ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

MINUTES OF THE 185th MEETING

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Building
Springfield, Illinois

February 1, 2005
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 184th Meeting, October 26, 2004


Item 4: 2005 Meeting Schedule

3 May, 10:00 a.m. - Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites, Nauvoo
2 August, 9:00 a.m. - Morton Arboretum, Lisle
18 October, 10:00 a.m. - Pere Marquette Lodge, Grafton


Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Don McFall, Randy Heidorn, and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission


Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Todd Strole
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation


Item 7: Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Nyboer
Endangered Species Protection Board Manager

Item 8:* Carroll Co. – Sterling - Rock Falls Family YMCA Camp Merrill M. Benson
Land and Water Reserve - Registration

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

The Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA proposes to register 73.5 acres as a land and water reserve. The proposed land and water reserve is located in the Freeport Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division of Illinois, just west of Mount Carroll. The area proposed for registration represents a significant portion of the 137-acre Waukarusa Canyon Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) site (#411). This site is recognized by the INAI as a Category I for the presence of high-quality dolomite cliff communities, as a Category II for the presence of five state endangered and threatened species, and as a Category IV for the unusual assemblage of relict flora and unusual cave invertebrate fauna. Listed species include: isopod (Caecidotea spatulata), dwarf scouring rush (Equisetum scirpoides), scented oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum), cliff goldenrod (Solidago sciaphila) and sullivantia (Sullivantia renifolia), all of which are found within the area proposed for registration. An unusual assemblage of relict flora, more typical of plants from the northern Great Lakes region, is found on the cliffs including white pine (Pinus strobus) and Canada yew (Taxus canadensis). Smith Park Cave, located at the base of the dolomite cliff face, is the largest cave on the site. In addition to harboring unusual cave invertebrates, the cave also serves as a winter hibernacula for bats. This project was made possible through the purchase of the land and water reserve easement by the IDNR’s Conservation 2000 (C2000) program.


Item 9:* Cook Co. – Butterfield Creek Headwaters Land and Water Reserve - Registration

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

Butterfield Creek Headwaters is an 83.63-acre site in south Cook County owned by the Village of Matteson. It is comprised of agricultural fields, open water, and remnant wetland communities typical of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. This site is proposed to be registered in perpetuity as a Land and Water Reserve, and qualifies as such because it lies immediately south of the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve. The Butterfield Creek Headwaters is currently buffering the nearby Nature Preserve and will eventually be restored to prairie and marsh communities. The Village of Matteson was able to acquire the reserve with a C2000 grant from the IDNR, and from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeastern Illinois Wetlands Conservation Account.


Item 10:* Jackson Co. – Lake Murphysboro Hill Prairies Land and Water Reserve - Registration

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Scott Ballard Registration Approval
District Restoration Ecologist
IDNR, Office of Resources Conservation

Lake Murphysboro Hill Prairies, owned by the IDNR, is an approximately 90-acre site, in two units, located in Lake Murphysboro State Park in southern Illinois. Lake Murphysboro Hill Prairies was recognized on the INAI (#584) for a glacial drift hill prairie representative of the Mount Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The site also supports populations of rock chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), an endangered species.


Item 11:* Monroe Co. – Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve - Registration

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie S. Newman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

The proposed Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve is a 449-acre site owned by the Village of Valmeyer that includes 441 acres of the 456-acre Columbia Hill Prairies Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site (INAI #201). The proposed reserve contains a matrix of 19 hill prairies and glades, intermingled with upland forest. Approximately 39 acres of the site is Grade A, B, and C loess hill prairie and limestone glade, with the remainder in Grade C dry and dry-mesic upland forest. This matrix of habitats is representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. Salt Lick Point is home to several rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species, some of which are Ozark plateau or western plains species and have restricted ranges in Illinois. These include the woolly buckthorn (Bumelia lanuginosa), and crested coralroot orchid (Hexalectris spicata), both state-endangered; the state-threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis), and the rare stickleaf (Mentzelia oligosperma). In addition, the proposed reserve contains a large tract of forest with several forest interior bird species observed during breeding season. The proposed reserve is the 13th site in a 35-mile corridor of bluffs to receive some level of protection from the INPC. This corridor contains 4000 acres of INAI sites. Salt Lick Point will contribute a significant tract of acreage to the landscape goals of protecting this bluff corridor.

The Illinois Audubon Society obtained a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to assist the Village of Valmeyer in permanently protecting the 449 acres as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve.


Item 12:* Randolph Co. – Prairie of the Rock Overlook Land and Water Reserve - Registration

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie S. Newman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

J. W. (Bill) Gonterman, Jr. proposes to register a 2.5-acre site called Prairie of the Rock Overlook, which is part of the 429 acre Prairie du Rocher Herpetological Area Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site (INAI #938). The proposed reserve contains Grade B loess hill prairie, Grade A limestone cliff community, and Grade C dry-mesic upland forest, representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division, and a state- endangered plant. The site is 300 feet from Prairie of the Rock Nature Preserve, also owned by Mr. Gonterman, and 1000 feet from Blufftop Acres Land and Water Reserve.
Item 13:* St. Clair Co. – Wagon Lake Land and Water Reserve - Registration

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Diane Tecic Registration Approval
Region 4 Administrator
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Wagon Lake, owned by the IDNR, is an approximately 114-acre site in the Kaskaskia River bottoms in southwestern Illinois. Wagon Lake was recognized on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #308) for a shrub swamp and marsh community representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The area is an excellent example of a backwater lake associated with the Kaskaskia River and is in very close proximity to the 7300 acre large forest block identified as the Kaskaskia River macrosite. The site also supports populations of two endangered species; the American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) and little blue heron (Egretta caerulea).


Item 14:* Jackson Co. – Lovets Pond Nature Preserve - Dedication

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Judy Faulkner-Dempsey Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposes to dedicate 90 acres of Lovets Pond Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #1175) as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The Lovets Pond INAI site is located in the Southern Section of the Lower Mississippi River Bottomlands Natural Division. Lovets Pond is a wetland ecosystem of 150 acres 15 miles east of Murphysboro, IL. The site is characterized by six natural communities, including pond, shrub swamp, swamp, marsh, floodplain forest, and successional field. The communities provide habitat for aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms, 328 taxa of vascular flora, four endangered and two threatened animal species. The natural character of Lovets Pond is similar to the earliest known presettlement description of the land. The pond, shrub swamp, swamp, and marsh are high natural quality and are rare in the natural division. Only two other significant natural ponds remain in this natural division.


Item 15:* Marshall Co. – Addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve - Dedication

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Tom Lerczak Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang wish to dedicate a 0.5-acre addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, which is an 8.3-acre site included within the 78-acre Hopewell Estates Hill Prairies (INAI #321) in the village of Hopewell. The dedicated nature preserve, owned by Mr. Brucker and Ms. Yang, contains a grade A glacial drift hill prairie on lot #117 and grade B hill prairie on lot #139. The proposed nature preserve addition on lot #138 supports woodland communities representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, which includes grade C woodland with white oak (Quercus alba), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), red oak (Q. rubra), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) in the canopy and hazelnut (Corylus americana), black haw (Viburnum prunifolium), and bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) present in the shrub layer. French grass (Orbexilum onobrychis ) is present within the ground flora in more open areas. The strategic location of this nature preserve addition allows for the most convenient access route to the grade B hill prairie on the nature preserve’s lot #139, thereby facilitating restoration management of the hill prairie. Dedication of the proposed addition will increase the area of the nature preserve to 8.8 acres.


Item 16:* McHenry Co. – Boloria Fen and Sedge Meadow Nature Preserve - Dedication

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steve Byers Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

The Boone Creek Watershed Alliance proposes to dedicate approximately 36 acres of land as the Boloria Fen and Sedge Meadow Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in McHenry County, Illinois. The site was named in recognition of an abundance of Silver-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene). The proposed Boloria Fen and Sedge Meadow Nature Preserve was registered as an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark in 2003. In October 2004, the site was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory in recognition of an extant high-quality graminoid fen. Sedge meadow and dry-mesic forest dominate the balance of the site. This site was acquired by the Boone Creek Watershed Alliance with the financial assistance of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources C2000 program and the landowner. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission staff is pleased to recommend dedication of the 36-acre Boloria Fen and Sedge Meadow as an Illinois Nature Preserve on behalf of the Boone Creek Watershed Alliance.

Item 17:* Cook Co. – Addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve - Dedication

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

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks final approval for dedication of 50 lots (approximately 3.85 acres) as an addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. Despite the spatial distribution of these 51 lots in four different city blocks, each of the four groups of lots are located adjacent to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve is the largest of the four prairies that comprise the Indian Boundary Prairies and is located in the Chicago Lake Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in Cook County, Illinois. Collectively, 462.59 acres of the Indian Boundary Prairies have been included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (Dropseed Prairie INAI No. 425; Gensburg-Markham Prairie INAI No. 400; Paintbrush Prairie INAI No. 1563; and Sundrop Prairie INAI No. 1575). Of that total, portions of four of the prairies (Sundrop Prairie - 91.2) acres; Gensburg-Markham Prairie - 122.01 acres; Paintbrush Prairie - 75.2 acres; and Dropseed Prairie - 9.2 acres), totaling 297.61 acres, have been dedicated as Illinois Nature Preserves. Both The Nature Conservancy and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission staff recommend approval for dedication of this 3.85-acre addition, which will increase the size of Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve from 122.01 to 125.86 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 184th meeting (Resolution #1801) in October, 2004.

Item 18:* Hancock Co. – Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve - Dedication

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

The Nature Conservancy currently owns 566.37 acres dedicated as Cedar Glen Nature Preserve and would like to propose an addition of two tracts totaling 50.5 acres. The original dedication consisted of 188 acres (145 acres of dedicated nature preserve and 43 acres of dedicated buffer) and received final dedication approval, as the 54th Illinois nature preserve (Resolution #826), in February, 1975 at the 102nd Meeting of the INPC. At the 173rd INPC Meeting (Resolution #1620), the Commission granted final approval for the dedication of the Kibbe Bottoms (259.37 acres) as an addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. At the 174th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1636), the Commission granted final approval for the dedication of an additional 119-acre tract known as Mud Island as an addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. If dedicated, this 50.5-acre addition would increase the size of the Nature Preserve to nearly 617 acres, placing it among the ten largest nature preserves not under state ownership. The proposed addition lies within the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division of Illinois within the 3,845-acre Cedar Glen Kibbe Macrosite recognized by the INAI (#565) as a Category I high-quality sand seep, sand hill prairie, limestone cliff community, dry-mesic barren, dry barren, and dry-mesic sand savanna; Category II for the presence of nine state endangered and state threatened species; Category III for the nature preserve designation; Category IV for the outstanding exposure of Keokuk Limestone; and Category VI for the high diversity mussel bed. Significant features of the proposed addition include high-quality dry-mesic barren community and a portion of the severe weather winter roost for the federally threatened and state threatened bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 184th meeting (Resolution #1793) in October, 2004.


Item 19:* Jo Daviess Co. – Second Addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve - Dedication

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

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) proposes to dedicate 67.091 acres as an addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve. TNC was granted approval for the dedication of a 48.466-acre addition to the IDNR-owned 361.7-acre Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve at the 183rd INPC meeting (Resolution #1786). This increased the size of the Nature Preserve to over 410 acres. The addition being proposed today represents the remaining property owned by TNC within the Hanover Bluff area. Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve received final dedication approval in May, 1987 at the 113th Meeting of the INPC (Resolution #929). The site lies within the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division in western Jo Daviess County, Illinois, within the western portion of the 1,600-acre Hanover Bluff INAI site (#1058). This site is recognized by the INAI as a Category I for the high-quality dry dolomite prairie and dry sand prairie; Category II for the presence of 11 state endangered and threatened species; and Category III for the dedicated nature preserve designation. Two state listed plants have been observed within the proposed addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve: meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense) and hairy umbrella-wort (Mirabilis hirsuta). The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 184th meeting (Resolution # 1802) in October, 2004.


Item 20:* Will Co. – Lake Renwick East Land and Water Reserve -
Request for Placement of Septic Field

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) registered its Lake Renwick East site as a Land and Water Reserve (LWR) in August of 2003. This site is recognized as buffer and foraging habitat for the nearby Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve. The LWR is a former agricultural field; its prairie and wetlands have been re-created entirely as a result of a large-scale habitat restoration project. At the time of registration, the FPDWC in conjunction with Plainfield Township planned to build a maintenance facility at the northernmost end of the site. The maintenance facility along with all of its appurtenances was excluded from the LWR boundaries. At that time, however, it was not expected that the proposed siting of the septic field would have inappropriate soils; installation of a septic field on these soils would result in improper treatment of sewage. Suitable soils for septic treatment are located within the LWR boundaries, and if allowed, will have no impact on the resources for which the site was registered. Since this was not foreseen at the time of registration, this use was not included in the proposal. The FPDWC now seeks approval from the INPC to install 0.3-acre septic field within the boundaries of the Lake Renwick East Land and Water Reserve.


Item 21:* Vegetation Management Guidelines

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Bob Edgin Approval of Management Guidelines
Nature Preserves Commission

The Management Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to handle a land management issue in a nature preserve or land and water reserve. Once approved by the Commission, they become part of the policy guidance used by staff to review and approve management plans. Updated Vegetation Management Guidelines for the control of white poplar (Populus alba) and osage orange (Maclura pomifera) are presented for approval. Methods of control for these species include various applications and combinations of prescribed fire, cutting and spot treatments of herbicide depending on site specific conditions and management goals. These revisions were drafted by Bob Edgin and Bill Glass. The guidelines were submitted to INPC Consultants and Advisors and to selected natural area land managers for review. Recommended changes were incorporated into the documents.


Item 22: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 23: Other Business


Item 24: Adjournment


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