Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Of dams, ducks and fees

July 20, 2009 at 03:35 PM

During a conversation with DNR director Marc Miller on Monday, several topics came up. Here are a few worth noting:

>> Miller said legislation paving the way for proposed fee increases recently passed out of committee by an 8-2 vote.

“We will pursue fees to help the situation at the agency,” Miller said. “I think if we can assure legislators the funds aren’t going to be swept and are going to stay in the agency ... I think we can get fees passed.”

One measure DNR is not pursuing is the creation of a parking fee to visit state parks.

>> Conservation Congress is returning in an altered form. To save time and money, the lengthy process of old is being boiled down to committee meetings and then a summit Oct. 24-25 in Springfield.

Committees are meeting to discuss three issues: 1. youth recruitment and retention, 2. public access, 3. funding. Meetings started this week and include a discussion on funding chaired by Yates City resident Claudia Emken this Thursday at 5 p.m. at DNR headquarters.

The public is welcome to comment on proposals. Visit dnr.state.il.us/nrab/cc.htm to learn more.

>> A controversial dam safety bill has been tabled, meaning anglers can continue to legally fish at the Bernadotte dam. Look for a revised rule change that may or may not impact the Bernadotte dam.

“I’m looking forward to working on something that will balance public safety and recreation,” Miller said.

>> The state capital budget includes $40 million for dam safety work. Miller said some of that will be spent to remove an as-yet-undetermined dam.

“Dam removal is actually cheaper than dam modification,” he said.

>> Duck dates should be out this week. Check Friday’s column for details.

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