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Illinois hunting and fishing

New Illinois governor Pat Quinn is shown here at the dedication of a 400-acre wetland near Spring Lake in Tazewell County in June of 2004.

New hope for Illinois outdoors?

January 30, 2009 at 05:00 PM

Quinn bio

Name: Patrick Quinn.

Age: 60; Dec. 16, 1948.

Home: Chicago

Family: Divorced, two children

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University; law degree from Northwestern University.

Experience: Became governor Jan. 29, 2009, after the Illinois Senate voted to remove his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich. Elected lieutenant governor in 2002 and 2006. State treasurer from 1991 to 1995. Served on the Cook County Board of (property tax) Appeals. Helped create the consumer watchdog group Citizens Utility Board and led other petition drives and consumer movements.

Quote: “Whatever position I had, whether it would be governor or some other position, if you can organize causes, I like doing that. I think that’s really actually more my interest in life than anything.”

Who will lead DNR?

Will Marc Miller be the next director of the Department of Natural Resources? Who is Marc Miller anyway? Click here to read more.

 

 

Closed parks will likely be reopened.

Direction of the Department of Natural Resources will be reviewed.

And $16 million in federal funding for conservation that hangs in limbo will be promptly addressed.

Those are among the reasons many members of Illinois’ conservation community are optimistic about Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn replacing Rod Blagojevich as governor.

“I think given Quinn’s past performance over the last six years conservation will finally have a friend in the governor’s office,” said Claudia Emken, associate director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Illinois. “That’s something we haven’t had in six years.

“Frankly, we the Conservancy and me personally feel like it’s a new direction and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Quinn has said he will immediately review the status of 11 state parks and 13 historic sites that were closed under Blagojevich last Nov. 30. Senior policy adviser Marc Miller said Quinn plans to open those parks and historic sites “as soon as possible.”

That type of advocacy is not lost on Eric Schenck, Illinois biologist for Ducks Unlimited.

“Quinn has taken genuine interest and leadership on the Illinois River Coordinating Council and has tried to set up something similar for the Mississippi River,” Schenck said.

As another example, Schenck noted Quinn’s appearance at the 2004 dedication of a restored 400-acre wetland near Spring Lake in Tazewell County.

“I just think he’s been much more responsive to downstate and to conservation issues,” Schenck said. “And in terms of conservation, we have nowhere to go but up. I hope we’ve hit rock bottom. At least with DNR’s situation.

In regards to the DNR, Quinn said he would “promptly review the DNR director’s position.” That may be bad news for former representative Kurt Granberg, whom Blagojevich appointed as DNR director on Jan. 16.

After Granberg’s appointment Quinn said, “We have had a long line of professional politicians in the DNR and the agency needs someone with a natural resources background. Someone who understands hunting, fishing, hiking, camping birdwatching and being a good steward of natural resources.”

Even so, Granberg said Quinn will be better for conservation and the DNR than was Blagojevich.

“Yes, without question,” Granberg said. “I always had a feeling Rod never really appreciated the usage of the state parks. And unfortunately I felt there was too much emphasis on Chicago.”

Quinn has also taken an active role in attempting to head off the possible loss of $16 million in federal funds for fish and wildlife projects. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will withhold money if Illinois does not restore $9.25 million to six funds that receive money from hunting and fishing licenses and related fees.

The deadline is Feb. 1. Quinn recently wrote to the USFWS seeking a 90-day extension to “finalize a remedy.”

The Illinois House and Senate have passed supplemental appropriation bills that have not year been sent to the governor’s office for a signature. Quinn (pictured below at a ceremony along Kickapoo Creek) has said he will sign the bill upon taking office.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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

I’m not holding my breath….. He has allot on his plate.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 05:22 PM

The proof will be “in the pudding”!  I am hopeful that the DNR will be back on track soon.  The first place they need to start is to read both Don Higgins article released this week, and Brent Manning’s article from a couple weeks back.  Both have many great ideas and our new director (if his appointment lasts), needs to get some action going fast.  1st on the agenda is to scrap the recommendations from the Task Force!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 05:27 PM

I agree, The task force needs too take a flying leap. Where did they find the morons too start with..????

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 05:46 PM

anything has to be a step up compared to what we just got rid of…...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 05:49 PM

The first step was getting Blagoevich out of office.  That is now done.  Gov Quinn has a lot on his plate.  I think things will improve at the IDNR.  It will take time.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 06:04 PM

Quinn promises to show a much needed improvement in attitude in the Governor’s office than Blago has shown for six years.
Certainly a much better advocate for the interests of outdoorsmen/women, and friend to the DNR.
I am very pleased to hear him speak of the DNR and our outdoor resources with a repsect and importance that was completely absent in Blago’s attitude.
We must have patience though.
Mr. Quinn has many tremendous challenges in front of him that encompass much more than outdoor issues, but at least the man recognizes that there ARE outdoor issues.
Lets not forget to support him down the road, as he has thus far been supportive of “us”, when he could easily have focused on many other issues with our states government.
HIP-HIP-HOORAY!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 06:17 PM

Its a great day in Illinois! Finally got the ass headed back to Chicago to stay. I just heard him on the news and he still loves each and every one off us. I think he was loving us while he was screwing all the DNR programs and closing our parks. Between shutting down parks to raising our camping fees. Wow with all the layoffs happening no one will be able to camp this summer. Lets hope Quinn gets things straightened out fast. We need a DNR director who know all aspect of the business.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/29 at 06:26 PM

If for whatever reason, Mr. Miller doesn’t get the IDNR Director’s job, Mrs. Emken, quoted above, would be a great choice.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/30 at 02:51 PM

?I always had a feeling Rod never really appreciated the usage of the state parks. And unfortunately I felt there was too much emphasis on Chicago.?

Do you think!!!!!!!!!

What was your first clue Mr. Grandberg?

The front-line workers who were laid off and replace with political hack managers, assistant directors, deputy directors and interns ?

Or maybe parks budgets slashed so badly that nothing has been repaired or replaced in the last 6 years? 

Or maybe the professional programs that were abandoned to pay for a money pit of a shooting complex?

You had a year to think about this apptment and all you can come up with is a golf trail?  Turn those golf courses into public hunting ground then I will be impressed.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/30 at 04:26 PM

One of the first things Gov Quinn said he was going to do was reopen those parks.  He seems to have a great appreciation of the outdoors.  He was grew up in Hinsdale and lives in Chicago.  It seems he really listens to people and cares.  But we, will see.

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

Governor Quinn may want to consider the following tasks that need to be implemented, IMHO, in order to save the IDNR.

1.  Fire Mr. Grandberg before he is approved by the Senate.  As the Rod Blagojevich quasi-appointee Director of IDNR, he was appointed by a disgraced ex-Governor to head an agency that was destroyed by the same ex-Governor over the past six years.  Also, clean-out the political appointees that have been part of the problem at IDNR for the past six years and replace them with qualified professional natural resource administrators.  Why would anyone want to subject this agency to more of the same?

2.  Appoint Mr. Marc Miller, his long time trusted advisor to the Director of the IDNR.  This would indicate to millions of sportsmen and sportswomen, naturalists, conservationists, hunters and fishermen, recreationalist, backpackers, and in general outdoor enthusiasts that we have a new Governor, with new ideas about the importance of our Illinois outdoors heritage.

3.  Re-open the Parks and Historic Sites closed by the Blago regieme, find the funds to fully fund the Conservation Law Enforcement field operations and order the CPO’s to immediately target deer poaching as a number one priority.

4.  Terminate the Deer Task Force Committee, thank them for their service, and destroy all suggestions, comments, and recommendations from that over-politicalized body and their special interest insurance/outfitter/farm bureau lobbyists contingent.  Aldo Leopold would roll over in his grave if he knew that the finest whitetailed deer herd in the United States was being set-up to be managed by vehicle/deer collision reports furnished by an insurance agency instead of sound wildlife management principals.

5.  Reconvene the Illinois Conservation Congress to provide much-needed public input into the decision making process at the IDNR.  It is time that all the stakeholders with an interest in the management of our natural resources in this State had an opportunity to voice their opinions and input at a public forum.  In the past six years, the only input to the Department came in a negative perspective in questionable leadership appointments, “pay to play” political appointments to management positions, special interest/lobbyists, and a State Legislature that was content in allowing the Governor to dismantle, siphon-off funding, and in general, destroy the Department.  Although culpable, Blagojevich was not the only destructive force working on the IDNR.

6.  Start the legal process working to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to be be taken out of the hands of partisan politicians, and set-up a Conservation Commission to oversee the IDNR.

If indeed, Governor Quinn, wants to see the IDNR restored to good health, and is interested in being elected Governor in two years, giving these suggestions some priority would go far in helping the Department and his future political career.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/01 at 04:50 AM

“4.  Terminate the Deer Task Force Committee, thank them for their service, and destroy all suggestions, comments, and recommendations from that over-politicalized body and their special interest insurance/outfitter/farm bureau lobbyists contingent.  Aldo Leopold would roll over in his grave if he knew that the finest whitetailed deer herd in the United States was being set-up to be managed by vehicle/deer collision reports furnished by an insurance agency instead of sound wildlife management principals.”

Amen to this…but thank them? Thanks…but no thanks. I’m still on wait and see.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/02 at 12:30 PM

A proud day for IL outdoorsmen!  This is who my vote would have been for.  Now, away with this shoddy “task force” and on to bigger and better things!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/02 at 01:09 PM

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