Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4713
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Full Text of HB4713  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 1/27/2022, by Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr.


20 ILCS 5/5-560 rep.
20 ILCS 801/1-15
520 ILCS 5/1.3
525 ILCS 33/15
525 ILCS 33/25

    Amends the Departments of State Government Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois by repealing the Section that created the Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board. Makes corresponding changes in the Wildlife Code and the Illinois Open Land Trust Act. Amends the Department of Natural Resources Act. Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to conduct regional yearly public forums to obtain public input and comments on subjects, matters, or programs under the control of the Department of Natural Resources. Requires the Department of Natural Resources to consider all comments received during a public forum.

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HB4713LRB102 25046 NLB 34305 b

1    AN ACT concerning natural resources.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    (20 ILCS 5/5-560 rep.)
5    Section 5. The Civil Administrative Code of Illinois is
6amended by repealing Section 5-560.
7    Section 10. The Department of Natural Resources Act is
8amended by changing Section 1-15 as follows:
9    (20 ILCS 801/1-15)
10    Sec. 1-15. General powers and duties.
11    (a) It shall be the duty of the Department to investigate
12practical problems, implement studies, conduct research and
13provide assistance, information and data relating to the
14technology and administration of the natural history,
15entomology, zoology, and botany of this State; the geology and
16natural resources of this State; the water and atmospheric
17resources of this State; and the archeological and cultural
18history of this State.
19    (b) The Department (i) shall obtain, store, and process
20relevant data; recommend technological, administrative, and
21legislative changes and developments; cooperate with other
22federal, state, and local governmental research agencies,



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1facilities, or institutes in the selection of projects for
2study; cooperate with the Board of Higher Education and with
3the public and private colleges and universities in this State
4in developing relevant interdisciplinary approaches to
5problems; and evaluate curricula at all levels of education
6and provide assistance to instructors and (ii) may sponsor an
7annual conference of leaders in government, industry, health,
8and education to evaluate the state of this State's
9environment and natural resources.
10    (c) The Director, in accordance with the Personnel Code,
11shall employ such personnel, provide such facilities, and
12contract for such outside services as may be necessary to
13carry out the purposes of the Department. Maximum use shall be
14made of existing federal and state agencies, facilities, and
15personnel in conducting research under this Act.
16    (d) In addition to its other powers, the Department has
17the following powers:
18        (1) To obtain, store, process, and provide data and
19    information related to the powers and duties of the
20    Department under this Act. This subdivision (d)(1) does
21    not give authority to the Department to require reports
22    from nongovernmental sources or entities.
23        (2) To cooperate with and support the Illinois Science
24    and Technology Advisory Committee and the Illinois
25    Coalition for the purpose of facilitating the effective
26    operations and activities of such entities. Support may



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1    include, but need not be limited to, providing space for
2    the operations of the Committee and the Illinois
3    Coalition.
4    (e) The Department is authorized to make grants to local
5not-for-profit organizations for the purposes of development,
6maintenance and study of wetland areas.
7    (f) The Department has the authority to accept, receive
8and administer on behalf of the State any gifts, bequests,
9donations, income from property rental and endowments. Any
10such funds received by the Department shall be deposited into
11the Natural Resources Fund, a special fund which is hereby
12created in the State treasury, and used for the purposes of
13this Act or, when appropriate, for such purposes and under
14such restrictions, terms and conditions as are predetermined
15by the donor or grantor of such funds or property. Any accrued
16interest from money deposited into the Natural Resources Fund
17shall be reinvested into the Fund and used in the same manner
18as the principal. The Director shall maintain records which
19account for and assure that restricted funds or property are
20disbursed or used pursuant to the restrictions, terms or
21conditions of the donor.
22    (g) The Department shall recognize, preserve, and promote
23our special heritage of recreational hunting and trapping by
24providing opportunities to hunt and trap in accordance with
25the Wildlife Code.
26    (h) Within 5 years after the effective date of this



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1amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, the Department
2shall fly a United States Flag, an Illinois flag, and a POW/MIA
3flag at all State parks. Donations may be made by groups and
4individuals to the Department's Special Projects Fund for
5costs related to the implementation of this subsection.
6    (i) The Department is authorized to and may conduct
7regional yearly public forums to obtain public input and
8comments on any subject, matter, or program that is under the
9control of the Department. This may include, but is not
10limited to, the following matters: the protection and
11conservation of renewable resources of the State of Illinois;
12the development of areas and facilities for outdoor
13recreation; the prevention of timber destruction and other
14forest growth by fire or otherwise; the reforestation of
15suitable lands of this State; the management of wildlife
16resources, including migratory fowl, and fisheries resources,
17including the construction of new water impoundment areas; and
18the expressing of comments or concerns for the proper
19dissemination and enforcement of the various laws pertinent to
20the conservation programs of Illinois and the nation. Public
21input or comments may be accepted in written, electronic, or
22oral form. The Department shall consider all comments that it
23receives during these public forums when enacting policies or
24managing programs that are under the purview of the
25Department. These forums shall be governed by administrative



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1(Source: P.A. 102-388, eff. 1-1-22.)
2    Section 15. The Wildlife Code is amended by changing
3Section 1.3 as follows:
4    (520 ILCS 5/1.3)
5    Sec. 1.3. The Department shall have the authority to
6manage wildlife and regulate the taking of wildlife for the
7purposes of providing public recreation and controlling
8wildlife populations. The seasons during which wildlife may be
9taken, the methods for taking wildlife, the daily bag limits,
10and the possession limits shall be established by the
11Department through administrative rule, but the Department may
12not provide for a longer season, a larger daily bag limit, or a
13larger possession limit than is provided in this Code.
14    The Natural Resources Advisory Board may also recommend to
15the Director of Natural Resources any reductions or increases
16of seasons and bag or possession limits or the closure of any
17season when research and inventory data indicate the need for
18such changes.
19    The Department is authorized to establish seasons for the
20taking of migratory birds within the dates established
21annually by Proclamation of the Secretary, United States
22Department of the Interior, known as the "Rules and
23Regulations for Migratory Bird Hunting" (50 CFR 20 et seq.).
24When the biological balance of any species is affected, the



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1Director may with the approval of the Conservation Advisory
2Board, by administrative rule, may lengthen, shorten or close
3the season during which waterfowl may be taken within the
4federal limitations prescribed. If the Department does not
5adopt an administrative rule establishing a season, then the
6season shall be as set forth in the current "Rules and
7Regulations for Migratory Bird Hunting". The Department shall
8advise the public by reasonable means of the dates of the
9various seasons.
10    The Department may utilize the services of the staff of
11the Illinois Natural History Survey of the University of
12Illinois for making investigations as to the population status
13of the various species of wildlife.
14    Employees or agents of any state, federal, or municipal
15government or body when engaged in investigational work and
16law enforcement, may with prior approval of the Director, be
17exempted from the provisions of this Act.
18(Source: P.A. 98-346, eff. 8-14-13.)
19    Section 20. The Illinois Open Land Trust Act is amended by
20changing Sections 15 and 25 as follows:
21    (525 ILCS 33/15)
22    Sec. 15. Powers and duties. The Department of Natural
23Resources has the following powers and duties:
24    (a) To develop and administer the Illinois Open Land Trust



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2    (b) To acquire real property, including, but not limited
3to, open space and natural areas for conservation and
4recreation purposes. The lands shall be held in (i) fee simple
5title or (ii) conservation easements for natural areas,
6provided that these mechanisms are all voluntary on the part
7of the landowners and do not involve the use of eminent domain.
8    (c) To make grants to units of local government under
9Section 25 of this Act in consultation with the Natural
10Resources Advisory Board.
11    (d) To make loans to units of local government under
12Section 30 of this Act in consultation with the Natural
13Resources Advisory Board.
14    (e) To promulgate any rules, regulations, guidelines, and
15directives necessary to implement the purposes of this Act.
16    (f) To execute contracts, grant or loan agreements,
17memoranda of understanding, intergovernmental cooperation
18agreements, and any other agreements with other State agencies
19and units of local government that are necessary to implement
20this Act.
21    (g) To execute contracts, memoranda of understanding, and
22any other agreements with not-for-profit corporations that are
23consistent with the purpose of this Act.
24    (h) To accept grants, loans, or appropriations from the
25federal government or the State, or any agency or
26instrumentality thereof, for the purposes of the Department



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1under this Act, including to make loans of any funds and to
2enter into any agreement with the federal government or the
3State, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, in
4relationship to the grants, loans, or appropriations.
5    (i) To establish any interest rates, terms of repayment,
6and other terms and conditions regarding loans made pursuant
7to this Act that the Department deems necessary or appropriate
8to protect the public interest and carry out the purposes of
9this Act.
10    (j) To establish application, eligibility, selection,
11notification, contract, and other procedures, rules, or
12regulations deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out the
13provisions of this Act.
14    (k) To fix, determine, charge, and collect any premiums,
15fees, charges, costs, and expenses, including, without
16limitation, any application fees, commitment fees, program
17fees, or financing charges from any person in connection with
18its activities under this Act.
19    (l) To report annually to the Governor and the General
20Assembly on the progress made in implementing this Act and on
21the status of all real property acquired pursuant to the Act.
22(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)
23    (525 ILCS 33/25)
24    Sec. 25. Grant program. From appropriations for these
25purposes, the Department may make grants to units of local



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1government as financial assistance for the acquisition of open
2space and natural lands if the Department determines that the
3property interests are sufficient to carry out the purposes of
4this Act.
5    The Department shall adopt rules concerning the selection
6or grant recipients, amount of grant awards, and eligibility
7requirements. The rules must include the following additional
9        (1) No more than $2,000,000 may be awarded to any
10    grantee for a single project for any fiscal year.
11        (2) Any grant under this Act must be conditioned upon
12    the grantee providing a required match as defined by rule.
13        (3) Funds may be used only to purchase interests in
14    land from willing sellers and may not involve the use of
15    eminent domain.
16        (4) (Blank). The Department shall provide for a public
17    meeting to be conducted by the Natural Resources Advisory
18    Board prior to grant approval.
19        (5) All real property acquired with grant funds must
20    be accessible to the public for conservation and
21    recreation purposes, unless the Department determines that
22    public accessibility would be detrimental to the real
23    property or any associated natural resources.
24        (6) No real property acquired with grant funds may be
25    sold, leased, exchanged, or otherwise encumbered, unless
26    it is used to qualify for a federal program or, subject to



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1    Department approval, transferred to the federal
2    government, the State, or a unit of local government for
3    conservation and recreation purposes consistent with this
4    Act.
5        (7) All grantees must agree to convey to the State at
6    no charge a conservation easement on the lands to be
7    acquired using the grant funds.
8        (8) Grantees must agree to manage lands in accordance
9    with the terms of the grant. Any changes in management
10    must be approved by the Department before implementation.
11        (9) The Department is authorized to promulgate, by
12    rule, any other reasonable requirements determined
13    necessary to effectively implement this Act.
14(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)