Brent Manning, former director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, dies at age 70

Brett Manning, former director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, died Friday at ago 70.

IDNR

The most significant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Gordon “Brent” Manning died Jan. 26. He was 70.

Gov. Jim Edgar appointed Mr. Manning to head the former Illinois Department of Conservation in 1991. He headed the IDNR when it was formed in 1995. In all, he served 12 years as director.

John Schmitt, the first executive director of the Illinois Conservation Foundation, rattled off an impressive list of accomplishments during Mr. Manning’s time as director: “Conservation Congress, Habitat Stamp, Conservation Reserve Plan, the additions of [Jim Edgar/Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area] and other sites, the World Shooting site Downstate, Illinois Conservation Foundation that I worked for Brent and we raised over $16 million for the IDNR, new IDNR headquarters … the list goes on and on…He was an outstanding mentor and friend.”

“He had the innate ability to bring various interest groups to consensus on many issues and then move those initiatives forward to completion,” Schmitt emailed.

Visitation is 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at St. Jude Catholic Church, 633 South Walnut St., Rochester.

Funeral mass is at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at St. Jude.

An extended obituary is available at bramleyfh.com/obituary/GordonBrent-Manning.

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