Mike Clifford posted this as a comment. It is important enough to stand on its own.
Below is Clifford's account of a meeting he and Illinois Smallmouth Alliance president Don Rego had Friday with state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), she of the SB1269 fame.
``ISA President Don Rego and myself met with Senator Steans today at a restaurant overlooking the Kankakee River to discuss the original bill that was presented.
``The conversation was engaging, informative and focused on a common
regard for the natural resources in Illinois held by our group and the
``If there were any misconceptions on the intent of the bill, or the
reasons it was produced, we can say with a great deal of certainty that
a genuine concern for the overall well-being for wildlife, people and
the resource was always the motivating factor.
``I'm pleased to say that many of the original components are being
reconsidered and/or rescinded in order to focus on a strong educational
approach as to the dangers of lead.
``The ISA will be a contributor to this educational approach on various
levels, and follow the recommendations that are forthcoming from the
IDNR and stakeholder groups that have provided valuable input into a
serious issue with varying degrees of opinions and approaches.
``Thanks to all of the comments here and on various blogs/message boards,
the Senator has been able to get a clear picture of what is important
to the sportsmen and women of Illinois.
``Given the chance to take a pro-active stance on reducing the dangers of
lead, it has become apparent that a usergroup that contributes $3.3
Million every single day to the economy in this state will take a
serious look at traditional fishing methods and consider how we all
might come together and make sound choices regarding an environment we
all depend on for the future of our sport and the well-being of the
wildlife that inhabit our watersheds.
``We asked for the opportunity to take a chance at proving our devotion
to these concerns as anglers and citizens, and that chance has been
``It wasn't long ago that we wouldn't have had the opportunity to have a
seat at the table in determining policy that affects the rivers and
streams we choose to spend a great deal of time among, but a new
administration with a history of environmental stewardship has paved
the way for every voice to be heard and recognized.
``We have many reasons to be thankful and appreciative for a change.''