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Hope for closed Illinois state parks?
There is some hope that the recent arrest of Illinois' governor and head idiot Blagojevich could raise some hope for the states closed state parks.

Lt. Governor Quinn said Tuesday the Governor should step down and he is ready to take on the job. Quinn has strongly opposed the Governor's decision to close state parks and historic sites due to funding problems. Now with Tuesday's arrest and talks of Quinn stepping up, people are practically waiting at the parks doors.
Illinois Park May Remain Open
SPRINGFIELD The Senate has passed two bills restoring money the governor cut from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a move that could save the 11 state parks and 13 historic sites scheduled to close over the next two months as long as Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs off.

The Senate voted 55-0 on Senate Bill 1103 that restored the cut money for parks, historic sites and the jobs. It also reinstated funding slashed from substance abuse programs and money taken from statewide officials who have announced layoffs, unpaid days off and hiring freezes.

Now we need to hope Blago will listen to what the people of Illinois want instead of continuing to play his political games.
Get in to your National Park Free September 27th
From the NPS website.

(Nationwide) National Public Lands Day on September 27 is an annual event designed to encourage everyone to get outside and visit places such as national parks. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived to encourage visitation. Many parks will also sponsor volunteer restoration and clean-up efforts.
Save Our State parks
If you live in Illinois visit Save Our State parks to sign a petition created by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.
Looking For Outdoor Info? Avoid
Looking for information about national parks, camping and other outdoor activities? You should probably avoid The site is built with user submitted articles and news stories. While this is not necessarily a bad thing as there are many good writers out there a number of the writers on helium are apparently only there to make a quick buck off of some shoddy or empty writing.

I found helium while looking for some information about a national park and found an article on helium titled A guide to camping in Denali National Park, Alaska by Kate Johns. This is a Top Article on helium and she is a five star writer. The article is two pages of useless information. There is no information about which campsites or campgrounds are best, no information about how to get to the campgrounds without a vehicle other than "buy a pass for the shuttle service". Nothing about where to get the pass or the buss, times, coast or anything else useful. There is nothing about the facilities of the campgrounds or back country camping at all. In fact, she went to the park with a tour group and apparently never camped there and probably never saw the campgrounds.

More complete and useful information is easily found on the NPS website or here on our Denali NP page.

I have found similarly useless information in articles about the Grand Canyon, by a person with years of technical writing that apparently didn't include proof reading. An article titled " What to take camping when it is cold out " that doesn't even mention layering. There is an article Using a topographical map for hiking with virtually no useful information on reading or using a map. If you went backpacking with a map, compass and the knowledge in this article you would surely die. :)

The top article for "Ten essential items for backpacking trips"? Note, this list is not recommended by gpsbasecamp and no one should actually use this list.

Cell Phone
Map and Compass
Food and Water
First Aid Kit
Trash Bag (could be used for a tourniquet)
Toilet Paper, Sanitizers, Antiseptics
Sensible Walking Shoes and Extra Clothing

Granted, there are some articles on helium that are quite good, even an article on topo maps, but for the most part what I have found is worthless.
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