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OUTDOOR ILLINOIS is published monthly by the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Public Services, 524 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701-1787, phone (217) 782-7454, e-mail

(Publication number: ISSN 1072-7175)
Periodical Postage Paid at Springfield, IL POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OUTDOOR ILLINOIS, Department of Natural Resources, Dept. NL, 524 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701-1787.

George H. Ryan    Governor
Brent Manning    Director
James D. Garner    Deputy Director
Jim Riemer, Jr.    Deputy Director

STAFF: James L. Fulgenzi, office director; Gary Thomas, editor; Liz Pensoneau, managing editor; John Allen, staff writer; P.J. Perea, staff writer; Adele Hodde, chief photographer; Chas. J. Dees, staff photographer; Charles J. Copley, design & layout; Cheryl Gwinn, production coordinator; Vera Lynn Smith, circulation.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Internet Address:

Staff-written material appearing in this publication may be reprinted without permission, provided that OUTDOOR ILLINOIS, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is acknowledged as the source. OUTDOOR ILLINOIS assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or illustrations.

Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source's civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, DNR, 524 S. Second, Springfield, IL 62701-1787; 217/785-0067; TTY 217/782-9175.

All public meetings conducted by the Department of Natural Resources will be accessible to handicapped individuals in compliance with Executive Order No. 5 and pertinent state and federal laws, upon notification of the anticipated attendance. Handicapped persons planning to attend and needing special accommodations should inform the Department of Natural Resources at least five days prior to the meeting by telephoning or writing the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Department of Natural Resources, 524 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701-1787, phone (217) 785-0067.

Department of Natural Resources information is available to the hearing impaired by calling DNR's Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (217) 782-9175.

Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois PRT3216173-28,395-7/01 Illinois Department of Natural Resources Printed on recycled and recyclable paper with soy-based ink.

Illinois Department of
Natural Resources

What's Inside

2 Illinois' Big Bucks

DNR's big buck program recognizes hunters who take record-sized whitetails.

8 A Cut in Time

The Hennepin Canal provides Illinoisans with a great recreation area and a look at the way things were.

14 Food for Thought

"Deer Day" at Gibson City High School will long be remembered, and that's the point of the whole effort.

19 Worms

If you think worms are yucky, you probably don't go fishing often enough. Guest writer Jack Ehresman tells you how to find and keep them.

20 NewsFront

DNR's new budget, the upcoming deer and turkey classic, open land grants, bluebird workshops, an estate gifted to the DNR Foundation and an Outdoor Illinois quiz are a part of what you'll find in this month's NewsFront.

On the cover...

David Crist, Arthur, photographed this white-tailed deer before it shed its antlers at Wolf Creek State Park near Windsor.

March 2000


Despite recent gains, Illinois still ranks near the bottom of the 50 states in the amount of open land per capita. The growing recreational needs of our human population and the habitat requirements of the many species that reside here compel us to do all we can to preserve remaining open areas.

A good first step came last year when the General Assembly passed Gov. George H. Ryan's 'Open Land Trust' program. It provides $40 million per year for the next four years for state and local governments to acquire land for conservation and recreation purposes.

This month I'd like to tell you about another possible source of funding-the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, or CARA. This federal program would devote $3 billion per year derived from offshore oil drilling revenues to conservation purposes. CARA would impose no new taxes, and Illinois would receive up to $55 million per year.

Included in CARA are the following:

$1 billion for impact assistance and coastal conservation. Illinois would receive $12.8 million for protection and restoration of the Lake Michigan shoreline.

$900 million to revitalize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Half the money would go to the states, which make their own decisions on how to spend it, and half would remain under federal control. Illinois would receive $16.3 million.

$350 million for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Fund. Formerly known as 'Teaming With Wildlife, this provides funds for conservation education, habitat and restoration programs with a non-game focus. Illinois' share would be $13.1 million.

$125 million for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery program. These funds revitalize an established federal program that provides competitive grants to improve and expand urban parks. Illinois would receive about $8.1 million.

$100 million for the Historic Preservation Fund. This fund provides grants to the states for planning and preservation of historic properties. Illinois' share would be $2 million.

$200 million for Federal and Indian Lands Restoration. This aspect would restore degraded or threatened lands within the national park, wildlife refuge and forest systems. Illinois would receive $508,000.

$150 million for conservation easements and species recovery. Illinois would receive $635,000 under this incentive program to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species and their habitats.

$200 million for payments in lieu of taxes and refuge revenue sharing. Illinois' share would be $2.4 million.

Several of CARA's components were recommendations of the first three Illinois Conservation Congresses, and it enjoys broad support among DNR's constituency groups. It also has the backing of Gov. Ryan and numerous county and local governments.

The U.S. House Resources Committee approved CARA in November. Next, it must be reviewed by the House Budget Committee, and a vote of the full House is expected this spring. The Senate has not yet considered the bill in committee.

To date, CARA has 208 bipartisan co-sponsors, including Illinois Reps. Thomas Ewing, Henry Hyde, Ray LaHood, Jerry Weller, Luis Gutierrez, Lane Evans and David Phelps. Although the benefits of this legislation are obvious, its passage is not a sure thing. We need the support of Illinois' other members of Congress.

Therefore, I urge all Illinoisans to phone or write their congressman and ask him or her to support HR701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 1999. If you need the address or phone number of your representative, feel free to call us at (217) 557-0734.

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