ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED NINETY SIXTH MEETING

 

Mt. Hope Community Hall

104 N. Clinton Street

McLean, IL

 

October 23, 2007   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 195th Meeting Minutes, August 7, 2007

 

Item 4:        Proposed 2008 Meeting Schedule

                 

February 5, 2008

10:00 a.m.

Northfield Inn and Conference Center, Springfield

May 6, 2008

  9:00 a.m.

Location to be determined, Galena

August 5, 2008

10:00 a.m.

Location to be determined, Joliet

October 28, 2008

10:00 a.m.

World Shooting & Recreational Complex, Sparta

 

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:*      McLean Co. – Funks Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

 

                  Six tracts totaling 453.36 acres, owned by the Sugar Grove Foundation, are           being proposed as the Funks Grove Land and Water Reserve.  Four of the tracts (283       acres) are within the Funks Grove Natural Area (Illinois Natural Areas Inventory            [INAI] #721) and support grade A and B mesic upland and floodplain forest.  Large         canopy trees include sugar maple (Acer saccharum), black walnut, (Juglans nigra),           white oak (Quercus alba), blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), and bur oak (Q.     macrocarpa). The Timber Creek Natural Area meanders through parts of two of the        tracts, is near the boundary of two others, and supports a population of the state-                  threatened slippershell mussel (Alasmidonta viridis) plus at least 14 other mussel    species.  One of the two forested non-INAI tracts functions as a buffer for part of the      adjacent proposed land and water reserve, Timber Creek, and a 63-acre portion of the      adjacent Funks Grove Natural Area that is owned by the University of Illinois. The                   other forested non-INAI tract of 90.18 acres, known as Murphy’s Grove, is located           along Sugar Creek about 1.5 miles to the northwest of the main proposed land and             water reserve; this remnant prairie grove is approximately 9 miles upstream from the           beginning of the Sugar Creek-Salt Creek Drainage Natural Area (INAI #1521) and 14             miles upstream from the Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve. The forest and            stream communities at this proposed land and water reserve are representative of the    Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division.  Registration of the six             tracts that make up this site will help implement the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan            (IWAP) through the following priority action campaigns: Forests, Streams, Farmland           and Prairies, Invasive Species, and Land and Water Stewardship.  Species in Greatest          Need of Conservation that will benefit from protection of this site include the spiny   softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and                   nine species of birds. The Sugar Grove Foundation wishes to ensure the continued   protection and proper restoration management of their six tracts by having them           permanently registered as a land and water reserve.

                 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Tom Lerczak                                                          Registration Approval

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 9:*      Vermilion Co. – Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land and Water

                  Reserve, Registration

 

                  The proposed Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve           is part of a farm owned by Dr. and Mrs. Richard Larimore.  The site is 10 miles             southwest of Danville within the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division.  Dr. and Mrs. Larimore wish to register approximately 51.4 acres of   their land along the Salt Fork as a land and water reserve.   The proposed land and   water reserve encompasses approximately 1.7-miles of the Salt Fork, with segments          totaling approximately 1.3 miles occurring along one bank of the River and the              remaining 0.4 mile-long stretches lying on both banks of the River.  The Salt Fork of            the Vermilion River in Vermilion County is a biologically significant stream that         supports state-listed aquatic animals and has healthy fish, mussel, and       macroinvertebrate populations.  It is recognized as an outstanding stream by the INAI    (#1427).  The proposed land and water reserve encompasses a stretch of the River     that provides habitat for three state-listed mussel species: purple wartyback,        Cyclonaias tuberculata (state-threatened), wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis                   fasciola (state-endangered), and rainbow, Villosa iris (state-endangered) and two state-endangered fish:  bluebreast darter (Etheostoma camarum) and bigeye chub      (Hybopsis amplops).  Protection of Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land          and Water Reserve supports several action steps identified in the IWAP for the                   Streams Campaign. The proposed land and water reserve also provides habitat for five mussel and six fish species in greatest need of conservation, and it is within the        Vermilion River Conservation Opportunity Area as identified in the IWAP.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Mary Kay Solecki                                                  Registration Approval

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 10:*    Cook Co. – Natural Land Institute - George B. Fell Prairie Nature Preserve Addition          to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve

 

                  The Natural Land Institute and the City of Markham seek preliminary approval for   dedication of 12.39 acres as the Natural Land Institute - George B. Fell Prairie Nature          Preserve addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. The proposed            addition is located in the Chicago Lake Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal                   Natural Division and consists of 91 lots (7.67 acres) and platted, but not built upon,             roads (4.72 acres).  The 91 lots and platted roads are subject to an agreement between        the Natural Land Institute and the City of Markham that provides for exchange of    properties and provides that the City of Markham will “... assist and cooperate with       the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, in good faith, to facilitate the dedication of           the Markham properties as an Illinois Nature Preserve.”  The proposed addition is       located just south of Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve and lies embedded        within boundaries for both the INAI site (#400) and the National Registry of Natural     Landmarks designated by the U.S. National Park Service.  Elements of high-quality             mesic prairie and sedge meadow, and grade C mesic sand prairie and wet-mesic      prairie occur within the proposed addition. The proposed addition supports a                   population of the federally-threatened and state-endangered eastern prairie fringed   orchid (Habenaria leucophaea), state-endangered grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosus), and state-threatened small sundrops (Oenothera perennis).  Dedication of   this addition is consistent with the recommendations of an approved Master Plan for                   this site, good preserve design considerations, and elements of the IWAP, specifically          action steps to restore and manage high-quality wetland and prairie communities.          Dedication of the proposed addition (12.39) acres will increase the size of Gensburg-         Markham Prairie Nature Preserve from 125.826 acres to 138.216 acres.  To date,                   there are an additional 31.934 acres that have received preliminary approval for       dedication as additions to Gensburg-Markham Prairie.  A quote from “A legacy of           natural lands - George B. Fell and the Natural Land Institute” summarizes the          leadership provided by George B. Fell: “The fight to preserve Gensburg-Markham                   Prairie was to be George’s last, and his penultimate preservation effort.”

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Steven Byers                                                          Preliminary Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 11:*    Lee Co. – Hazelwood Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

                  The Walgreen family proposes to dedicate 43.7 acres as Hazelwood Forest Nature             Preserve. The proposed Hazelwood Forest Nature Preserve is part of the larger          Lowell Park natural area which has long been the subject of preservation efforts by           the Dixon Park District and the Walgreen family.  This site is located in the Oregon                   Section of the Rock River Country Natural Division. In 1966, at the suggestion of    INPC Commissioner Myrtle Walgreen, and after consult with the Dixon Park District,           the INPC passed a resolution which granted preliminary approval for dedication of         Lowell Park as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  However, over the ensuing years, the site    was never formally dedicated.  Protection efforts waned until the mid 1990s.  At that            time, staff of the Dixon Park District, the IDNR, and the INPC renewed interest in     preserving the site and initiated formal plant community surveys.  The surveys were    necessary to nominate Lowell Park for inclusion on the INAI.  In 2002, the site was      added to the INAI (#1622) as a category I site containing grade B dry-mesic upland          forest and grade B mesic upland forest. Protection and restoration of this area        supports several action steps for the Forests Campaign and Invasive Species     Campaign of the IWAP.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  John Nelson                                                           Preliminary Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 12:*    McLean Co. – Duncan R. Funk Addition to Stubblefield Woodlots Nature Preserve,

                  Dedication

 

                  A 7.52-acre tract within the Funks Grove Natural Area (INAI #721), owned by Mr.          Duncan R. Funk, is being proposed as a nature preserve addition to Stubblefield      Woodlots Nature Preserve.  Stubblefield Woodlots Nature Preserve consists of two           parcels (5.22 acres and 6.49 acres) that are separated from each other by                   approximately 90 feet.  The proposed nature preserve addition is adjacent to the 6.49-        acre parcel.  Except for a modest gravel road crossing the site, this tract is completely           forested with grade B mesic upland forest representative of the Grand Prairie Section        of the Grand Prairie Natural Division.  Large canopy trees include sugar maple (Acer     saccharum), black walnut, (Juglans nigra), white oak (Quercus alba), and bur oak    (Q. macrocarpa).   Dedication of the nature preserve addition will directly support the         implementation of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, particularly the Forests Campaign under action item #7: “Restore and manage high-quality examples of all          forest, savanna and barrens communities, including all grade A and B Illinois Natural     Inventory sites....”  Approval of this addition will increase the size of the Stubblefield Woodlots Nature Preserve from 11.7 acres to 19.2 acres, significantly enhancing the                   ecological viability of this small nature preserve.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Tom Lerczak                                                          Preliminary Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 13:*    Piatt Co. – Heartland Pathways Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

                  The proposed Heartland Pathways Prairie Nature Preserve is a 52.3-acre former    railroad corridor located between Monticello and Cisco in Piatt County that is owned      by Heartland Pathways, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1987.          Heartland Pathways lies in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural           Division.  Much of the proposed nature preserve is recognized by the INAI as a   category II endangered species site (#1429) that provides habitat for a state-       endangered reptile.  The proposed nature preserve also contains grade B and C prairie                   remnants.  Protection of the proposed nature preserve supports action steps identified          for the Farmland and Prairie Campaign to restore and manage native prairie         communities and populations of imperiled and extirpated prairie wildlife.  In addition,       the proposed nature preserve provides habitat for a state-endangered reptile identified   as a species of greatest need in conservation by the IWAP. The proposed nature      preserve lies just south of Old Route 47 and is composed of a north tract and a south            tract; each tract is 40 feet wide and approximately 5.4 miles long.  One tract lies north     of and parallel to the former railroad bed and the other tract lies south of and parallel            to the former railroad bed.  A 20-foot wide strip of land between the two tracts         proposed as the nature preserve is excluded from the preserve.  This 20-foot wide            strip includes the former railroad bed and ballast.  It is used as a hiking trail and may                   eventually be further developed as a pathway and/or converted back to an active     railroad line.  Rural subdivision development is occurring south of the proposed       nature preserve.  The City of Monticello and the developers of Appletree Subdivision           want to create a road cut through the eastern part of the proposed Heartland Pathway                   Nature Preserve to provide access from Appletree Subdivision across the pathway to          Old Route 47, north of the subdivision.  Currently access to Appletree Subdivision is             from County Farm Road on the south side of the subdivision. The location of the potential road access within the proposed nature preserve contains suitable habitat for    a state-endangered reptile.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Mary Kay Solecki                                                  Preliminary Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 14:*    Cook Co. – Calumet City Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

                  The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) is seeking final approval for            dedication of 40 acres of Calumet City Prairie as Calumet City Prairie and Marsh            Nature Preserve.  The proposed nature preserve is located in the Chicago Lake      Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in the corporate limits of                   Calumet City, Illinois.  The dune and swale topography at this site, once a dominant             feature of the Chicago Lake Plain Section, includes sand dunes interposed with           swales. The site was included on the INAI (#497) for high-quality dry-mesic sand prairie, mesic prairie, wet-mesic prairie, and marsh. These natural communities   support four state-listed plant species including grass pink orchid (Calopogon           tuberosus), marsh St. John’s wort (Hypericum virginicum), Richardon’s rush (Juncus             alpinus), and marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata).  Dedication of Calumet City    Prairie and Marsh is consistent with the IWAP specifically several action steps   identified for the Farmland and Prairies Campaign and the Wetlands Campaign.      Further, dedication of this site honors the commitment of both the FPDCC and the           INPC to collaborate to preserve sites of state-wide ecological significance. The             Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 195th            Meeting in August, 2007 (Resolution #1961).

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Steven Byers                                                          Final Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 15:*    DuPage Co. – West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve Buffer Addition to Truitt-Hoff

                  Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

                  The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC) is seeking final approval for dedication of 169.5 acres of the West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve as a nature   preserve buffer addition to Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve. Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve      received final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 190th Meeting in May,                   2006 (Resolution #1880).  The proposed nature preserve buffer addition is located in          the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Illinois Morainal Natural Division in West    Chicago, Illinois and includes elements of mesic prairie, wet prairie, sedge meadow,       marsh, and wet-mesic savanna. These natural communities have responded well to                   more than 20 years of restoration and management by volunteers and staff of the      FPDDC and provides habitat for three state-listed plants: western beard tongue           (Penstemon tubaeflorus), little green sedge (Carex viridula), and white lady’s slipper         (Cypripedium candidum). The site also has breeding habitat for the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingi), and the state-threatened Henslow’s sparrow        (Ammodramus henslowii). Dedication of this nature preserve buffer addition is             consistent with the IWAP, specifically several action steps identified for the Farmland            and Prairies Campaign and the Wetlands Campaign.  The site supports several species       identified in the plan as “critical species” for this natural division which includes the    silver-bordered fritillary (Bolorig selene), silvery checkerspot (Militaea nycteis),          Blanding’s turtle, Henslow’s sparrow, sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), northern   flicker (Colaptes auratus), and red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes             erythrocephalus).  Dedication of this buffer addition will increase the size of Truitt- Hoff Nature Preserve from 115.974 acres to 285.475 acres. The Commission             conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 195th Meeting in                   August, 2007 (Resolution #1962).

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Steven Byers                                                          Final Approval for Dedication

                  Nature Preserves Commission


Item 16:*    Cook Co. – Proposal to Translocate the Regal Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria idalia) to

                  the Indian Boundary Prairies (Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve and

                  Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve)

 

                  The regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia) is listed as a threatened species in        Illinois. Since the 1970s, the species has experienced a precipitous decline east of the            Mississippi River and is today absent from many states where it formerly occurred.       In Illinois, robust populations can still be found at The Nachusa Grasslands and in the     sand prairies southwest of Peoria.  A large population still exists on both sides of the Indiana/Illinois state line in the Kankakee Sands region (Newton/Iroquois counties).         In the Chicago Metropolitan area, populations were known from the Gensburg-  Markham Prairie until the late 1970s and from the dune areas near Braidwood         through the late 1980s.  Both of these populations have been extirpated. The Chicago    Academy of Sciences proposes to reintroduce this species to Gensburg-Markham             Prairie Nature Preserve and Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve.  Currently the     Kankakee Sands population is the closest geographically to the Indian Boundary    Prairies. No genetic studies have been conducted on the this population, but this        species is a wide ranging butterfly and it is likely that the Braidwood population had                   been a stepping stone population between the donor and recipient sites allowing for at          least some genetic flow. In September, 2007, 5-10 gravid female S. idalia were    collected from the donor site approximately five miles northwest of Enos, in Newton   County Indiana. Females were transported to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in                   Chicago in a chilled cooler, then placed on pots of  woolly blue violet (Viola sororia)          covered with muslin sleeves to induce ovopositioning.  Larvae were reared to           pupation on the potted host plants. Pupae will be transported to the translocation site,      and affixed to vegetation in the field where they are to be established. After                   consultation with several Commissioners, preliminary translocation was planned for September, 2007. Translocation is proposed for both 2007 and 2008.  The established     population will be monitored at the population and genetic level. All other required             permits have already been obtained.  This is being presented to the Commission for                   formal approval of the ongoing and future translocation of the regal fritillary butterfly.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Doug Taron                                                            Approval of the Project

                  Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

                  Kelly Neal

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 17:*    Johnson Co. – Introduction of the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys

                  temminckii) at Heron Pond-Little Black Slough Nature Preserve

 

                  An official IDNR-approved Endangered Species Recovery Plan for the alligator      snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) was approved in February, 2006 by all       Divisions of the IDNR Office of Resource Conservation and Office Director Mike             Conlin.  As extreme southern Illinois was once the stronghold for this animal, this is          the most logical place to begin our recovery/reintroduction efforts.  A total of eight   official release sites in the Cache River and Big Muddy River watersheds have been          selected by the recovery team.  Animals including yearlings, juveniles, and adults will            be obtained from the State of Louisiana either through purchase and/or capture from      the wild.  Current research shows no genetic variation between turtles within the      Mississippi River drainage (which includes Illinois and Louisiana).  Permission has been granted to the IDNR from the State of Louisiana to live trap and transport                   animals back to Illinois for recovery efforts. Currently we have approximately 30     yearling turtles being housed at the Glen Oak Zoo in Peoria and six biologists from    the IDNR will be traveling to Louisiana in October, 2007.  The IDNR is seeking           permission from the INPC to release all yearlings and some wild captured animals at      Heron Pond/Little Black Slough Nature Preserve in the spring of 2008.  This site is an ideal first release site as it is protected and contains prime habitat for the alligator    snapping turtle.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Joe Kath                                                                Approval of the Project

                  Department of Natural Resources

                  Kelly Neal

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 18:*    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 control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), exotic buckthorns             (Rhamnus spp. and Frangula alnus), and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), and newly       developed guidelines for musk thistle (Carduus nutans) and purple rocket (Hesperis   matronalis) will be presented for approval.  The guidelines were submitted to INPC           Consultants, Advisors, and selected natural area land managers for review.    Recommended changes were incorporated into the documents.

 

                  REPORT                                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

                  Bob Edgin                                                              Approval of Management Guidelines

                  Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 19:      Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

                                               

Item 20:      Other Business

 

Item 21:      Adjournment