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Christian County Landowner Honored By Illinois Department of Natural Resources

A Christian County landowner has been honored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


Chuck Martin, a lifelong upland bird hunter, conservation advocate and local author, is the Illinois Recreational Access Program's (IRAP) 2023 Landowner of the Year.


The Landowner of the Year award is presented to a landowner enrolled in IRAP who has demonstrated outstanding habitat improvement and conservation practices while allowing public access on their private property through the IRAP initiative.


Martin first enrolled in the program in 2016 and now allows youth hunting, third- and fourth-season turkey hunting, archery deer hunting, and pond fishing on his IRAP-leased property in Christian County.


He said his decision to become a land steward was heavily influenced by the time he spent quail and pheasant hunting with his father. At the time they hunted together, neither of them owned land that provided access to hunting. This meant they relied upon the generosity of other landowners who granted them permission to hunt their property.


Since he has been enrolled in IRAP, Martin has conducted prairie restoration and native forb plantings, prescribed burns, and vegetation management and stocking of his pond through the guidance of his IRAP coordinator.


Martin was one of seven nominees recognized by IRAP staff for their conservation efforts and stewardship of Illinois’ natural resources, as well as their willingness to allow public access to their land for recreational opportunities.

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