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2    WHEREAS, Article 11 SECTION 1 of the Illinois State
3Constitution states that it is the public policy of the State
4and the duty of each person is to provide and maintain a
5healthful environment for the benefit of this and future
6generations; and
7    WHEREAS, SECTION 2 states each person has the right to a
8healthful environment and that each person may enforce this
9right against any party, governmental or private, through
10appropriate legal proceedings subject to reasonable limitation
11and regulation as the General Assembly may provide by the law;
13    WHEREAS, The General Assembly is charged by law with
14providing for the implementation and enforcement of this
15public policy; and
16    WHEREAS, The Illinois 30 by 30 Task Force discussed the
17application of the 30 by 30 concept in Illinois and considered
18how agriculture is a predominate land use in the state (75% of
19the State's land area); and
20    WHEREAS, The Task Force determined that part of a
21successful strategy would include dedication through fee



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1simple and easement acquisition, as well as voluntary
2conservation practices; and
3    WHEREAS, Currently, 4.2% of the total land area in
4Illinois is formally protected for conservation purposes
5through public and private mechanisms; and
6    WHEREAS, Over the past 10 years, the Illinois Department
7of Natural Resources has acquired approximately 20,000 acres
8in fee simple acquisitions; and
9    WHEREAS, The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission has two
10programs that offer the highest level of legal protection for
11natural lands in Illinois, the Dedicated Nature Preserve and
12the Registered Land and Water Reserve; and
13    WHEREAS, The Conservation and Fall Covers for Spring
14Savings are two programs that support conservation practices
15on agricultural land; and
16    WHEREAS, More than 1.5 million acres are currently under
17contract for three programs in Illinois through the Department
18of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
19the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation
20Stewardship Program, and the Regional Conservation Partnership
21Program; and



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1    WHEREAS, The health of Illinois' ecosystems is threatened
2by a number of issues, including habitat degradation and loss,
3hydrological modifications, spread of exotic species, and
4economic constraints; and
5    WHEREAS, Over 90% of land in Illinois is privately owned,
6making conservation partnerships in Illinois an imperative;
7roughly 87,000 acres of natural lands, both private and
8public, are preserved in the Illinois Nature Preserves
9Commission's Nature Preserve and Land and Water Reserve land
10protection programs; and
11    WHEREAS, Information collected from the measuring of
12conserved lands would help the State to determine the adequate
13amount of land that should be conserved, to define the overall
14percentages and the breakdown by geographical area, and to
15focus the discussion of access to conserved lands; and
16    WHEREAS, The amount of work needed for a successful
17outcome would best be accomplished by collaboration with all
18coordinating State agencies; and
19    WHEREAS, In addition, conservation capacity can be built
20by increasing conservation agency staffing; and



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1    WHEREAS, The participation of students on this project is
2important for the coordination between public and conservation
3efforts; and
4    WHEREAS, Aligning programs with local priorities and
5values provides feedback and actively engages local
6communities in preparation for new programs and open space;
7therefore, be it
9ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the creation of
10a coordinating council under the Illinois Department of
11Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Agriculture;
12and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That the coordinating council should meet at a
14minimum of two times to bring together a relevant staff of
15agencies, students of Pontiac Township High School, and
16non-governmental organizations, including the largest
17statewide association representing agriculture, to develop a
18strategy for implementation of 30 by 30 Task Force
19recommendations; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
21delivered to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the
22Illinois Department of Agriculture, and Pontiac Township High



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