Heartland Outdoors: Through the Lens

IDNR Updates Related to Tier 3 Mitigations

Thursday, November 19

Illinois moves to a statewide Tier 3 Mitigation on Friday November 20 due to the increase in COVID 19 positvity rates, rising hospitalization and death numbers, and an overall noted surge in infections.

The statewide general mitigations can be found here

According to IDNR spokesperson Rachel Torbert, the move to Tier 3 Mitigation ultimately did necessitate a few changes specific to IDNR.

Per Tier 3 mitigations announced Tuesday, IDNR historic sites and museum facilities (Illinois State Museum, Research and Collections Center, Dickson Mounds Museum and the Lockport Gallery) will temporarily close beginning Friday, Nov. 20 and will remain closed until further notice. However, museum sites will continue to offer virtual opportunities so patrons may experience all our museum facilities have to offer.

Additionally, CWD Deer Check Stations for the 2020 firearm deer season have been canceled to better protect the health and safety of Illinois hunters and IDNR staff. The full release can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/news/Pages/IDNR-Announces-Closure-of-CWD-Check-Stations-for-2020-Firearm-Deer-Season.aspx

Finally, some changes have been made to hunting season regulations, particularly as they relate to standby hunting access. Regulations vary by species and season; for full details, please see press releases on the IDNR website:

Controlled Pheasant Hunting: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/news/Pages/IDNR-Announces-Illinois-Controlled-Pheasant-Hunting-Program—Changes-for-2020-21-Season.aspx

Deer season: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/news/Pages/IDNR-Sets-Health-and-Safety-Procedures—for-Deer-Hunting-at-State-Sites.aspx.

Waterfowl hunting: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/news/Pages/IDNR-Announces-Health-and-Safety-Protocols-and-Procedures-Implemented-for-Waterfowl-Hunting-Sites.aspx.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources continues to work with the Governor’s Office and Department of Public Health to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff at state parks amidst the ongoing pandemic. Currently, all state parks, fish and wildlife areas and recreational areas will remain open with public health directives in place. This includes limiting group activities to 10 or less. 

Additionally, at this time, site offices will remain open. Visitors centers which are staffed and are currently open will remain open

Torbert added, ” Of course, we’re asking visitors to state sites to bring with them face coverings in case social distancing cannot be achieved as well as hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Additionally, visitors should:

Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between themselves and others;

Stay home if they are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, troubled breathing, and/or other flu-like symptoms;

Visit alone or with members of their own household;

Stay local and visit parks that are closest to where they live;

Move to another area or return another time/day to visit is the park or site they choose to visit is crowded; and

Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their upper arm/elbow.”

Please practice responsible recreation when visiting IDNR properties during this mitigation period and help protect our communities and our IDNR staff!

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