The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is only now beginning the long road to recovery after years of budget cuts, layoffs and park closures.
In the latest example of Gov. Pat Quinn-style electronic democracy, IDNR Director Marc Miller is asking outdoor enthusiasts to fill out an online survey to help find cures for what ails the agency. He's hoping for input in three areas:
-- How can IDNR get more people involved in outdoor recreation?
-- How can the agency boost public access to recreational opportunities in a state where 98 percent of the land is privately owned?
-- Where can the financially-strapped state find more cash to enhance conservation and recreation?
Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/nrab/cc.htm to take part.
The Conservation Congress will review the results at its upcoming meeting Oct. 24-25 at IDNR headquarters in Springfield. The congress is a grassroots citizen input structure originally put in place by Brent Manning, director of IDNR during what many view as the agency's golden age under Govs. Jim Edgar and George Ryan.
If you haven't yet filled out the survey, take 5 minutes today to do so - today is the last day it is online, to give the Department time to analyze the results before the Conservation Congress next weekend.