Agenda 154th Meeting

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOURTH MEETING

Illinois State Library
300 South Second Street
Springfield, Illinois

February 4, 1997 -- 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 153rd Meeting, October 29, 1996

Item 4:* 1997 Meeting Schedule

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Don McFall, Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Carl Becker
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 7: Report on IDNR Advisory Board

John Comerio
Deputy Director
IDNR

Item 8:* Cook Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Old

Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Good quality prairie grows along the side of a one mile segment of the Old Plank Road Trail between Central and Ridgeland Avenues in Rich Township in Cook County. This prairie lies 500 feet west of an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site - Penn Central Railroad Prairie, sites 540 and 541. These inventory areas received preliminary approval to be dedicated as the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve in 1994. Rich Township would like to dedicate 2.49 acres as an addition to the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve and 0.66 acres as nature preserve buffer. Once complete, this mile and a half long nature preserve will protect some of the best mesic prairies in Cook County while providing the many trail users with an excellent opportunity to learn about Illinois' natural heritage.

REPORT:Brian Reilly, Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 9:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Herrmann Wildflower Farm as Nature Preserve Buffer to Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve, Dedication

Ms. Edna Herrmann proposes to dedicate approximately 11 acres of the Herrmann Wildflower Farm as buffer for Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. This parcel, which does not include Ms. Herrmann's residence or commercial wildflower operation, consists of mature dry-mesic forest that extends from the Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve onto the proposed buffer. Although selective logging occurred on a portion of the proposed buffer prior to 1914, there has been no grazing or logging since that time. Despite the fact that the proposed buffer is not located adjacent to the nature preserve, the buffer is located within the immediate watershed of the nature preserve, lies within a buffer zone identified by Beverley Johnson (1993) in her manuscript entitled "Buffer Zone Planning and Management in the Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area", provides important ecological functions as outlined in Johnson's report, protects the nature preserve from more intensive development, and is consistent with the definition of "buffer area" as provided in the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act.

REPORT: Steven Byers, Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 10:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Mrs. Glen Lloyd proposes to dedicate 47 acres as additions to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve. These proposed additions will increase the amount of land preserved from 104.6 acres to approximately 151.6 acres. The larger proposed addition, approximately 24 acres in size, was included in the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Lloyd's Woods and is proposed for dedication as nature preserve. The other addition, approximately 23 acres in size, is proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. Dedication of these additions will protect high-quality forest communities, is consistent with good preserve design considerations, and will protect Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

REPORT: Steven Byers, Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 11:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication

A 9 acre parcel of land is proposed for dedication by the Lake Forest Open Lands Association as nature preserve buffer to the Skokie River Nature Preserve located in Lake County, Illinois. The proposal to dedicate Skokie River Nature Preserve called for the linkages between major high-quality sections of the nature preserve to "be expanded through dedication of adjacent lands as buffer and improved by natural community restoration." In addition to the initial 100 acre tract dedicated as nature preserve, six tracts totaling 26 acres, have been granted final approval as nature preserve buffer. Dedication of this proposed addition would increase the size of the nature preserve from 126 to 135 acres. Lake Forest Open Lands Association seeks approval for implementation of several elements of a Master Plan presented in the proposal. Dedication of this addition and implementation of the Master Plan are compatible with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission recommendation to further buffer Skokie River Nature Preserve.

REPORT: Steven Byers, Nature Preserves Commission and Stephen Christy, Jr.Lake Forest Open Lands Association

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED:Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 12:* Ogle County -- Additions of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve is a 141-acre dry and dry-mesic dolomite prairie nature preserve that was dedicated (116 acres Nature Preserve and 25 acres Buffer) in 1992. The owner, Byron Forest Preserve District, proposes to add 10 acres of the original prairie remnant, the restored 25 acres buffer and an additional 40 acres of restored prairie as dedicated nature preserve; and proposes to dedicate an additional 120 acres of surrounding open space as nature preserve buffer. This dedication will provide an expanded, more manageable and less fragmented nature preserve boundary as well as additional ecological and physical buffer.

REPORT: John Alesandrini, Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 13:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication

Debbie Marlewski seeks final approval for dedication of 0.68 acres as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. The tract is located within the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Wauconda Bog. Wauconda Bog has also been recognized by the U.S. National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. At least 12 species of plants, currently listed as endangered or threatened by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, have been recorded from Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. Preliminary approval for dedication of this addition was granted at the Nature Preserves Commission's 153rd Meeting (Resolution #1333). Final dedication of this tract is consistent with good preserve design considerations that call for both enlarging the size of protected natural areas and for protecting natural areas from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

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

Item 14:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication

Albert and Teresa Tyde seek final approval for dedication of 3 acres as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. The tract is located within the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Wauconda Bog. Wauconda Bog has also been recognized by the U. S. National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. At least 12 species of plants, currently listed as endangered or threatened by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, have been recorded from Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. Preliminary approval for dedication of this addition was granted at the Nature Preserves Commission's 153rd Meeting (Resolution #1333). Final dedication of this tract is consistent with good preserve design considerations that call for both enlarging the size of protected natural areas and for protecting natural areas from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

REPORT: Steven Byers, Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Final Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* Mason Co. -- Proposal to Unregister a Portion of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land And Water Reserve

Robert and Rudy Stinauer, the owners of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land and Water Reserve in Mason County, have requested the Commission unregister a 3.4 acre portion of the Reserve. The Stinauers plan to trade the acreage to a neighboring landowner who will clear the land and put it into agricultural production. The Stinauers would receive a 12 acre tract from the neighbor if the Reserve land is deeded to him. The Stinauers propose to register the 12 acres they would receive from the neighbor.

REPORT: Tom Lerczak, Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED Proposal to Unregister a Portion of the Reserve

Item 16:* Preservation of Railroad Prairies

REPORT Commissioner Vicky Ranney, Nature Preserves Commission and Jack White, Ecological Services, Inc.
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: To be Determined

Item 17:* DuPage County -- Proposal to Construct a Regional Trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County proposes to construct a regional trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve. Currently there is a combination of trail conditions existing within the nature preserve ranging from a crushed limestone base trail to a mowed turf trail. The existing trail is wider than 10 feet in several areas. At the 153rd meeting, the Commission directed staff to meet with the District to resolve any differences on the design of this trail. The following design elements result from those discussions: The new regional trail will consist of a 10 feet wide crushed limestone base and will include equestrian, bicycle, cross country skiing and pedestrian traffic. The trail will also be realigned closer to Swift Road. The interior trails will be mowed to a width of 7'3" .This is the width of the equipment used to maintain this trail and is a considerable reduction in the existing width. The District has also agreed to eliminate the existing service parking lot and an unused trail corridor along the tollway right-of-way.

REPORT: Randy Heidorn and Steven Byers, Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Approval of Regional Trail

Item 18:* Pulaski Co. -- Proposal to Build a Boardwalk at Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve, Cache River State Natural Area

Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve is a Cypress Tupelo Swamp located within the Cache River State Natural Area. No access is currently developed for this site. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is proposing to construct a boardwalk to allow visitors to view a portion of the nature preserve. The trail is being routed to avoid the removal of trees and other sensitive features. Although all other endangered species can be avoided, some water elm (Planera aquatica) seedlings can not be avoided. IDNR proposes that the District Heritage Biologist be allowed to transplant the seedlings out of the way of the boardwalk. Water elm seedlings are relatively common within this nature preserve and the viability of this population of this species would not be negatively impacted by this activity.

REPORT: Randy Heidorn, Nature Preserves Commission Bill McClain and Mark Guetersloh, IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: Approval of Boardwalk

Item 19: Johnson Co. -- Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control Project

REPORT: Randy Heidorn, Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED: None

Item 20: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 21: Other Business

Item 22: Adjournment