Progress on the Illinois Wrongful Tree Cutting Act

April 21, 2016

Openlands continues to make progress in our fight to defend natural areas in Illinois. At the urging of Openlands and our partners, the State Senate’s Environment and Conservation Committee approved SB 3289. SB 3289 amends the Illinois Wrongful Tree Cutting Act so that owners of protected areas may be compensated for natural resource damages caused by illegal logging on their lands. Many conservation organizations, local governments and state agencies throughout Illinois have experienced illegal tree cutting. SB 3289 will allow us to recover enough funds to restore the special natural places under our care to their previous conditions.

Openlands and our partners, including the Natural Land Institute, Illinois Environmental Council and Senator Steve Stadelman, have participated in extensive negotiations with utility companies, public landowners, contractors or other stakeholders to improve and refine SB 3289. As a result of these coalition-building efforts, we expect SB 3289 to pass out of the full State Senate on April 21. Click here for more information.

Update: SB 3289 passed the State Senate by a vote of 44 to 5 on April 21.

From left to right: Senator Stadelman, Kerry Leigh with the Natural Land Institute and our own VP of Policy and Planning Lenore Beyer-Clow after successfully moving the amendment to the Wrongful Tree Cutting Act out of the Senate Environment Committee

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