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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Signs Wildlife Protections into Law

Nick Magrisso

Posted August 24, 2014

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The following is a guest blog by NRDC wildlife attorney, Rebecca Riley:

Mountain lions, gray wolves, and black bears are now safe to roam in Illinois, thanks to the leadership of Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois legislature. This last weekend, Governor Quinn signed the Protection of Wildlife Bill, which ensures that these carnivores will no longer be killed in our state without good cause.

According to researchers at Southern Illinois University, seven gray wolves, four mountain lions, and two black bears have been spotted in Illinois since 2000. And just a few months ago, there were reports of a third black bear near Rockford.

Until now, these animals could be shot on sight, no questions asked. And that is exactly what happened when mountain lions wandered into the state. Now, thanks to the new law, hunting and shooting mountain lions, gray wolves, and black bears is illegal, except in cases where the animals threaten livestock or public safety.

We all owe a special thanks to Governor Quinn, Chief Sponsors Senator Linda Holmes and Representative Kelly Cassidy as well as all the members of the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and the many environmental and conservation groups that worked together to protect wildlife in the great State of Illinois. This law is a victory for wildlife and wild lands in the Prairie State. A victory that we hope spreads across the region. 

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Marie PerkinsAug 25 2014 02:58 PM

Thank you Governor Quinn. You have always been a friend to ALL animals. Your opponent in the upcoming election (Bruce Rauner) is an avid hunter. If all of us animal lover's would come out in droves to help re-elect Governor Quinn, I'm sure animals across our state would breathe a sigh of relief.

John GareeAug 25 2014 06:37 PM

Without hunting and trapping, some animal populations grow out of control, and this actually hurts the populations by lack of food, lack of habitat, and the spread of disease. If you and the animal lovers come together and re-elect Quinn, not only will animals gain no benefit, but human beings in the state will continue to suffer greatly.
Congratulations, Pat Quinn, on wasting ink to protect animals that don't even live in IL but very, very rarely wander over the borders.

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