Illinois to Lay Off 33 Conservation Officers – Need Your Help

The outdoorsmen of the state of Illinois are no strangers to being placed on the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the lawmakers of Springfield. Former Governor and now presumable prison wench, Rod Blagojevich, raided wildlife funds generated by the more than 1.6 million outdoorsmen in 2008 to help pay the inflating state deficit. A deficit that is among the worst in the nation, aiding the creation of the state’s new motto – “Worst Credit Rating of Any State.”

Newly elected Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, appears to be honoring that same tradition. More than halfway through 2015 and the state is still without a budget. With a democrat controlled House and Senate, the state is at a stalemate.

Despite a lack of budget Rauner’s administration is preparing to take immediate action, planning to lay off more than 120 employees on September 30th. The short list includes 33 conservation officers, leaving as many as 34 Illinois counties without an officer for the upcoming 2015 hunting season. Once again, Illinois sportsmen will take the brunt of budget cuts.

Illinois Conservation Police Officers work hard to protect sportsmen and the game they pursue.  They need your help to avoid massive lay offs due to the political standoff going on in Springfield this summer.

Illinois Conservation Police Officers work hard to protect sportsmen and the game they pursue. They need your help to avoid massive lay offs due to the political standoff going on in Springfield this summer.

Our state conservation officers play a critical role in keeping Illinois residents safe while helping to manage and maintain not just the animal populations we all love to chase, but also the hundreds of thousands of hunters and fishermen who take to the woods and waterways in pursuit of their favorite game. Without these officers it is likely more illegal activities will take place across the state; from night shooting from and over harvesting to blatant trespassing and theft violations. The losers are not just the law-abiding majority, but the game populations as well. Game populations many would argue, much like our state, are also in the red.

What will the laying off of 33 conservation officers save the state Illinois taxpayers? If the average Illinois conservation officer makes an annual salary of $60,000 the laying off of 33 of them for one year would save the taxpayer roughly $2 million. For fun, let’s see what could be cut in lieu of hurting our state’s conservation efforts.

For example; currently the state taxpayer helps keep Illinois prison inmates entertained by providing cable television to the tune of $2.26 million. In 2012, Schaumburg residents received a new vacant lot for $2 million. Soldier Field renovations in 2003 cost about $690 million, of which the public portion was $432 million. Pig racing in Rock County – $20,000. Bobble head toys for the Springfield Park District – nearly $10,000. Former governor Pat Quinn’s last day secured the renovation of administration offices of the Chicago social service provider, Illinois Action for Children. Those renovations included new carpeting and three new vans for $1 million.

We can go on and on, but I think you get the point.

Illinois Conservation Officers need our help this time. It’s time for the sportsmen of Illinois to step up and halt Springfield lawmakers from destroying what we work so hard to protect. Please contact your local representative and help put an end to the mistreatment of our state’s natural resources. Resources our conservation officers help protect.

If you agree that our conservation officers are a critical part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, please contact the governor’s office at (217) 782-0244 and your local representative. Let them hear your concerns, and know the impact the lack of conservation officers will have where you live. Push them to pass a budget that’s good for Illinois.

Comments

  1. Take away from the prisoners they are the ones that did wrong. Prison shouldn’t be a vacation for them.

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  2. Stephem millard says:

    I feel you are making a big mistake by raiding the budget fo natural resource management in IL. Humt ing season is right around the corner and the majority of that revenue for the state is paid by resposible sportsman.

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  3. Patricia Heldebrandt says:

    This can not happen. We need these people in their jobs to make sure the sport of hunting and fishing continues and it. Without enough of them how will put animals be monitored and legally maintained

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  4. Jeff nielsen says:

    I got an idea mr. Governor sir..instead of taking away from the general public who surrender these funds so the sportsman population can enjoy their outings..why don’t you cut the cable TV in the prisons..2) why do you cut your own wages in the wages of your house speakers. Do you gentle really think you need to make 125k a year plus for the inadequate amount of time you spend in the office ..maybe someone should outright take your pay from you and see how well you survive…I would to sit here and call you a bunch of selfless names that you and your other selfish politicians deserved to be called, but ji hold myself to much higher level than worthless garbage that some of us voted into office…

    Reply
    • jeff, I’m no fan of Rauner, but to keep things straight he has declined a salary.

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  5. This state MUST make cuts and most Illinois residents will be affected in some manner. I’m sure we can sacrifice 33 con officers for the good of the state. There are a lot more critical priorities in this state right now than worrying about conversation officers. State employees will have to suck it up like MANY of us non-state employed people have had to do these past few years when our employer ran into hard financial times and we got laid off. Suck it up and move on. 33 employees spread out over this great big state isn’t going to make that big of a difference!

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  6. Big mistake. We don’t have enough officers as it is. These officers keep the stupid people in check. Without them poaching will go crazy and someone will get hurt. People don’t have much respect now as it is. I hunt for food for my family not for a trophy. And I do that as the law says we are to do. Without them more poaching will happen

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  7. Well folks this is what happens when there are politions in this state who do not care about the environment. A certain political party always talks up the environment and the natural resources but when it comes to nut cutting time it’s always the good ol’ DNR who takes up you know where. Not only are 33 officers getting laid off but a total of 274 others as well. They would never do this in Wisconsin. I know first hand the governors they I had worked under Thompson,Edgar and yes Ryan, seemed to respect the DNR. Guess what they were republicans and they did right for the DNR. But when Blago and potato head Quin were elected they decimated the office. This includes Managan. I know I worked the for the DNR. So folks keep pulling that Democratic lever see where it gets you.

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    • I agree Mike. IDNR has been managed to generate money . Outfitters have pushed people off land they hunted their whole life. Too many out of state hunters because that’s where the money is. IDNR has managed to bring hunting to it’s knees and only for the rich guy.

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  8. No way some of the counties are spread thin as it is. Too many idiots are on the waterways doing what they please in regards to the laws. Live by a river and the number of people drinking and operating a boat is outrageous. And with hunting season coming up it will get worse. Leave them alone and take from those who are over paid who do nothing but sit on their buts

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  9. Matt Staser says:

    We need ILL DNR to separate from the state govt like Kentucky and other states. While our natural resources are under control of Chicago and big money, this will never stop.

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  10. Noah Sisson says:

    Do I wish COs weren’t being laid off, yes, but it is time the people of illinois realize we are broke, our state is over staffed and over pensioned. Cuts have to be made, but no one is willing to let it be the area of their interest, and because of that it is going to come to forced cuts were the public will have no input, this is what we had coming when you couldn’t control our spending.

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  11. good!! What a worthless profession of a bunch of bullies with too much power. Have never known a conservation cop to make a real difference on any issue or anything that really matters.

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  12. they only put the positive comments on here and erase all the rest!

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  13. Good riddance. Ask any of the COs being dismissed what matters more the them.. The conservation effort or the almighty dollar??? Guarantee they cry about their paycheck going missing rather than the poaching that might take place because they won’t be out there harassing hunters. Nobody should lose their job because of their state being irresponsible. But if it puts a few less irritating people with power trips out of the woods hey go for it!

    Reply
    • george karras says:

      I agree 100% they are a bunch of bullies have dealt with them on quite a few occasions they do have a power trip attitude

      Reply
  14. Maybe if more of these COs had the balls to arrest the criminal scumbags that trespass, poach, commit theft of property? Then maybe the good ones would still have a job. I love illinois but these liberal SOBs are ruining America, because they really do hate what we stand for. I love our country, and am proud to be an American. “Maybe it’s time”!!!!

    Reply

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