Heartland Outdoors

Colleen Callahan named DNR director

Tue, February 19, 2019

Colleen Callahan of Kickapoo has been named director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Callahan currently manages her own communications consulting firm after spending more than seven years as state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. During her tenure, she oversaw a 20 percent reduction in staffing while still being able to generate a $1 billion increase in the Illinois loan portfolio.

“From Mines and Minerals to Museums and Management of Lands; from Parks to Preservation of History; from Water to Wildlife…the oversight is vast and various. I’m looking forward to connecting with those who use and those who depend on our state’s greatest asset, our natural resources,” Callahan said on a Facebook page.

Callahan was a member of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s transition team.

Callahan also served as the agribusiness director for WMBD in Peoria,for 30 years. A University of Illinois graduate, she was the first female president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.


With her background why the DNR ???  I would think with all her credentials in agriculture she would be a good fit in the Ag dept. I hope someone is not thinking of a merger between natural resources, and Ag ????

Posted by Ringtailtrapper on February 19

She is an excellent communicator. Her diverse background in AG is a great fit for this job. I truly believe she knows who her boss is, the taxpayer. Look at it this way, she and her husband were pig farmers. Her manure removal skills will be put to the test when dealing with the politicians. I wish her the best.

Posted by bjbe on February 19

During my 60+ years as an outdoorsman, almost half that spent working for DOC/DNR, I’ve seen about a dozen directors come and go, along with a handful or so of acting directors.  Often it was hard to tell who was acting and who was the real deal.
Sadly, throughout this whole period, I’ve found that getting a new director was similar to clearing a clogged septic system.  You put on your hip boots, take a deep breath, jump in and try to get things flowing again. Then, you hope the next turd isn’t as big as the last.

Posted by riverrat47 on February 20

My concern has been made real clear in the past upon this site. Those from a strong AG background lots of times look at our resources in a completely different manner than most sportsmen/women. Those within AG have wanted a larger roll in certain resource matters for a long time, this could be their step in that direction. I don’t know the lady, and have nothing bad, or good for that mater to say about her, but I sure wish the governors choice had been someone with stronger background in fish, and wildlife. I guess we will find out soon enough what we got.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on February 28

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