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Jeff Lampe
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

Talking turkey about Marc Miller

February 05, 2009 at 10:32 PM

Business as usual. That’s the quote some folks have been tossing out today in Internet posts about Marc Miller’s appointment to run the Department of Natural Resources.

Here’s are two, small words to let you know why I say that’s not the case. Turkey biologist.

That’s right, Miller mentioned the position of Illinois turkey biologist during a brief interview today after he was announced to the press at the State Capitol.

Here’s the direct context of the quote. Said Miller, “Being a natural resource professional is important to this agency. And whether it’s going hunting, going fishing, taking water samples, being a turkey biologist all those things are important.”


Turkey biologist?

Why does that matter?

Because Illinois does not have a turkey biologist right now and has not had one since Jerry Garver retired in 2003. That despite the fact turkey hunting is the fastest growing form of hunting. That despite the fact that we could be selling many more turkey permits if we had a biologist with the time to oversee the turkey program. Selling more permits will generate revenue. Probably more than enough revenue to pay for a turkey biologist. Makes sense, right? Not to the past few DNR directors, obviously.

Sure the position of turkey biologist is not the most important challenge facing Miller.

But the important thing to note here is that Miller is at least aware of the situation. “That’s one of the things that I’m concerned about, is that we are missing very key components of the mission.”

He gets it. He sees the problems. And that folks, is definitely not business as usual.

No way did Joel Brunsvold get it. No way did Sam Flood get it. And no way did Kurt Granberg get it.

I’m not even sure any of them knew the position was open. Or cared.

Miller does. Whether he can do anything about it remains to be seen. These are tough times. But at least he’s very aware of some of the specifics of the problems facing DNR. And he has a boss who genuinely seems to care.

And that’s not business as usual—at least not the business we’ve grown accustomed to in the past six years.




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