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Conservation Congress: Funding, funding, funding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.–The bottom line in Illinois outdoors is the bottom line.

As great an issue as outdoor access is, funding tops it as a priority. That was one thing to come out of the weekend gathering of the restarted Conservation Congress in Illinois.

As facilitator Susan Parks and organizer Deb Stone reviewed the final results of the gathering, it was obvious funding was the top concern with three funding issues (behind Parks) easily ranking as the top concerns among the most people.

The eclectic group from parks sorts to hard-core shooting sports advocates certainly came together on the need for funding.

And for access.

IDNR director Marc Miller, who restarted Conservation Congress, gives the farewell benediction/summary Sunday noon against the backdrop of discussion points on public access.

As varied as the group was, and it was, they were very excited to be gathering again after the six-year layoff of Conservation Congress under disgraced and gone Gov. Blagojevich.

As together as the participants were on the two key issues–access and funding–there is still some room for concern.

And it comes from language, namely consumptive and non-consumptive. That is coming and, I dare say, growing great divide in the outdoors.

Language matters, even in these days of tweets and twits.

I have more mulling to do on non-consumptive and consumptive.