Illinois outdoors: Conservation Congress delayed

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Friday late afternoons and evenings are the time of bad times, especially the Fridays before a holiday weekend; and that’s when Marc Miller announced the delay in assembling Conservation Congress.

Miller, the IDNR director, had restarted Conservation Congress in 2009 (above) in one of his promised early moves.

The latest Conservation Congress was expected to meet this month, but Miller said in a media conference call last month that he thought it would be this winter.

Instead it is mid-April, a terrible time for gathering outdoors folks. That is the time when the outdoors world is coming alive in Illinois, not the time for sitting inside in meetings.

On the bright side, at least Conservation Congress is rescheduled and not ignored.

Here’s the word from Miller:

I want to thank you for your participation in the Conservation Congress regional meetings hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources this past spring. The engaging, robust discussions about our state’s natural resources set the table for a future gathering of dedicated conservationists. While we had originally hoped to reunite in September, given the depth of our conversations and our sincere goal to ensure a meaningful event, we will now host Conservation Congress on April 11 and 12, 2014 in Springfield. While the timing for the event has changed, our commitment to working with you has not. Soon we will be providing you with summaries of the comments received at the regional meetings, plus give you another opportunity to weigh in through a survey we are developing. Many of you have raised issues that our agency is already working to address and we intend to also provide you with an update regarding those activities. As you know, this is a historical moment for our agency. With renewed funding and a fresh focus, we are set to move forward on a new path. Our goal is to work together to set priorities and continue our efforts to preserve our natural resources for you, your family and for the generations of Illinois families to come. If you have any questions as we move forward with Conservation Congress, please contact Elizabeth Norden at (312) 814-3161 or Thank you. Yours in Conservation, Marc Miller Director Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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