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Public Act 100-0420


 

Public Act 0420 100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 100-0420
 
SB1029 EnrolledLRB100 07618 RJF 17684 b

    AN ACT concerning government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Act.
 
    Section 5. Legislative findings and statement of public
policy.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that:
        (1) The Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act
    defines natural areas and creates the Illinois Nature
    Preserves Commission to preserve the highest quality
    natural areas in perpetuity to sustain for the people of
    present and future generations the benefits of an enduring
    resource of natural areas, including the elements of
    natural diversity present.
        (2) The Natural Areas Acquisition Fund, established in
    the Open Lands Acquisition and Development Act, shall be
    used by the Department of Natural Resources for the
    acquisition, preservation, and stewardship of natural
    areas, including habitats for endangered and threatened
    species, high quality natural communities, wetlands, and
    other areas with unique or unusual natural heritage
    qualities.
        (3) The condition of dedicated and registered sites
    tends to degrade over time without stewardship actions.
    Once degraded, the public's significant investment is
    devalued and these natural areas provide reduced benefit to
    the people of present and future generations.
        (4) Conservation land trusts have experience managing
    natural areas in order to counter the constant and
    increasing pressures exerted on conservation lands by
    ecological succession, habitat fragmentation, hydrological
    alteration, pollution, encroachment by invasive and exotic
    species, and criminal trespass.
        (5) This Act and the powers afforded to the Illinois
    Nature Preserves Commission are desirable to guide and
    preserve the highest quality natural areas in perpetuity.
    (b) It is the purpose of this Act to:
        (1) increase stewardship by providing stewardship
    grants to conservation land trusts to help perform
    stewardship actions on eligible lands; and
        (2) to enhance stewardship capacity within
    conservation land trusts in local areas.
 
    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Administrative decision" has the same meaning ascribed to
the term in Section 3-101 of the Administrative Review Law of
the Code of Civil Procedure.
    "Commission" means the Illinois Nature Preserves
Commission.
    "Conservation land trust" means an entity exempt from
taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal
Revenue Code whose purposes include the restoration,
stewardship, or conservation of land, natural areas, open
space, or water areas for the preservation of native plants or
animals, biotic communities, geologic formations, or
archeological sites of significance.
    "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
    "Eligible land" means a site that has been dedicated by the
Commission as an Illinois Nature Preserve or dedicated buffer
or registered as a Land and Water Reserve, and has a current,
approved management schedule.
    "Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Grant Program" means a
program established under Section 20 of this Act.
    "Land" means real property and ownership rights applying to
it and includes the real property, structures, and
improvements.
    "Management schedule" means an approved document
consistent with rules for Management of Nature Preserves or
rules for Register of Land and Water Reserves under the
Illinois Administrative Code developed for the preservation,
protection, management, and use of lands.
    "Stewardship actions" means actions identified in an
approved management schedule which are designed to maintain,
preserve, or improve the condition of native natural
communities, diversity of species, and ecological processes on
eligible lands, such as, but not limited to, prescribed burns,
control of exotic and invasive species, fencing, and other
restorative practices.
    "Stewardship grant" means a grant from the Department to a
conservation land trust for the purpose of providing
stewardship actions under Section 20 of this Act.
 
    Section 15. Powers, duties, and authorizations. The
Department may:
        (1) make stewardship grants under Section 20 of this
    Act under an appropriation made from the Natural Areas
    Acquisition Fund to conservation land trusts to conduct
    stewardship actions on eligible lands;
        (2) establish the total amount of funds available for
    annual stewardship grants, except the amount of
    stewardship grants made for any fiscal year may not exceed
    the amount set by administrative rule and shall not result
    in adverse impacts on the operations funded by the Natural
    Areas Acquisition Fund;
        (3) accept and receive any funds including by
    agreement, grant, contract, donation, gift, or bequest
    from any corporation, foundation, non-governmental agency,
    individual, or instrumentality of any of those for the
    purposes of executing stewardship grants under this Act and
    these funds are to be deposited into the Natural Areas
    Acquisition Fund;
        (4) develop and administer the Illinois Natural Areas
    Stewardship Grant Program within the Department;
        (5) adopt rules to effectuate the purposes of this Act;
    or
        (6) from an appropriation made to the Department for
    this purpose, use funds received under this 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 this Act.
 
    Section 20. Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Grant
Program.
    (a) The 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.
    (b) A conservation land trust in good standing with the
federal Internal Revenue Service may apply for a grant.
    (c) An agency, organization, or entity that has taxing
powers, collects taxes, or has eminent domain powers is not
eligible to apply for the grant program under this Act.
    (d) Eligible land held by agencies, organizations, or other
entities may be the recipient of stewardship actions conducted
under the grant as long as there is a properly executed
agreement between the agency, organization, or entity and the
conservation land trust that has been awarded the grant.
    (e) The Department shall adopt administrative rules in
consultation with the Commission for grant writing, the
selection of grant recipients, amount of grant awards, and
eligibility requirements to implement the purposes of this Act.
However, the rules shall include the following requirements:
        (1) amounts for match and caps for any stewardship
    grant under this Act; and
        (2) the Commission shall be notified of any agreement
    between a conservation land trust and an owner of eligible
    lands for stewardship actions to be conducted under the
    grant agreement.
 
    Section 25. Priorities. In considering applications for
grants under this Act, 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.
 
    Section 30. Administrative Review Law. All final
administrative decisions under this Act are subject to judicial
review under the Administrative Review Law of the Code of Civil
Procedure.
 
    Section 35. Fund depository. All funds, assessments,
fines, settlements, compensations, transfers, appropriations,
penalties, and donations made under this Act shall be deposited
into the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund subject to the
limitations described in subsection (2) of Section 15 of this
Act.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/25/2017