where the parks are located, you will find a senator or house member who has pissed off the governor or did not vote for one of Blagos liberal programs.  Politics pure and simple.  I also would not believe a word out of the dnr spokesman, he is hired by the gov to say what the gov wants him to say. It is not Bush’s fault, the struggling economies fault, it is the governor’s political game.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 06:17 PM

if you think the state is broke now, wait till Daley and Blago ask us to pony up for their future Olympic plans!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/30 at 01:59 AM

No kidding on the Olympics, terrible idea.  I don’t know why anyone would want them clogging up their state or city anyway.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/30 at 08:04 AM

Why can’t the state have retired folks live on site in the state parks and pay them a small amount each year to run the park? They would get free rent, and utilities and get to live in a park setting. I would like that if I was retired. They could live in a mobile home that they own or a lg. camper. I can’t believe we are not offered options, that we just have to lose our parks so easily.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/30 at 05:27 PM

I am the most familiar with Wolf Creek State Park.  There is a counter across the road there most of the time.  It would be interesting to know how many people enter that park to enjoy it weekly. 

People drive quite a few miles just to take their kids to see the deer in the evenings.  The camp grounds are full a lot of the time and the overflow camp ground is used in a lot of occasions. Connie, I believe there is a retired fellow by the name of Bob checking in the campers to this park.  If he is paid, I’m sure it is not what he is worth.  He lives in a motorhome in one of the camp sites.

The park is over run with deer and needs to be thinned down.  They now have an archery drawing during the archery season for a designated number of hunters.  During shotgun seasonthe north part of the park is in the lottery for permits.  It amazes me how many people north of I80 have these permits.

The Corps of Engeneers also has a Physically Challanged deer hunt. I have helped with this since 1995.  That hunt uses several access areas to Lake Shelbyville and Wolf Creek is one of them.  Several of the hunnters are from the Chicago area.

Like the rest of you above, what will happen with the permits that have been issued for these areas?  People have planned vacations and paid for these permits.

Something I have noticed for years from vacations and fishing trips to other states and Canada is the percentage of Illinois cars compared to other states.  Why is this?  Not hard to figure out!  Illinois does not have the natural resourses as the northern and western states.  So, we travel. This means more Illinois money goes somewhere else. Now gas is at a real premium, people can’t travel as they are used to and Blago pulls a stunt like this.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we really didn’t have as much to offer as a lot of other states and now we might have less yet.  Why not cut two large expenses and close the Governer’s mansion in Springfield?  It is not being used!  Secondly, somehow get rid of Blago and his crew of thievs!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/31 at 01:26 PM

just impeach or recall this stupid sonofabitch… a lot of these parks are making money and closing them is 100% stupid. im familiar with kickapoo and moraineview and i can tell you that in one or 2 weeks these parks take in enough to pay for any workers saleries plus some. Blago doesnt know his arse from a hole in a ground and hopefully this doesn not go through.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/31 at 07:53 PM
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/01 at 04:11 PM

well for everybody that voted for blago you got what you voted for, and for all the hunters like myself out there you need to watch who you vote for for the next president, if you vote for obamo and he gets it his little side kick dailey will be in charge, and then there will be no guns or hunting, keep that in mind, and for our kickapoo park well thats just wrong, the united states is all about our freedom, well illinois must be a different country now because illinois residents have no freedom with blago in charge, all i can see is blago needs more money for his jet so he can fly to springfield everyday, since he to good to stay in springfield

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/01 at 10:22 PM

I am outraged by the decision to close these parks and historic areas. I myself live in Bismarck and utilize Kickapoo as a recreational area. From fishing, hunting, and just hiking in the outdoors. This park has it all! Not to mention that this will include the closing of Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area, and Harry “Babe” Woodyard State Natural Area as they are run by Kickapoo!! Vermilion County will be taking a big hit by these closings because these areas bring much needed revenue to an already stressed economy. We as outdoorsman/woman need to keep our heads on straight and brainstorm ideas on how to keep these parks open. And don’t keep these ideas to yourself, let them be heard and contact your local representative or even the governors office (217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121) Voice your opinion and share your ideas, stand up for the outdoors and all of its beauty. DON’T let big city politics take over our land!!

Posted by Charles Crozier on 09/03 at 03:08 AM

I read an article today that said these cuts will save 1.4 mil.  Quite a dent in 2.1 bil, eh?  What utter nonsense.  I for one will be doing something at Kickapoo.  This Saturday (the 6th) I’m going to Clear Lake with my boat, rigged with a large banner.  I’m thinking something like, “Impeach Blago,” or “Close this!”  Anyone else thinking along these lines?  Maybe we could create a flotilla.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/03 at 12:45 PM

The Chicago / Cook County democratic machine is in the process of destroying the State of Illinois. If you live outside of Chicago, you are expendable. Downstaters need to get a voice in state government again. Presently, they do not have one.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/04 at 01:48 PM

Being a Scouter, this totally sucks.  We frequently use many of these sights for camping, hiking, and getting our scouts outside!I am blown away at the idea of closing these parks!  What a horrible waste!
I agree with Charles above….let your voice be heard….something I thought i would share, for those of you who MIGHT be interested!
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=30245087037

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/04 at 04:36 PM

Maybe we should close/boycott the city of Chicago and lay off the worthless officials beginning with the governor.  First he tries to leave dead deer along the highways and cover the plains with weeds.  Now he wants to spoil thousands of acres of beautiful Illinois natural sites.  What an idiot.

Maybe if he’d quit flying to Springfield we’d save some jobs.  He needs to live in the governor’s mansion with or without his sife.

Bah ... humbug!

Bah, humbug.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/08 at 01:17 PM

I have lived in Northern Illinois for 2 years. When I moved here I was surprised to discover that Lowden State Park was the home of an impressive, majestic statue(Cheif Blackhawk)that I remembered from my childhood. It sits on the cliffs of the Rock River overlooking Oregon, Illinois and is an incredible sight.  I have since taken my kids to visit Chief Blackhawk and like the feeling that this is something we share in our childhood.  I hate to see Chief Blackhawk fall to ruin without proper care.  I hate for Illinois to lose this wonderful bit of our heritage.  Shame on you Blagovich for using your dirty politics to play games with the innocent guy’s livelihood and pastimes.  What a disappointment.  I’m sure you won’t lose any sleep over this but maybe you should personally view all these great parks that you’re closing.  You may then understand where we’re all coming from.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/08 at 05:44 PM

Well lets see teachers saleries now this what a bunch of bad government.  I got to say I have camped at Lowden State Park many times very nice park, a lot quiter than Shabbona State Park.  Let me say it is a nice park but does this mean Northern Illinois University will lose there land there or what.  Also How can they close a park like Lowden that is on the River and has a somewhat famous statue.  Very bad Very bad.  We need to get this Governor out and we need to get him out now.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/10 at 06:53 AM

This is just crazy.  We and many of our friends use the trails in the state parks to ride our horses.  If they keep up at this rate we won’t have any place that we can ride and camp and enjoy what natural land is left.  Camping is one of the few activities people can still afford to do and now they want to take that from us too.  We really do need to unite and fight this.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/27 at 11:22 AM

Hey everybody, I just found a site that you can sign a petition against Blago closing OUR state parks. Go to http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-blagojevich-closing-our-state-parks.html  and sign this petition.  Email the address to everbody you know.  Let’s try to do something about the mess.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/27 at 11:44 AM

Sell about three of the states airplanes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/06 at 01:55 PM

you close 11 parks now.what about down the road when you decide to close more parks and lay off more workers.you say you need to cut budgets or is it to put more money in the senate pockets.this is really unfair to us the public.we use these parks for fishing,hunting,hiking,or just like to be out doors in the park.thanks for taking our joy away.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 01:05 PM

maybe you guys can sell enough Senate seats to keep the parks open.

Posted by Government Tax Sales on 01/24 at 08:12 PM

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