Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Creates the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Act. Provides that Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Grant Program is established to make grants to conservation land trusts for the purpose of promoting stewardship actions on eligible lands. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may make stewardship grants from the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund to conservation land trusts to conduct stewardship actions on eligible lands. Provides that a conservation land trust in good standing with the federal Internal Revenue Service may apply for a grant. Provides that in considering applications for grants, the Department shall establish priorities that: (1) provide the greatest benefit to implementing the needs and priorities identified in the Illinois Natural Area Plan, the Illinois Sustainable Natural Areas Vision, and the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan; (2) provide the greatest benefit to other stewardship needs identified by the Department, in consultation with the Commission, in administrative rule; and (3) consider, but not be limited to, the rarity and condition of resources, severity of stewardship need, timeliness of actions, proposed stewardship actions, and availability of other resources. Defines terms. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.
House Committee Amendment No. 1 Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may make stewardship grants under an appropriation made from the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund to conservation land trusts to conduct stewardship actions on eligible lands. Provides the Department may, from an appropriation made to the Department for this purpose, use funds received under the Act to pay for the cost of departmental personnel; contractual, professional or technical services and equipment, materials and supplies necessary or appropriate to perform the functions under the Act. Effective immediately.