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Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 03:27 pm

Letters to the Editor 9/5/13

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A demonstration by Artisan Yuki Nyhan at an Illinois Artisans Program art spree in Chicago.
PHOTO COURTESY ILLINOIS ARTISANS PROGRAM

SEEKING ARTISANS
The Illinois Artisans Program is approaching its 30th year. We would like to invite you to become part of this unique and growing program.

Created in 1985 by Gov. James R. Thompson, the program draws national and statewide attention to the exceptional fine craft and art in the state. The program provides venues for the display and sale of one-of-a-kind work, all made in Illinois. Juried artisans teach classes and participate in solo and group exhibitions, arts sprees (indoor art fairs) and demonstrations. Three nonprofit venues operate under statutory authority of the Illinois State Museum Society to display and sell Illinois artisans’ work in more than 26 media categories, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting, fiber arts, furniture and fine art.

To become a juried artist in the Artisans Program, an artist must live and work within Illinois. A body of work must then be reviewed and accepted by a jury panel. Artists apply in a specific media category and the cost is $30 per application. Deadline is Oct. 12. The full application can be found at museum.state.ill.us/artisans.

Merideth Lacina
Illinois Artisans Program assistant
Chicago



CLEAR SOLUTION
As a longtime supporter of building Hunter Lake, I have never considered myself much of a conservationist/environmentalist, but I am beginning to wonder. By any measure, and considering what is there now, constructing Hunter Lake would be a vast environmental improvement.

People should remember that this whole Hunter Lake issue is really about a secondary water supply for Springfield, but the environmental improvements and many recreational opportunities it would create are huge bonuses associated with it, and no other secondary water supply alternative has these.

If the Hunter Lake Project is built, a 3,010-acre lake would be created and with no homes on the lake; 4,700 acres of permanently dedicated wildlife habitat eventually would border virtually the entire lake perimeter. If it is not built, the vast majority of the land would almost assuredly be sold off to farmers and developers, and then be put to the plow and bulldozer.

I really wish our local environmental groups would get on board and support this project. I personally believe it’s the right thing to do for the city of Springfield, and everyone else involved.

Reg Davis
Springfield



SUSTAINABLE FUNDING
The passage this past January of sustainable funding legislation for the IDNR (Public Act 97-1136) is a historic victory for conservation. 

We are working diligently to apply this new funding to address our most pressing needs. The $2 annual fee from each motor vehicle registration is allowing us to keep state parks open and we’ve begun filling critical frontline staff vacancies. Next, we plan to address a huge backlog of critical maintenance and repair projects at state parks throughout Illinois.

Other fee revenue is starting to come in. A $6 water usage stamp for non-motorized watercraft will help improve legal and adequate access to rivers and streams for the paddling community. In addition, a $15 off-highway vehicle stamp for ATVs and off-highway motorcycles will provide funding for trails and help find new ways to provide public access, as well as waterway and park safety enforcement by the Illinois Conservation Police.

In addition to managing state parks, wildlife and fish programs, and providing outdoor recreation opportunities, IDNR oversees several regulatory functions, including mining and oil and gas production in the state. Higher fees agreed to by the Illinois oil and gas industry will help IDNR regulate the future hydraulic fracturing industry in Illinois.

In addition to mining, IDNR also oversees and administers water allocation and water management affecting millions of Illinois residents and provides wide-ranging education programs and the cultural, natural heritage and historical interpretation and protection programs of the Illinois State Museum system.

In all, IDNR programs have an annual economic impact of $32 billion and support 90,000 jobs in the state.

Marc Miller, director
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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