ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED SEVENTIETH MEETING

Illinois State Library
Conference Room 403
300 South Second Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
February 6, 2001 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 169th Meeting, October 31, 2000

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

1 May - Giant City State Park, Makanda
7 August - Public Landing Restaurant, Lockport
30 October - Desoto Hotel, Galena

Item 5:* Election of Consultant

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll

Nominated Consultant:
John White

Item 6:* Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2001 Land Acquisition Proposals

REPORT                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Brian Reilly                                             Approval of Addition to Acquisition List
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 7: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll, Don McFall, and Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 8: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 9:* Cass Co. - Chandlerville Cemetery Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Chandlerville Cemetery Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve, owned by the Village of Chandlerville, is an approximately 2.0-acre tract located on steep hillsides within an inactive section of Chandlerville Cemetery. The proposed land and water reserve includes a 0.8-acre portion of Chandlerville-Snyder Hill Prairie Natural Area (INAI #1535) which contains no more than one-half acre of grade A loess hill prairie with a much smaller brushy area of former grade B hill prairie. These prairies are representative of the original loess hill prairies of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Since the original INAI plant survey in 1976, all hill prairie remnants have suffered from woody encroachment and insufficient fire management. Approximately 1.2 acres of adjacent early successional woodlands are included in the proposed land and water reserve to serve as buffer from areas experiencing active cemetery maintenance. Increased restoration management of the site will improve both woodland and hill prairie communities. The proposed land and water reserve is for a period of ten years with automatic ten year renewals unless terminated by the landowner.

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

Item 10:* Iroquois Co. - Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve is a 1613-acre site located in the northeast corner of Iroquois County. It contains a diverse mosaic of oak sand savanna, sand flatwoods, prairie, sedge meadow and marsh communities representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and is included on the INAI (#763). It is owned and managed by the IDNR. This site contains one of the finest and most extensive sedge meadow/marsh complexes remaining in Illinois. The proposed land and water reserve will permanently protect habitat for 13 state-listed species as well as habitat for area sensitive grassland birds. This site is considered among the top six most important areas in Illinois for invertebrates associated with prairies and sedge meadows.

REPORT                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Eric Smith                                               Registration Approval
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region III

Item 11:* Vermilion Co. - Addition to Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Little Vermilion Land and Water Reserve is an approximately 835-acre site within Harry "Babe" Woodyard State Natural Area in Vermilion County. The site is owned and managed by the IDNR. The reserve is representative of the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division. It protects 2.2 miles of the INAI Little Vermilion River (#669), supports 11 state-listed species, provides habitat for 18 species of forest-interior birds, and harbors a heron rookery and secure breeding ponds for geographically restricted salamanders and frogs. The Little Vermilion Land and Water Reserve provides opportunities for hiking, hunting, trapping, and fishing. The proposed addition to the Little Vermilion River Land & Water Reserve will add 34 acres to the reserve, supply additional watershed protection to the river, decrease forest fragmentation, and provide direct protection and buffer to nine populations of listed plants, fibrous-rooted sedge (Carex communis) and drooping sedge (Carex prasina) and a wetland seep.

REPORT                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Bob Szafoni                                            Registration Approval
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region III

Item 12:* Lake Co. - North Park Addition to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Village of Lincolnshire proposes to dedicate approximately 38 acres of North Park as an addition to Florsheim Park. Of the 38-acre total, approximately 18 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and the balance (20 acres) proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. North Park, itself, consists of approximately 63 acres that were acquired by the Village of Lincolnshire in 1999, following the highly successful results of a referendum placed on the ballot by the Lincolnshire Village Board. This proposal for dedication provides for formal protection of the open space portion of North Park acquired in 1999, by the Village of Lincolnshire. The proposed North Park addition to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve is located immediately adjacent to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve. Florsheim Park is a 40-acre tract of land that was included on the INAI (#1500) because of the presence of four state-listed plant species. One of these, the eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platantherea leucophaea) is also a federally-listed species. The dry mesic upland forest and northern flatwoods communities present at Florsheim Park Nature Preserve extend north into the proposed North Park addition. These natural communities are representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. At least one state-listed plant species known from Florsheim Park, the dog violet (Viola conspersa), also occurs within the proposed addition. Masi and Steffen (2000) report that the state-listed marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata) occurs near an ephemeral pond in the northeastern portion of the proposed addition. The INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication of Florsheim Park as an Illinois Nature Preserve at its 150th Meeting in February, 1996 (Resolution #1303). Final approval was granted at the Commission's 151st Meeting in May, 1996 (Resolution #1315).

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

Item 13:* McHenry Co. - McHenry County Conservation District Addition to Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Lake in the Hills Fen was recognized by the INAI (#1011) for extant high-quality calcareous floating mat, graminoid fen, low shrub fen, calcareous seep, sedge meadow and dry gravel prairie communities of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Collectively, these communities support 19 state-listed endangered or threatened species. On August 1, 1989, the INPC granted preliminary approval for Lake in the Hills Fen (formally dedicated as Spring Hill Farm Fen) at its 124th Meeting (Resolution #1012 and #1013). The proposal included 133.8 acres owned by the Village of Lake in the Hills and 73.3 acres owned by the IDNR. Final approval was granted at the Commission's 125th Meeting (Resolution #1022 and #1023) on November 14, 1989. At the Commission's 130th Meeting, February, 1991, a resolution was adopted to rename Spring Hill Farm Fen Nature Preserve as Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve (Resolution #1078). More recently, the Commission has adopted resolutions (#1421 and #1426) regarding the impact of gravel mining in the ground water recharge zone located east of Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve. The proposed 5.8-acre addition to Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve was recently included on the INAI in recognition of its high-quality graminoid fen and calcareous seep communities. The site supports six state-listed endangered or threatened plant species and one state-listed threatened animal species. The proposed addition, frequently referred to as the Rothschild tract, is part of a larger tract of land acquired by the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD) in March, 1998. The INPC staff appreciates the MCCD's interest in preservation of this rare ecosystem and recommends that the proposed addition be conferred preliminary approval for dedication as an addition to Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve. Dedication of this addition will preserve high-quality graminoid fen and calcareous seep communities of state-wide ecological significance, provide essential buffer from incompatible land uses, and preserve an important ground water recharge and discharge zones. The proposed 5.8-acre addition will increase the size of the nature preserve from 207.1 to 212.9 acres.

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

Item 14:* Peoria Co. - Singing Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Singing Woods is part of the 899-acre North Bluff Wildlife Preserve, owned and managed by the Peoria Park District. The Peoria Park District proposes to dedicate 694 acres of oak-hickory forest, interspersed with hill prairie, barrens, wetland seeps, and intermittent streams, as Singing Woods Nature Preserve. The natural communities of Singing Woods are representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Singing Woods is part of a corridor of large tracts of woodlands (known as the Peoria Wilds Resource Rich Area) within the bluffs overlooking the Illinois River Valley, north of Peoria. This site is the largest contiguous tract of oak-hickory forest in Illinois, north of the Shawnee National Forest. Singing Woods supports a diverse population of high sensitive and moderate sensitive forest breeding birds such as the Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager, and Louisiana Waterthrush. The state-threatened downy arrowwood (Viburnum molle) is found at two separate locations within the proposed preserve, as are a vast array of conservative prairie and woodland plants.

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

Matt Fick
Peoria Park District

Item 15:* Cook Co. - Addition of Buffer to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is a 91-acre site owned by the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (70 acres) and the City of Elgin (21 acres). Bluff Spring Fen was recognized by the INAI (#537) for high-quality graminoid fen, sedge meadow, and calcareous seep wetland communities representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. In addition, the site supports 12 state-listed endangered or threatened plant species and one state-listed threatened insect. Bluff Spring Fen was conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission's 109th Meeting (Resolution #890) in March , 1986. Subsequently, the Commission conferred final approval for a portion of the site owned by the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago at its 112th Meeting (Resolution #915) in October, 1986. The balance of the site, owned by the City of Elgin, received final approval for dedication at the Commission's 116th Meeting (Resolution #964) in November, 1987. The proposed addition consists of three parcels totaling 4.34 acres. Two of the tracts were purchased by the City of Elgin in 1996, as part of the City's continuing effort to acquire and remove homes located in the Poplar Creek flood plain. The third tract was conveyed to the City of Elgin in 1991, as a condition for approval of a nearby residential development. Dedication of these tracts as nature preserve buffer will provide formal protection to the parcels and further buffer Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses. Dedication of the proposed addition would increase the acreage of Bluff Spring Fen from 91 to 95.34 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval of dedication of this addition at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1558) in October, 2000.

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

Item 16:* Kendall Co. - Millhurst Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Millhurst Fen is a 7-acre site in Kendall County which was recently acquired by the IDNR. It is located approximately three miles southwest of Plano, in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Millhurst Fen is a rare natural community and is included on the INAI (#981) because it provides habitat for three state-listed plant species: yellow monkey flower (Mimulus glabratus), slender bog arrow-grass (Triglochin palustris), and beaked spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata). Dedication of Millhurst Fen will allow this unique site and the threatened or endangered species which inhabit it to be protected in perpetuity. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1560) in October, 2000.

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

Item 17:* Lake Co. - Addition to Wagner Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Wagner Fen, originally recognized as Tower Lakes Fen on the INAI (#662), was acknowledged for its high-quality graminoid fen communities, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Other natural communities present at the site include sedge meadow, marsh, and perennial stream. Combined, these communities support over 230 plant species. The graminoid fen communities contain seven state-listed plant species: rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides), small white lady's slipper (Cypripedium candidum), showy lady's slipper (C. reginae), slender bog arrow grass (Triglochin palustis), false asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa), grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosus), and beaked spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata). The sedge meadow community provides habitat for the state-listed bog bedstraw (Galium labradoricum). At the Commission's 143rd Meeting in May, 1994, Tower Lakes Improvement Association was granted preliminary approval to dedicate approximately 10 acres of a portion of Wagner Fen as Tower Lakes Fen Nature Preserve, the Citizen for Conservation received preliminary approval to dedicate approximately 40 acres of a portion of Wagner Fen as Wagner Fen Nature Preserve, and Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) included its 50-acre portion of Wagner Fen to be dedicated as Wagner Fen Nature Preserve. An additional 20-acre tract, owned by the LCFPD, was also conferred preliminary approval for dedication as nature preserve buffer to Wagner Fen Nature Preserve. Final approval was granted for the 40-acre Wagner Fen portion, owned by the Citizens for Conservation, at the Commission's 144th Meeting in August, 1994. The 10-acre Tower Lakes portion, owned by the Tower Lakes Improvement Association, received final approval at the Commission's 147th Meeting in May, 1995. The 20-acre tract owned by the LCFPD that was granted preliminary approval for dedication as nature preserve buffer will be presented for final approval at a future date. However, the LCFPD is now seeking final approval for dedication of its 50-acre portion of Wagner Fen to be dedicated as an addition to Wagner Fen Nature Preserve. Final dedication of the LCFPD's portion of Wagner Fen will complete the protection of this 100-acre wetland basin and preservation of endangered and threatened species that depend on its existence.

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

Item 18:* Madison Co. - Poole Farm Addition to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Institute proposes to dedicate 7.25 acres of the Poole Farm as an addition to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also borders the 16.5-acre Oblate Father's Woods Nature Preserve. The Poole Farm, located in the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division, is a key parcel within the watershed of the stream that separates the Mississippi Sanctuary and Oblate Father's Woods. The site also completes the protection of the dry-mesic and mesic forest that is contiguous on all three properties. The complex of adjoining lands in the area, including John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary Nature Preserve Buffer, Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, and Oblate Fathers Nature Preserve, comprise a total of 393 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 400 acres. The preservation of the Poole Farm will also add more buffer to the nearby Bald Eagle winter roost on the John M. Olin Nature Preserve, and will preserve critical habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake, which is found in the vicinity of the property. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1562) in October, 2000.

REPORT                                                ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie Newman                                      Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 19:* Will Co. - Addition of Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) proposes to dedicate 25.93 acres as buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, bringing the total dedicated acreage of the site to over 300 acres. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna is an INAI site (#935) which lies in the Kankakee Sands Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area's dune and swale topography support high-quality sand prairie, sand savanna, sedge meadow, and marsh communities. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve provides habitat for five state-listed species: regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia), false asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa), small sundew (Drosera intermedia), grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosis), and tubercled orchid (Plantanthera flava). The proposed buffer is comprised of an old field, dry-mesic sand savanna, and dry-mesic to mesic prairie. While a portion of the 25.93 acres was included on the original INAI, disturbance from past use is evident. The proposed addition would serve as important buffer to the higher quality natural communities within the existing Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve while the District restores the site to its original condition. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1563), in October, 2000.

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

Item 20:* Will Co. - Addition of Buffer to Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve is an 800-acre site owned by the IDNR, FPDWC, and the villages of Park Forest and University Park. It is located in northeastern Will County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Approximately 500 acres of Thorn Creek Woods is included on the INAI (#933) for its grade B dry-mesic upland forest, and for providing habitat for state-listed species. The entire 500 acres of INAI forest, plus an additional 300 acres of bottomland forest, wooded ravines, seeps, and marshes have since been permanently protected through dedication as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Thorn Creek Woods is one of the largest forested areas in northeastern Illinois. The FPDWC has recently acquired an additional 76.8 acres south of the existing nature preserve and proposes to dedicate it as buffer. This will bring the total dedicated acreage to 877.4, making it the fifth largest site in the Illinois Nature Preserves system. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1564), in October, 2000.

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

Item 21: Lake Co. - Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 21: Update on Ad Hoc INPC Sign Committee

REPORT                                               ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Joyce O'Keefe                                       Approval of Sign Designs
Nature Preserves Commission

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

Item 23: Other Business

Item 24: Adjournment