ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY SEVENTH MEETING

The Morton Arboretum
Lisle, Illinois

August 2, 2005 9:00 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 186th Meeting, May 3, 2005

Item 4: Meeting Schedule

18 October, 10:00 a.m. - Pere Marquette Lodge, Grafton

Item 5: 2006 Proposed Meeting Schedule

7 February, 10:00 a.m. - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield
2 May, 10:00 a.m. - Ballard Nature Center, Altamont
1 August, 10:00 a.m. - McHenry County Conservation District, Woodstock
24 October, 10:00 a.m. - Nature Center, Bourbonnais

Item 6: Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Jill Allread Election of Officers
Nominating Committee
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 7: Election of Advisors and Consultants

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Jill Allread Election of Advisors and Consultants
Nominating Committee
Nature Preserves Commission

Nominated Advisors:

Dr. William Shilts Dr. George Vander Velde Dr. Derek Winstanley

Nominated Consultants:

Gerald Adelmann John Comerio Dr. Kenneth Robertson
Dr. Robert Betz Kenneth Fiske Valerie Spale
Bruce Boyd Jerry Paulson Marilyn Campbell
John White
Item 8: INPC Staff Report

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

Item 9: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Todd Strole
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 10: Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Nyboer
Endangered Species Protection Board Manager

Item 11:* Woodford Co. – Black Partridge Park Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Black Partridge Park Woods, owned by the Metamora Park District, is a 287.5-acre site contained within Black Partridge Park. The proposed land and water reserve contains approximately 260 acres of second-growth forest within two tracts (a West Unit of 115 acres and an East Unit of 150 acres) that are connected by a 22.5-acre corridor which consists of forest and agricultural fields. The agricultural fields within the connecting corridor will eventually be restored to forest. The East Unit contains a small area (approximately 10 acres) of old field undergoing natural succession to forest. The forests at Black Partridge Park Woods, which are representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, are dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.), hickories, (Carya spp.), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) in mature areas and a variety of other species in less mature areas. Other notable plant species include the formerly state-threatened Schreber’s aster (Aster schreberi) and ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Breeding bird surveys conducted during 2004 and 2005 documented a bird community that contains no less than 17 area-sensitive species known to suffer from the effects of forest fragmentation (as defined by IDNR Natural Heritage Technical Publication #1). The state-threatened cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea) was documented at Black Partridge Park Woods during the breeding seasons of 1999 and 2004. The headwaters of a tributary of Partridge Creek flow through the ravines at Black Partridge Park Woods, which enhances the overall ecological importance of the site. The Metamora Park District plans to maintain public activities in the proposed registered area as previously established, including a trail system currently being expanded and enhanced by the Peoria Area Mountain Biking Association, but wishes to permanently register this site to ensure protection of natural features and improve natural resource management.

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

Item 12:* Lake Co. – Old Mill Flatwoods Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Old Mill Road Associates, LLC, an affiliate of Kenneth James Builders, LLC, request preliminary approval for dedication of the 31-acre Old Mill Flatwoods as a nature preserve buffer addition to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve. The James Companies were established in 1949 to "...create homes and neighborhoods that enrich the lives of the residents and the communities in which they live." The proposed addition is part of a 55-acre tract recently annexed into the Village of Lincolnshire that provides for development of the Old Mill Woods subdivision. The proposed Old Mill Flatwoods addition is located adjacent to Florsheim Park within the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in Lake County. Florsheim Park Nature Preserve was included on the INAI (#1500) for sedge meadow, mesic prairie, dry-mesic forest and northern flatwoods communities that support four state-listed plant species, of which the Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Plantantherea leucophaea) is also federally listed. The dry-mesic forest and northern flatwoods natural communities extend into the proposed addition. This proposal provides for siting, construction, and operation of a storm water detention basin designed to provide water quality benefits to the wetlands within the northern flatwoods and nearby West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River. Protection of the natural resources at this location represents a real success story starting with the 40-acre Florsheim Park being bequeathed to the Village of Lincolnshire. This 40-acre site received final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 151st Meeting in May, 1996 (Resolution #1315). Then, in 1999, the Village acquired North Park, and the Commission conferred final approval for dedication of a 38-acre addition to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve at its 171st Meeting in May, 2001 (Resolution #1570). This 31-acre addition of nature preserve buffer will increase the amount of land formally protected at Florsheim Park Nature Preserve from 78 acres to 109 acres.

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

Item 13:* Champaign Co. – Barnhart Prairie Restoration Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Barnhart family proposes to dedicate 80 acres of the Barnhart Prairie Restoration. Barnhart Prairie Restoration, owned by five brothers and sisters of the Barnhart family - Amber, Brett, Donald and Trent Barnhart, and Karen Bush, is a prairie reconstruction located approximately two miles south of Urbana in Champaign County within the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Donald Barnhart and his father, Harry, began this prairie reconstruction in 1987 on 5.5 acres. The prairie has expanded over the years and encompasses approximately 100 acres in total. Of the100 acres, 80 acres of the restoration is in a conservation easement purchased with funding from the IDNR’s C2000 program and held by the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District. The site is recognized on the INAI (#1717). A breeding population of the state-threatened Franklin’s ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii) occurs here. The prairie harbors numerous types of native plants and animals, with the greatest assortment of conservative plants found on the oldest restorations that came into existence 16-18 years ago. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 186th Meeting in May, 2005 (Resolution #1824).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mary Kay Solecki Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission
Item 14:* Kankakee Co. – Pembroke Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

Owned by the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), this 65.78-acre site is recognized on the INAI (#54) for its high quality dry sand savanna, representative of the Kankakee Sands Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Pembroke Savanna harbors numerous uncommon flora and fauna including the state threatened regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia) and the regionally rare fame flower (Talinum rugospermum). It is currently considered the best example of dry sand savanna in all of Illinois. Additionally, this site is part of a high quality, large-scale ecosystem of national significance. TNC wishes to provide the highest level of protection available in Illinois by dedicating it as Illinois nature preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 186th Meeting in May, 2005 (Resolution #1825).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 15:* McHenry Co. – Addition to Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

The 5.47-acre addition to Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve, owned by Lorna and Evan Gladstone, is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in McHenry County. Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve, and a small portion of the proposed addition, are part of the Gladstone Fen INAI (#1265). This site was recognized for high quality graminoid fen, calcareous seep, and sedge meadow wetland communities. The 6.44 -acre Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve was conferred final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 131st Meeting in May, 1991 (Resolution #1084). In 1999, the McHenry County Conservation District acquired an additional 38 acres of this INAI site. That acquisition, together with the amount of land formally protected by the Gladstone family (with this proposal 11.9 acres), brings the total amount of land protected at this site to 49.9 acres. Dedication of the proposed addition will protect the surface hydrology of the existing Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve, provide for expanded restoration efforts along a stream course that drains the INAI site, and protect surviving remnants of sedge meadow and mesic prairie. Dedication of this tract by Lorna and Evan Gladstone will serve as a model, in much the same way as the original dedication of Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve by Lee and Gertrude Gladstone, for further protection and stewardship efforts within this portion of the Boone Creek watershed. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 186th Meeting in May, 2005 (Resolution #1826).

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

Item 16: Cook Co. – Busse Woods Nature Preserve - Spillway Modification at Busse Woods Reservoir

The DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns (DuPage County) proposes to modify the principal spillway of the Busse Woods Reservoir to help alleviate downstream flooding of Salt Creek during unusually heavy rain events. Busse Woods Nature Preserve is located 8,500 feet upstream of the principal spillway. The Nature Preserve contains an oak flatwoods community and an ephemeral wetland that are sensitive to changes in groundwater and surface hydrology. While several alternative engineering modifications have been considered, the option representing the least upstream effects, while still achieving downstream flood protection benefits, is an inflatable bladder system. Mr. John Steffen, representing DuPage County, first addressed the INPC at the May 4, 2004 meeting, and he subsequently provided a project status report to commissioners at the May 3, 2005 meeting. During these meetings, Commissioners expressed concerns and requested more data and evaluations pertaining to potential environmental impacts within the nature preserve. On behalf of DuPage County, Applied Ecological Services has completed a report to address these concerns. The report is titled: Assessment of Ecological Conditions and Potential Impacts to the Ned Brown Preserve by Proposed Modifications to the Busse Woods Dam. In addition to the environmental assessments, DuPage County has developed "operational" modifications for the inflating and deflating procedures of the bladder system. The "operational" modifications further reduces upstream effects. While this project is not within the boundary of the Nature Preserve, INPC project approval is required as part of an inter-governmental agreement between DuPage County and the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
John Nelson Approval of Spillway Modification
Nature Preserves Commission
John Steffen
DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns

Item 17: DuPage Co. – Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve - Proposal to Develop Nature Preserve Buffer

Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve is a 25-acre site owned by the Downers Grove Park District (DGPD). The area was dedicated in 1979 (10 acres nature preserve) and added to in 1994 (15 acres nature preserve buffer). The DGPD is seeking approval from the INPC to develop five acres of the Nature Preserve buffer for active recreational purposes. A community aquatic facility, tennis courts, and baseball or soccer fields are being considered. The DGPD first proposed using the Nature Preserve buffer for active recreational purposes in 1995.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Approval of Recreational Use of Nature
Nature Preserves Commission Preserve Buffer
Dan Cermak
Downers Grove Park District

Item 18:* Vegetation Management Guidelines

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 common reed (Phragmites australis) and smooth sumac (Rhus glabra L.) are presented for approval. 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.
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REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Bob Edgin Approval of Management Guidelines
Nature Preserves Commission


Item 19: Status of Illinois Natural Areas Inventory Forested Sites in Northeastern Illinois

Conservationists are concerned that formerly dominant oak forest stands are deteriorating because they lack natural fire processes that maintained open stand structures. A 20-year examination and documentation of changes in INAI old-growth forest stands of the Chicago region showed succession toward sugar maple as well as loss of sapling oaks and of native shrubs. This trend is expected to continue. Applied research is needed to understand how to implement fire management that will reverse this process and restore diversity to these forests. For example, work at the Morton Arboretum has shown that repeated burning can increase ground layer diversity in oak forests, but it also contributes to further loss of shrub layer species which provide nesting habitat for forest interior birds.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Marlin Bowles None
Morton Arboretum

Item 20: Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2006 Land Acquisition Proposals

The Nature Preserves Commission reviews the capital expenditure of the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) and provides a recommendation to the Director of the IDNR. The capital portion of the NAAF is to be divided in FY 2006 as follows: land acquisition - $5.310 million; stewardship - $590,000, and defense - $100,000.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Don McFall Approval of Land Acquisition Proposals
Nature Preserves Commission
Todd Strole
IDNR Division of Habitat Resources

Item 21: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 22: Other Business

Item 23: Adjournment