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  Partners for Conservation  

The State of Illinois faces challenges in its effort to manage its natural resources and preserve and enhance biological resources in a landscape that is 90 percent privately owned with more than 75 percent of the state in farmland. Broad-based, multi-disciplinary solutions to ecological problems were explored by the Water Resources and Land Use Priorities Task Force and Illinois' First and Second Conservation Congresses and their realistic, goal-driven recommendations are bringing the dawn of a new age to land management in Illinois.

Participants in these public involvement processes believed that it was possible to have and preserve the natural resources of Illinois through ecosystem-based management and through protection and enhancement strategies that are matched to each ecosystems scale.

While efforts to preserve and enhance Illinois' natural resources have traditionally been focused in nature preserves, parks and fish and wildlife areas owned by public agencies and dedicated to public recreation, protection of landscape scale resources requires a broad involvement from private landowners and community interests and a collaborative role for the State in promoting conservation efforts. Two key criteria were established for new programs designed to preserve the natural resources of Illinois:

  • They must be voluntary, and based on incentives rather than government regulation.
  • They must be broad-based, locally-organized efforts, incorporating the interests and participation of local communities, and of private, public and corporate landowners

It was further asserted that the private sector stood to gain economically from such programs and implementation is a joint responsibility. In response to these recommendations, landmark legislation was passed (without a dissenting vote) by the General Assembly in 1995 initiating Conservation 2000, (C2000) a comprehensive, six year, $100 million initiative, designed to take a holistic, long-term approach to protecting and managing Illinois' natural resources. With overwhelmingly positive support for the program, in 1999, House Bill 1746 was signed into law in August of 1999 extending the C2000 Program until the year 2009.

In 2008, House Bill 1780 was signed into law as Public Act 95-0139, extending the program to 2021 as Partners for Conservation.

The Partners for Conservation Program funds programs at IDNR, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Below are links to Partners for Conservation resources within IDNR and its two state agency partners.

Partners for Conservation

 Ecosystems & Environment
 Partners for Conservation
 Ecosystems Program
 Ecosystem Partnerships
 Ecosystem Project Grants
 Grant Projects
 Other Grant Opportunities
 Partners for Conservation Digital Library
 Best Management Practices
 Program Support
 Forms and Documents
 Online System
 Legacy Pilots
 State Agency Partners

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