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Print

Time not here to raise license fees

October 29, 2009 at 09:52 PM

Conservation-minded folks gathered last weekend in Springfield and came to an obvious conclusion: We need stable funding for conservation in Illinois.

Few can argue that the long-term savior of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is some form of dedicated funding that’s safe from greedy governors.

But participants in the reborn Conservation Congress also came to a conclusion that to me is not so obvious. Among their recommendations after two days of meetings was support for increasing the cost of hunting and fishing licenses and some hunting permits.

In the days since, that message has been trumpeted by the Department of Natural Resources in a last-ditch effort to generate legislative approval during this week’s veto session.

Personally, I expect and hope the increases will fail.

Yes, this is a flip-flop. When license increases were first proposed, I backed them. My thinking then was that DNR was suffering and desperately needed help. That’s still true. But raising a few fees is just a band-aid on a bullet wound. Maybe things have to get even worse before they can get better.

Part of the appeal of last summer’s proposal was that it included creative ways to spread the funding burden. There was discussion of creating a parking fee to use state parks. An equestrian fee. Swimming fees.

DNR Director Marc Miller said on Monday that new user fees are no longer on the table. Instead, Senate Bill 1846 asks for more from those who already keep DNR afloat. The bill would up deer permits from $15 to $25, increase the waterfowl stamp from $10 to $15 and raise hunting licenses by $5 and fishing licenses by $2.

In outlining the plan, Miller noted deer permits were last increased 25 years ago and waterfowl stamps have been unchanged since 1990.

So what. Tell me, when was the last increase in the birdwatcher stamp? Never. There’s no such thing.

When is the last time equestrians paid to ride trails on state land?

And don’t use the argument that they are taxpayers so they are already paying. Hunters and anglers pay taxes, too. On top of that they’ve basically bankrolled conservation since the days of Theodore Roosevelt.

Now they are being asked to pay even more. I say not so fast.

You want support for fee increases? Be specific about how money will be used. Why should we pay more? Who will be hired? What land will be purchased? How will access be increased?

We all heard vague promises when non-resident deer permit fees were increased. Does anyone know where that money and those promises have gone?
Miller talks often about restoring faith in the DNR. He’s done plenty towards that end in a relatively short period of time. But in this case he has not outlined enough specifics.

You want support for license fee increases? Get rid of a few deputy directors and middle-management appointees and hire biologists and front-line staff.

You want support for license fee increases? Find a way to make non-consumptive users pay.

And don’t tell me it’s politically impossible to create new fees. If that’s true, then it should be equally impossible to raise fees on hunters and anglers.

With that in mind, here’s a suggestion: work toward the creation of a parking fee at state parks. But not as previously proposed. Instead, give free parking permits to anyone in Illinois who buys a hunting or fishing license. Have the computer print a piece of paper that license purchasers can place on their dashboard. Those who don’t buy licenses must pay for the same piece of paper to utilize state land.

A simple plan like this would tap into non-traditional sources of funding and would increase the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. That’s when I would start talking about raising the price of hunting and fishing licenses.

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

Amen, I have to agree all this would feel better if we were being met halfway in all this.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/29 at 11:58 PM

Great article Jeff,I hope we all get the answers to the questions you have put forth in this article.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 04:45 AM

I have never agreed with a fee increase on hunters and fishermen. Until all the money that is raised from license is kept by the DNR and all the park fees stay with the park, I see no need to raise the fees. The money is there it just get siphoned off to the general fund. Never to be seen again.

Posted by carpsniper on 10/30 at 07:27 AM

Here. I’ll solve the whole problem for them. DNR/IL. Farm Bureau/The good politicians of this state/ ALL wanted unlimited N/R deer permits and got them. And blow the cash! Now we have DNR advisory boards dealing with RESIDENT access problems and Youth recruitment problems BECAUSE of what they did. So here you go- There is now literaly hundreds of thousands/perhaps millions of acres in Illinois, leased up to Outfitters, and in direct leased to N/R hunters-2/3rds of Pike County alone! TAX those landowners bringing in up to $80 per acre-“averaging $30-$40- $10 PER ACRE LEASED!Dedicate it! It’s all profit- they could afford it! Someone get some Balls and do something right for once- Let Nancy and the Farm Bureau reading this spit their coffee outin their lap! Who Cares!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 09:13 AM

Good article Jeff, and I agree 100%. I an in favor of raising fees if the result is a healthy well funded DNR, but as logs as our politicians are lurking in the shadows waiting to raid any increaded revenue as if it were a priveledge tax, I say HELL NO!
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We either need a stipulated sales tax percentage, or a legislated formula of matching state dollars to funds raised by the sporting community that can’t be raided.

Posted by Henry Holt on 10/30 at 09:21 AM

That sounds good to me Tim, tax the p!ss it of SOMEONE ELSE for a change!!!!

Posted by Henry Holt on 10/30 at 09:26 AM

$25 to shoot a doe! Southern Illinois is already covered up with them now. Just think what will happen after you try that experment.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:09 AM

Terrible article Jeff.  Whining about there not being a fee on bird-watching?  Give me a break.  I don’t hunt (but would love to), but I fish and I would have no problem paying 2 dollars more if it was for a good cause.  This article reminds me of the biggest problem I have with the state of the electorate.  Everyone wants stuff but nobody wants to pay.  That attitude contributes to our woes almost as much as the ineptitude of state gov’t.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:42 AM

The answer to every problem cannot be “more money.”  I want to see some serious cuts in IL expenditures before I support one more dime of increasing the state income - Even if that means my sliting my own throat by defunding my cherished uplands.
Will we be surprised if this isn’t enough money and they want more next year?  Time to call the bluff on these clowns.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:55 AM

Name the cuts MrDrysdale.  Caveat - All of the cuts can’t be to the detriment of others.  You have to swallow some too.  How about less road funding for your area?  Fewer police officers?  Cuts to education in your area?  Close your community college?  Close NIU, EIU, SIU, WIU and just have U of I?
I am not opposed to cuts, the problem is that people want to cut other peoples stuff and not their own.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:58 AM

I don’t think Jeff was totally againest Fee increases and neither am I. It would be nice if other people who use our Natural Resources would contribute. Other states have parking fees when you go to a State Park. The other thing… just throwing more money at a problem won’t make it go away. There needs to be a plan in place that is “transparent” for the public to see where that money is going.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 11:04 AM

Spicoli you missed the point entirely.  What Jeff is saying is why should hunters and fishermen foot the entire bill for any additional funds the DNR is trying to generate.  Regarding your comment about everyone wanting stuff but not wanting to pay for it, I don’t think most people would mind the fee increases if they saw results.  Compared to neighboring states, we don’t get near the bang for the buck (no pun intended).  Giving additional funds to a state that has continuously misappropriated funds and expecting them to spend it responsibly, is akin to giving an irresponsible 16 year old a brand new car with the hope that it teaches him or her to be responsible.  Show us responsibility and there wouldn’t be such opposition to fee increases.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 11:15 AM

I am for parking fees as well.  Michigan and Wisconsin have them and their parks are much, much nicer.  I see the point mafitz, although I see that what I have said can be interpreted that way.  I just believe that you get what you pay for and politicians are a reflection of society at large.  Regular people usually don’t want to make tough choices any more than politicians do.  We have become a society based on services.  What services can we live without if people don’t want to pay for them?  I think that is a very honest question that is equally difficult to answer.  I for one want a better State Park System and I am willing to pay for it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 12:35 PM

Spicoli you want cuts? what about the millions in grant money going to national labratories, what about the 15-17 million we are paying to up grade a private office building that leases office space. Just these cuts alone are 45 million, now how much will these fee increases bring in?
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You see the money is not going to only schools and police and I find it odd that non profit organizations can get left out while the state is investing millions in privatly owned office space.
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I’m sure I’ll hear that money is from dedicated funds and has to be used for those grants, well so are the DNR funds that get swept and are subject to charge backs ect.. So now my question is how do we get the DNR funds under the same protections.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 12:38 PM

This is terrible. I thought the big money that non-residents and outfitters pay was going to cover the funding problem. Now we have limited land to hunt with outfitting and non-residents, but we still have funding problems. What happened to all that money from non-resident tags? I’ve lost entire farms to hunt from non-resident leasing. Now I have to pay more to hunt the limited land availble in Illinois!!!  This is CRAZY!!!!
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How about charge non-residents $2,000 to hunt Illinois and charge outfitters a $10,000 outfitters license. Why should my DNR money go to funding a sport that is becoming to expensive for the common man?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 02:05 PM

Welcome back from the dark side Lampe.
Spicoli there’s plenty of pork out there to cut and some of those colleges mentioned might be a good place to start. I’ve supported the IDNR for many years with hunting & fishing licenses and have watched the IDNR morph into a playground for the preservationist / environmentalist / special interest groups. I can’t even back a dedicated tax until the IDNR gets back to more traditional outdoor management

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 02:57 PM

Captain bill-  Unless a random sample is taken across the entire state, the fact that 71 percent want more money wasted doesnt matter one bit.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 03:40 PM

Thanks Lungbuster.  Very friendly of you to name call.  I made valid points and so did the others that disagree with me.  I hope that more civil discourse can prevail.  No problem will ever be solved by extremism on either side.  Yes, it p’s me off when money gets wasted or when pols pander to certain groups like Blago did with the free public trans. rides for seniors.  Time To Go, I am interested in what you said about special groups taking over the parks.  What has happened that brings you to that conclusion?  Also, the term special interest group should be banned.  It is just code for “someone who doesn’t agree with me”.  Some non-outdoors folk would call hunters/fishermen a special interest group.  In conclusion, it’s cool to disagree.  That’s American and what free speech is about.  I don’t think it’s about name calling although that is certainly protected and is your right Lungbuster.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 03:49 PM

I think he is reporting the facts here Captain the date on this story is the 29th and Miller said on monday which would be the 26th that the extra fees are off the table. SB 1846 only deals with stamps, licenses and permits.
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The other fees such as user fees, equestrian and swimming fees could be put in place by the DNR administration. Sorry but it seems someone has a little more up to date info from the DNR, but if it makes you feel better SB 1846 passed both houses.
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I hope in the future people see that closing the parks is a scare tatic, the state would end up owing millions to the federal gov if they did it. Why do you all think they were reopened in the first place.
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Captain I’m sure you have good intentions, but you seem to be running on ideals suggesting these fees will stay in the DNR and do some good, even when shown funds are still being swept. I have just one question.
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Do you honestly believe the state will allow the DNR to grow while the rest of the state goes bankrupt?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 04:46 PM

No your just not getting it Captain they do not need any new bills to put those fees into place. This is taken from the DNR website
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“Other fees that can be implemented with only a change in Administrative Rules are under
consideration. They include a $5 daily fee to park in the State Parks ($25 annual, $35 for out of
state residents), an expansion of the Department’s swimming fee to additional beaches, and new
fees for equestrian trail use, public boat launch use, and passing $1.09 convenience fee for use of
the automated Point of Sale license purchase system on to the buyer.” So you still swear they are drafting anouther bill to run through the general assembly?
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Sure Blago closed the parks, but was I the only one that read the state had to pay back the feds millions for any construction in those parks that used federal money if they were not open?
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How much more proof do you need, when Blago was removed we all heard how the special funds should not be swept, yet it happened again this year. What you didn’t hunt waterfowl this year? Do you believe they are writing a new bill to protect funds? Why do they need a bill to do that can’t they just leave the money for its purpose?
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Surely you as a fee increase supporter must understand that should less people buy licenses, stamps and permits that we can not accomplish our goals for the DNR. Less people buying at the higher price means the same or even less money coming in. Just fewer people paying more, which is counter productive to increasing participation and raising revenue.
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For someone that represents us like you say, you seem to be a bit out of touch with what people are saying, so I think I’ll have to pass on your future help.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 07:10 PM

Nice to see Mr Lampe is seeing the other side of Miller and company and for those who have been fooled by him will soon see that Miller is nothing more than a political pawn of Governor Quinn. 

I also was one that said I would not mind a fee increase as long as the money was dedicated to the IDNR.  I am also flip-flopping on this as we can see how money is being spent at this point.  A deputy director for $120,000 a year. Why should the hunters and fishermen of Illinois absorb all the burden? 

Its time we all take a look at our elected officials and see if they are truly working for us or themselves. This is our state!!!!  Not Quinns and the rest of the clowns in the circus. 

Capt Bill, I appreciate you going and standing up for us, (the average guy) but Im sorry there isn’t one person in Springfield that gives a damn about the regular joes of Illinois.  As far as I am concerned the system is broke and the conservation congress and all Miller’s BS aint gonna fix squat.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 09:47 PM

Well perhaps maybe the DNR can learn something from MO. Hmm down there I buy one permit for each kid its good for all the gun seasons till its filled, not to mention it is only 8.50 a kid there vs 25 a kid here if they want to hunt shotgun or muzzle loader season.
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Lol plan on doing some of the hunting on public land there, shorter drive time to get to the public stuff and there is a lot of it. Oh and maybe read the posts I don’t see many wanting more fees.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 09:57 PM

Captain, get over yourself.  Not sure what you have against “organizations”, but some of us have been sticking up for the little guy in Springfield for years.  It ticks me off when people think they can do a better job just because they aren’t members of an organization.  Or they think that just because you ARE a member of an organization that you have some kind of hidden private agenda.
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As for the skepticism, after you’ve been bent over time after time after time, you get a little gun shy and mistrustful.  Has nothing to do with Marc Miller or other folks with DNR.  It has more to do with the whole politically-driven system.
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Not sure who’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but I’ve never seen a bill to prevent fund sweeping.  That’s been going on for some time.  There’s hundreds of funds that have been robbed in the past 5 years.  And there were already laws in place to keep politicians from stealing money like they did last year. Funny thing is… the very fact that a dedicated fund gets created, means that a statute exists that earmarks specific revenues to go into a specific funds to be used for specific purposes.  They blew all of that when they chose to steal those funds.  They just got caught when a couple of fund sweeps were going to cost them a bundle of money from the feds.
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Give us the bill number for the other fee increases.  Why would they not have been included in this one while they had the statute open?  Why?  Because there is no other bill.  The fall veto session ended today, so no more legislation will be introduced until spring.  Those spring bills usually don’t make it through until summer at best.  It will be too late by then to implement anything.
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Finally, I agree with someone else.  The state is STILL $11 billion or so in debt.  Does anyone really believe that the DNR will get to keep that new money or increase its budget next year?  We don’t need guarantees about sweeping funds.  If this is licenses and permits, it will go into the wildlife and fish fund.  All the GA needs to do is reduce the amount of appropriations to the DNR next year, and poof… that money is gone without sweeping funds.  My concern is that the money would actually be gone (via reduced appropriations) before the DNR even has a chance to collect any money with the new fees.  Until the DNR becomes fully self-sufficient with dedicated funding, all these new fees are in danger of being robbed since the GA can just reduce DNR appropriations the following year.
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And as far as the survey… I wonder if all those who support the fee increases would be so positive if they knew there was a good chance that the funds could get taken away in the blink of an eye… or if they knew that hunters and fishermen would be the only ones footing the bill again.  We all agree we should pay our fair share, but we’ve also all been bent over before while the politicians took it all away.  So forgive us if we approach this with a little bit of caution.

Posted by KC-IBS on 10/30 at 10:02 PM

I’m curious here.  The only deer permit that is $15 is the firearm deer permit.  Does that mean the Senate Bill is targeting only firearm deer permits while leaving archery deer permits the same?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:21 PM

Spicoli, I’ll tell you where the cuts should occur.
Amend the legislation that guarantees the outrageous pensions that our crooked politicians recieve after leaving office, and we taxpayers shoulder.
Kurt Granberg…rot in hell.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 10:59 PM

Capt Bill

How hard is it for you to understand that the majority don’t want a single dime increased on licenses until a system is put in place to assure that A) it won’t be raided fro other pet projects or whatever, and B) that any increases in fees are not offset by a corresponding cut to the DNR budget? Do you ever listen, or do you just keep regurgitating the same crap over and over again? And just exactly who on god’s green earth are you claiming to represent that wants fee increases on everything? You sound like a dyed in the wool Chicago liberal, every bit as much as Spicoli. Fire all the park staff, leave the parks open for hunting, lay off fireman, lay off police (hell they don’t do anything in my town anyways but pull people over for going 10 mph over the limit), lay off teachers, quit building roads (they fix them every 5 yrs anyways), just cut every damn thing there is to cut. THEN maybe people will demand solutions to one bid construction contracts, putting fat political and education hogs out to pasture for 3 yrs so they can increase their pension by 50%, and all the other non nonsensical waste like planting flowers in the median strips (thanks Potty mouth Patty), making sure their is a sign every 10 ft on the tollway telling us who is governor, allowing all our elected officials a budget to hire relatives working in their office for mid to upper 5 figures even though its dubious they put in 1 full days work a week (wonderful to hire your niece or wife for 65K to check messages once a week), of god where to stop with all the insane ways or dear leaders fleece the taxpayers (who are a dwindling majority). Fix those problems, then raise the damn license fees by 50%!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 11:33 PM

SJ that is a good question here is the part of the bill covering that.
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“The fee for a Deer Hunting Permit to take deer with either bow and arrow or gun shall not exceed $25.00 for residents of the State.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30 at 11:41 PM

Gosh reddog, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel! Honestly, you hit the nail on the head. Who would be willing to give up a year of hunting to send a message? What would happen if those 30% that don’t want a fee increase didn’t hunt or fish for a year, or spent their outdoor dollars in the closest neighboring state. If fee increases keep going up, eventually it will be cheaper to hunt in another state. It may also be easier to find a place to hunt if all those out of staters are coming here. I’m sure Missouri or Indiana would love to have even a small percentage of the money Illinoisans spend on the outdoors. Now this is just an idea that was floating around in my head, it may even have a negative impact if it actually happened. But I’m sure somebody would notice come mid September when sales are down 30%,, not just the state government, because if your not hunting or fishing(in Illinois) your not buying gas, your not buying any gear, just think of the little stuff you buy through out the year that you wouldn’t buy if you didn’t hunt or fish. The insurance companies might also be a little upset. There’d be so many damn deer come spring, the sharpshooter would be working double overtime. And where will they get the money to pay him? Not from the 30%!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 12:04 AM

Ok Captain here you go from HB 312 Construction spending bill.
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The sum of $17,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the Build Illinois Bond Fund to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a grant to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for the Illinois Accelerator Research Center.
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Want more good
The sum of $13,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the Build Illinois Bond Fund to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a grant to Argonne National Laboratory for the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility.
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The sum of $13,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary and remains unexpended at the close of business on June 30, 2009, from a reappropriation heretofore made in Article 31, Section 45 of Public Act 95-734, is reappropriated from the Build Illinois Bond Fund to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a grant to the Argonne National Laboratory for the Rare Isotope Accelerator for bondable infrastructure improvements. This appropriated amount shall be in addition to any other appropriated amounts which can be expended for.
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Section 35. The amount of $15,000,000, or so much
thereof as may be necessary and remains unexpended at the close of business on June 30, 2009, from an appropriation heretofore made in Article 31, Section 95 of Public Act 95- 734, is reappropriated from the Build Illinois Bond Fund to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a grant for the Illinois Science and Technology Park.
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You see captain all these promises yet not one grant from the build Illinois initiative? Shouldn’t conservation of natural resources be a part of this, couldn’t State parks use upgrades? I’m sure there are more examples of how money could be put to better use, I just think you choose not to see it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 12:18 AM

I have been hunting and fishing for a long long time now and really for the life of me I can’t think of what the DNR ever did for me but ck. in the deer I shot and gave me a Pin. Now should they raise the fees or not.With so many people out of work now I can’t belive they are even thinking of doin it. But thats the mind set of Springfield Let em eat cake! I’m still waiting for the mushroom stamp, it’s comming next.What’s so funny some people are willing to pay more for less. So if they raise the fees I’ll pay because I love the sport but I’ll be dammed if I’ll be happy about it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 09:24 AM

Capt Bill here is my suggestion.  Close the state parks. Im tired of footing the bill. We have bailed out wall street, banks and the automotive industry.  Now we are gonna bail out the state with tax increases.  I don’t know about you but some of us out here in the real world are struggling to get by.  Some of us can’t afford an increase in permit fees, license fees, etc, etc.  Alot of other states have done this and they have priced your average joe right out of hunting and now its only a rich mans sport.  Its time our elected officials look real hard at cutting back on THEIR BS. Quinn wants us all to pay more taxes and for what.  So some lazy ass can sit at home and suck up some more cash from the state.  Here is another example of a waste of the states money.  Mike Conlin retires so we hire an assistant deputy director for $120,000 plus a year whom is supposedly filling his position too.  I say screw the assistant deputy director and promote someone within the DNR to fill Conlin’s job. We don’t need another political wrangler sucking up more of our states money.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 09:25 AM

Does anyone have any idea of how much money hunters, fishermen and campers put into the DNR vs what comes out in salaries and park maintenance in parks?  Seems to me this is just a simple business decision based on facts.  If we are getting short changed for the money we put in - END OF STORY.  Then I say no fee increases.  If DNR operates in a deficit, well then maybe we should look to higher/additional fees.  I think it is just that simple.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 09:40 AM

Time To Go, I am interested in what you said about special groups taking over the parks.  What has happened that brings you to that conclusion?  Also, the term special interest group should be banned.  It is just code for “someone who doesn’t agree with me”.  Some non-outdoors folk would call hunters/fishermen a special interest group.                                                                      Spicoli I don’t think the words need to be banned, just some of these groups or they can fund their outdoor activities themselves as the more traditional outdoors folks have done for years. But they can’t fund it themselves so they “ partner “ up with other groups and lobby the politicians who are more than happy to buy more votes with our tax dollars and increased fees. These tax, license and fee increases just because another state does it just isn’t a sound enough reason for me.
I’ll keep my hard earned money and take it out of state because I’m tired of paying for every tom, dick & harry’s pet project that comes down the pike, enough is enough.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 09:59 AM

Well long spur I wasn’t aware conservation and parks were only for hunters, fishermen and campers.
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This is exactly why people are against theese fee increases, the dnr does a lot more than those things, but only go after, just like in this case hunting and fishing to foot the bill.
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Yes the DNR is in a deficit,not many will say they don’t need more, people are saying they need to prove themselves. Since its bussines would you hire a new employee for 120k? Or since the DNR is funded partly with money from the general revenue fund any new fees will most likley reduce the amount the DNR recieves from the grf next year, forcing more of the burden on guess who. This has been done before. Then you have fund sweeps, so you see its not that simple of a bussines decision.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 10:20 AM

It’s a shame that other states who operate on much less revenue, are able to provide excellent hunting opportunities to the public. Illinois generates much more annual revenue than many of its neighboring states thus falls short of providing decent public access for the very people who fund the DNR. I also believe that it’s time for the IDNR to lay out a detailed and articulate game plan for all to study before we give another dime to this department. With that being said, I don’t believe any native Illinoisan would have any issues with the proposed fee increases, as long as they are justified.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 10/31 at 12:33 PM

Perfectly stated Marc Anthony. Why isn’t anyone bringing up the fact that Illinois is one of the wealthiest states in the country, but can’t afford to provide decent hunting opportunities for the common man. How can much poorer states such as Missouri and Kentucky run DNR agencies without such problems and have plenty of public land that isn’t overhunted?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/01 at 08:09 AM

Some great points. But stop and think about all the money we have all given the dnr for conservation of wildlife,that is on private land that we cant’t acsess.But almost every farmer/landowner is cashing our tax dollars in farm subsides to subsides their income.And then want us all to pay more to hunt.All the dnr is doing is cashing our checks and part of that money is probably going to the farmers in subsides.the landowners are just as bad as the dnr.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/01 at 10:16 AM

I say raise the fees. Compared to all the rest of my hunting and fishing gear and accessories; the licenses, stamps, etc. are the cheapest things I buy.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 07:52 AM

Claydawg, close to 70% of Illinois deer hunters hunt on private land they do not own, so I’m not sure what you mean by “we can’t access”.
....
Yes, money does go to private landowners from the DNR, but not in the form of subsidies. That’s rediculous. It goes towards conservation and habitat improvements. If you were one of the 70% hunting on private land you’d appreciate that.
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Truth is, more DNR money is spent on public land, even though acre for acre there is very little public land in Illinois, and far fewer deer hunters use it. Truth is, for all intents and purposes wildlife is in the hands of private landowners in this state, and encougaging/teaching them to be good stewards of the land benefits ALL Illinois residents.

Posted by Henry Holt on 11/02 at 09:45 AM

I have a simple fix if the DNR need more money.  Raise prices on non-resident hunting licenses and deer permits and charge outfitters a greater fee to operate in this state.  If you love to deer hunt like I do, you’re probably not a big fan of outfitters whoring our deer herd out and advertising that there’s a Booner behind every tree in Illinois.  This is truly the best state to live in if you’re a deer hunter and the good ol’ days are right now!  So far, we, the deer hunters and the IL DNR have done the right thing, that’s why we’re a trophy state.  Everyone coming here from coast to coast to kill deer can only ruin a very good thing.  Add to the non-resident and outfitter prices and you’ll eliminate some of the problem while increasing the DNR’s income.  Simple and it would work.  Illinois needs to stop raping its own and make some of the money from across state lines.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 11:28 AM

Henry, where are the 70% in my county fulton probably 50 of that is leased .and more gets leased up every year.You can’t educate people who are only seeing dollar signs.the ones i no half could care less about the herd or kids involved in hunting.It has to stop or hunting as we no it will just get worse,then the gov will have to step in and control all of it.meaning the deer herd.i agree raise fees only on outfitters..this is hurting every game speices not just deer.and i don’t care what anyone says the landowners are controling the wildlife in illinois. And it is their land but when they are using my and everyone elses tax dollars in subsides to keep it then thats when i have a big problem with it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 11:52 AM

Jeff:  You forgot to start collect Bike license fees and tax sales of bike related gear andaccessories (all of this will be solved).

In addition, I propose, anyone who has a Sporting Series Vanity License Plate should be able to enter state parks for FREE.  (since the additional money is “supposed” to go to help preserve our state parks)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 12:57 PM

EDIT

Jeff:  You forgot to start collecting Bike license fees and tax sales of bike related gear and accessories (all of the DNR issues will be solved).

In addition, I propose, anyone who has a Sporting Series Vanity License Plate should be able to enter state parks for FREE.  (since the additional money is “supposed” to go to help preserve our state parks)

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

Deer permits have not gone up in price?  Before the DNR came out with the combo archery permits, I thought that an individual archery tag was $10?  Maybe I’m wrong. 
Anyhow - raise permit prices and you will have people doing what I did for the first time this season ever since the combo tags came out.  I USED to buy two sets of combo tags, just in case I was fortunate enough to either kill two does or two bucks while on stand (I’ve done both in years past).  Well, this year I just bought one combo tag and will take my chances or let that second doe keep walking by (how’s that for helping the deer population).  So, you just go ahead and raise permit prices and I’m sure others will do the same, resulting in a DECREASE of monies to the DNR.  Again - it’s like the Post Office raising the price of postage on a decreasing number of users - an overall net loss. 

Hey Capt Kleim - you say you are there to represent “us”.  Your negative comment about people who hunt on privately owned land (or who owns land) tells me that you represent a very small number of hunters as 98% of the state land is privately owned,  So you represent less than 2% of the people - and you surely don’t speak for me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 04:30 PM

Personaly I can not sit here and blame land owners, people from out of state, or even outfitters. I have my opinions about these things and they are easy targets for our blame along with crp payments ect..
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The fact is there is land for sale in this state, google it and looking at fund balances on the comptrolers website, it would seem we should have seen something even if its a few new PHA areas.
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Instead all we are getting is more promises and a bigger bill. The bottom line is its our lawmakers doing bussiness as usual that we face these issues and until we fix that there is not much that will change.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 05:19 PM

I like what you say , but i dont mind paying more if i could get more ( hunting and fishing ) bird watchers,  people useing parks ,can all pay ther way

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 09:10 PM

Fee increases are inevitable, and in this case, necessary (in leu of massive program cuts, etc). My only concerns are (1) the state’s track record with keeping money in the DNR, and (2) an unbalanced approach towards “sportsmen” compared to other outdoor enthusiasts.
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It’s possible that these fee hikes will do nothing to increase DNR revenue if fewer people are able to hunt/fish. Let me rephrase - I mean fewer people actually buying hunting/fishing licenses.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/03 at 07:54 AM

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