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Department of Natural Resources - RG 207 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Department of Natural Resources - RG 207


Historical Note:

The Department of Natural Resources was created on July 1, 1995. Most of the powers, duties and responsibilities of the Department of Conservation were transferred to this agency, except for the transfer of operations of Lincoln’s Tomb to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The Department of Natural Resources also absorbed most of the functions and responsibilities of the Department of Energy and Natural Resources, the Department of Mines and Minerals, the Abandoned Mined Lands Reclamation Council, and the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Transportation. The energy, recycling, and oil overcharge programs formerly administered by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources were instead transferred to the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (P.A. 89-50, pp. 1388-1392).

The Department of Natural Resources is primarily charged with managing, maintaining, and protecting state parks, fish and wildlife areas, forests, marinas, conservation areas, nature preserves, and water resources for recreation and natural heritage purposes. Other duties of the department include administering grants for construction programs at department-owned sites; operating the Conservation Police to enforce state laws concerning the protection of natural resources; regulating mining, oil, and gas operations in the state; issuing hunting, fishing, boat and snowmobile licenses and permits; landscape planning for the department’s properties; and developing outreach programs including publications, outdoor sports programs, and safety education.

The Department of Natural Resources also included the Natural History Survey, the State Water Survey, the State Geological Survey, and the Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center (renamed the Waste Management and Research Center in 1997) (P.A. 90-490, p. 5413). These divisions were placed under the auspices of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 (P.A. 95-728, p. 87).

 

For an administrative history of the Department of Conservation, see RG 244.000; for the Department of Mines and Minerals, see RG 245.000; for the Department of Energy and Natural Resources, see RG 248.000; and for the Abandoned Mined Lands Reclamation Council, see RG 315.000.






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