Ecosystems in Illinois are deteriorating, their natural functions disrupted by fragmentation and stress. So concluded The Changing Illinois Environment: Critical Trends, a state-of-the-environment report published in 1994 by the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources (now the Department of Natural Resources).
This first Critical Trends report recommended that the state begin collecting statewide data on both the extent and condition of its ecosystems in order to determine the most effective and economical natural resources policy.
Professional scientists from the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) continue to monitor the condition of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and streams throughout the state for the program. These data provide a baseline from which we can compare regional and site-specific patterns and assess changes in ecological conditions.
Publications from the CTAP Program include: