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Illinois sportsmen to DNR: Where’s our money?

November 02, 2010 at 04:48 PM

CHICAGO – The state Department of Natural Resources is misdirecting money from a tax paid by sportsmen to some expenses far from the intent of the federal law overseeing those funds, a new investigative report has found.

The Illinois Policy Institute looked closely at millions of dollars being spent in recent years under the Pittman-Robertson Act, which authorizes an 11 percent tax on guns, ammunition and fishing equipment to fund and promote sportsmen’s pursuits. Rather than using the money as intended, the Institute’s investigation revealed the DNR is funneling the funds to two state universities, who are studying foraging by mute swans and ways to better count ground squirrels. In addition, DNR also used the funds to convert paper documents into an electronic format, maintain websites and poll the public on policies and regulations. And that’s only a glimpse at the misguided spending. The agency provided only partial information from an open-records request by the Institute and then – along with Gov. Pat Quinn’s office – refused to explain and answer questions about the spending.

Several local and national sportsmen’s organizations told the Institute it’s clear the report confirms their suspicions and questions about misspending of these funds.

“The crime for me is that they’ve done this for years,” said Dr. David Pike, immediate-past president of the Champaign County Rifle Association. “This is not something recent, just happening now. They have a history of this. Those with oversight of these funds have been irresponsible.”

The Institute calls on the agency and administration to explain where the money is going and immediately fix the problematic decisions sending the funds in the wrong directions.

“Illinoisans are more frustrated than ever with officials who won’t spend their money as they intended. This is a great example of leadership gone awry. Sportsmen have agreed to invest through this dedicated tax because they believe in the programs that are supposed to be funded. Directing this money elsewhere is unacceptable, and so is refusing to explain why these bad decisions are being made,” said Lee Williams, investigative reporter with the Illinois Policy Institute who conducted the report.

Read the full report here.

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

Ya, but I want to know how many ground squirrels we have..doesn’t everybody?...InQuiry minds want to know….

This State needs an enema…voters/Sportsmen should be Pee-owed.  Hope things change with this election.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 06:23 PM

it won’t

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 07:37 PM

When you continue to let one part run a state you get what you get.  Corruption.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 07:51 PM

This state is an absolute joke when it comes to politics. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope everyone involved in this is sent to jail for a very long time, its time to make an example of these crooks. I wish we could let Chicago secede from the state, downstate would be so much better off without them.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/03 at 02:46 PM

It is clear that the state misspends money, they have for years and it is very clear to “downstaters” that Chicago is the seat of corruption in the sate of IL. When people are set in power it is expected of them to do the right thing and to be honest, we as a state should not place someone in power to deligate state funds for outdoors men if they are not an outdoors man them self. Please take into consideration that I am only a college student and have not been around the block as I am told, but it is extemly dishearting that the young hunters as well as the more seasoned hunters end up giving the state more money to help expand the knowledge of the outdoors and we learn of the number of squirrels. ok fine, I will say that seeing a lot of squirrels out of the deer stand is very frustating but to really care about them not so much. I am more worried about the deer population and the possible illnesses being spread around the state, or the waterfowl in the state of IL. let us put the money we spend on the outdoors to the outdoors for hunters and future hunters to enjoy. This election was a clear message that “downstaters” are feed up with Chicago back room polictics. I am not sure of the Gov. race but last time i checked Brady was only 8,000 behind with 96% reporting. weather he will make a differnce or not it is clear that the people of IL more over the outdoors man/women of IL have been mistreated and abused for their cometment to the outdoors and the paying of these higher taxes. I hope and pray for someone to stand up to the state power for the people who elected them and we as outdoors man/women of IL must hope the new change of power will lend a helping hand and guiding light for the future of the outdoors for IL.

Posted by menardhunter72 on 11/03 at 08:51 PM

this story should have run a month ago so we could have researched more before the election oh well maybe that was the intent?,Snags you are right on target just the tip of it, do you guys know how many miles of bike trails we hunters and fisherman have paid for in this state ?its ok to use our money for those who pay nothing to the state for there recreation[bicyclelist]to use our property id go along with it if we could ride our quads on it but no get ready for a fine if ya do that!if it means anything snowmachines can use em in winter so i guess thats supposed to make it fair for everyone right? kinda makes ya wonder where that extra 10 bucks for deer tags goes that was gonna go back to the dnr huh?

Posted by trolloni on 11/03 at 10:00 PM

Wow. A press release put out the day of the election by a right wing political group is being passed off as news by Prairie State Outdoors. I think the class may have left this place too. See ya!

Posted by illin on 11/04 at 09:24 AM

The full report is an interesting read. I don?t think most of us are surprised that money is not being spent for what it was intended for. Along with the swans and squirrels this was in the full report.
Stacy Lischka is a ?human dimensions program specialist? working for the University of Illinois in Champaign, although she lives in Canada.

According to the documents obtained by the Institute, Lischka, who is listed as ?principal investigator? on two contracts, received more than $750,000 ?to determine attitudes of hunters, trappers and other stakeholders likely to affect wildlife population.?

?We try to learn how sportsmen feel about potential changes to regulations or access programs, and programs the DNR is thinking about doing,? she told the Illinois Policy Institute. ?Generally, we try to track people?s opinions and satisfaction with regulations, and with potential changes to the regulations.?

Asked why she needed more than $750,000 for the study, Lischka said most went for postage.

?Mailing costs are expensive,? she said. ?The dollars and cents of it come down to doing the survey and receiving it back.?
Well sportsmen how do you feel about just being ripped off 750.000? Traditional sportsmen seem to be irrelevant except for the dollars we cough up to fund the academic community. illini you should have read the dates, the press release was 10/28/10 and posted on PSO on 11/2/10 at 5:48 pm. What time do polls close? Conspiracy theory DOA. See ya.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/04 at 11:40 AM

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