Monday, May 27th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, May 27th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Illinois Mixed Bag: Bald eagle event set for West Alton Feb. 10

Alton, Ill. — Southwestern Illinois’ premier celebration of bald eagles returns for 2024 to the Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which is actually across the Mississippi River in West Alton, Mo. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 10.

Visitors can see eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at viewing stations along the river. Live “All about Eagles” programs will be presented by experts from the World Bird Sanctuary at 9:15 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Additionally, there will be two Eagle Meet and Greet events at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m., when participants can see a bald eagle up close and get photos taken with World Bird Sanctuary naturalists and their bald eagle companions.

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Illinois Farm Bureau Watching Waters

Springfield — The Illinois Farm Bureau says it will continue to advocate for private property protection on navigable waters. As lawmakers gathered in Springfield Jan. 16 for the first week of spring session, Chris Davis, IFB director of state legislation, included the waters issue on his list.

IFB will advocate against legislation that grants public access to private waters and argues doing so is a violation of private property rights and an unlawful taking of property.


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Current state law prohibits a landowner with property adjacent to a non-navigable river or stream from using that waterway to cross the property of another riparian owner without their permission, according to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling in June 2022.

During the case, when deciding whether to expand riparian rights for non-navigable rivers and recreational uses, the high court ruled the “General Assembly is better equipped to address” the issue.

If the current state law were to be changed, farmers would be forced to allow people access to non-navigable waterways on their land without compensation and producers could face civil and criminal liabilities.

State Police: 30,000 Guns Were Registered

Springfield — The deadline to register banned weapons in Illinois came and went Jan. 1, but the issue has not gone away.

The Illinois State Police have reported that of the state’s 2.4 million FOID cardholders, nearly 30,000 registered a banned weapon. Meanwhile, several Illinois sheriffs stated that their offices will not enforce the state’s new gun restriction.

The “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” which immediately banned the sale of certain firearms, as well as some pistols, large-capacity magazines, and certain gun parts, such as folding stocks.

Anyone who possessed those items before the law was signed could keep them if they registered them before Jan 1, 2024. Illinois State Police opened the registration portal in October for gun owners to comply with the new law.

Under the new law, failing to register a banned weapon will lead to a misdemeanor charge on the first offense and a felony charge on the second offense. Illinois law states that a felony charge for an unregistered weapon isn’t a jailable offense. For each case, local State Attorneys have authority to decide whether or not to charge anyone violating the Protect Illinois Communities Act.

DNR Agrees to Purchase Flooded Homes

Dieterich, Ill. — DNR has agreed to provide more than $1.4 million to the Village of Dieterich in Effingham County to acquire and demolish nine homes and an apartment building that were damaged during flooding in August 2022.

The funding, through DNR’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Program, will be used to reimburse the village for approved costs associated with buyouts of buildings on a total of 11 lots on Vine, Section, Maple, and Center streets. The eastern part of Dieterich, which does not have a storm sewer system, is bisected by Dieterich Creek, which flooded during historic rainfall in 2022, causing significant water damage to several homes. These properties have flooded five times since 2000.

“We are thankful for the support of State Sen. Chapin Rose, State Rep. Adam Niemerg, and IDNR for this significant program,” said Dieterich Village President Brad Hardiek. “We are extremely grateful to finally see some of our residents get the help they need to move forward.”

Towns Get $2.4 Million in Outdoor Grants

Springfield — Eight Illinois communities will share nearly $2.4 million in grants to expand access to outdoor recreation, Gov. JB Pritzker and DNR announced.

Wheaton, Wauconda, Plainfiled, Minooka, Genoa, Elba, Campton, and Calumet City are the recipients.

The grants come from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and will be administered by DNR. The LWCF program can provide up to one-half of a project’s funds, and when combined with the investment of local matching funds will support more than $5.4 million in local park land acquisitions statewide.

“DNR is excited to play a small role in helping these exciting outdoors projects become reality,” said DNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie. “Conserving and protecting our land, water, and recreational opportunities is critical ensuring future generations have access to nature and the outdoors.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 was enacted to help preserve, develop, and ensure access to outdoor recreation facilities to strengthen the health of U.S. citizens. The law created the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the U.S. Treasury as a funding source to implement its outdoor recreation goals.

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