Local News

State Sen. Jason Barickman appointed to conservation task force

Task force is focused on protecting 30% of land, water resources by 2030

State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington)

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, soon will be serving on a task force organized to help protect the state’s natural resources, an effort that got a boost from high school students in the 53rd Senate District.

The task force is part of a nationwide movement dubbed Thirty-by-Thirty, focused on protecting 30% of land and water resources by 2030.

“I love the outdoors, whether it’s hiking, fishing, or hanging out on the family farm, and I want to make sure we protect our natural areas so that future generations can enjoy them as well,” said Barickman, a Woodland High School graduate whose district includes Livingston County. “I look forward to working with this task force to develop plans to protect our natural resources.”

The Thirty-by-Thirty Conservation Task Force is a panel made up of members of various state agencies and bodies, as well as stakeholders from multiple backgrounds. The task force will conduct hearings with the goal of developing plans for how Illinois can protect 30% of its land and water resources by 2030.

The task force was created by House Bill 3928, sponsored in the Illinois Senate by Barickman and Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) in the Illinois House, which was signed into law in August.

The legislation was largely inspired by the work of students in Paul Ritter’s classes at Pontiac High School. The students were able to testify on behalf of the legislation remotely via Zoom during a Senate committee hearing.

“It’s very exciting to see our passion and momentum reflected back to us by those joining or supporting the task force and our conservation efforts.,” said Pontiac High School students Emma O’Lone, Ava Nollen and Olivia Schickel in a Barickman press release.

Barickman was appointed to the task force Nov. 23 by Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods).