Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits

Camping Reservations: Make your Illinois campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at
through the Reserve America website at

New Illinois State Parks Guide Now Available: The new edition of the Illinois State Parks guide is now available. The booklet is a great resources for everyone looking for an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike in a state forest, a ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state fish and wildlife area. The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at To order a free copy of the booklet, visit the IDNR publications webpage and look for “State Parks Magazine” at

Water Usage Stamps now Available: Non-motorized watercraft, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats in Illinois are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois, unless the vessels have a motor or sail. Non-motorized watercraft owners are now required to purchase a 'Water Usage Stamp' for $6.00 per calendar year for the each of the first three vessels, and $3.00 each for any additional vessels. All of the new Water Usage Stamps must be purchased at the same time to receive the discount. Water Usage Stamps are mandatory for all non-powered watercraft, except for those watercraft on which existing registration has not yet expired. The stamps are available over the counter from DNR Direct license and permit point of sale vendors. Use this link to find vendor locations for purchase of the water usage stamp:

ICF White Sox Game on Aug. 9: Enjoy a night of Chicago White Sox baseball with the Illinois Conservation Foundation on Aug. 9 as the Sox host the Minnesota Twins at 7:10 p.m. The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) Game Night begins with pregame activities for kids including fishing, horseshoes and a bean bag toss at 5:30 p.m. at Gate 1 at U.S. Cellular Field. The ICF will give each girl or boy (age 17 or under) with a White Sox ICF Night ticket a voucher for a free rod, reel and tackle box ($20.00 value) redeemable at Henry's Bait and Tackle, 3130 S. Canal St., Chicago, IL 60616. Tickets for ICF Night are $18.00 and all orders must be received by Monday, July 15 (Orders will not be redeemed at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket window or the White Sox administrative offices). White Sox ICF Night tickets can be purchased online at or by mail: ICF, Office of Community Outreach, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 4-300, Chicago, IL 60612.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop: The IDNR invites women to register now for the next ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ workshop, Sept. 27-29 at Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton. BOW workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction in 25 outdoor related activities. Classes are conducted in a casual and non-competitive atmosphere by experienced instructors. The cost is $165 per person, which includes the workshop, meals, lodging and transportation during the event. Registration is limited, so sign up today. Workshop and registration materials can be found on the IDNR website at

Safety Education: Begin planning for the upcoming 2013-14 hunting seasons in Illinois by checking the schedule of IDNR Hunter Safety Education courses. Many Hunter Safety classes are scheduled in advance of the fall seasons and summer is a good time to register. Classes fill up quickly, so check the IDNR website for scheduled classes, more of which are added each week. The web link for IDNR Safety Education courses is

Wingshooting Clinics: The IDNR and participating partners sponsor wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois to help improve the shooting skills of participants. Youth/Women's clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques. Upcoming clinics will be conducted on weekends from mid-August through late October. For a complete schedule, check the webpage at this link:

ICF Raffle: Buy tickets now for the 2013 Illinois Conservation Foundation Raffle and help support youth programs at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, IL. Raffle tickets are $100 each or three for $250. Raffle prizes – including a grand prize of up to $100,000 – will be presented at a drawing in Sangamon County on November 1, 2013. Upcoming Early Bird prizes will be awarded for tickets drawn in Sangamon County on July 18 and Aug. 15, 2013. The raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act. All business operations of the raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County. Raffle tickets are available online at and by mail at: ICF, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

Living with Wildlife: The IDNR and UI Extension have teamed up to provide residents of Illinois with information about how to coexist with wildlife, especially in urban areas. Urban wildlife helps us maintain our connection with nature, and helpful information on preventing problems with wildlife can be found on the “Living with Wildlife in Illinois” website at

Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at