NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOURTH MEETING
Illinois Department of Agriculture
State Fairgrounds
801Sangamon Avenue
Springfield, IL
February 5, 2002 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 173rd Meeting, October 30, 2001

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

7 May, 10:00 a.m. - Independence Grove Visitor Center, Libertyville
6 August, 9:00 a.m. - Wildlife Prairie State Park, Peoria
29 October, 10:00 a.m. - Rock Springs Center, Decatur

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

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

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage
Keith Shank
IDNR, Division of Resource Review and Coordination

Item 7:* Cass Co. – Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, owned by New Dominion Farms of Illinois, Inc., is a 40.68-acre site containing a disturbed, but intact, sand prairie and blowout complex (approximately 2 acres) that is representative of the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. Most of the site consists of early successional woodlands and former agricultural lands, both of which will be restored to sand prairie. The proposed land and water reserve supports a population of the state-threatened Illinois chorus frog (Pseudacris streckeri illinoensis) and provides suitable habitat for the state-endangered Illinois mud turtle (Kinosternon flavescens spooneri), which has been recently documented at ephemeral sand ponds on an adjacent tract to the north (i.e., the former Lewis Landfill, now owned and managed, as much as is practical, for biodiversity by the IDNR). Both the chorus frog and mud turtle use sand prairie habitats for burrowing during dormant phases of their life cycles, which last significantly longer than active phases. A population of the rare and formerly state-threatened large-bracted corydalis (Corydalis curvisiliqua var. grandibracteata) occurs on the site. The owner proposes to register the land for 20 years.

REPORT
Tom Lerczak
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 8:* Champaign Co. – Riverbend Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD) proposes to protect approximately 1.5 miles of the Sangamon River stream bed and its riparian corridor as the Riverbend Land and Water Reserve. The proposed reserve is part of the Riverbend Forest Preserve which was acquired in 2001 by the CCFPD with funds from the IDNR’s Open Lands Trust program. The Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) identifies the Sangamon River, including the river segment within the Riverbend Forest Preserve (#1449), as a biologically significant stream, representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, with high mussel diversity that harbors three species of state-endangered or state-threatened mussels.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 9:* Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

William Drake, Jr., and his four children own and propose to register approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. The proposed reserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval in Principle

Item 10:* Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Lisa Pasquesi and Catherine Carolin own and propose to register approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. The proposed reserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval in Principle

Item 11:* Washington Co. – Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve is a 30-acre, high-quality southern flatwoods community, representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. It is owned by Glen and Linda Schuetz. The proposed reserve is part of the158.75-acre Big Open Woodland INAI site (#1598). Marilandica Acres is mostly comprised of the less common pin oak (Quercus palustris), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) type of southern flatwoods and contains several prairie plants in the understory, a feature uncommon to flatwoods today. The site is also part of Illinois’ largest contiguous forest, located along the unchannelized portion of the Kaskaskia River corridor.

REPORT
Debbie Newman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 12:* Will Co. – Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve is a 575-acre complex that consists of three areas on the INAI (#888, 889, and 1513). It is owned by the IDNR and located within Des Plaines Conservation Area in Will County. The proposed reserve protects rare dolomite prairie representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, and nine state-listed plants and animals. In addition to the inventory areas, grassland bird habitat and grade C prairie communities are protected.

REPORT
Bill Glass
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region II

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 13:* Jasper Co. – Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Illinois Audubon Society (IAS) proposes to dedicate 25.86 acres of reconstructed prairie typical of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division as the Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve. The site, located in Jasper County, was purchased by the IAS in February, 2000, with the assistance of funds provided by the Grand Victoria Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The site is located within the Prairie Ridge - Jasper County INAI site (#754) and will be managed in conjunction with Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA). Seventy-nine species of grassland dependent bird species including the greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) have been observed on the site. If dedicated, the Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve would increase the amount of permanently protected grasslands at the Jasper County unit of PRSNA to 1,929 acres.

REPORT
Bob Edgin
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 14:* Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

William Drake, Jr. and his four children own and propose to dedicate approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve. The proposed preserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain. In 1969, the INPC passed a resolution (#99) that approved in principle the dedication of the area as a nature preserve.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* Marshall Co. – Lot 111 and Lot 119 Addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, Dedication

Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve is a 3.1-acre site within the 78-acre Hopewell Estates Hill Prairies Natural Area (INAI #231) that supports grade A and grade B glacial drift hill prairies with grade C woodlands representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The Nature Preserve and proposed addition is owned by Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang. The proposed addition totals 5.2 acres and consists of lots 111 and 119, which are adjacent to each other but separated by a small road from the dedicated nature preserve. The addition contains mature grade C dry-mesic upland woodlands and mesic ravine woods, mostly on steep north to northeastern facing slopes. The woods support a rich ground flora of mesic species including a large population of the highly conservative and formerly state-threatened Schreber’s aster (Aster schreberi), plus several species of ferns. Dedication of this nature preserve addition will add significantly to the diversity of habitat types under permanent protection, currently somewhat biased toward the dryer end of the moisture continuum and will represent an action consistent with recommendations of the Illinois River Bluffs Ecosystem Partnership, which advocates permanent protection for INAI sites.

REPORT
Tom Lerczak
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 16:* Will Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) proposes to dedicate 14 acres as nature preserve 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 (Platanthera flava). The proposed buffer is comprised of an old field that is converting to sand prairie, and a successional forest that is being restored to sand savanna. The 14 acres contain a parking lot and other facilities, and is occasionally used by the FPDWC as a staging area for some of its recreational activities. Located in a rapidly urbanizing area, this proposed addition will serve as important buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve.

REPORT
Kim Roman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 17:* Edwards Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication

Roger and Vivian Beadles propose to dedicate approximately 4.5 acres of buffer as an addition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. This addition includes upland oak-hickory forest representative of the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division with a herbaceous component that is similar in composition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. Beadles Barrens was identified by the INAI (#1547) and was granted final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 166th meeting in February, 2000 (Resolution #1523). A key item in the proposal for dedication of Beadles Barrens was the pursuit of protection for adjacent forested tracts that could provide buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve and assist with the formation of a more contiguous landscape. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of the buffer addition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve at its 172nd meeting (Resolution #1601) in August, 2001.

REPORT
Bob Edgin
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 18:* 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) and contains floodplain forest representative of the Mississippi River Section of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Bottomlands Natural Division. 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) which was dedicated in 2001, will increase the size of Cedar Glen Nature Preserve from 188 acres to 564.37 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of Mud Island addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1613) in October, 2001.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 19:* Kane County - City of Elgin Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

The City of Elgin seeks final approval for dedication of a 0.27-acre addition of buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve. 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 (#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. Two separate platted city lots totaling approximately 0.8 acres were granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 173rd meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1615). 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 Ms. Alice Macy by the Fox Valley Land Foundation. On behalf of the City of Elgin, CorLands, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the INPC staff recommends dedication of this lot as an addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve. Dedication of this lot will formally protect undisturbed high-quality natural communities, preserve important ground water discharge zones, and buffer Trout Park Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 20:* Kane County - Fox Valley Land Foundation Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Fox Valley Land Foundation seeks final approval for dedication of a 0.43-acre addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve as Nature Preserve Buffer. 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 (#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. Two separate platted city lots totaling approximately 0.8 acres were granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 173rd meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1615). 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 Ms. Alice Macy by the Fox Valley Land Foundation. On behalf of the Fox Valley Land Foundation, Ms. Alice Macy, CorLands, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the INPC staff recommends dedication of the lot owned by the Fox Valley Land Foundation as an addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve. Dedication of this lot will formally protect undisturbed high-quality natural communities, preserve important ground water discharge zones, and buffer Trout Park Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 21:* Lake Co. – Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve is owned and managed by the Lake County Forest Preserve District (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 at its 90th meeting (Resolution #681) in August, 1982, and again at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1616) in October, 2001, because so much time had gone by since the last action.

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

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 22:* 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 in size 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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1617) in October, 2001.

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

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 23* 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 by the INAI (#1617) because it has 63.9 acres of high-quality forest and two copperhead 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 it to the State of Illinois. Mr. Storment wishes to ensure the site's permanent protection by dedicating it as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1618) in October, 2001.

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

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 24:* Peoria Co. – Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie Nature Preserve

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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1619) in October, 2001.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

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:* Vegetation Management Guidelines

The Management Guidelines give land owners and managers guidance on how to handle 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 fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds. and Festuca arundinacea) and smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) are presented for approval. Methods of control for both of these species include various applications and combinations of prescribed fire and spot treatments of herbicide depending on site specific conditions and management goals. These revisions were drafted by District Natural Heritage Biologists Terry Esker and Eric Smith respectively, and edited by Mary Kay Solecki and Randy Heidorn. 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
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Guidelines

Item 27:* Memorandum of Understanding Between INPC and IDNR

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Memorandum of Understanding

Item 28: Report on Dedication and Registration of Private Lands

REPORT
Don McFall
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 29: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 30: Other Business

Item 31: Adjournment

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