An Evaluation of the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP)

Craig A. Miller, Brent D. Williams

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Results of IRAP participant survey suggest that it was difficult to gain access to private property for recreating in Illinois, and many respondents were unsuccessful in past attempts to do so. Although public land was used most often by respondents, private land was preferred. The majority (91%) of respondents believed that IRAP was needed to improve access to private lands. Most respondents (92%) agreed that IRAP provided additional hunting opportunities, and 97% believed that IRAP was beneficial to Illinois. Among IRAP participants, mean hunting experience in Illinois was 16 years, with 40% of participants hunting less than 5 years and 58% hunted less than 10 years. The usefulness of the program as a recruitment tool may be limited to youth hunting activities as there were very few new hunters identified. The IRAP program seems to spread the number of hunters across the landscape more than recruit new ones. The program received an overall satisfaction rating of 3.84 out of 5, suggesting that many participants were satisfied with the program. About 87% were likely to participate in future IRAP activities, with Sport Fishing and Spring Youth Turkey Hunting being the most popular among respondents. Approximately 95% of the landowners surveyed reported that they were currently enrolled in IRAP. The most frequent reasons for enrollment in the program were, wanting to provide hunting opportunities, receive financial incentives, and improve habitat for wildlife. Over 90% of respondents were satisfied with the service provided by IDNR staff. Almost 70% have allowed hunters on their property prior to IRAP, and many have denied hunters asking for permission. Landowners that previously allowed hunting gave permission mostly to “friends and neighbors”, but after the introduction of IRAP there was a marked decrease in “friends and neighbors” with an increase in resident Illinois hunters. Although 61% of respondents had initial concerns about enrolling in IRAP, including the behavior of recreationists on their property, landowners seemed to be very satisfied with IRAP. The overall satisfaction rating was 4.26 on a 5 point-scale. Eighty-seven percent of respondents were satisfied with behavior of hunters or recreationists on their property and 90% indicated that they would recommend IRAP to a friend.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Feb 28 2017

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2017 (21)


  • INHS


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