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http://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/index.php?/pso/article/legislator_proposes_entrance_fees_for_parks/

 

 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=181&GAID=11&SessionID=84&LegID=54761

 

If you are for state park fees contact your representative and say yes to HB0181.

 

I feel that it's over due....more people equals more use of our resources. It shouldn't just be paid by hunters and fisherman.

 

If not, you can tell your representative that you don't support it.

 

I think it's a good idea. Maintenance and programs cost money....that's the bottom line. In my opinion, if you want cleaner parks, less pollution, better fishing....this is a good idea.

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Guest rich mc

thats bull.they raised the camping rates a few years ago for state parks , so that would help the parks then cut the budget at shabb 17%. even tho they took in 1000's more in camping fees .. last year they started the on line camping registration. its hard to use and even harder to get anything changed. last year the park only had a full campground for 3 weekends compared to almost all weekends for 4 months before it started. . next they will want a launch fee after paying the entry fee. i say NO rich

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In every state I travel to, they charge entrance fees to get in state parks. This state is broke and raising taxes again to pay for the parks shouldn't happen. Fishermen pay for a fishing license, hunters pay for a hunting license, it is reasonable for the people who use the parks pay for them.

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I am for bringing back this old idea. How old? At least 40-50 years. Michigan and Ontario had daily fees for entering their parks and an annual sticker that covered all parks. I am not sure what they do now. I also remember that when we moved to Lombard about 20 years ago there was a gate at Blackwell where the ranger collected entry fees. Now speaking of quality of parks, it seemed to work in Michigan and Ontario and DuPage county if you have noticed the wear and tear on Blackwell lately. BTW California has a similar system for its parks using a silent ranger - lock box - approach.

 

It looks like they are calling for a $15 annual pass which is mild. MI and ON charged more even back then. I hate to say this, but I think the fees will deter the casual traffic and lead to use of the parks by more respectful outdoor users. Nothing wrong with that.

 

Like many others, I will miss the free lunch. Gotta bit the bullet on that one.

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While not thrilled to be paying more for just about everything... I would support an annual pass. Despite the financial woes I disagree with daily fees. Ten dollars per vehicle per day is outrageous. If I were a jogger and jogged 3 times a week in a state park that could now cost $1560/year. Ridiculous!!!

 

This state needs to figure out how to fix their mess without taxing and feeing us to death. I only caught part of the story this morning so correct me if I'm wrong but I heard something about raising taxes on ciggarettes to pay for road repairs. While I agree with all the negatives regarding smoking thankfully people in this state do smoke otherwise it sounds like our roads wouldn't be repaired. That is ridiculous also!!!

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While not thrilled to be paying more for just about everything... I would support an annual pass. Despite the financial woes I disagree with daily fees. Ten dollars per vehicle per day is outrageous. If I were a jogger and jogged 3 times a week in a state park that could now cost $1560/year. Ridiculous!!!

 

This state needs to figure out how to fix their mess without taxing and feeing us to death. I only caught part of the story this morning so correct me if I'm wrong but I heard something about raising taxes on ciggarettes to pay for road repairs. While I agree with all the negatives regarding smoking thankfully people in this state do smoke otherwise it sounds like our roads wouldn't be repaired. That is ridiculous also!!!

 

I say "NO". Why? I just don't believe that the money will be used for what they say it's going to be used for.

I was always told a certain percent of money from the sale of lottery tickets goes to Illinois schools. I don't think that has ever happened.

Just like the road thing. Illinois must be the state with the most people who have quit smoking because I'm sure we'll all agree we have the worst roads.

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I say it's about time. I pay entrance fees to State & National parks whenever I travel, and I'm glad to do it. I just worry that the wonderful leadership in this state will use the funds for everything but their intended purpose.

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$15 a year for the one State Park I frequent the most?

I'm in.

 

How many have read the first link in the first post here?

There is quite a bit about where the funding goes.

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500 hours of volunteer work is outrageous.

Not possible.

I'd be interested in knowing how many people in this state would be put out of a paying job with that much volunteer work going on.

The reason I wonder this is because it was brought up in another discussion somewhere regarding just that.

That gets as complicated as they come right there...

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$15 a year for the one State Park I frequent the most?

I'm in.

 

How many have read the first link in the first post here?

There is quite a bit about where the funding goes.

 

Mike, I'm fine with $15-20 annual fee. However to charge up to $10 for an entrance fee everytime you drive into a park or any section of it is too much. Sticking with just an annual fee is also much more enforceable. Simple sticker says you can be in any area of the park (s) for the year. Ranger does a drive by and if you don't have a sticker in you window you get a ticket. Anything else is too hard to enforce or would force closures of hunting areas as who is going to man those to collect money. An honor system won't fly and it would cost a bunch of money to put in thief proof lock boxes, print envelopes, have someone collect every day etc...

 

While I understand financial decisions as I make my own everyday, where is going to end. Will we be paying fees for our forest preserves next, will it be a different sticker for every county?

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Guest rich mc

Kevin, you said the magic word. ENFORCEMENT cpos are at the lowest level ever, no new classes for last 7 years .more retiring this fall. new fees would pay for a fancy entrance booth and maybe pay for the attendant to sit there, so the new fees dont help much. just how many people would be happy to help with any project at a park, pay for the gas to get there and to get in to volunteer. next will be launch fees, shantie fees,how about a state park sticker to go on your fishing licence [like a trout stamp]if you want to fish in a state park. they need to raise the fines for violations from $75 to $150-200 that would help pay for new cpos. rich

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Didn't my state income taxes just increase by 67%. Haven't the hunting/fishing license fee accounts been used for other non sportsman activites. Sorry, it's a spending problem not a revenue problem.

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No, the hunting and fishing license fees have not been used for other purposes.

In the past, yes....not currently.

They are protected.

That is an indisputable fact.

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This came over to me today.

Should clear up any misconceptions.

 

 

As we near next week’s House Appropriations hearing for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, we look back at budgets for natural resources over the last decade, and forward to what is at stake in the future. Past cuts have already been deep.

  • Since 2002, IDNR’s funding from the state’s General Revenue Funds (from broad taxes, not fees on users of IDNR’s services) has been cut 52%, from $107 million in 2002 to $51 million in 2011.
  • There are 615 fewer people at IDNR, from a headcount of 1,986 in 2002 down to 1,371 in the year 2011.
  • No GRF and greatly reduced bond-funded capital since FY04 means a $700 million backlog of deferred maintenance at state parks.
  • As a result, the IDNR leaned more heavily on its constituents, through licenses and fees. Balances in funds that hold these revenues have been depleted because of GRF cuts and because of sweeps of cash in those funds. Current projections are that, without some change, most of these other funds (such as Boating, Natural Areas, State Parks, Parks and Conservation) will be drawn to near zero within one to two years.

These trends are not supportable, if we are to keep current services or even grow them to meet emerging needs such as engaging younger generations in nature and the outdoors. The next several weeks are key. While recent Legislative actions are bringing more revenues into the State’s General Funds, the State as a whole is not out of the woods financially. Revenue projections being used by the Legislature to craft the Fiscal Year 2012 budget are about $2 billion dollars lower than those in the Governor’s introduced budget (which held IDNR whole at least at its current reduced level). It is likely that major additional cuts in state services will be made by the Legislature soon. What is at stake? Here are some impacts if more General Revenue Funds reductions are made to IDNR.

  • GRF supports about one-third of front-line state park staff. Cuts would reduce the quality of resources to park visitors.
  • GRF funds half of Conservation Police field officers, with severe implications for public safety: reducing frontline protection for park visitors, emergency/disaster response, hunting and fishing compliance, and natural resources protection.
  • GRF pays for all Illinois State Museum facilities (321,000 visitors a year).
  • GRF reductions would affect Lake Michigan water allocation, providing water for 7 million residents of NE Illinois, and mandated programs including waterway construction permitting, dam safety, and lock and dam operations on Fox River/Chain O’Lakes.
  • GRF reductions would delay or eliminate planning services for state and local trails and parks, natural resources conservation projects, and open space.
  • GRF reductions could shut down the mine safety program since GRF provides match for federal funds.

Why should every Illinois resident care? Whether or not you use the state parks, IDNR improves your life every day, by creating jobs, ensuring safety of people and property, providing quality education, making state government more efficient, helping protect our most vulnerable citizens, and preserving our natural resources.

  • State parks welcome 45 million visitors annually, supporting $1 billion in visitor spending and 8,500 jobs.
  • Outdoor recreation (boating, camping, fishing, hunting, picnicking, sightseeing, wildlife observation, swimming and trail use) creates a $3.2 billion annual economic impact in Illinois supporting 33,000 jobs statewide.
  • Regulation of mining and oil and gas production helps sustain 50,000 jobs with $6 billion of annual production in Illinois.
  • IDNR regulates dam safety protecting $4.5 billion in real property.
  • IDNR coordinates the National Flood Insurance program saving Illinoisans $1.2 million in reduced premiums.
  • IDNR helps protect 4.4 million acres of land – including about 1 million acres of agricultural land valued at $5.6 billion and producing $543 million in commodities annually by oversight of a levee system.
  • IDNR directs the multi-agency response to the Asian carp invasion in the Chicago area, protecting billions of dollars of trade.
  • Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger provided 2.7 million meals to needy citizens of Illinois; “Target Hunger Now!” program fed more than 1,000 people in Fall 2010.
  • Conservation Police, with full police powers and statewide jurisdiction, invest 160,000 man-hours annually protecting Illinois citizens annually, many in underserved areas.

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After reading more on this, the following is most glaring to me.

 

Proceeds from the fees would go to the State Parks Fund for park operation and maintenance. Osmond said she does not know how much revenue would be generated.

 

DNR spokeswoman Januari Smith said the agency has taken no position on the legislation.

 

Osmond said she first considered charging only out-of-state visitors to use the parks, because her district bumps up against the Wisconsin border. But the bill’s language doesn’t single out non-residents.

 

She says she is willing to work with DNR and legislators to refine the bill.

 

“If we have to tweak it, we will tweak it,” she said. “I just want to get our parks to the place where people will want to visit.”

 

 

I can't even make an educated decision until those key components are finalized.

Waste of time even talking about such a vague proposal, in my opinion.

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Tired of hearing the sob-stories of the state being broke, cut, under-funded, robbed, and miss-managed. All the while taxes keep rising and more and more corruption is exposed. No thanks on a sticker or entrance fee. I'll find somewhere else to fish or a different activity to enjoy.

 

Meet you on the first tee after you pay $45 for eighteen holes.

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I agree with Rich that money in this state has been spent irresponsibly. I for one would have been the first to knock down this proposal. However, I believe that the future depends on responsible spending. With new leadership it's going in the right direction but slowly. I like the dedicated fund idea as long as it is truely dedicated. I was in Minnesota and they had a yearly sticker that cost $25.00.

In Atlanta Georga I paid a daily fee of $3.00.

 

 

Personally I can go either way on this....but I have to have hope. Ever since I was a kid the fishing really stunk in Illinois. Now the resources are better and we have more people using them.

 

I think there are several cuts that the state can still make if they chose to. But just like natural resources, the cost in human resources are going up as well.

 

I think what will happen if this doesn't go through is that there will be an increase on fees for Hunting and Fishing licenses anyway.

 

I too, agree with Rich on the cuts at Shabbona....if Shabbona increases the fees, then the park should be financed better...not cut MORE! I think he has a perfect example on why this bill would be a bad idea. I for one have been writing for years to get the outhouse removed and rebuilt at Shabbona. I'm still waiting for a response on why that hasn't happened yet.

 

I really don't know what the answer is but I do know natural resources need financing and not from just fisherman and hunters.

 

I too, agree that if people have to pay a fee, people will respect the park more. I also agree that there is a lack of enforcement and personnel. There needs to be a stronger presence of Conservation Police officers. Just go to Wisconsin...they don't take crap from anyone and they mean business...they will check you and enforce violations. That's what I think many of us would like to see here in Illinois. I think an increased presence of CPO's would greatly improve public opinion.

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I really only visit a state park like once maybe twice a year. With a fee? Nope! I'll just go over to Eric's house twice a year and hang out.

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I really only visit a state park like once maybe twice a year. With a fee? Nope! I'll just go over to Eric's house twice a year and hang out.

Wear clean socks w/o any holes in case Eric offers you a tour of his garage. B)

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Politicians need a pay cut!

 

Its the unions' fault,ya know! B)

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Mike, I'm fine with $15-20 annual fee. However to charge up to $10 for an entrance fee everytime you drive into a park or any section of it is too much. Sticking with just an annual fee is also much more enforceable. Simple sticker says you can be in any area of the park (s) for the year. Ranger does a drive by and if you don't have a sticker in you window you get a ticket. Anything else is too hard to enforce or would force closures of hunting areas as who is going to man those to collect money. An honor system won't fly and it would cost a bunch of money to put in thief proof lock boxes, print envelopes, have someone collect every day etc...

 

While I understand financial decisions as I make my own everyday, where is going to end. Will we be paying fees for our forest preserves next, will it be a different sticker for every county?

 

Kevin, I think your misunderstanding the $10 per day fee. If you have the $15 annual pass you will not need to pay the $10 every time you go into a park. The $10 per day fee would be for someone who hasn't already purchased the annual pass. Atleast that is how I am reading it, anyone else see it this way?

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Kevin, I think your misunderstanding the $10 per day fee. If you have the $15 annual pass you will not need to pay the $10 every time you go into a park. The $10 per day fee would be for someone who hasn't already purchased the annual pass. Atleast that is how I am reading it, anyone else see it this way?

 

What's Homer's line... doh! :unsure:

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"Sockit tu non-residentes!" ,is the motto of many state DNRs. I hope Illinois picks up on this in its fee schedule.

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