IFB discusses priority issues with IDNR


Key topics affecting Illinois farmers were at the center of Illinois Farm Bureau’s recent discussion with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

On May 15, IFB President Brian Duncan and governmental affairs staff met with IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie and members of her department at IDNR’s offices in Springfield.

“IDNR has a broad range of topics they administer, and it is more than just wildlife and what we traditionally think the agency’s role is,” said Duncan. “We truly appreciate the ability of sitting down with Director Finnie.”

According to IFB, current policies and procedures dealing with the state’s wildlife populations took the spotlight. “We wanted to share with the director and other agency staff our growing wildlife populations of especially deer, raccoons and beaver are very concerning to farmers,” Duncan said.

Diving deeper, Duncan shared that the groups specifically discussed problems with wildlife harvest timing, population management flexibility and nuisance permit procedures.

The process of issuing permits to address reducing property damage was also among the primary wildlife concerns. “The damage caused by wildlife to farmers’ crops and property is a growing concern and in some specific regions of the state very alarming,” Duncan said, highlighting the urgency of this issue.

Although the wildlife conversation was a great opportunity to listen and learn from one another, Duncan said IFB’s work on wildlife management is not done.

“We will continue to work with the agency to see the goals outlined in our policy addressed to assist farmers with wildlife populations,” he said.

Also disucussed were issues with ongoing wetland legislation. IFB and IDNR agreed to continue the wetlands discussion because currently, if the legislation is approved, all Illinois wetlands would face regulation regardless of size. Duncan said conversations on regulations for levee flood protection along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers will continue too.

In addition to the day’s discourse, IFB took the time to celebrate and thank IDNR for its work to reinstate the cost-share program included in the state timber tax.

“In the past several weeks our teams, with the help of House Republican Leader Tony McCombie, were able to get agreement on a key state timber tax policy issue in HB 1885 so tax revenues are used for the intended purposes,” said Duncan. “It is always great when we can have an open dialogue on issues.”



Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.