Draft Conservation Vision Document

Wildflowers in bloom

Prairie flowers by Shawn May, USFWS

The next step in the refuge planning process is to develop a land protection plan or conservation visioning document. The purpose of this document is to communicate our priorities for wildlife conservation and strategies within the authorized focus areas of the refuge. These priorities serve as a guide for prioritizing our work with interested landowners on wildlife conservation within the focus areas, also called planning units. 

In October 2016, we presented our initial ideas for prioritizing our work at a public meeting held in Momence, Illinois. After the public meeting, we solicited constructive comments on these priorities . That input helped us develop the draft conservation vision document to serve as the land protection plan currently available for review from June 29, 2021 through July 30, 2021.This document provides background on natural resources specific to the refuge and outlines our priorities for conservation within the authorized refuge boundary in Illinois. It addresses some of the most commonly asked questions we heard as comments at the 2016 meeting and during its comment period. It also discussehow we hope to be a good neighbor and partner in growing conservation together with interested individuals by describing the tools we have available for conservation work, our acquisition considerations and our obligations as a federal agency. The intent for this document is for you to gain a better understanding of how the refuge’s conservation work can be compatible with and complementary to the local communities.