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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


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Anonymous letter about DNR’s plight

January 07, 2009 at 05:55 PM

I received an anonymous letter this morning with a return address that read: One DNR Way, Springfield IL.

Here’s the letter (with paragraph breaks added), which touts Brent Manning (without naming him) as the answer to the problems currently plaguing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Dear People of the Outdoors,

My name is already known to you because we work and play together at many outdoor areas! You see me but you don’t know me. I am the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and I am dying. I was once a functional, proud, caring and driven department, but now I am dying. My death is like the old saying goes, “Death by a thousand cuts” because I am bleeding, and it is a slow painful death.

I have lost fishing programs here and there, my budget is cut every year, they close some parks, decrease staff for programs, but yet I still try to serve you. The governor is stealing money from me every year and no one balks or challenges him. Oh, it doesn’t look like it, but I am on the verge of death, but yet you believe I am functional.

In the past I have been your advocate when you wanted money, new programs, or changes, but now when I need you, you sit on your hands and your tongue is silent. You point the finger of blame on who is at fault, but you do nothing to rally the outdoor community to stop the bleeding. Where are all the people that use my services and land? Why haven’t you come to save me? I keep hearing the question, “What can I do?” And I will tell you one option not to use, and that is to do nothing.

There is only one man that can save me now, and you know his name. You will not have to train him for he already knows about the department. He served the DNR for 12 years. He knows your needs, your wants and your desires to save me. If something positive is not done, my death will be soon and your outdoor opportunity will be void. You have a small chance to stop the bleeding, but you will have to work together “to get it done.”

What do you want your legacy to be concerning our state natural resources?



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