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20 ILCS 801/1-15

    (20 ILCS 801/1-15)
    Sec. 1-15. General powers and duties.
    (a) It shall be the duty of the Department to investigate practical problems, implement studies, conduct research and provide assistance, information and data relating to the technology and administration of the natural history, entomology, zoology, and botany of this State; the geology and natural resources of this State; the water and atmospheric resources of this State; and the archeological and cultural history of this State.
    (b) The Department (i) shall obtain, store, and process relevant data; recommend technological, administrative, and legislative changes and developments; cooperate with other federal, state, and local governmental research agencies, facilities, or institutes in the selection of projects for study; cooperate with the Board of Higher Education and with the public and private colleges and universities in this State in developing relevant interdisciplinary approaches to problems; and evaluate curricula at all levels of education and provide assistance to instructors and (ii) may sponsor an annual conference of leaders in government, industry, health, and education to evaluate the state of this State's environment and natural resources.
    (c) The Director, in accordance with the Personnel Code, shall employ such personnel, provide such facilities, and contract for such outside services as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Department. Maximum use shall be made of existing federal and state agencies, facilities, and personnel in conducting research under this Act.
    (c-5) The Department may use the services of, and enter into necessary agreements with, outside entities for the purpose of evaluating grant applications and for the purpose of administering or monitoring compliance with grant agreements. Contracts under this subsection shall not exceed 2 years in length.
    (d) In addition to its other powers, the Department has the following powers:
        (1) To obtain, store, process, and provide data and
information related to the powers and duties of the Department under this Act. This subdivision (d)(1) does not give authority to the Department to require reports from nongovernmental sources or entities.
        (2) To cooperate with and support the Illinois
Science and Technology Advisory Committee and the Illinois Coalition for the purpose of facilitating the effective operations and activities of such entities. Support may include, but need not be limited to, providing space for the operations of the Committee and the Illinois Coalition.
    (e) The Department is authorized to make grants to local not-for-profit organizations for the purposes of development, maintenance and study of wetland areas.
    (f) The Department has the authority to accept, receive and administer on behalf of the State any gifts, bequests, donations, income from property rental and endowments. Any such funds received by the Department shall be deposited into the DNR Special Projects Fund, a trust fund in the State treasury, and used for the purposes of this Act or, when appropriate, for such purposes and under such restrictions, terms and conditions as are predetermined by the donor or grantor of such funds or property. Any accrued interest from money deposited into the DNR Special Projects Fund shall be reinvested into the Fund and used in the same manner as the principal. The Director shall maintain records which account for and assure that restricted funds or property are disbursed or used pursuant to the restrictions, terms or conditions of the donor.
    (g) The Department shall recognize, preserve, and promote our special heritage of recreational hunting and trapping by providing opportunities to hunt and trap in accordance with the Wildlife Code.
    (h) Within 5 years after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, the Department shall fly a United States Flag, an Illinois flag, and a POW/MIA flag at all State parks. Donations may be made by groups and individuals to the DNR Special Projects Fund for costs related to the implementation of this subsection.
(Source: P.A. 102-388, eff. 1-1-22; 102-699, eff. 4-19-22; 103-363, eff. 7-28-23.)