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.