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[MAY 21, 2004]  From the Department of Natural Resources:

The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend workshop scheduled for June 11-13 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Ill., has openings available. The registration has been extended and will stay open until all of the openings are filled. The weekend is full of adventurous outdoor activities such as shooting sports, fishing, canoeing, camping, archery, wild edibles and much more. To register or for more information contact Mary Allen at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, (217) 782-4080.

* * *

An open house to update the public on the status of the Jubilee College State Park trails plan will be on Thursday, May 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Wildlife Prairie State Park's Prairie Hall. Informational panels and comment stations will be available and a brief overview will be made. The Jubilee College State Park's Trail Committee and Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff will be on hand to provide additional information. For more information contact the Region 1 office, (815) 625-2968.

* * *

Golf reservations and hole sponsorships are still available for the annual Illinois Conservation Foundation Downstate Golf Benefit, scheduled for Tuesday, June 1 at the Rail Golf Club in Sherman, just north of Springfield. The golf outing proceeds support youth hunting, fishing and other educational programs throughout Illinois.

The registration fee of $150 per golfer, or $500 per foursome, includes greens fees and cart, lunch, dinner, beverages, prizes and awards. Hole sponsorships are available for $500 each.

For more information or to register, call (217) 785-8955. To register online, check the Illinois Conservation Foundation site at

* * *

The Natural Resources Advisory Board will meet June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Brandywine in Peoria. The meeting is open to the public, with time allotted for comment on any topic. An agenda item of interest to waterfowl hunters is the recommendations for the September Canada goose and teal hunting seasons. The National Resources Advisory Board is a 13-member board appointed by the governor to advise the Department of Natural Resources on long-range policies. For more information call (217) 782-4963.

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Ridge Lake, a 14-acre lake in Coles County, will be open for fishing beginning on May 27 and is open Thursdays through Sundays from 2 to 8 p.m. The lake also will be open on Monday, May 31, which is Memorial Day. For boat reservations or more information call (217) 345-6490. Ridge Lake is a research lake operated by the Department of Natural Resources' Natural History Survey, and the public can fish at the lake by appointment. Anglers are provided with a small rowboat that will seat up to four people. Fishing poles and tackle packages are available on loan for those interested.

Ridge Lake Station, a fisheries research lab, was constructed in 1941 to investigate fisheries management alternatives for small impoundments.

* * *

The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will meet at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 21, at the Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield. For more information contact the board at (217) 785-8687.

* * *

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring the fifth annual Outdoor Illinois photo contest. This year's contest has been expanded, and the public is invited to join in "Celebrating the Seasons of Life in Illinois."

The deadline for entering is Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. Send all entries to: Photo Contest, Outdoor Illinois, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271. For more information about the photo contest, please visit

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Guided tours and rides have begun for the summer at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Midewin staff, volunteers and guest leaders offer a variety of interpretive tours and exploration activities. Some tours are escorted in caravans with viewing stops and radio commentary, some feature outdoor activities, and some are especially designed by and for history buffs. Two new tours this year feature prairie restoration and the history of farming at the former Joliet Arsenal.


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Space for the tours is limited, so advance registration is recommended to reserve your place. Call the Midewin office, (815) 423-6370, during regular business hours to make a reservation. The cost of the tour is $3 per person; children under age 12 are free. Fees may be paid in cash or by check at the time of the tour. All tours leave from the Midewin supervisor's office, located two miles north of Wilmington on State Route 53. For a complete list of tours visit

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Looking for the latest news about Illinois' natural resources? Pick up the May issue of Outdoor Illinois, the Department of Natural Resources' monthly magazine. The cover photograph capturing the Virginia bluebell bloom in its prime accompanies a story on central Illinois' Moraine View State Recreation Area.

If the warm weather is making you anxious to get out and explore Illinois, you'll find the stories on the water trails of northeast Illinois, bicycling the Grand Illinois Trail, fishing Illinois' waters for smallmouth bass and the Kickapoo State Park Paddle Festival especially appealing. Other features include Illinois artist Don Bald's award-winning turkey calls, the benefits of keeping a nature journal and details on Outdoor Illinois' annual photography contest.

Outdoor Illinois is an indispensable guide to Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at $10 for a one-year subscription. Call 1 (800) 720-3249 or visit to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.

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"Illinois Whitetails," available this summer, is a must-have book for anyone interested in deer and deer hunting in Illinois. It provides the most up-to-date research, stunning photos of trophy whitetails, a complete history of the Illinois deer herd and information about keeping the hunting heritage alive and well. "Illinois Whitetails" lists entries in the Illinois Big Buck Program, including those made through March 1.

The book retails for only $24.95. Proceeds from the sale of "Illinois Whitetails" will benefit the Illinois Sportsman Against Hunger Program. To pre-order a copy, send your name, mailing address and quantity desired to or send the information to Department of Natural Resources, Office of Public Services, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, Attn. Curt Conrad.

* * *

The Department of Natural Resources will have an archery deer hunt at Weldon Springs, Piatt County Unit this fall. The site will be open to archery hunting during several periods, approximately one week each, between Oct. 2 and Jan. 9, 2005.

Archery hunting periods will be filled through a mail-in drawing. Applications are available at Weldon Springs State Park, Mascoutin State Recreation Area at Clinton Lake and the IDNR Region 3 office, also near Clinton Lake. The application also is available on the Web. [To download the Adobe Acrobat reader for the application form, click here.]

Applications must be received at the Weldon Springs State Park office by close of business June 30. Successful applicants only will be notified by mail by Aug. 1. All hunters will be required to show proof of a current hunting license, state-issued archery permit and issued site permit.

For more information please contact Carl Handel, district wildlife biologist, at (217) 423-7708 or Dave Herzog, site superintendent, at (217) 935-2644.

* * *

It is time to register for the first Chicagoland Fishing Rodeo for People with Disabilities, which will be at William Powers Conservation Area on Saturday, June 19. The Chicagoland Fishing Rodeo -- sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Conservation Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and Wheelin' Sportsmen -- will give people of all ages with physical or mental disabilities an opportunity to fish for free.

Interested anglers are required to bring a personal assistant. All necessary fishing equipment will be provided. There is no charge for the event, which is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 19. A free lunch will be provided for all participants and their assistants at 11:30 a.m. Interested participants must register in advance by calling William Powers Conservation Area at (773) 646-3270 or TTY (217) 782-9175.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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