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Wildlife Protections for Bears, Wolves, and Mountain Lions Pass the Illinois Senate Unanimously

Nick Magrisso

Posted April 7, 2014

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Cougar ready to pounce vial Flickr

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

Great news for wildlife out of Springfield today. Senate Bill 3049, which protects black bears, wolves, and mountain lions in Illinois, passed in the Senate unanimously. This represents a huge achievement for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Chief Sponsor Senator Linda Holmes, NRDC, and the environmental community, who have all been working hard to halt the killing of these apex predators when they enter our state.  

If enacted, Senate Bill 3049 will give black bears, wolves, and mountain lions the common-sense protections enjoyed by almost all other mammals in Illinois, while still allowing farmers to protect their livestock. It will stop the shoot-on-sight incidents that have repeatedly plagued mountain lions, in particular, when they make the trek to the prairie state.

We applaud the Department of Natural Resources’ and Senator Linda Holmes’ leadership in protecting these native predators as they return to their former range. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Department and working with members of the House of Representatives to get this important initiative to the governor’s desk. 


Cougar ready to pounce image by Neil McIntosh via Flickr

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Denna HollanApr 8 2014 10:44 AM

Proud of people like you!

amanda holmApr 8 2014 04:25 PM

Hunting.those animals should be banned for good

Eldon SipesApr 8 2014 05:32 PM

That's fine! But if they start killing my livestock. I am going hunting!

ChesterApr 8 2014 06:06 PM

Illinois; land of the regulations.

dawne santopietroApr 8 2014 07:04 PM

Save our animals, save our earth.

Alan Schroeder Apr 8 2014 08:39 PM

Great work on everyone's part. Only 49 states to go.

Julianne JeffriesApr 9 2014 12:32 AM

I'm very happy wildlife will be protected in Illinois. Please tell all your supporters and all the unhappy folks exactly what steps they should take when they encounter each type of wildlife. Given the viral PR these days: It only takes one bad encounter to destroy all our/your hard work.

Karl-Olof LassenApr 9 2014 01:59 AM

Because of greed and human viciousness and lack of knowledge about nature worldwide needed animals support from people with knowledge.

NAT KINGApr 9 2014 09:31 AM

thank you .. very good decision .. this should be all of the world

Diane SchrumApr 10 2014 08:01 PM

OK - so now tell us just exactly WHAT WE SHOULD DO while we are hiking and encounter Mountain lion or black bear.....Dr Laundre' did not spend one moment on this in Bloomington - a disappointment after driving there. He just compared AD NAUSEUM apples and oranges when he cited studies about dogs and toilet seats without comparing numbers for numbers (attacks per #) to make it a similar/fair comparison. Or adjusted for details about the situations. He just compared totals per year.

ChristineApr 10 2014 08:58 PM

For the record, this is how endangered these animals are in Illinois:

Researchers at Southern Illinois University say about seven gray wolves, four mountain lions and two black bears have been spotted in the state since 2000.

Only 7 + 4 + 2 of these species have EVER been reported spotted in our state in 14 YEARS!! These animals are GONE.

This law should of been enacted a long time ago. Why did it take so long for this state to even try to protect them from complete annihilation?

Nicole Apr 11 2014 10:55 AM

Thank you Christine for doing some RESEARCH and providing that information here. No one should be so terrified, unless if that fear is that we are losing habitat for the wildlife.

Thank you Nick for spending your time on this very important wildlife conservation issue, and Rebecca for writing this great short piece. These predators are vital to our ecosystem. Unfortunately we will never truly understand the amount of work it takes organizations like NRDC to pass environmental issues in this state. These are the type of changes that will help us move forward.

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