NANFA-- Illinois proposes elimination of nature-related funding

Sajjad Lateef (
Mon, 23 Feb 2004 05:49:21 -0800 (PST)

I occasionally help out at one of Illinois' State Nature Preserves
(Lake in The Hills Fen). This call for help has come through
the Volunteer Stewardship Network (the group of volunteers
who serve as stewards of these nature preserves, doing restoration
work). If you can spare some time, please do write to
Governer Blagojevich (especially Illinois residents).

Thank you,

The letter below and the attachment are from TNC. Get everyone
you know to write, e-mail, etc. the govenor, their state
senator and representative demanding that they protect our
natural areas.

Dear Friends of the Volunteer Stewardship Network,

If you have not heard already, Governor Rod Blagojevich
has announced his proposed FY05 budget for Illinois which
includes the elimination of all funding to the Natural Areas
Acquisition Fund and the elimination of every program and
biologist attached to this fund. This means no exotic and
invasive species control, no endangered and threatened species
program, no more field biologists responsible for managing
our flora and fauna, no more natural areas protection, no
more nature preserves protection, no more Natural Heritage
Program. The entire Natural Heritage Program, Endangered
Species Program, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission,
and the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Fund will
NO LONGER EXIST. The staff associated with these programs
(District Heritage Biologists, Regional Administrators, Natural
Area Preservationists, etc.) will be fired. This proposed
budget cut will also include the elimination of the annual
funding INPC provides to volunteer groups within the VSN for
tools, herbicide and stewardship projects.

State legislators and the Governor must hear from constituents
NOW! This also includes contacting friends in the media to
explain the devastating effects of this action. For talking
points, a fact sheet from The Nature Conservancy is attached.

To reach IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
207 Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706;
For information and contacts for state elected officials:

Karen Billo
VSN Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy

Karen L. Billo
Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy, Illinois Chapter
301 SW Adams, Suite 1007
Peoria, IL 61602
Main Office Phone: 309/636-3300
My Direct Phone: 309/636-3328
Toll Free VSN Phone: 1-866-VSN-LINE (876-5463)


Sajjad Lateef   e-mail: 
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