Environmental groups are opposing a piece of legislation that allows landowners from the Illinois Farm Bureau two spots on the nine-member Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. The board decides what animals are considered endangered, and protected, in Illinois. Jim Herkert is President of the Illinois Audubon Society.
The bill also says that anyone with a federal permit for a project that could harm a protected species does not need one from Illinois. Herkert says that’s problematic because federal regulations aren’t always specific to endangered Illinois species. LaSalle County Farm Bureau President David Isermann says his group is for the bill. The Illinois Farm Bureau is interested in whether the Monarch Butterfly will be named endangered by the board.
There are 480 endangered or threatened plants and animals in Illinois right now. The legislation has been referred to the Illinois House rules committee.