ABOUT US

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Mission 

It is the mission of the Division of Natural Heritage to conserve Illinois’ native flora, fauna, and natural communities through inventory, protection, and stewardship. 

We work with our sister programs, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board, to protect and manage remnants of our original natural heritage and to restore degraded natural areas.

The Natural Heritage Division is responsible for the Identification, Protection, and Stewardship of our state's Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage is all of the flora, fauna, ecosystem types, and geological features inherited from past generations and maintained in the present, to be passed on to future generations. 

Goals

  • Goal 1.  Inventory – Use standardized inventory techniques to document the current distribution, abundance, and condition of high-quality natural communities and native vulnerable plant and animal species and their habitats. 
  • Goal 2.  Protection and Defense- Proactively develop strategies to prevent and minimize harm to high-quality natural communities and native vulnerable plant and animal species and their habitats.  Address and mitigate impacts when they occur. 
  • Goal 3.  Stewardship – Improve and maintain the quality of significant natural features at sites, and the quantity, quality, and connectivity of habitat for vulnerable plant and animal species. 
  • Goal 4.  Communication – Develop conservation messages on high-quality natural communities and vulnerable species and their habitats, and promote these messages throughout the Division, across IDNR, and among conservation partners and the public.
  • Goal 5.  Professional Development – Provide learning opportunities for Division staff throughout all stages of careers in order to encourage staff growth and incorporation of the best available science into work tasks.

Natural Heritage Staff Story Map

Field Staff contact map

HQ staff contact sheet