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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2007

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits
Highlighting IDNR programs and upcoming events for the month of March


WSRC Spring Trap League:  Trap shooters are invited to sign up for the Spring Trap League at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.  The IDNR-Friends of the WSRC competition will involve five-member teams (maximum of two substitutes) on Thursday evenings for approximately 10 weeks beginning Mar. 22.  Registration is open through Mar. 20.  To register a team, for individuals interested in being placed on a team, or for more information, phone 618/295-2700 ext. 352.

OutdoorIllinois:  For the latest news about Illinois' natural resources, pick up the March issue of OutdoorIllinois, the IDNR monthly magazine.  Celebrating the popular annual story on recent additions to Illinois’ Big Buck Recognition program, the magazine’s cover is an Illinois buck photographed at Wolf Creek State Park in Shelby County. Featured stories in the March issue include Tree City USA, preparing for the northern brood of the 17-year cicada, Edward Madigan State Park, Asian carp, armadillos in Illinois and morels.  OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at $15 for a one-year subscription.  Visit www.dnr.state.il.us/OI or call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe.  VISA and MasterCard are accepted.

Women in Art at Illinois State Museum: The Illinois State Museum in Springfield presents a Super Saturday program on Sat., Mar. 10 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on “Women in Art.”  Youngsters ages 4 to 8 are invited to express themselves through painting and drawing while learning about the beautiful artwork produced by women from throughout the world, including many artists from Illinois.  Children and their parents are welcome.  Super Saturday activities take 30 to 45 minutes to complete, feature take-home crafts, and are free of charge.  The Illinois State Museum is located at the corner of Spring and Edwards in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.  For more information on the Super Saturday program, phone 217/782-5993. 

Bird Art: The Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery hosts “John James Audubon:  The Birds of America,” featuring prints from the collection of the Illinois State Museum, beginning Mar. 12.  The Birds of America, Audubon’s lifelong work, is considered a masterpiece of early American art by virtue of its dramatic beauty.  In conjunction with the Audubon exhibition, the Museum will present “While All the Tribes of Birds Sang,” an exhibition of bird-related art and artifacts that provide a broader visual context of our relationships to the avian world.  The ISM Chicago Gallery is located at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago.  For more information, phone 312/814-5322.

Underground Railroad Program: The Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center in Springfield hosts a program on the “Historical and Archaeological Investigations at Woodlawn Farm: A Story of the Underground Railroad in Morgan County, Illinois” on Wed., Mar. 14 at 7 p.m.  Originally from Kentucky, Michael Huffaker purchased a parcel of prairie land south of present-day Jacksonville in 1824.  Local history indicates that Huffaker assisted runaway African-American slaves at his farmstead prior to the Civil War.  Woodlawn Farm, as the property is known today, is being developed into a living history museum by the Morgan County Historical Society's Underground Railway Committee.  The speakers at the lecture will review the history of the still-existing Huffaker House and property, as well as the archaeological discovery of the original Huffaker cabin.  The program is free and open to the public and is part of the ISM monthly series on archaeology.  The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 E. Ash in Springfield.  For more information, phone 217/782-0061.

ICF Grant Application Deadline is March 31: The deadline is fast approaching to apply for the 2007 Illinois Conservation Foundation Grant Program awards.  The program provides funds to not-for-profit groups, organizations, and schools to assist with habitat enhancement, environmental education and recreation projects.  The deadline to apply is Mar. 31.  An application form is available on the Illinois Conservation Foundation web site at www.ilcf.org.  For more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-2003.

Wingshooting Clinics: The IDNR and partnering organizations will host a series of wingshooting clinics for beginning shooters and for more experienced hunters this spring and summer. 
 
At the free youth/women’s clinics, Saturday sessions generally provide instruction for youngsters ages 10 - 15, while Sunday sessions are generally used to provide instruction for girls and women ages 10 and older.  Youth participants must be at least 4 feet 6 inches tall and weigh at least 75 pounds.  Instructors are certified by the National Sporting Clays Association.  Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of women and men ages 16 and older.  Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend.  A small fee is assessed each hunter clinic participant to cover the cost of clay targets and refreshments. 

Upcoming Youth/Women’s clinics (and contact phone numbers) include:
• March 31-April 1 - Tri-County Quail Unltd. and Twin Oaks Sporting Clays, Mode (Shelby Co.), 217/496-3113
• April 21-22 - Moraine View State Rec. Area, Leroy (McLean Co.), 309/724-8032
• May 19-20 - Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (Will Co.), 815/423-5326
• May 19-20 - World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (Randolph Co.), 217/785-8060
• June 2-3 - Beaver Dam/South Central Chapter NTWF and Joker’s Wild Sporting Clays, Chesterfield (Macoupin Co.), 217/854-8020
• June 9 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741
• August 18-19 - Shabbona Lake State Park/Sycamore and Shabbona Sportsmen’s Clubs, DeKalb/LaSalle Pheasants Forever (DeKalb Co.), 815/758-2773
• August 25-26 - Champaign County Wingshoot Clinics, Fisher (Champaign Co.), 217/935-6860
• September 8-9 - Sam Dale Lake Cons. Area, Johnsonville (Wayne Co.), 618/835-2292
• September 22-23 - Johnson Sauk Trail SP and Rock Island/Henry Counties Pheasant Forever, Kewanee (Henry Co.), 309/853-5589
• September 29-30 - Tri-County Quail Unltd and South Fork Dirtriders Park, Kincaid (Christian Co.), 217/496-3113

Upcoming Hunter’s clinics are:
• April 14-15 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741
• June 2-3 - Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (Will Co.), 815/423-5326
• June 9-10 - Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (Lee Co.), 815/857-2320
• June 16-17 - Decatur Gun Club, Decatur (Macon Co.), 217/877-4096
• July 7-8 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741
• September 22-23 - Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (Will Co.), 217/785-8060
• September 29-30 - Decatur Gun Club, Decatur (Macon Co.), 217/877-4096
 • October 6-7 - Hamilton Co. SFWA, McLeansboro, 618/773-4340
• October 20-21 - World Shooting and Recreational Area, Sparta (Randolph Co.), 217/785-8060

Burning Star 5:  CONSOL Energy recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the IDNR and the National Wild Turkey Federation that will allow limited-entry 2007 spring turkey and firearm deer hunting opportunities at the Burning Star 5 Mine property in southern Illinois.  The property is located near DeSoto, Hurst and Elkville bordered by Ill. Rt. 149 to the south and east, the Elkville blacktop on the north, and U.S. 51 to the west in Jackson, Franklin and Williamson counties.  The property consists of 2,500 acres of hardwood timber, 1,500 acres of grasslands and wetlands, and approximately 4,000 acres of row crops.  Prospective hunters must apply for a site specific permit through the statewide lottery process to hunt turkey (spring only) and firearm deer (Youth, Firearm, Muzzleloader-only, and Late Winter Antlerless-only seasons).  Spring turkey hunters must have their Burning Star 5 turkey permit in possession while scouting the property and hunting.  Access to the property for scouting by permit holders is only allowed during the seven-day period immediately prior to the turkey season authorized by the permit.  Only individuals with turkey permits will be allowed to enter the property.  All other access (fishing, antler shed hunting, mushrooming, etc.) to the area is closed.  For more information, contact IDNR District Wildlife Biologist Richard Whitton at 618/993-7148.

Golfers – Mark Your Calendars for June 5: The 12th annual Illinois Conservation Foundation Golf Benefit is scheduled for Tues., June 5 at the Rail Golf Club in Sherman, just north of Springfield.  The golf outing is one of the most popular ICF events of the year.  Proceeds benefit youth hunting, fishing and outdoor conservation programs.  Registration and lunch are at 11:45 a.m. with golf beginning at 1 p.m.  Dinner and an awards program follow golf.  The registration fee is $150 per golfer or $500 per foursome.  To register, or for more information, contact Bob Ruff at 217/782-7181.

Wildlife Grants:  Applications are due April 2 for two Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund grant programs administered by the IDNR.  The programs are funded through the voluntary Wildlife Preservation Fund check-off on the state income tax form.  Small Project Program proposals are open to all persons and may address many types of projects including management, site inventories, education or special equipment purchases. Individual proposals are eligible for grants of up to $2,000.  Proposals are also being accepted for grants for maintenance of wildlife rehabilitation facilities that take care of threatened or endangered species.  Funding may be used to keep the facilities in a state of good repair necessary to provide safe and sanitary conditions for wildlife being cared for in the facility and for facility staff.  Only those who possess a current wildlife rehabilitation license/permit issued by the IDNR and who have provided care for threatened or endangered wildlife species during the three-year period preceding the date of their application qualify for grant funds.  Individual proposals are eligible for grants of up to $2,000.  For application packets or more information, call 217/782-2602, or e-mail DNR.SPECIALFUNDS@illinois.gov.  The application deadline is April 2 at 5 p.m.

Register Now for Upcoming ENTICE Workshops: The IDNR offers school teachers an opportunity to enhance their classroom instruction by providing a series of ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops this spring and summer.  Registration continues for the workshops listed below.  ENTICE workshops provide background information, lessons, supplemental resources and Continuing Professional Development Units.  To see the complete workshop description and/or to register, visit http://www.ilcf.org/Workshop/Courses.asp.
Upcoming ENTICE Workshops:
• Mar. 10- Illinois Birds Featuring the Wild Turkey, Moraine Hills State Park, McHenry
• April 14- Schoolyard Habitat Development, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia
• May 12- Lake Michigan Fishes, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago
• May 18- Lake Michigan Ecology, Highland Park Yacht Club, Highland Park
• May 19- The Microscopic World, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
• June 9- Global Positioning System, Vermilion County Conservation District, Danville
• June 13- Mammals From Illinois’ Past, Illinois State Museum, Springfield
• June 15- Geology of Giant City, Giant City State Park, Makanda 
• June 27- Native Americans and Nature in Illinois, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown

Summer Courses for Teachers:  The IDNR Division of Education and the University of Illinois at Springfield are offering online courses for graduate credit (4 hours) or Continuing Professional Development Units (60 CPDUs) during Summer Semester 2007 through the UIS Master of Teacher Leadership program.
EDL 560 Introduction to Illinois' Natural Resources for Teachers will include the examination, research and practical application of Illinois natural resources information with the goals of understanding location, composition, utilization, conservation and issues.
EDL 589 Introduction to Illinois' Geological Resources for Teachers will include the examination, research and practical application of Illinois’ geological resources information with the goals of understanding location, composition, utilization, conservation and issues.
To register, contact UIS admissions at 1-888/977-4847.  Once students are admitted to UIS, they may contact Kim Kubatzke at 217/206-7516 to receive permission to register for the courses.

Bird Walks at Volo Bog: Members of the McHenry County Audubon lead bird walks co-sponsored by the IDNR at Volo Bog State Natural Area and McHenry Dam this month.  The two IDNR sites are known for a diversity of birds as the walks cover a variety of habitats.  Participants may bring binoculars and field guides.  Reservations are required by calling Volo Bog State Natural Area at 815/344-1294.  Upcoming bird walks are: 
• Sat., Mar. 10 at McHenry Dam at 9 a.m.  (Meet at South End of Parking Area)

 • Sat., Mar. 24 at Volo Bog at 9 a.m.  (Meet at Visitor Center)
Volo Bog State Natural Area is located in Ingleside on Brandenburg Road west of U.S. Rt. 12 between Illinois Rts. 120 and 134.  McHenry Dam, part of Moraine Hills State Park, is located in McHenry west off River Road between Illinois Rts. 120 and 176.

Spring Programs at Giant City State Park:  Giant City’s Stonefort – Sat., Mar. 24, 10 - 11 a.m.  Investigate why the Late Woodland period Native Americans would build a nearly 300 foot long wall on a cliff in the forest 1,000 years ago.  Be prepared for a rugged 1/3-mile hike.

Wandering Among the Woodland Wildflowers – Mar. 31 and April 14 and 21,
10 a.m. – noon.  Wildflower walks are one of Giant City’s most popular programs. Join the site interpreter for a rugged two-hour discovery tour on a woodland trail.  Most hikes are held on Trillium Trail, best known for its wildflower diversity.  All programs meet inside the Visitor Center.  For more information, call 618/457-4836.

Beall Woods Photo Contest: “Photos in the Park,” the first annual photography contest at Beall Woods State Park in Wabash Co., will accept submissions of images taken at the park until Oct. 20.  Entries may be 5x7 or 8x10 color prints.  There are five categories, including Wildlife, Plants, Landscape, People in the Park and Season Changes.  For more details on the photography contest rules and other information, contact Beall Woods State Park, 9285 Beall Woods Ave., Mt. Carmel, IL 62863, phone 618/298-2442. 

New Spanish-Language Materials Available:  Two posters and an activity book join the Spanish-language educational materials from the IDNR Division of Education.
Datos de Los Bosques de Illinois is the Spanish-language version of Illinois' Forest Facts. Students can learn about trees, leaves, fall colors, tree products and other tree-related topics with this 24-page activity book that is designed for use with students in grades K-3.
Colores de Otoño de Illinois is the Spanish-language version of the Illinois Fall Colors poster.  The beautiful leaf colors of an Illinois autumn are presented in this poster along with information about where and when to see the best fall colors, why leaves change colors and other tree-related resources available for teachers.
Árboles de Illinois, the Spanish-language version of the Illinois Trees: Seeds and Leaves poster, depicts leaves and seeds of 15 common Illinois trees on the front of the poster, while the back side contains information about each species and offers tips on tree identification.
Both the Spanish- and English-language versions of these items may be obtained through the IDNR online order form at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/classrm/edmats02.htm

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