Outdoor adventures: More spent money, more problems
You know, I have been tough on the Deparment of Natural Resources over the years. At least the upper management, anyway.
Most of the time, it has been very fair criticism, I feel. So when I see that the DNR gobble up a bunch of land, I can't help but be very interested why, or how, or for what?
I always look past the candy-coated reasons they give for spending money and try to find the underlying truth. Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong.
Every once in a while, I am somewhere in the middle. I just know anytime money is spent by our state agencies, one can only wonder.
So here is the scoop: The DNR recently purchased four parcels of land. The most intriguing to us here in the Rock River valley would be the 64 acres purchased in Ogle County to add on the Lowden-Miller State forest.
Now, the details of from whom the land was purchased are not available yet, but the price is. Our (broke...cough, cough) DNR spent $450,000 on 64 acres of land. That's more than $7,000 per acre.
Now, I can at least understand the 411 acres they acquired in Pike County for $1.8 million: a measly but much more reasonable $4,300.
The Pike County deer hunting industry generates $25 million. So, of course they are already in the process of rule-making and turning this into their own little money-maker.
Yes, it gives some people access where there was minimal access before, but I am holding off excitement until I see how they handle this.
Will it be for residents only? What will fees be, and how will they manage it? I mean, they are already incredibly short-staffed, right? We were trying to close parks just last year again, and now we are buying more land to manage? Director Miller, please splain to me the thought process here. It seems to me we are once again spending money we do not have.
Now, the good news is we did purchase a 1-acre parcel in Vermillion County containing 40 species of rare plants. I guess these rare plants could not have been transplanted or grown anywhere else in the whole state, because we forked over $25,000 for this 1 acre. Yep. Twenty-five large, baby.
No wonder I look at the DNR and see a man and woman on welfare. Their kids have no food and no clothes. But they have cigarettes and beer and an iPhone. What a joke.
I think the train of thought might be trickling down, too. Last year, I made four calls to CPO's that were unanswered and unreturned. I guess the infractions I witness on the river from day to day aren't important enough.
Funny that that there are always officers at the Fourth of July festivities to hand out a few tickets. I just guess I am a slow learner, but I am getting it. I mean, they have the time to check my boat about three times a year.
Why bother with any more ranting? It doesn't matter. They will not respond and, if they do, it will be some well-orchestrated piece of garbage that makes them smell like a rose – a very rare, $25,000 rose.