ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

MINUTES OF THE 181st MEETING

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Lake Level A and B Conference Room
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702


February 3, 2004 10:00 A.M.

*Documentary Material Enclosed

Item 1: Call to Order, Roll Call, and Introduction of Attendees

Item 2:* Adoption of Agenda

Item 3:* Approval of Minutes of the 180th Meeting, September 16, 2003

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

4 May, 10:00 a.m. - Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
3 August, 9:00 a.m. - University of Illinois, Urbana
26 October, 10:00 a.m. - Giant City Lodge, Makanda

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 7:* Fulton Co. – Kedzior Woodlands Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Kedzior Woodlands, owned by Mr. Ken Kedzior, is approximately 120 acres in size and is located about 700 yards east of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)-owned Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve. The intervening lands, a mixture of CRP-protected areas and wooded ravines, are also owned by Mr. Kedzior. Mr. Kedzior’s properties have a buffering function with respect to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve. Most of the proposed land and water reserve is covered with second-growth forest, which supports a breeding bird community that contains no less than 15 area-sensitive species known to suffer from forest fragmentation (as defined by IDNR Natural Heritage Technical Publication #1). The woodlands, which are representative of the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division, are dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.) and hickories (Carya spp.) in most upland areas. Small rock outcrops and a low-order stream system enhance the ecological importance of this site. Mr. Kedzior wishes to permanently register Kedzior Woodlands to ensure the protection of its natural features and to improve natural resource management.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Tom Lerczak Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 8:* Iroquois Co. – Addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) proposes to register 300 acres as an addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve. In 2001, the IDNR registered 1,613 acres of the 1,920-acre Iroquois County State Wildlife Area which is a site of statewide significance. This site is recognized on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #763 and 577) for its high-quality sedge meadow, marsh, dry-mesic sand prairie, shrub prairie, dry and dry-mesic sand savanna, and sand flatwoods natural communities representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. This site also provides habitat for more than 15 state-endangered and threatened species, includes large grasslands and woods which support area-sensitive species, and supports unusual concentrations of flora and fauna. The 300-acre addition will complete preserve design and will be used and managed in the same manner as the existing Land and Water Reserve.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 9:* Jasper Co. – Addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposes to register a 363-acre addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA) Land and Water Reserve located within the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The proposed addition is within the Prairie Ridge INAI site (#601). The grassland/wetland complex at PRSNA provides habitat for 37 species of special concern. Among these species are Illinois’ only breeding population of greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) and the State’s largest breeding populations of northern harriers (Circus cyaneus), short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) and barn owls (Tyto alba). Registration of this addition will increase the permanently protected acreage at PRSNA located in Jasper County to 2,173.72 acres.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Scott Simpson Registration Approval
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region V

Item 10:* Jo Daviess Co. – Hanover Forest Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Hanover Forest consists of 34.64 acres and is owned by the Natural Land Institute. This site lies within the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division of Illinois and is located in the western portion of Jo Daviess County within the upland bluffs overlooking the former Savanna Army Depot, now Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awarded a Conservation 2000 grant to purchase Hanover Forest. Hanover Forest consists primarily of mesic upland forest and is located within the north central portion of the Hanover Bluff INAI site (#1058). Currently, Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve (361.7 acres), owned by IDNR, is the only protected tract within the INAI site. Hanover Bluff is recognized by the INAI as a Category I for high-quality dry dolomite prairie and dry sand prairie communities and as a Category II for the presence of 11 state-endangered and threatened species including: shadbush (Amelanchier interior), meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense), hairy white violet (Viola incognita), hairy umbrella-wort (Mirabilis hirsuta), wooly milkweed (Asclepias lanuginosa), kittentails (Besseya bullii), cliff goldenrod (Solidago sciaphila), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), prairie dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata), plains sedge (Carex heliphilia) and timber rattlesnake (Crotalis horridus horridus).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Angella Moorehouse Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 11:* Kankakee Co. – Mskoda Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy proposes to register in perpetuity as a land and water reserve 649 acres of its property known as Mskoda Preserve. This site is comprised primarily of four natural community types representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division: dry sand savanna, dry-mesic sand savanna, sand forest, and a former agricultural field. A portion of its dry-mesic sand savanna is recognized on the INAI (#54) for its high biological quality. This site provides habitat for at least two state-endangered species: Carey’s heartsease (Polygonum careyi) and primrose violet (Viola primulifolia), and two species proposed for state listing: old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus) and Carolina whipgrass (Scleria pauciflora). The proposed land and water reserve qualifies because of its inclusion on the INAI and because of its concentration of unusual plant and animal species. Mskoda Preserve is one of the many notable natural areas found in the Pembroke Savannas, a large-scale ecosystem of national significance.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 12:* Kankakee Co. – Tallmadge Sand Forest Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy proposes to register in perpetuity as a land and water reserve 157 acres of its property known as Tallmadge Sand Forest. This site is comprised primarily of three natural community types representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division: sand forest, dry-mesic sand savanna, and sand flatwoods and provides habitat for at least three state-endangered species: Carey’s heartsease (Polygonum careyi), primrose violet (Viola primulifolia), bristly blackberry (Rubus setosus) and one species proposed for state listing: crowded oval sedge (Carex cumulata). Tallmadge Sand Forest qualifies as a land and water reserve because of the habitat it provides for Illinois endangered species and because of its concentration of unusual plant and animal species. Tallmadge Forest is one of the many notable natural areas found in the Pembroke Savannas, a large-scale ecosystem of national significance.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 13:* Marion Co. – Addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) proposes to register a 120-acre addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA) Land and Water Reserve located in the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The proposed addition is within Prairie Ridge INAI site (#754). The grassland/wetland complex at PRSNA provides habitat for 37 species of special concern. Among these species are Illinois’ only breeding population of greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) and the State’s largest breeding populations of northern harriers (Circus cyaneus), short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) and barn owls (Tyto alba). Registration of this addition will increase the permanently protected acreage at PRSNA located in Marion County to 1207.5 acres.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Scott Simpson Registration Approval
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region V

Item 14:* Mason Co. – Walden West Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Walden West, owned by Dr. Richard G. Bjorklund, is approximately 42.7 acres in size and is located just east of Sand Ridge State Forest, across County Road 2600E. Walden West supports a population of the state-threatened regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia) and sand prairie habitat (approximately 12 acres) that includes a population of bird’s foot violet (Viola pedata), which is a larval host plant for the regal fritillary, plus a variety of plant species that are important as sources of nectar (e.g., butterfly milkweed [Asclepias tuberosa]). Approximately 30 acres of Walden West is sand forest with characteristic species such as black oak (Quercus velutina), blackjack oak (Q. marilandica), black hickory (Carya texana), and mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa). Habitats at Walden West are representative of the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. Dr. Bjorklund wishes to permanently register Walden West to ensure the protection and proper management of its natural features.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Tom Lerczak Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 15:* McHenry Co. – Addition to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed 3.92-acre Wheeler Park Fen Addition is located adjacent to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve and is owned by the City of McHenry. Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve is a 28.98-acre mosaic of graminoid fen, sedge meadow, and uplands located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Two floral surveys of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve reported 58 native species with two plant species previously listed as threatened, the common yellow lake sedge (Carex rostrata var. utriculata) and early fen sedge (Carex crawei). The proposed Wheeler Park Fen Addition includes a small ground water discharge zone dominated by calcophitic plants. Registration of this addition will increase the size of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve from 28.98 acres to 32.90 acres, facilitate continued restoration and management, and protect ground water recharge and discharge zones that are important to the long-term viability of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 16:* St. Clair Co. – New Athens Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed New Athens Woods Land and Water Reserve is a 270-acre tract owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It is located in southwestern Illinois along the Kaskaskia River within the in Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area. The proposed land and water reserve is included on the INAI (#833) for 117 acres of grade A and B floodplain forest and contains backwater sloughs and a one-acre marsh as well. The forest and wetland communities at New Athens Woods are representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The site is also part of a 7,300-acre forest along the unchannelized portion of the Kaskaskia River. This is the largest unbroken block of forest in Illinois, and as such, is especially significant for forest interior birds.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Diane Tecic Registration Approval
Regional Heritage Administrator
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region IV

Item 17:* Ford Co. – Sibley Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

Sibley Grove is a 50.48-acre mesic savanna and wetland owned by the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) located 34 miles east of Bloomington-Normal. TNC proposes to dedicate 49.85 acres as a nature preserve and .63 acre in the northwest corner of the tract as buffer and for use as a picnic area. This grove of 185-390 year-old oak trees is one of the best mesic savannas in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is the best remaining example of a mesic savanna, pond, marsh, and prairie complex in east-central Illinois. Since 1995, TNC has been restoring the savanna and has recreated a wetland that formerly existed prior to cultivation. TNC intends to transfer ownership of this area to the Land Conservation Foundation, a private non-profit conservation organization based in Champaign. TNC, with the full support of the Land Conservation Foundation, proposes to dedicate Sibley Grove Nature Preserve to permanently protect the imperiled natural community found here and to honor the intentions of Hiram Sibley and other family members who donated this grove to TNC to permanently safeguard the natural features of the grove.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mary Kay Solecki Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 18:* McDonough Co. – Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication

Short Fork Seep is a 41.81-acre site owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb, Illinois. The site lies within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois. Short Fork Seep contains approximately 10 acres of the 16.18-acre Short Fork Seep INAI site (#144). The remaining 6 acres of the INAI site are located on the east side of the county road under separate ownership. The portion of Short Fork Seep which lies within the INAI site is proposed for dedication as nature preserve, with the remaining 31.81 acres to be dedicated as nature preserve buffer. This site was previously granted preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve by the Commission in 2000 at the 167th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1532), under the name Short Fork Marsh. The plant communities within the site have since been re-evaluated and reclassified for the INAI (Category I) as high-quality seep (1.7 acres grade B) and sedge meadow (.3 acres grade B), hence the name change to Short Fork Seep.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Angella Moorehouse Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 19:* St. Clair Co. – Sinking Creek Nature Preserve, Dedication

John and Sarah Lloyd propose to dedicate 4.5 acres known as the Sinking Creek Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is part of the Stemler Karst INAI site (#835) and is important because it protects numerous sinkholes within the Stemler Cave recharge area, an intermittent disappearing or "sinking" stream, and a small passage of cave disconnected from the main cave. The mostly forested site is located upstream of the main cave stream, adding to its importance in buffering the cave’s aquatic and terrestrial communities. Stemler Cave was recognized by the INAI for its high-quality terrestrial and aquatic cave communities representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The cave has particular importance because it was a collection site for the state and federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes). The Stemler Karst, including the proposed nature preserve, is located in the unique "Sinkhole Plain" of southwestern Illinois and was cited by the INAI as being an "outstanding example of karst topography."

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie S. Newman Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission
Item 20:* Kane Co. – Littlejohn Addition of Buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed 70.3-acre Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve is owned by Dundee Township. The proposed buffer addition is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer consists of 13 acres of high-quality woodlands identified on the INAI for Helm Woods (#623) and approximately 57 acres of an old field community. Helm Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County (FPDKC), was granted final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 135th Meeting in May, 1992 (Resolution #1123). Dedication of the proposed Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve will increase the total acreage protected by the FPDKC (149.8 acres), Dundee Township Park District (13 acres), and Dundee Township (70.3 acres) to 233.1 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 180th Meeting (Resolution #1738) in September, 2003.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 21:* Madison Co. – Great Rivers Addition to John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Village of Godfrey proposes to dedicate 7.18 acres known as the Great Rivers addition of nature preserve to the John M. Olin Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also partly borders the Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The Great Rivers addition is located in the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division and contains a small hill prairie, dry and dry-mesic upland forest, and limestone cliff. The proposed addition also provides habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Dedication of the site will complete protection of a mile-long section of bluffline along the Mississippi River. The complex of adjoining lands in the area, including John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary Nature Preserve buffer, Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Poole Farm Nature Preserve addition, Bachman Farm Nature Preserve buffer addition, and Oblate Fathers’ Woods Nature Preserve comprise a total 411 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 418 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 176th Meeting (Resolution #1667) in August, 2002.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie Newman Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 22:* Hancock Co. – Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Waterline Installation

Western Illinois University (WIU) seeks approval to install a waterline through nature preserve buffer within Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. The waterline will provide water to the new dormitory/dining/meeting facility at the WIU’s Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Station. The proposed location of the waterline is along an existing trail within buffer and will not threaten resources within the Nature Preserve. The Nature Conservancy owns Cedar Glen Nature Preserve and supports this proposed project.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Dr. Sean Jenkins Approval of Waterline Installation
Western Illinois University Field Station Director

Item 23: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 24: Other Business

Item 25: Adjournment

 


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