ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED NINETY THIRD MEETING

Emmerson Building
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL

February 6, 2007

*Documentary Material Enclosed

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

Item 2:* Adoption of Agenda

Item 3:* Approval of the 192nd Meeting Minutes, October 24, 2006

Item 4: 2007 Meeting Schedule

May 1, 9:00 a.m. - Giant City Lodge, Makanda
August 7, 10:00 a.m. - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
October 23, 10:00 a.m. - Sugar Grove Nature Center, McLean

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Heidorn and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 7: Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Nyboer
Endangered Species Protection Board Manager

Item 8:* McHenry Co. – Jimenez Addition to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve,
Registration

The proposed Jimenez Addition to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve is a 2.98-acre tract of land owned by Pedro and Guadelupe Jimenez. The proposed addition is within the Black Crown Marsh Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) site (#1503) located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division along the McHenry-Lake County border. Black Crown Marsh is ecologically significant due to the diversity and high number of rare, threatened, and endangered birds that have been documented to use the wetland basin and surrounding uplands for foraging, breeding, and nesting. The wetland was classified in 1997 as a Category II INAI site for providing suitable habitat for nine state- threatened or endangered birds. The proposed addition represents another important step forward in providing long-term protection to the 405-acre Black Crown Marsh INAI site. Since a significant portion of the wetland basin remains under private ownership, the commitment of private landowners to this protection effort is critical to achieving success. This registration agreement is a result of a consent decree from a court case involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Jimenez Landscaping Corporation.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
John Nelson Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 9:* McLean Co. – Mackinaw River Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Mackinaw River Land and Water Reserve, owned by the ParkLands Foundation, is approximately 639.23 acres in size and includes 1.9 miles of the Mackinaw River Natural Area (INAI #788). The site is recognized on the INAI for populations of the state-threatened slippershell mussel (Alasmidonta viridis) and state-threatened spike mussel (Elliptio dilatata), plus a Category VI designation as a high-quality, medium-grade river. Natural communities at this proposed land and water reserve are representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and include native upland and bottomland forests (approximately 35% of the site), tallgrass prairie and pasture (25%), and shrubland or early successional areas (40%). The slippershell mussel and the spike mussel have not been found within the proposed land and water reserve, but the state-threatened Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) and state-threatened cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulean) were documented on the site during the 2006 breeding season. Most of the site has been extensively disturbed from a variety of land uses, including grazing farm animals, cropping, and logging. A sub-surface gas storage agreement with Northern Illinois Gas Company remains in effect on approximately 146 acres. Also, two small abandoned cabins remain standing on the west end of the property. One shed, used to store equipment for conducting restoration management, is located near the South Gate entrance. Active management has been occurring at this site since the 1970s and has included restoration of a 40-acre tallgrass prairie, control of non-native species, prescribed fire, a yearly deer harvest program, plant community evaluation, and use of livestock grazing to discourage woody encroachment of grassland areas. Access is from two small gravel parking areas, which one day may be enlarged. There is also a three-mile trail system. Hikers must stay on designated trails. Pets, motorized vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, other non-motorized vehicles, camping, and open fires are prohibited. Fishing and canoeing in the Mackinaw River will continue to be allowed. Restoring natural communities at this site will benefit the Mackinaw River Natural Area and provide additional buffer for the adjacent 78- acre Merwin Savanna Nature Preserve. The ParkLands Foundation wishes to ensure the continued protection and proper restoration management of this site by having it registered in perpetuity as a land and water reserve.

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

Item 10:* Cook Co. – Powderhorn Marsh and Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) seeks preliminary approval for dedication of 130 of the 192 acres of Powderhorn Lake Forest Preserve as the Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is located in the Chicago Lake Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The dune and swale topography of this proposed nature preserve, once a dominate feature of the Chicago Lake Plain Section, is composed of a series of six sand dunes interposed with swales. The site was included on the INAI (#1071) for high-quality dry-mesic, wet-mesic sand prairies, and dry-mesic sand savanna arrayed along the dunes, while the swales support high-quality marsh. These natural communities support a number of state-endangered or threatened species; including 10 plants, 3 birds, 1 mammal, 1 fish, and 1 reptile species. Dedication of the 130-acre site honors the commitment of both the INPC and the FPDCC to collaborate to preserve sites of state-wide ecological significance and marks the first time a parcel of land located in the City of Chicago has been dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

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

Item 11:* Ford Co. – Gardner Prairie Restoration Nature Preserve, Dedication

Gardner Prairie Restoration is an approximately 15-acre prairie restoration that has been restored over the past 32 years by Don Gardner. Mr. Gardner wishes to ensure long-term protection of this prairie restoration be designating 12.187 acres of the restoration as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The restored prairie lies in Ford County, on the south edge of Kempton, within the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and is part of the Gardner family farm. Gardner Prairie Restoration is recognized by the INAI (#1497) as a prairie restoration. This site also provides habitat for the state-endangered wildflower queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra). In addition, dickcissel nest here, and bobolink use the prairie. Both birds are species of conservation concern identified in the Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Action Plan.

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

Item 12:* Cook Co. – Buffer Addition to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) wishes to dedicate 9.09 acres, consisting of two separate parcels, as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve (INAI #256). Both the Nature Preserve and the proposed addition are located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in southern Cook County. The proposed addition lies just upstream from the Nature Preserve and includes a continuation of the dolomitic cliff community, which is a hallmark of Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve. Other natural communities include degraded elements of dry-mesic and mesic forest arrayed along soil and moisture gradients. Dedication of the two parcels as a buffer addition to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve will further protect the headwaters of the Nature Preserve, thereby helping to prevent serious alteration of surface hydrology and stream hydraulics within the canyon. Formal protection of the two parcels honors the commitment of the INPC to work with the FPDCC and CorLands to effect the terms of a purchase agreement. Dedication of this buffer addition will increase the size of Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve from 135 acres to 144.09 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 192nd Meeting in October, 2006 (Resolution #1920).

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

Item 13:* Cook Co. – Buffer Addition to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Save the Prairie Society wishes to dedicate a 0.96-acre parcel as nature preserve buffer addition to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve (INAI #251). Wolf Road Prairie supports high-quality mesic prairie and has been recognized as the largest and best- quality “black soil” prairie located east of the Mississippi River. Both the prairie and the proposed buffer addition are located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The proposed addition is part of a 5-acre lot, referred to as 10 Hickory Lane. The Commission conferred final approval for most of the balance of this lot at its 168th Meeting in August, 2000 (Resolution #547). Dedication of the proposed addition will protect elements of a restored prairie and stream corridor, maintain the existing landscape linkage with the prairie, buffer the prairie from incompatible development, and serve as a model for protection of other lots located adjacent to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve. Dedication of this addition will increase the size of Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve from 53.9 acres to 54.8 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 192nd Meeting in October, 2006 (Resolution #1921).

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

Item 14:* Cook Co. – Buffer Addition to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is seeking final approval for dedication of two separate lots totaling 0.14 acres as a nature preserve buffer addition to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve. The two lots, fronting 31st Street in Westchester, were part of an 80-acre parcel that received preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve at the Commission’s 111th Meeting in July, 1986 (Resolution #898). The lots were conveyed to the IDNR from The Nature Conservancy in June, 2005. Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and has been identified as one of the largest black soil prairies located east of the Mississippi River. The Nature Preserve was included on the INAI (#50) for high-quality mesic prairie. Approval of these two lots will provide formal protection and increase the size of Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve from 54.80 acres to 54.94 acres.

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

Item 15:* Iroquois Co. – Buffer Addition to Hooper Branch Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Friends of the Kankakee, Iroquois Chapter, owns two acres adjacent to the existing Hooper Branch Nature Preserve and wishes to dedicate them as a buffer addition. The proposed buffer addition is adjacent to the existing Nature Preserve. Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve, owned by the IDNR, was dedicated in 1985. The Nature Preserve is 560 acres in size and is located in the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. This INAI site (#577) was purchased by the IDNR in 1984 as an addition to its holdings at the Iroquois State Wildlife Area. Known for its high-quality dry and dry-mesic sand savanna and sand flatwoods communities, Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve is one of the best natural areas in the Kankakee Sands region. Hooper Branch Savanna provides habitat for numerous uncommon plants and animals indigenous to sandy regions in Illinois, and it is also known to harbor five state-endangered species: shore St. John’s wort (Hypericum adpressum), Carey’s heartsease (Polygonum careyi), blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium atlanticum) bristly blackberry (Rubus setosus), and primrose violet (Viola primulifolia). The proposed two-acre buffer addition to the existing Nature Preserve currently does not share the same high-quality natural character or habitat; however, it does lend itself towards the completion of good preserve design. Protection of this addition, and its subsequent restoration, will enhance the ecological value of Hooper Branch Savanna. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 192nd Meeting in October, 2006 (Resolution #1922).

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

Item 16:* Rock Island Co. – Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, Dedication

Augustana College proposes to dedicate 25 acres as an Illinois Nature Preserve to be known as the Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve in honor of the College’s first biology professor. The proposed dedication is part of the field station known as the Collinson Ecological Preserve. The site is located just outside the city limits of Milan and within two miles of the City of Rock Island. The area proposed for dedication includes the entire Milan South Geological INAI site (#490), recognized for having an outstanding natural exposure of Devonian Age limestone and 0.6 acres of grade B loess hill prairie, representative of the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division, overlooking the bluff of Mill Creek. Once dedicated, Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve would be the first privately owned nature preserve in Rock Island County and the only loess hill prairie under nature preserve protection along the Mississippi River Bluffs between Grubb Hollow Nature Preserve in Pike County to Sentinel Nature Preserve in Carroll County, a distance of approximately 150 miles. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 188th Meeting in October, 2005 (Resolution #1849).

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

Item 17:* Winnebago Co. – Buffer Addition to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve, Dedication

Harlem Hills Nature Preserve is owned and managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The Nature Preserve (INAI #918) is the largest and best surviving example of a gravel hill prairie in Illinois. At the Commission’s 189th Meeting in February, 2006, the INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication (Resolution #1865) of nine land parcels, totaling 40.41 acres, as an addition and buffer to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve. At that time, eight of the parcels were owned by the IDNR, while the ninth was owned by the Natural Land Institute (NLI). At the Commission’s 190th Meeting in May, 2006, the Commission granted final approval for dedication of the eight parcels owned by the IDNR (Resolution #1885), while negotiations were underway for the IDNR to purchase the ninth parcel from the NLI. The IDNR recently acquired the ninth parcel, known as the Wylie Tract, from the NLI and now requests final approval for its dedication as a buffer addition to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve. Final dedication of the Wylie Tract will bring the total acreage of protected land at Harlem Hills Nature Preserve to 94.61 acres and will help protect one of the last remaining hill prairie remnants known to exist in the area.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
John Nelson Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 18:* Lake Co. – Introduction of the Spotted Salamander to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve

MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve (483 acres), owned and managed by Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD), completely contains the 432-acre MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve. The primary significance of the Nature Preserve is its status as a large, undeveloped natural area, in a region undergoing rapid development and urbanization. MacArthur Woods (INAI #1003) is the largest tract of unfragmented forest within Lake County and contains the globally imperiled northern flatwoods community type along with productive breeding ponds for forest amphibians. A baseline survey of herpetofauna was conducted in 2000 and revealed a low diversity of herpetofauna (Mierzwa 2001), with blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) comprising 86% of animals observed. The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) was present in the site in low numbers in the 1980s, but was not detected in Mierzwa’s study. Between 2001 and 2005, LCFPD completed major restoration work, including drain tile disablement and the selective clearing of the entire woodland of invasive woody species (primarily Rhamnus spp.). In a follow up herpetofaunal survey conducted by LCFPD, only one spotted salamander was observed. In 2003, LCFPD commissioned a study to investigate the response of herpetofauna to the restoration. Researchers have determined that three historic species – spotted salamanders, spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) – are likely extirpated from the site, or present in such low numbers that they are at risk of extirpation. Through follow-up enclosure studies, researchers determined that reintroduction of spotted salamander via translocation of egg masses is a feasible and likely successful management tool to restore the spotted salamander population. LCFPD is requesting approval to initiate reintroduction of spotted salamanders as proposed to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Jennifer Filipiak Approval of Introduction
Lake County Forest Preserve District

Item 19:* Will Co. – Head-Starting Blanding’s turtles at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve

Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve (INAI #932), owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, was dedicated in June, 1983. The site is leased and managed by the Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC). Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve is a high-quality remnant of dolomite prairie in the Des Plaines River Valley. The site hosts populations of the federally listed lakeside daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea), leafy prairie clover (Dalea foliosa), and Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana), as well as the state-endangered spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata). Since, 1988 only 78 individual state-threatened Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) have been captured at the Nature Preserve. At any one time this translates to a small population size of 43+8 individuals in a near equal ratio to immature and juvenile turtles. Pressures on adults have been severe over the last decade. Six known adult mortalities (14% of the population estimate) have occurred since 2002. Three of these were females, two of which perished on the railroad tracks. Radio-telemetric data has revealed that the Nature Preserve may not provide enough suitable habitats to support the population of Blanding's turtles, as they frequently used unprotected and degraded habitats outside of the Nature Preserve boundary, especially when the Nature Preserve’s resources became limited due to the drought. A preliminary population viability analysis suggests the population is in slow decline and has a 27% probability of extinction in 50 years. A subsequent sensitivity analysis revealed reducing mortality across stage classes would alleviate the decline. A combination of hatchling mortality below approximately 50%, juvenile mortality below approximately 19% and adult mortality below approximately 2% would halt the trend. Thus, several management strategies must be enacted in tandem to halt and reverse the decline. The FPDWC is discussing step one of a three step process to recovering the Blanding's turtle population at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve. Initially as one management option, the FPDWC proposes to head-start one full year’s worth of natural reproduction, and then monitor a subset of these individuals when released to determine the success of the strategy. This will be coupled with future strategies directed at reducing mortality pressures and ultimately to expanding the critical sedge meadow and cattail marsh habitat. If many of these head-started individuals survive to adulthood, it is anticipated to help to increase the population.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mike Dreslik Approval of Project
Natural History Survey

Item 20:* Vegetation Management Guidelines
The Management Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to address 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 sweet clovers (Melilotus spp.) and wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and newly developed guidelines for Japanese hops (Humulus japonicus) and Japanese siltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) will be 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.

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

Item 21:* Use of Nature Preserve Buffer in Nature Preserve Design

The growing need and use of the buffer protection tool to secure the integrity of Illinois Nature Preserves has resulted in the Commission requesting the development of a white paper to clarify the issue of buffers. As a tool, buffers are critical in the development of preserve design. While there are basic guidelines for buffers, the development of a Buffer Management Guideline will provide the needed solutions to this issue. As of October, 2006, there were 144 dedicated buffers totaling 4,275 acres in the Illinois Nature Preserves System.

REPORT
Randy Nyboer
Illinois Natural History Survey

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

Item 23: Other Business

Item 24: Adjournment