Travchat: Nature shorts from across the river
While the Missouri legislature thinks about mountain lion legislation and how many Conservation commissioners we really need, our near neighbor, the Illinois legislature, is serving up its own sort of wildlife management proposals.
In a proposal called “Double Earn a Buck” proposes that a hunter would have to turn in two filled antlerless deer tags in a season before being eligible for an antlered deer tag. This is being proposed by Senator John Jones, of relatively rural Mt. Vernon.
Everyone is pretty unanimous that jumping, exotic bighead and silver carp are a scourge to Midwestern streams. In Illinois, they are already legal bow and crossbow targets. HB 5317, sponsored by Rep. Dave Winters would like a shotgun season on said carp:
“Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall establish an Asian carp pilot program to permit licensed individuals to shoot Asian carp with a shotgun off of a motorboat in the Illinois River beginning with the 2013 licensing year. Provides that the individuals must have the appropriate license and use a specific type of ammunition. Provides that the Department may adopt administrative rules to establish and administer the pilot program.”
Like shooting fish in a barrel?
Illinois, like most states, combines hunting, fishing, geological regulation, parks, endangered species, water use and regulation, energy, forestry, Great Lakes management, human history and historical preservation, outdoors education, licenses and permits, wildlife and plant management, running the advertised worlds largest recreational shooting complex, and even events like a “Paranormal Investigation at Pere Marquette Lodge” into one department, controlled by the legislature. The state is also handicapped in that the northern one-third is big city urban, while parts of Southern Illinois are indistinguishable from the Ozarks. Even St. Louis and Kansas City have more in common with Winona or West Plains than Chicago and Chester or Carbondale, Illinois.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the neighbors. Never know what they’ll propose next.
What do you think of these?
(Thanks to Gretchen Steele and Barb Baird for providing these highlights from Springfield, Illinois.)