ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIFTH MEETING

Independence Grove Visitor Center
16400 W. Buckley Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
May 7, 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 the Special Meeting, February 4, 2002, and the 174th Meeting, February 5, 2002

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

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
Brian Reilly
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

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 largely 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 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 documented at ephemeral sand ponds on an adjacent tract to the north (i.e., the former Lewis Landfill). Both the Illinois chorus frog and Illinois 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:* Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Lisa Pasquesi and Catherine Carolin own and propose to register approximately 65.2 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 Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (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. The Commission approved in principle the registration of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1628) in February, 2002.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 9:*McHenry Co. – MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve is 2.9-acres in size and is owned by John and Kelly MacDonald. The proposed reserve is located adjacent to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve, a large wetland basin that supports an abundant variety of wetland-dependent bird species. Both Black Crown Marsh and the proposed MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve are located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The site is included on the INAI (#1503) because nine state-listed endangered or threatened wetland bird species have been recorded using the wetland basin. A large portion of the wetland basin at Black-Crown Marsh was granted approval for registration as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve at the Commission’s 172nd Meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1600). MacBrough Marsh qualifies for registration as a land and water reserve because of its close proximity to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve and also its location within the designated INAI site. The site itself consists primarily of wetland (currently an open water phase) and a relatively narrow width of upland buffer. Registration of the MacBrough Land and Water Reserve is consistent with the IDNR’s goal of “developing and implementing an ecosystem based strategy for the protection, restoration, and enhancement of Illinois’ biotic communities.” In addition, registration of this site as a land and water reserve provides an opportunity for the IDNR to partner with private property owners to protect the Black-Crown Marsh wetland basin.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 10:* Lake Co. – R. and J. Halkovich Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Robert and Jan Halkovich wish to dedicate approximately 4 acres of land located immediately east of and across St. Mary’s Road from MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve as nature preserve buffer. MacArthur Woods is a 504-acre forest preserve owned and managed by the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD). MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve represents a portion of the vast, extensive woodland habitat that once extended along the eastern edge of the Des Plaines River and is representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. MacArthur Woods was recognized by the INAI (#78) because of high-quality forest communities. State-listed bird species known from the site include the Brown creeper (Certhia familiaris) and Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). In addition, state-listed plant species include the dog violet (Viola conspera), purple-fringed orchid (Platanthera psycodes), dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens), marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata), and tubercled orchid (Habenaria flava). In June, 1981, 446 acres of MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve were dedicated as the MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve on behalf of the LCFPD (Resolution #590). Dedication of this tract will buffer MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve from incompatible land use and development along its eastern boundary and protect a surface water linkage with the nature preserve. In addition, dedication of this addition may serve as an impetus for other landowners to protect the current open-space character of land that extends along St. Mary’s Road.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 11:* Lake Co. – Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve is approximately 581.8 acres in size and is owned in part by the LCFPD (499 acres) and the Lake Forest Open Lands Association (LFOLA) (82.8 acres). Of the 499 acres proposed for dedication by the LCFPD, 375 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and 124 acres is proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. The 82.8 acres owned by the LFOLA are proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. The proposed nature preserve lies embedded within more extensive holdings of the LCFPD that total 589.12 acres. Middlefork Savanna has frequently been described as the best surviving “mesic” or “black soil” savanna in Illinois and is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Natural Morainal Division. Middlefork Savanna was recognized by the INAI (#1245) for its high-quality mesic savanna community. This community type is among the most rare in Illinois as the INAI reported that only 2 acres of high-quality mesic savanna survived. The Nature Conservancy has described black soil savannas (or fine-textured soil savannas) as “critically imperiled globally”. Other surviving natural communities include mesic and wet prairie, sedge meadow, and marsh. One federally-listed species, the Eastern prairie-fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) and four state-listed species have been recorded at the site: golden sedge (Carex aurea), marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata), and pale vetchling (Lathyrus ochroleucus). The Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a state-threatened reptile reported from the site. Dedication of Middlefork Savanna as an Illinois Nature Preserve will protect critical habitat for the one federally-listed and four state-listed species and protect the globally imperiled fine-textured soil or mesic savanna.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission
Jim Anderson
Lake County Forest Preserve District
Stephen Christy
Lake County Open Lands Association

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 12:* Lee Co. – Addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District (LCSWCD), is a 23-acre remnant of mesic upland forest in Lee County. The site is listed on the INAI (#688) based on its status as a dedicated nature preserve (Category III). It is located in the northern portion of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division of Illinois and within the floodplain of the upper portion of Big Bureau Creek. The Commission conferred final approval of dedication for this site at its 113th Meeting in February, 1987 (Resolution #926). In May, 2001, the LCSWCD acquired an adjacent 4-acre tract that is similar to the nature preserve (moderately disturbed upland mesic forest). The SWCD proposes to dedicate this 4-acre tract as an addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve.

REPORT
John Alesandrini
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 13:* McHenry Co. – Lee Miglin Savanna Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Marilyn Miglin proposes to dedicate approximately 18 acres as a nature preserve buffer addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Boone Creek Fen is a complex of wetland and upland communities included on the INAI (#1015) in recognition of high-quality sedge meadow and graminoid fen plant communities. Only 354 acres of high-quality fens survive in the entire State. The state-threatened Slippershell (Alasmidonta viridis) mussel occurs in the stream embedded within this natural area. Boone Creek Fen is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Fen communities are dependent upon protection and stewardship of the surrounding landscapes and ground water recharge zones. The portion of Boone Creek Fen owned by Tom and Carol O’Donnell was conferred final approval for dedication by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission at its 156th Meeting in August, 1997 (Resolution #1376) with the Carol and Lydia and Tom and Brandon Addition receiving final approval at the Commission 167th Meeting in May, 2000 (Resolution #1540). The Spring Hollow Addition owned by Betty Babcock received final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 159th Meeting in May, 1998 (Resolution #1418). The Amberin Ash Ridge Addition, owned by Deborah Staley, is proposed for final approval at the Commission’s 175th Meeting in May, 2002. The proposed Lee Miglin Savanna addition includes elements of dry-mesic savanna and old field plant communities. More importantly, the proposed addition will protect both groundwater recharge and discharge zones for this natural area.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 14:* Putnam Co. – Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve, owned by the Ringbill Habitat Foundation, is a 26-acre seep and seep-related wetland community that was identified by the INAI as part of Senachwine Seep (#825). It is located within The Hennepin and Hopper Lakes Project, a 2,600-acre wetland restoration project along the Illinois River in Putnam County. It is the largest identified seep area in the Illinois River Section of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Bottomlands Natural Division. The proposed nature preserve will be managed by The Wetlands Initiative (TWI) in conjunction with The Hennepin and Hopper Lakes Project.

REPORT
John Alesandrini
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* 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 was purchased by the IAS in February of 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 (#754) and will be managed in conjunction with Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA). The Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve will increase the amount of permanently protected grasslands at the Jasper County unit of PRSNA to 1929 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1631) in February, 2002. A 20-feet wide permanent easement for the construction, operation, and maintenance of an underground water line was granted to the E. J. Water Corporation on March 1, 2001. Dedication of the nature preserve will be subject to this pre-existing easement.

REPORT
Bob Edgin
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 16:*Jo Daviess Co. – Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve, owned by the IDNR, encompasses 5 tracts totaling approximately 442 acres within Apple River Canyon State Park. 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 state-endangered and four state-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, and will be proposed for registration as a land and water reserve in the future. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for the dedication of this site at its 173rd Meeting (Resolution #1614) in October, 2001.

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

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 17:* Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

William McClellan Drake, Jr., Valentine Snell, Mason Hammond Drake, Ascha Kells, and Victoria Evan-Cook own and propose to dedicate approximately 65.2 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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1632) in February, 2002.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 18:* McHenry Co. – Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve Buffer, Dedication

Ms. Deborah Staley wishes to dedicate Amberin Ash Ridge, a 9.8-acre tract of mesic upland forest and seep natural communities, as nature preserve buffer. Amberin Ash Ridge is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. This proposed nature preserve buffer is located within the Boone Creek Fen INAI (#1015) site, a complex of high-quality sedge meadow, graminoid fen wetland, and upland communities. A portion of Boone Creek Fen was conferred final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 156th Meeting in August, 1997 (Resolution #1376). A key element of the proposal 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 Nature Preserve buffer was granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 157th Meeting in October, 1997 (Resolution #1379).

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 19:* 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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1634) in February, 2002.

REPORT
Kim Roman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 20:*Lake Co. – Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve - Deer Research Proposal

The Lake County Forest Preserve District in cooperation with Holterra Wildlife Management, a private consulting firm, is proposing to conduct a five-year experiment using the drug Spay-Vac to supplement control of white-tailed deer within Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. Spay-Vac is a new animal drug recently registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for research purposes only. This pre-proposal is brought to the Commission for information purposes at this time. The proposed research will involve preserve-wide impacts to plant and animal communities. The Commission will have to issue a special-use permit before the research can begin. The IDNR will also need to issue a research permit for this project.

REPORT
Jim Anderson
Jennifer Filipiak
Lake County Forest Preserve District
Dr. Clayton K. Nielsen
Holterra Wildlife Management

 

Item 21:* Cook Co. – Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve Proposal to Introduce Swamp Metalmark Butterflies

The swamp metalmark butterfly (Calephelis mutic) is listed as an endangered species in Illinois. Although historic collections suggest that this species was originally present at Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, it is currently extirpated from the Preserve. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve contains a substantial population of swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum), the host plant for this butterfly. The Chicago Academy of Sciences proposes to reintroduce this species to the Preserve. Gravid females will be collected from Wisconsin, and allowed to lay eggs on host plants in captivity. The young will be reared to the forth or fifth instar and transferred to the Preserve. The established population will be monitored at the population and genetic level. Additional permits will be required from the IDNR, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Illinois Department of Agriculture.

REPORT
Doug Taron
Chicago Academy of Sciences
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Reintroduction

Item 22:* Lake Co. – Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 23:* 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 autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) and Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) and new guidelines for kudzu (Pueraria lobata) and tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) are presented for approval. Methods of control for these species include various applications and combinations of prescribed fire, cutting and spot treatments of herbicide depending on site specific conditions and management goals. These revisions were drafted by Bob Szafoni, Bob Edgin, Jody Shimp and Debbie Newman 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 24:*Strategic Plan for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 2002-2007

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Plan

Item 25: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 26: Other Business

Item 27: Adjournment

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