Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0101
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Full Text of HR0101  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The Illinois Constitution declares that it is the
3public policy of the State "to provide and maintain a
4healthful environment for the benefit of this and future
5generations"; and
6    WHEREAS, Illinois has historically demonstrated leadership
7and resolve to protect, conserve, and restore the natural
8environment, including through a network of protected areas;
10    WHEREAS, There are over 130 state parks and multiple
11conservation programs in Illinois; and
12    WHEREAS, According to an estimate by the United States
13Department of Agriculture, there were approximately five
14million acres of forested land in Illinois in 2018, containing
15over two billion trees; that is an increase of over 100,000
16acres of wooded land since 2013; of those five million acres,
17over 83% of them were owned by private land-owners; and
18    WHEREAS, The United States ranks among the top five
19countries in the world for the amount of wilderness-quality
20land and ocean it has remaining; and



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1    WHEREAS, The United States Geological Survey classifies
2over seven-hundred million acres of land, or 30% of the U.S.
3landmass, as protected; that network of protected areas is
4preserved and supported by a variety of conservation laws; and
5    WHEREAS, The United States has the conservation experience
6and traditions necessary to make great strides in the
7preservation of natural areas for future generations; and
8    WHEREAS, The United States announced that it would join
9the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global campaign to plant at
10least one trillion new trees; and
11    WHEREAS, The U.S. Senate is considering a resolution
12calling for the establishment of a national goal of conserving
13at least 30% of U.S. lands and oceans by 2030; and
14    WHEREAS, Congressional leaders of both major parties have
15implemented legislation to protect the United States' rich
16natural heritage; and
17    WHEREAS, Despite these accomplishments, there are over
181,300 threatened or endangered species in the United States
19according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency; a
20study published in the journal Science found that the bird
21populations in the United States and Canada have declined by



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1three billion since 1970; and
2    WHEREAS, Young people are taking the lead in the effort to
3conserve Illinois' environmental resources; the students of
4Pontiac Township High School raised $100,000 and launched
5Operation Endangered Species to restore endangered species to
6their historical habitats; and
7    WHEREAS, Through the Operation Endangered Species program,
8these students have performed research, secured habitat,
9informed citizens, and empowered youth to take action; and
10    WHEREAS, Operation Endangered Species fostered cooperation
11between the students of Pontiac Township High School and the
12Illinois Department of Natural Resources, resulting in the
13reintroduction of the Alligator Snapping Turtle back into its
14natural habitat; therefore, be it
17the State should redouble its efforts to work with the federal
18government, local governments, the private sector, civil
19society, schools, students, farmers, ranchers, fishing
20communities, and sportsmen to conserve the land, rivers, and
21lakes of Illinois for present and future generations to enjoy,
22taking into account a wide range of flexible and enduring



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1conservation solutions that will improve access to nature for
2all people within Illinois, especially for communities that
3have historically lacked access to natural spaces; and be it
5    RESOLVED, That the State should pursue this goal in a way
6that protects private property rights and traditional land
7uses and enables landowners to pass down the working land of
8those landowners to the next generation; and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
10delivered to the students of Pontiac Township High School,
11Lemont High School, and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School.