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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Government priorities

State acquires 547 acres for hunting, other outdoors recreation

Hunters, anglers, bird-watchers and hikers have some new places to explore.
The state of Illinois has purchased 547 acres for outdoors recreation, including 411 acres in deer-rich Pike County, 60 miles west of Springfield.
Gov. Pat Quinn, along with Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller and Lenore Beyer-Clow of Openlands in Chicago, announced the $2.8 million in purchases Wednesday at DNR headquarters at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Good for the hunters, anglers, bird-watchers and hikers. Good for the sellers. For everyone else, including state employees and retirees who are being threatened with reduced benefits, government contractors who are not getting the bills paid, and the taxpayers who had their state income taxes raised 67%, this is a complete slap in the face.

I don't care that the money for this purchase was provided by a grant that would have never been used for anything else. This was the wrong time to do this.

“The Pike County property provides 411 acres of public recreational access in a place that doesn’t have very much access,” Miller said. “We’re going to be working on rules to allow for hunting to take place in this area.”
He said deer hunting is worth $25 million to Pike County every year.
“That is a tremendous economic impact,” he said. “As we add more acres, that will be even better for Illinois.”

Yes, deer hunting is huge in Pike County. And that is a good thing. But how is this purchase of private land by the state going to add to the economy? They need to explain how this will have a tremendous impact, especially if the land was already being used for hunting. Will it more than make up for the loss of revenue to the local taxing authorities, including the school district, when this land is removed from the real estate tax rolls?

People already don't trust government. Acquisitions like this, at this time, only confirm that distrust.

No, I'm not turning into a conservative. But, I am a pragmatist.

Posted by Marie at February 21, 2013 10:56 PM