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Program Encourages IL Landowners to Allow Hunting & Fishing

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https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/default.aspx
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Illinois DNR
Screenshot from the IL DNR's IRAP website

As the number of people who hunt and fish declines in Illinois, the state and Pheasants Forever are working together to reverse that trend.

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Credit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/default.aspx / Illinois DNR
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Illinois DNR
Field sign for IRAP

Michelle O'Neill reports the nonprofit and state DNR are promoting an initiative known as IRAP, the Illinois Recreational Access Program.

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Credit submitted / Pheasants Forever
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Pheasants Forever
Scott James, a biologist from Pheasants Forever in Rock Island & Henry Co.

Scott James is a biologist who works for Pheasants Forever in Rock Island and Henry counties.

He says traditionally, most people knew farmers and landowners who allowed them to hunt or fish on their property.

But now, that's becoming more and more rare.

It's a problem because hunters, people who fish, and others who enjoy the outdoors pay for conservation initiatives through permits, licenses, and equipment.

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Credit submitted / Pheasants Forever
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Pheasants Forever
Tom Branson, Biologist & Forester, Pheasants Forever

Biologist and Forester, Tom Branson, also works for Pheasants Forever.

He says the Illinois Recreational Access Program benefits landowners in several ways.

And the benefit they get most excited about is saving 75% on the cost of habitat management plans.

Other benefits include a property tax break that comes with the free habitat management plan, payments per acre for each activity, and the state paying for liability insurance coverage.

By the way, birder watchers, photographers, and others may also apply to access private land through the program.

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More information is available HERE

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media and trains interns.