Illinois' natural resources include fertile soil, forests and fossil fuels, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The University of Illinois Extension provides a link between the DNR and the public through conservation and education at the state and local levels.
Illinois bases a portion of its economy on agriculture and forestry. Fertile soil is one of Illinois' prime natural resources. The state's farmers cultivate corn, wheat and soybeans. Ninety-seven percent of Illinois' forests produce hardwoods, such as oak and hickory. Land conservationists replant areas harvested by loggers. Fossil fuels include oil and gas, which are nonrenewable resources. DNR programs enforce the state's standards for its oil and gas resources by actions such as requiring permits for drilling and operating wells.