Department of Natural Resources
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
|Natural and Cultural Resource Protection
|Resource-Related Public Safety
|Science, Education, and Culture
Totals may not add due to rounding.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was established on July 1, 1995. DNR’s mission is to manage, conserve, and protect Illinois’ natural, recreational, and cultural resources; further the public’s understanding and appreciation of those resources; and promote the education, science, and public safety of Illinois’ natural resources for present and future generations. DNR manages over 324 sites totaling more than 484,000 acres of publicly owned and leased land. Additionally, DNR manages a variety of public sites such as museums, boat access areas, marinas, trails, and concessions that are leased to or operated by private concessionaires or local communities. DNR also coordinates the operation of the Illinois State Museum. As a part of the Natural and Cultural Resource Protection Program, the department manages land and water resources, enforces resource laws, acquires resource-rich lands, reclaims mine sites, and manages the state’s mineral resources. Through its Resource-Compatible Recreation Program, the department offers a wide range of recreational opportunities at its state parks including camping, picnicking, sightseeing, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, and trail use. The department’s Resource-Compatible Recreation Program expands recreational opportunities statewide through grant partnerships with local units of government. Through such partnerships, DNR assists in the acquisition and development of open spaces, boat access areas, and bike and snowmobile trails. Through its Resource-Related Public Safety Program, the department offers safety education classes for hunters, boaters, trappers, and snowmobilers to enhance safety in these recreational activities. The department’s conservation police officers enforce state laws pertaining to boating, hunting, and snowmobile safety and assist park staff in ensuring the safe use of facilities and resources at agency sites. The department’s Public Safety Program includes programs to ensure the safety of the state’s coal and aggregate miners and others involved in the use of blasting and explosives. Agency staff protects the public from mine emergencies and enforces safety standards for dam and flood plain construction.
The department offers a wide range of interpretative and environmental education opportunities as part of the Science, Education, and Culture Program. The Illinois State Museum promotes discovery, learning, and an appreciation of Illinois’ natural, cultural, and artistic heritage. DNR provides an array of educational programs for students and teachers through the Division of Education. These include ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops for school teachers, enhancing their natural resources teaching skills through science-based, hands-on, interdisciplinary instruction led by natural resources professionals, correlated to Illinois State Board of Education learning standards.