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Gov. Quinn: Exits with clown act

Photo credit: Steven Wayne Rotsch/Painet Inc.

In his final hours as Illinois governor, Pat Quinn showed his true colors when it comes to conservation and vetoed the bobcat-hunting bill.

House Bill 4226, which was backed by the wildlife professionals in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, would have allowed restricted hunting of bobcats (one per year).

The IDNR had been working on this for years. Opening bobcats to limited hunting is an acknowledgement of one of the more remarkable conservation stories in Illinois, a return from the brink for the secretive bobcat.

Quinn liked to posture as a governor for conservation. But from the disasters of political appointments of deputy IDNR directors to this final act of ignoring the science of conservation and Illinois’ own wildlife professionals in favor of returning a political favor, he has shown where he stands on the outdoors.

His stance on the outdoors has nothing to do with the science of conservation, but with the politics of it.

It is a shameful exit. But then in his final weeks as governor, Quinn has shown virtually no sense of shame.

Here is the brief press release:

Governor Quinn Vetoes Bobcat Hunting Bill

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed House Bill 4226, which would have allowed bobcat hunting in Illinois. The Governor issued the following statement:“We all have a responsibility to protect and maintain Illinois’ wildlife. Allowing people to hunt bobcats in Illinois violates that responsibility.

“Habitat loss and trophy hunting put bobcats on the threatened species list in 1977, and it was only recently that the bobcat population recovered enough to be removed from this list.

“Today I veto this bill because bobcats are a valuable part of Illinois’ ecosystem and continue to need protection.”