Worst tax is on belief in DNR

April 28, 2008 at 06:28 AM

In between articles about catching fish, Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times has done a good (though sad) job in recent weeks detailing Gov. Blagojevich’s dismantling of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

His latest column on this subject may be his best and focuses on the way Blagojevich has made hunters and anglers lose faith in the DNR. Click here to read the entire column. Writes Bowman:

Loss of trust and faith might be the ultimate cost of Gov. Blagojevich’s tenure-long assault on Illinois outdoors.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been gathering documentation of the consequences of Blagojevich’s cutting of the Department of Natural Resources (we’ll get to long-term impact at specific sites in coming Sundays), but what comes through more sharply than the actual cuts in money, manpower and moxie is the toll on belief.

Ultimately and quickly, that translates into a loss of dollars and a loss of outdoor opportunity in a state where expenditures on hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing top $2 billion annually.

Faith and trust are not things easily regained, and sometimes they never are.

That’s a point worth pondering long and hard. Sure, hunters and anglers would pay more to pursue their passions in Illinois? But are we willing to pay more to this administration, knowing that the money will likely end up being used for another purpose? Not really. Will we ever be? Let’s hope so.