Tag Archives: marc miller

Illinois Gun Control Legislation in Progress

When I woke up this morning the last thing I really felt like thinking about was gun control. Being a gun owner, I had been dwelling on it enough ever since Sandy Hook.

But because of recent developments in Springfield in trying to get gun control legislation passed (HB 815 and HB1263 if you care to look them up) it was like being slapped awake this morning.

Doom and gloom, our guns are being taken away from us. Soon marauding hordes will be kicking down our doors to rob us and rape us and kill us.

In my 56 years I have never even considered any of that as a possibility, but that’s all I could find this morning on the local outdoor sites I visit.

What is being missed in all this doom and gloom noise are the voices of reasonable and responsible hunters.

I like to think I am one of those.

I read through the legislation, not being a lawyer, it’s grueling, and there is not a single thing in it that would have any affect on my ability to hunt in Illinois. The legislation has no effect on any gun I own. I have no interest in hand guns, so bans on those don’t bother me at all.

The only thing I have an issue with is the insistence of magazines that hold no more than 10 rounds.

Ten is too much, I’d rather see a five round limit. If I’m out target shooting, no skin off my butt to stop and reload a magazine after five shots.

My friend Mark Kasick found a couple of articles that he linked to on Facebook. These voices of reason are worth reading.

A Conservative Case for an Assault Weapons Ban

An Open Letter to Fellow Gun Owners

I am all for expanding gun control like Illinois is proposing to the federal level, even stricter. As I said, it will have no affect on my ability to go out hunting.

The only thing that will keep gun control from happening is that the ones that should care will get distracted or give up. You can’t do that. You’ll have nobody but yourself to blame when another Sandy Hook or Aurora or some other tragedy happens.

The anti gun control crowd is organizing and contacting every one that needs to be contacted in order to defeat this gun control legislation.

If they succeed it will only be because everyone else sat on their hands and did nothing.

Swimming upstream faster than the current… (part 1)

Over the last couple of days, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller has sent out a couple of email that reads like a State of the Union address for the DNR and goes into some detail about the recently passed DNR Sustainability Bill.

This link is in the following letter from Marc Miller, but in case you don’t think the IDNR has any effect on your life, you may want to go read this first:

Did You Know? DNR Facts and Figures

__________

Dear DNR constituent:

The passage of the DNR Sustainability Bill (SB1566) is a significant victory for conservation and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). What the bill does is allow the agency to keep state parks and sites open and begin to address a backlog of needed facility repairs, which now totals $750 million. It also allows us to address other program problems for the agency.

The bill took nearly a year to negotiate and included over 40 DNR constituent groups in talks, who worked with sponsor Rep. Frank Mautino for a consensus bill. A key component and big “win” for conservation included in the bill was the rarely used anti-sweeps language that ensures funds would not be used for other purposes than keeping state parks open and programs working. Governor Pat Quinn’s management and budget director also signed a letter committing to not sweep these funds and hold DNR’s funding level.

This level of commitment to DNR should not be a surprise. During Governor Quinn’s first week on the job and my first day on the job as Director, he signed a different bill that replaced diverted sportsmen’s funds that were swept by our predecessors. We have been working diligently ever since to protect these funds and use them for conservation.

The Sustainability Bill will take effect as law on January 1st, and we project that eventually it will provide DNR with an estimated $30 to $33 million dollars annually to be deposited into dedicated funds connected with each revenue source. There are several steps that the agency needs to take start collecting funds, such as creating rules and regulations and implementing IT infrastructure, and it will be 9 to 12 months before the agency begins to receive the new funding.

I would like to thank those organizations who supported the Sustainability Bill, negotiated its details, and worked for its passage. It is our intent to work as quickly as possible to take the necessary steps to capture new revenues and apply these funds to DNR parks and programs, create new jobs and promote economic development, and to restructure DNR for future generations.

We will uphold our mission of managing the state’s natural resources and begin to repair some of the past neglect from budget cuts. DNR constituents need to understand, however, that victory could be temporary because the state’s budget problems will threaten our progress in the near future. Pension obligations and unpaid bills squeeze agencies like DNR and make General Revenue funds less available for everyday operations. If lawmakers do not act to address the pension squeeze, then everyone’s hard work towards DNR sustainability will be erased by these larger fiscal problems.

Our success at the legislature is one step towards sustainability and demonstrates that we are swimming upstream faster than the current. Stay tuned and I will explain in a second email how you can help DNR and secure the progress we have already made.

Yours in conservation,
Marc Miller, Director
Illinois DNR

The Fewer Dams the Better

A simple post was put up today, Friday, October 26th, on the Facebook page of Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Governor Quinn Announces Completion of Hofmann Dam Removal

You can’t remove too many dams from waterways and it looks like a few more are in the works.

This is a good thing.

Of course, I had to leave a note in response on Facebook with my own wish list…

Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Montgomery on the Fox would be nice. On it’s creeks, Mill Creek has one that could go away easy enough. There are a few more small ones on Big Rock north of Plano, but no more ramping those please…

It’s just a wish list, no hurry. My lifetime maybe, but I don’t know how much of that I have left. 20 years perhaps.

The Fewer Dams the Better

A simple post was put up today, Friday, October 26th, on the Facebook page of Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Governor Quinn Announces Completion of Hofmann Dam Removal

You can’t remove too many dams from waterways and it looks like a few more are in the works.

This is a good thing.

Of course, I had to leave a note in response on Facebook with my own wish list…

Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Montgomery on the Fox would be nice. On it’s creeks, Mill Creek has one that could go away easy enough. There are a few more small ones on Big Rock north of Plano, but no more ramping those please…

It’s just a wish list, no hurry. My lifetime maybe, but I don’t know how much of that I have left. 20 years perhaps.

An Update on Illinois Department of
Natural Resources Budget Cuts

Sunday afternoon, Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, put up a simple post on his Facebook Page. No words, just a link to an article by Les Winkeler of The Southern.

Les Winkeler does an excellent job of summarizing Millers comments that were given February 2nd during a two-hour public meeting at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois.

Anyone that has ever used an Illinois State Park for any reason needs to read this:

Director says IDNR needs help after budget halved

Anglers and hunters have been well aware of IDNR budget cuts over the years. We have seen the budget cuts impact what we like to do. I’m not sure those that don’t fish and hunt are aware of how these budget cuts will impact them. I think Millers comments in the article make that pretty clear.

Last week I reposted something that first appeared on my blog in August of 2011, A Walk in the Park a Source of Revenue for the IDNR.

In the six months since I wrote that, apparently things have got worse. As I said in my repost, once the budget cuts start impacting more than just anglers and hunters, maybe there will be more outrage, more of an uproar to do something about it. I like the quote by Miller that ended the article by Les:

Our DNR employees can work themselves ragged. Unless citizens will come through for the agency and work for all the things we do, we’re never going to get anywhere.

We need to have resources. The only way that is going to happen is if people like you get engaged and go out and do something about it.

I think that time has arrived and I don’t think he was only addressing anglers and hunters.