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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

CONSERVATION
(525 ILCS 33/) Illinois Open Land Trust Act.

525 ILCS 33/1

    (525 ILCS 33/1)
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Illinois Open Land Trust Act.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/5

    (525 ILCS 33/5)
    Sec. 5. Policy.
    (a) The provision of lands for the conservation of natural resources and public recreation promote the public health, prosperity, and general welfare and are proper responsibilities of State government.
    (b) Lands now dedicated to these purposes are not adequate to protect the quality of life and meet the needs of an expanding population.
    (c) Natural areas, wetlands, forests, prairies, open spaces, and greenways provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife and are in need of protection.
    (d) The opportunity to acquire lands that are available and appropriate for these purposes will gradually disappear as their cost correspondingly increases.
    (e) It is desirable to encourage partnerships among federal, State, and local governments and not-for-profit corporations for the acquisition of land for conservation and recreation purposes.
    (f) It is necessary and desirable to provide assistance in the form of grants and loans to units of local government to acquire lands that have significant conservation and recreation attributes.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/10

    (525 ILCS 33/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Conservation and recreation purposes" means activities that are consistent with the protection and preservation of open lands, natural areas, wetlands, prairies, forests, watersheds, resource-rich areas, greenways, and fish and wildlife habitats, including multiple use such as hunting, fishing, trapping, and other recreational uses.
    "Conservation easement" means a nonpossessory interest in real property imposing limitations or affirmative obligations the purposes of which include retaining or protecting natural, scenic, or open-space values of real property, assuring its availability for forest, recreational, or open-space use, protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, or preserving the natural, historical, architectural, archaeological, or cultural aspects of real property. A conservation easement may be released at any time by mutual consent of the parties.
    "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
    "Natural area" means an area of land that either retains or has recovered to a substantial degree its original natural or primeval character, though it need not be completely undisturbed, or has floral, faunal, ecological, geological, or archaeological features of scientific, educational, scenic, or esthetic interest.
    "Open space" means those undeveloped or minimally developed lands that conserve and protect valuable natural features or processes.
    "Real property" means land, including improvements existing on the land.
    "Units of local government" means counties, townships, municipalities, park districts, conservation districts, forest preserve districts, river conservancy districts, and any other units of local government empowered to expend public funds for the acquisition and development of land for public outdoor park, recreation, or conservation purposes.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)

525 ILCS 33/15

    (525 ILCS 33/15)
    Sec. 15. Powers and duties. The Department of Natural Resources has the following powers and duties:
    (a) To develop and administer the Illinois Open Land Trust program.
    (b) To acquire real property, including, but not limited to, open space and natural areas for conservation and recreation purposes. The lands shall be held in (i) fee simple title or (ii) conservation easements for natural areas, provided that these mechanisms are all voluntary on the part of the landowners and do not involve the use of eminent domain.
    (c) To make grants to units of local government under Section 25 of this Act in consultation with the Natural Resources Advisory Board.
    (d) To make loans to units of local government under Section 30 of this Act in consultation with the Natural Resources Advisory Board.
    (e) To promulgate any rules, regulations, guidelines, and directives necessary to implement the purposes of this Act.
    (f) To execute contracts, grant or loan agreements, memoranda of understanding, intergovernmental cooperation agreements, and any other agreements with other State agencies and units of local government that are necessary to implement this Act.
    (g) To execute contracts, memoranda of understanding, and any other agreements with not-for-profit corporations that are consistent with the purpose of this Act.
    (h) To accept grants, loans, or appropriations from the federal government or the State, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, for the purposes of the Department under this Act, including to make loans of any funds and to enter into any agreement with the federal government or the State, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, in relationship to the grants, loans, or appropriations.
    (i) To establish any interest rates, terms of repayment, and other terms and conditions regarding loans made pursuant to this Act that the Department deems necessary or appropriate to protect the public interest and carry out the purposes of this Act.
    (j) To establish application, eligibility, selection, notification, contract, and other procedures, rules, or regulations deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out the provisions of this Act.
    (k) To fix, determine, charge, and collect any premiums, fees, charges, costs, and expenses, including, without limitation, any application fees, commitment fees, program fees, or financing charges from any person in connection with its activities under this Act.
    (l) To report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on the progress made in implementing this Act and on the status of all real property acquired pursuant to the Act.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/20

    (525 ILCS 33/20)
    Sec. 20. Illinois Open Land Trust Program. The Department of Natural Resources shall develop and administer the Illinois Open Land Trust Program. The purpose of the program is to acquire real property, or conservation easements for natural areas, from willing sellers for conservation and recreation purposes. The land shall be chosen because it will preserve and enhance Illinois' natural environment, create a system of open spaces and natural lands, and improve the quality of life and provide recreation opportunities for citizens of this State now and in the future.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/25

    (525 ILCS 33/25)
    Sec. 25. Grant program. From appropriations for these purposes, the Department may make grants to units of local government as financial assistance for the acquisition of open space and natural lands if the Department determines that the property interests are sufficient to carry out the purposes of this Act.
    The Department shall adopt rules concerning the selection or grant recipients, amount of grant awards, and eligibility requirements. The rules must include the following additional requirements:
        (1) No more than $2,000,000 may be awarded to any
    
grantee for a single project for any fiscal year.
        (2) Any grant under this Act must be conditioned upon
    
the grantee providing a required match as defined by rule.
        (3) Funds may be used only to purchase interests in
    
land from willing sellers and may not involve the use of eminent domain.
        (4) The Department shall provide for a public meeting
    
to be conducted by the Natural Resources Advisory Board prior to grant approval.
        (5) All real property acquired with grant funds must
    
be accessible to the public for conservation and recreation purposes, unless the Department determines that public accessibility would be detrimental to the real property or any associated natural resources.
        (6) No real property acquired with grant funds may be
    
sold, leased, exchanged, or otherwise encumbered, unless it is used to qualify for a federal program or, subject to Department approval, transferred to the federal government, the State, or a unit of local government for conservation and recreation purposes consistent with this Act.
        (7) All grantees must agree to convey to the State at
    
no charge a conservation easement on the lands to be acquired using the grant funds.
        (8) Grantees must agree to manage lands in accordance
    
with the terms of the grant. Any changes in management must be approved by the Department before implementation.
        (9) The Department is authorized to promulgate, by
    
rule, any other reasonable requirements determined necessary to effectively implement this Act.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/30

    (525 ILCS 33/30)
    Sec. 30. Open Lands Loan Program. The Department may establish an Open Lands Loan Program to make loans to units of local government for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of real property to protect open spaces and lands with significant natural resource attributes. For purposes of the program, and not by way of limitation on any other purposes or programs provided for in this Act, there is hereby established the Open Lands Loan Fund, a special fund in the State treasury. The Department has the power to use any appropriations from the State made for the purposes under this Act and to enter into any intergovernmental agreements with the federal government or the State, or any instrumentality thereof, for purposes of capitalizing the Open Lands Loan Fund. Moneys in the Open Lands Loan Fund may be used for any purpose under the Open Lands Loan Program including, without limitation, the making of loans permitted under this Act.
    The Department may establish and collect any fees and charges, determine and enforce any terms and conditions, and charge any interest rates that it determines to be necessary and appropriate to the successful administration of the Open Lands Loan Program. All principal and interest repayments on loans made using funds withdrawn from the Open Lands Loan Fund shall be deposited into the Open Lands Loan Fund to be used for the purposes of the Open Lands Loan program or for any other purpose under this Act that the Department, in its discretion, finds appropriate. Investment earnings on moneys held in the Open Lands Loan Fund or in any reserve fund or pledged fund created with funds withdrawn from the Open Lands Loan Fund must be treated in the same way as loan repayments. The Department shall promulgate rules concerning selection and eligibility requirements. The rules shall include the following additional requirements:
        (1) Units of local government receiving loans under
    
this Act to acquire real property must:
            (A) agree to make and keep the lands accessible
        
to the public for conservation and recreation, unless the Department determines that public accessibility would be detrimental to the lands or any natural resources associated with the land;
            (B) agree that all real property acquired with
        
loan proceeds shall not be sold, leased, exchanged, or otherwise encumbered unless it is used to qualify for a federal program or, subject to Department approval, transferred to the federal government, the State, or a unit of local government for conservation and recreation purposes consistent with this Act;
            (C) agree to execute and donate to the State at
        
no charge a conservation easement on the lands to be acquired; and
            (D) agree to manage lands in accordance with the
        
terms of the loan. Any changes in management must be approved by the Department before implementation.
        (2) Loans made by the Department to units of local
    
government must be secured by interests in collateral and guarantees that the Department determines are necessary to protect the Department's interest in the repayment of the principal and interest, if any, of each loan made under this Section.
        (3) Loans made by the Department may be used only to
    
purchase interests in land from willing sellers and may not involve the use of eminent domain.
        (4) Borrowers may not use the proceeds from other
    
Department grant programs to repay loans made under this program.
        (5) Borrowers must agree to manage lands in
    
accordance with the terms of the loan. Any changes in management must be approved by the Department before implementation.
        (6) The Department is authorized to promulgate, by
    
rule, other reasonable requirements necessary to effectively implement this Act.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/35

    (525 ILCS 33/35)
    Sec. 35. Community Planning Allowance. As provided in this Section, the Department is authorized to make grants to units of local government for the acquisition, development, construction, reconstruction, improvement, financing, architectural planning, and installation of capital facilities. The grants shall be available only in connection with lands acquired under this Act by the Department in fee simple title. The grants may be made to the units of local government in which the lands are located in an amount equal to 7% of the purchase price of the open space land acquired for qualified projects.
    This Section does not apply to (i) counties with a population greater than 3,000,000 or (ii) counties contiguous to counties with a population greater than 3,000,000.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)

525 ILCS 33/810

    (525 ILCS 33/810)
    Sec. 810. (Amendatory provisions; text omitted).
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99; text omitted.)

525 ILCS 33/999

    (525 ILCS 33/999)
    Sec. 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)