ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-THIRD MEETING

Desoto House Hotel
230 South Main Street
Galena, IL 61036
October 30, 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 172nd Meeting, August 7, 2001

Item 4:     2002 Proposed Meeting Schedule

5 February, 10:00 a.m. - Illinois Department of Agriculture, Springfield
7 May, 10:00 a.m. - Independence Grove Township Visitor Center, Libertyville
6 August, 9:00 a.m. - Wildlife Prairie State Park, Peoria
29 October, 10:00 a.m. - Rock Springs Center, Macon County Conservation District, Decatur

Item 5:     INPC Staff Report

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

Item 6:     IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Brian Reilly
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 7:*  Johnson and Pulaski Co. – Addition to Cache River Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The existing Cache River Land and Water Reserve, owned by the IDNR, includes 9,274.89 acres in Johnson and Pulaski counties located within the Cache River Watershed in southern Illinois. The Cache River basin contains over 20 unique plant communities, representative of the Coastal Plain Natural Division, 128 species of native breeding birds, 49 species of mammals, 32 amphibian species and 43 reptile species. The proposed addition (five separate tracts) will add 1,092.27 acres to the Land and Water Reserve and allow for the restoration of bottomland hardwood forest and forested wetlands. Wetland restoration on these tracts will reduce erosion and improve water quality and reforestation will reduce fragmentation of a relatively uninterrupted 6,000-acre forest providing habitat for numerous endangered and threatened species. Hunting, trapping and recreational activities will be allowed as described in the management schedule.

REPORT
Judy Faulkner Dempsey
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 8:*  Lake Co. – Rhyan Tract Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Rhyan Tract Land and Water Reserve, owned by the Liberty Prairie Foundation, is a 15.8-acre mosaic of upland and wetland habitats, typical of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The proposed reserve includes mature and successional bottomland and upland forests, a centrally-located pond, a degraded sedge meadow, and a stream corridor that are hydrologically linked with nearby Almond Marsh Nature Preserve. The proposed Rhyan Tract Land and Water Reserve is included within the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) boundary for Almond Marsh (#1253) and is considered an important adjunct to nearby Almond Marsh Nature Preserve. The state-listed Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) and Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) have been recorded nesting in Almond Marsh. The Rhyan Tract was purchased, in part, with funds from the IDNR Conservation 2000 (C-2000) program. The C-2000 program requires the land to be registered as a land and water reserve or protected by a conservation easement. Registration will protect an area included on the INAI for Almond Marsh, buffer Almond Marsh Nature Preserve and its watershed, and protect an open space/riparian corridor linking Oak Openings Nature Preserve with Almond Marsh Nature Preserve. The Liberty Prairie Foundation plans to convey the property to the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) in the future.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 9:*  Massac Co. – Ft. Massac Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Fort Massac Land and Water Reserve, owned by the IDNR, encompasses 200 acres within Fort Massac State Park in Massac County. This proposed land and water reserve is dominated by wet bottomland forest, representative of the Bottomlands Section of the Coastal Plain Natural Division, and includes the 8-acre Fort Massac West Natural Area (INAI #738). The state-threatened water elm (Planera aquatica) is common here along with a population of the state-endangered Boykin’s dioclea (Galactia mohlenbrockii). The presence of a perennial stream, high-quality bottomland forest and state and federally-endangered and threatened species warrants the area’s protection. Registration of this area will preserve one of the few remaining examples of a bottomland community within the first terrace of floodplain of the Ohio River in Illinois.

REPORT
Judy Faulkner Dempsey
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 10:* Tazewell Co. – Cooper Park Wetlands Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Cooper Park Wetlands, owned by the Fon du Lac Park District in East Peoria, is a 55-acre site adjacent to lower Peoria Lake. Cooper Park Wetlands consists of a 16-acre tract and a 39-acre tract separated by a narrow gravel road. Both tracts are part of the 90-acre Cooper Park North Natural Area, which is recognized as a Category II INAI site (#1139) for a persistent population of the state and federally-threatened decurrent false aster (Boltonia decurrens). The proposed reserve supports plant communities (floodplain forest, marsh, and shrub swamp) representative of the Illinois River Section of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Bottomlands Natural Division. The decurrent false aster, present at this site in small groups and scattered individuals, is thought to be uniquely adapted to the natural flood cycle of the Illinois River which passes through lower Peoria Lake. Spring floods help to disperse seeds and remove competing vegetation, which in some areas, results in the open, high-light conditions that are beneficial to the decurrent false aster. Restoration management of Cooper Park Wetlands will focus on improving and maintaining natural wetland communities as well as enhancing habitat conditions for the decurrent false aster.

REPORT
Tom Lerczak
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 11:* Hancock Co. – Mud Island Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Mud Island is a 119-acre floodplain forest island located within the Keokuk Pool of the Mississippi River, approximately two river miles south of Lock and Dam 20. The island, acquired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 1970, is being proposed as an addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve (dedicated in 1975). The proposed addition lies within the Cedar Glen Kibbe Macrosite (INAI # 565 and 152). The island serves as a night roost and feeding site for a large population of wintering Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Directly north and northeast lies Mud Island Mussel Sanctuary, which contains 29 species of native mussels including one state-endangered mussel, sheepnose (Plethobasus cyphyus), and four state-threatened mussels, purple wartyback (Cyclonais tubercaulata), butterfly (Ellipsaria lineolata), ebonyshell (Fusconaia ebena), and black sandshell (Ligumia recta). A heron rookery is established on the island supporting 60 to 100 nesting pairs of Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and Great Egret (Casmerodius albus). The state-endangered lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and the state-threatened river otter (Lontra canadensis) have been observed in the river channel adjacent to Mud Island. This addition, combined with the Kibbe Bottoms addition (259.37 acres) being proposed for final approval at this meeting under Item 18, will increase the size of Cedar Glen Nature Preserve from 188 acres to 564.37 acres.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 12:* Jo Daviess Co. – Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed nature preserve encompasses 5 tracts totaling approximately 450 acres within Apple River Canyon State Park, owned by the IDNR, in JoDaviess County. The proposed preserve includes dry prairie, dry dolomite prairie, seep, dolomite cliff communities and dolomite exposures representative of the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division. The adjoining ravines and upper portions of the canyon are characterized by dry and dry-mesic upland forest communities with species exemplifying the region’s boreal affinities. At least nine endangered and four threatened plant species are known to occur within the proposed nature preserve along with the state-threatened river otter. Portions of the Apple River have been excluded from this proposal, but will be proposed for registration as a land and water reserve in the future.

REPORT
Ed Anderson
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region I

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 13:* Kane Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Trout Park Nature Preserve is a 26-acre site owned by the City of Elgin. Trout Park was recognized by the INAI for high-quality forested fen natural communities (#625), representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Other natural communities include a series of fens and seeps, several spring runs associated with the strong ground water discharge, and elements of mesic and dry-mesic upland forest. In addition, four state-listed endangered or threatened plant species have been recorded from Trout Park Nature Preserve. This proposal recommends dedication of two separate platted city lots totaling approximately 0.8 acres. One lot is located at 530 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired by the City of Elgin. The other lot is located at 486 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired from Mrs. Alice R. Macy by the Fox Valley Land Foundation. Dedication of these two lots will formally protect undisturbed, high-quality natural communities, preserve important ground water discharge zones, and buffer Trout Park Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses. These properties are also fragile and highly vulnerable to degradation from new development.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 14:* Lake Co. – Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve is owned and managed by the LCFPD and is located within the Fourth Lake Forest Preserve. Fourth Lake Fen is a large wetland complex recognized by the INAI (#652) for its high-quality calcareous floating mat, sedge meadow and marsh, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The grade A calcareous floating mat is one of ten in the State, and provides habitat for six state-listed endangered or threatened plant species and four animal species. The INAI boundary for Fourth Lake Fen was recently expanded to include additional endangered and threatened species locations and Rollins Road Savanna (which was added to the INAI as a Category II site in 1999). Since the INAI sites are contiguous, the site is now referred to by the INAI as the Fourth Lake Fen - Rollins Road Savanna. The LCFPD proposes to dedicate approximately 255 acres of the wetland basin as the Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site in 1982 (90th Meeting, Resolution #681). The Fourth Lake Fen proposal is being brought back to the Commission for preliminary approval because so much time has gone by since the last action.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission
Jim Anderson
Lake County Forest Preserve District

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* Lake Co. – Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the LCFPD, is approximately 150 acres and is part of the 264.13-acre Lyons Woods Forest Preserve. Lyons Woods is included on the INAI (#1250) as a Category II site. The proposed nature preserve contains mesic, wet-mesic and wet prairie, upland dry-mesic forest, and dry-mesic savanna natural communities, typical of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, and a successional old field community. In addition, the site supports the federally-threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), and three additional state-endangered or threatened plant species. More than 150 species of vascular plants have been recorded at the site. The quality of the natural communities, as well as species richness for each of those natural communities, will continue to improve with management.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission
Jim Anderson
Lake County Forest Preserve District

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 16:* Monroe Co. – Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Storment Hauss Nature Preserve is a 64.5-acre tract in Monroe County. The site is listed on the INAI (#1617) because it has 63.9 acres of high-quality forest and two copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) dens (classified as an unusual concentration of fauna). The site consists of a series of ridges and ravines with a sandstone canyon and a small creek, representative of the Mount Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The vegetation is a magnificent oak-hickory forest with an unusual assemblage of sun-loving woodland plants. Forty-two species of reptiles and amphibians have been found in or adjacent to the preserve area. The tract is owned by David L. Storment, who has willed the property to the State of Illinois. Mr. Storment wishes to ensure the site’s permanent protection by dedicating it as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

REPORT
John White
Nature Preserves Commission Consultant
Diane Tecic
Natural Heritage Regional Administrator
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region IV

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 17:* Peoria Co. – Brimfield Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Located on the border of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois, Brimfield Railroad Prairie consists of a 6-acre former railroad corridor. The site was purchased by Dr. Harold and Cheryl Pauli Gardner in 1992, for the purpose of protecting the best prairie remnant along the abandoned railroad line. Dr. Gardner has put forth tremendous effort over the past 10 years to rehabilitate this site by re-establishing a burn regime, interseeding the prairie with seeds collected from nearby prairie remnants, and by removing invasive exotic plants. Though not included on the INAI, the site currently contains approximately 115 species of native prairie grasses and forbs typical of a grade B mesic black soil prairie. Four small populations of the state-endangered queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) have been established on this site.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 18:* Hancock Co. – Kibbe Bottoms Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, owned by TNC, was dedicated in February, 1975, as the 54th nature preserve. Cedar Glen Nature Preserve consists of 145 acres with a 43-acre buffer. TNC proposes to increase the size of the Nature Preserve by dedicating an additional 252 acres of bottomland forest, located north of the present Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. The current Nature Preserve, as well as the proposed addition, lies within the Cedar Glen Kibbe Macrosite (INAI #565 and 152). Significant features of this macrosite include: high to moderate quality floodplain forests, dry-mesic oak-hickory woodlands, barrens, hill prairies, savanna, Bald Eagle winter roosts, a mussel bed, a heron rookery, a turtle hibernaculae, and breeding habitat for rare fish. State-threatened or endangered species found within the macrosite are: Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) winter roosts, river otter (Lontra canadensis), lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus), butterfly mussel (Ellipsaria lineolata), black sandshell (Ligumia recta), leafy bulrush (Scirpus polyphyllus), drooping sedge (Carex prasina), and pale false foxglove (Agalinis skinneriana). The INPC previously granted preliminary approval for the dedication of 143 acres as nature preserve and 69 acres of buffer of this bottomland area in 1974 at the 53rd Meeting (Resolution #346). Over time natural succession and protection of this area has allowed the natural communities to improve such that the entire area now qualifies for nature preserve status. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 169th Meeting (Resolution #1559) in October, 2000.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 19:* Lake Co. – Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve is owned by the LCFPD and was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve at the Commission’s 84th Meeting, June, 1981 (Resolution #591). The proposed Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition totals approximately 187 acres, of which 172 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and 15 acres proposed as nature preserve buffer. The Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition contains savanna, marsh, mesic prairie, and wet prairie representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and protects populations of the federally-listed eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), three state-listed plant species and two state-listed animal species. The site is included on the INAI (#649). The proposed Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition will increase the Nature Preserve from 267 acres to 454 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 172nd Meeting (Resolution #1602) in August, 2001.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 20:* Madison Co. – Bachman Farm Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Institute proposes to dedicate 10.7 acres known as the Bachman Farm, as an addition of nature preserve buffer to the Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also partly borders the recently dedicated 7.25-acre Poole Farm addition of nature preserve. The Bachman 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 Fathers’ Woods Nature Preserve, and is currently comprised of mesic upland forest and fallow pasture. 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, Poole Farm Nature Preserve addition and Oblate Fathers’ Woods Nature Preserve comprise a total of 400 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 411 acres. The preservation of the Bachman Farm will also add more buffer to the nearby Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) winter roost on the John M. Olin Nature Preserve, and will preserve critical habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), which is found in the vicinity of the property. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 172nd Meeting (Resolution #1603) in August, 2001.

REPORT
Debbie Newman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 21:* McHenry Co. – Amberin Ash Ridge Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Ms. Deborah Staley wishes to dedicate Amberin Ash Ridge, an 18-acre tract of mesic upland forest and seep natural communities perched upon a steep north-facing slope overlooking Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Boone Creek Fen is a 71-acre complex of wetland and upland communities included on the INAI (#1015) for its high-quality sedge meadow and graminoid fen plant communities, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. A portion of Boone Creek Fen was conferred final approval for dedication as a nature preserve at the Commission’s 156th Meeting, August, 1997 (Resolution #1376). A key element of the proposal for that site called for efforts “...to assemble a much larger preserve...” “...and encompass just not the wetlands identified on the INAI, but would extend...nearly a mile upstream and encompass much of the adjacent uplands.” Preservation of the seeps and woods at Amberin Ash Ridge as nature preserve buffer will protect important groundwater recharge and discharge zones that maintain water quality in Boone Creek and support natural communities recognized by the INAI. The Amberin Ash Ridge addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve was granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 157th Meeting, October, 1997 (Resolution #1379). Ms. Staley should be commended for her enthusiastic support for dedication of this addition and protection of the Boone Creek Valley. The 18-acre Amberin Ash Ridge addition would increase the size of the Nature Preserve from 54.75 to 72.75 acres.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 22:* 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 high-quality calcareous floating mat, graminoid fen, low shrub fen, calcareous seep, sedge meadow and dry gravel prairie communities representative 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. The proposed 4.55-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. 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 important ground water resources. The proposed 4.55-acre addition will increase the size of the Nature Preserve from 207.1 to 211.65 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 170th Meeting (Resolution #1571) in February, 2001.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 23:* Union Co. – Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve is a 40-acre site owned by Vicki Miles and her mother, Lenita Rolfing. The area includes two-thirds of the Berryville Shale Glade Natural Area (INAI #854) and is located in the Southern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The proposed Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve contains one acre of the six acres of grade A shale glade left in Illinois. Shale is most commonly located below the soil surface. Shale glades are a unique natural community where shale is exposed providing the substrate for an unusual plant community. The shale glade community is characterized by little bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium), poverty grass (Danthonia spicata), and a mixture of prairie and woodland forbs. The surrounding dry and dry-mesic upland forest contain post oak (Quercus stellata), black jack oak (Quercus marilandica), farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) and black and white oak (Quercus velutina and Quercus alba). As one of the few shale glades left in Illinois, the Miles family wishes to preserve this rare natural area for future generations to learn from and enjoy. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 172nd Meeting (Resolution #1604) in August, 2001.

REPORT
Judy Faulkner Dempsey
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 24:* DeKalb Co. – Wilkinson-Renwick Marsh Nature Preserve

REPORT
Terry Hannan
DeKalb County Forest Preserve District
Jack Pizzo
Pizzo and Associates, Ltd.
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Request for Seed Collection

Item 25: Lake Co. – Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 26:* Wayne Co. – Padgett Pin Oak Woods Land and Water Reserve

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Request for Approval of Oil Lease

Item 27: 300th Nature Preserve Celebration - Overview

REPORT
Jill Allread
Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 28: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 29: Other Business

Item 30: Adjournment

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