ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED NINETY SIXTH MEETING

 

Mt. Hope Community Hall

104 N. Clinton Street

McLean, IL

 

October 23, 2007   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 195th Meeting Minutes, August 7, 2007

 

Item 4:     Proposed 2008 Meeting Schedule

             

February 5, 2008

10:00 a.m.

Northfield Inn and Conference Center, Springfield

May 6, 2008

  9:00 a.m.

Location to be determined, Galena

August 5, 2008

10:00 a.m.

Location to be determined, Joliet

October 28, 2008

10:00 a.m.

World Shooting & Recreational Complex, Sparta

 

Item 5:     INPC Staff Report

 

              REPORT

              Randy Heidorn and John Nelson

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 6:     IDNR Staff Report

 

              REPORT

              Glen Kruse

              IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

 

Item 7:     Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report

 

              REPORT

              Randy Nyboer

              Endangered Species Protection Board Manager

 

Item 8:*   McLean Co. – Funks Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

 

              Six tracts totaling 453.36 acres, owned by the Sugar Grove Foundation, are         being proposed as the Funks Grove Land and Water Reserve.  Four of the tracts (283       acres) are within the Funks Grove Natural Area (Illinois Natural Areas Inventory        [INAI] #721) and support grade A and B mesic upland and floodplain forest.  Large       canopy trees include sugar maple (Acer saccharum), black walnut, (Juglans nigra),               white oak (Quercus alba), blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), and bur oak (Q.       macrocarpa). The Timber Creek Natural Area meanders through parts of two of the          tracts, is near the boundary of two others, and supports a population of the state-    threatened slippershell mussel (Alasmidonta viridis) plus at least 14 other mussel          species.  One of the two forested non-INAI tracts functions as a buffer for part of the          adjacent proposed land and water reserve, Timber Creek, and a 63-acre portion of the     adjacent Funks Grove Natural Area that is owned by the University of Illinois. The          other forested non-INAI tract of 90.18 acres, known as Murphy’s Grove, is located           along Sugar Creek about 1.5 miles to the northwest of the main proposed land and water reserve; this remnant prairie grove is approximately 9 miles upstream from the          beginning of the Sugar Creek-Salt Creek Drainage Natural Area (INAI #1521) and 14        miles upstream from the Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve. The forest and         stream communities at this proposed land and water reserve are representative of the        Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division.  Registration of the six     tracts that make up this site will help implement the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan    (IWAP) through the following priority action campaigns: Forests, Streams, Farmland    and Prairies, Invasive Species, and Land and Water Stewardship.  Species in Greatest       Need of Conservation that will benefit from protection of this site include the spiny      softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and    nine species of birds. The Sugar Grove Foundation wishes to ensure the continued protection and proper restoration management of their six tracts by having them   permanently registered as a land and water reserve.

             

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Tom Lerczak                                             Registration Approval

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 9:*   Vermilion Co. – Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land and Water

              Reserve, Registration

 

              The proposed Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve   is part of a farm owned by Dr. and Mrs. Richard Larimore.  The site is 10 miles     southwest of Danville within the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border        Natural Division.  Dr. and Mrs. Larimore wish to register approximately 51.4 acres of    their land along the Salt Fork as a land and water reserve.   The proposed land and         water reserve encompasses approximately 1.7-miles of the Salt Fork, with segments totaling approximately 1.3 miles occurring along one bank of the River and the      remaining 0.4 mile-long stretches lying on both banks of the River.  The Salt Fork of        the Vermilion River in Vermilion County is a biologically significant stream that               supports state-listed aquatic animals and has healthy fish, mussel, and      macroinvertebrate populations.  It is recognized as an outstanding stream by the INAI       (#1427).  The proposed land and water reserve encompasses a stretch of the River         that provides habitat for three state-listed mussel species: purple wartyback,     Cyclonaias tuberculata (state-threatened), wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis fasciola (state-endangered), and rainbow, Villosa iris (state-endangered) and two        state-endangered fish:  bluebreast darter (Etheostoma camarum) and bigeye chub         (Hybopsis amplops).  Protection of Larimore’s Salt Fork of the Vermilion River Land          and Water Reserve supports several action steps identified in the IWAP for the Streams Campaign. The proposed land and water reserve also provides habitat for      five mussel and six fish species in greatest need of conservation, and it is within the         Vermilion River Conservation Opportunity Area as identified in the IWAP.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Mary Kay Solecki                                        Registration Approval

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 10:* Cook Co. – Natural Land Institute - George B. Fell Prairie Nature Preserve Addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve

 

              The Natural Land Institute and the City of Markham seek preliminary approval for   dedication of 12.39 acres as the Natural Land Institute - George B. Fell Prairie Nature          Preserve addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. The proposed    addition is located in the Chicago Lake Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal         Natural Division and consists of 91 lots (7.67 acres) and platted, but not built upon,       roads (4.72 acres).  The 91 lots and platted roads are subject to an agreement between the Natural Land Institute and the City of Markham that provides for exchange of   properties and provides that the City of Markham will “... assist and cooperate with          the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, in good faith, to facilitate the dedication of   the Markham properties as an Illinois Nature Preserve.”  The proposed addition is               located just south of Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve and lies embedded         within boundaries for both the INAI site (#400) and the National Registry of Natural   Landmarks designated by the U.S. National Park Service.  Elements of high-quality       mesic prairie and sedge meadow, and grade C mesic sand prairie and wet-mesic   prairie occur within the proposed addition. The proposed addition supports a               population of the federally-threatened and state-endangered eastern prairie fringed         orchid (Habenaria leucophaea), state-endangered grass pink orchid (Calopogon         tuberosus), and state-threatened small sundrops (Oenothera perennis).  Dedication of this addition is consistent with the recommendations of an approved Master Plan for this site, good preserve design considerations, and elements of the IWAP, specifically      action steps to restore and manage high-quality wetland and prairie communities.               Dedication of the proposed addition (12.39) acres will increase the size of Gensburg-       Markham Prairie Nature Preserve from 125.826 acres to 138.216 acres.  To date,           there are an additional 31.934 acres that have received preliminary approval for dedication as additions to Gensburg-Markham Prairie.  A quote from “A legacy of       natural lands - George B. Fell and the Natural Land Institute” summarizes the               leadership provided by George B. Fell: “The fight to preserve Gensburg-Markham    Prairie was to be George’s last, and his penultimate preservation effort.”

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Steven Byers                                             Preliminary Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 11:* Lee Co. – Hazelwood Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

              The Walgreen family proposes to dedicate 43.7 acres as Hazelwood Forest Nature Preserve. The proposed Hazelwood Forest Nature Preserve is part of the larger           Lowell Park natural area which has long been the subject of preservation efforts by          the Dixon Park District and the Walgreen family.  This site is located in the Oregon          Section of the Rock River Country Natural Division. In 1966, at the suggestion of               INPC Commissioner Myrtle Walgreen, and after consult with the Dixon Park District,          the INPC passed a resolution which granted preliminary approval for dedication of          Lowell Park as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  However, over the ensuing years, the site      was never formally dedicated.  Protection efforts waned until the mid 1990s.  At that          time, staff of the Dixon Park District, the IDNR, and the INPC renewed interest in   preserving the site and initiated formal plant community surveys.  The surveys were               necessary to nominate Lowell Park for inclusion on the INAI.  In 2002, the site was          added to the INAI (#1622) as a category I site containing grade B dry-mesic upland      forest and grade B mesic upland forest. Protection and restoration of this area      supports several action steps for the Forests Campaign and Invasive Species       Campaign of the IWAP.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              John Nelson                                               Preliminary Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 12:* McLean Co. – Duncan R. Funk Addition to Stubblefield Woodlots Nature Preserve,

              Dedication

 

              A 7.52-acre tract within the Funks Grove Natural Area (INAI #721), owned by Mr. Duncan R. Funk, is being proposed as a nature preserve addition to Stubblefield      Woodlots Nature Preserve.  Stubblefield Woodlots Nature Preserve consists of two parcels (5.22 acres and 6.49 acres) that are separated from each other by   approximately 90 feet.  The proposed nature preserve addition is adjacent to the 6.49-    acre parcel.  Except for a modest gravel road crossing the site, this tract is completely      forested with grade B mesic upland forest representative of the Grand Prairie Section   of the Grand Prairie Natural Division.  Large canopy trees include sugar maple (Acer     saccharum), black walnut, (Juglans nigra), white oak (Quercus alba), and bur oak    (Q. macrocarpa).   Dedication of the nature preserve addition will directly support the               implementation of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, particularly the Forests    Campaign under action item #7: “Restore and manage high-quality examples of all         forest, savanna and barrens communities, including all grade A and B Illinois Natural   Inventory sites....”  Approval of this addition will increase the size of the Stubblefield        Woodlots Nature Preserve from 11.7 acres to 19.2 acres, significantly enhancing the               ecological viability of this small nature preserve.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Tom Lerczak                                              Preliminary Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 13:* Piatt Co. – Heartland Pathways Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

              The proposed Heartland Pathways Prairie Nature Preserve is a 52.3-acre former     railroad corridor located between Monticello and Cisco in Piatt County that is owned      by Heartland Pathways, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1987.          Heartland Pathways lies in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural          Division.  Much of the proposed nature preserve is recognized by the INAI as a               category II endangered species site (#1429) that provides habitat for a state-     endangered reptile.  The proposed nature preserve also contains grade B and C prairie       remnants.  Protection of the proposed nature preserve supports action steps identified          for the Farmland and Prairie Campaign to restore and manage native prairie   communities and populations of imperiled and extirpated prairie wildlife.  In addition,   the proposed nature preserve provides habitat for a state-endangered reptile identified    as a species of greatest need in conservation by the IWAP. The proposed nature    preserve lies just south of Old Route 47 and is composed of a north tract and a south   tract; each tract is 40 feet wide and approximately 5.4 miles long.  One tract lies north           of and parallel to the former railroad bed and the other tract lies south of and parallel to the former railroad bed.  A 20-foot wide strip of land between the two tracts               proposed as the nature preserve is excluded from the preserve.  This 20-foot wide          strip includes the former railroad bed and ballast.  It is used as a hiking trail and may         eventually be further developed as a pathway and/or converted back to an active      railroad line.  Rural subdivision development is occurring south of the proposed     nature preserve.  The City of Monticello and the developers of Appletree Subdivision     want to create a road cut through the eastern part of the proposed Heartland Pathway               Nature Preserve to provide access from Appletree Subdivision across the pathway to       Old Route 47, north of the subdivision.  Currently access to Appletree Subdivision is        from County Farm Road on the south side of the subdivision. The location of the potential road access within the proposed nature preserve contains suitable habitat for           a state-endangered reptile.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Mary Kay Solecki                                        Preliminary Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 14:* Cook Co. – Calumet City Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

              The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) is seeking final approval for   dedication of 40 acres of Calumet City Prairie as Calumet City Prairie and Marsh   Nature Preserve.  The proposed nature preserve is located in the Chicago Lake     Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in the corporate limits of     Calumet City, Illinois.  The dune and swale topography at this site, once a dominant               feature of the Chicago Lake Plain Section, includes sand dunes interposed with     swales. The site was included on the INAI (#497) for high-quality dry-mesic sand          prairie, mesic prairie, wet-mesic prairie, and marsh. These natural communities       support four state-listed plant species including grass pink orchid (Calopogon    tuberosus), marsh St. John’s wort (Hypericum virginicum), Richardon’s rush (Juncus     alpinus), and marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata).  Dedication of Calumet City Prairie and Marsh is consistent with the IWAP specifically several action steps       identified for the Farmland and Prairies Campaign and the Wetlands Campaign.      Further, dedication of this site honors the commitment of both the FPDCC and the      INPC to collaborate to preserve sites of state-wide ecological significance. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 195th            Meeting in August, 2007 (Resolution #1961).

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Steven Byers                                             Final Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 15:* DuPage Co.West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve Buffer Addition to Truitt-Hoff

              Nature Preserve, Dedication

 

              The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC) is seeking final approval    for dedication of 169.5 acres of the West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve as a nature     preserve buffer addition to Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve. Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve        received final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 190th Meeting in May,          2006 (Resolution #1880).  The proposed nature preserve buffer addition is located in            the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Illinois Morainal Natural Division in West   Chicago, Illinois and includes elements of mesic prairie, wet prairie, sedge meadow,       marsh, and wet-mesic savanna. These natural communities have responded well to         more than 20 years of restoration and management by volunteers and staff of the   FPDDC and provides habitat for three state-listed plants: western beard tongue               (Penstemon tubaeflorus), little green sedge (Carex viridula), and white lady’s slipper               (Cypripedium candidum). The site also has breeding habitat for the state-threatened       Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingi), and the state-threatened Henslow’s sparrow       (Ammodramus henslowii). Dedication of this nature preserve buffer addition is        consistent with the IWAP, specifically several action steps identified for the Farmland     and Prairies Campaign and the Wetlands Campaign.  The site supports several species         identified in the plan as “critical species” for this natural division which includes the               silver-bordered fritillary (Bolorig selene), silvery checkerspot (Militaea nycteis),      Blanding’s turtle, Henslow’s sparrow, sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), northern    flicker (Colaptes auratus), and red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes      erythrocephalus).  Dedication of this buffer addition will increase the size of Truitt-              Hoff Nature Preserve from 115.974 acres to 285.475 acres. The Commission          conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 195th Meeting in August, 2007 (Resolution #1962).

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Steven Byers                                             Final Approval for Dedication

              Nature Preserves Commission


Item 16:* Cook Co. – Proposal to Translocate the Regal Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria idalia) to

              the Indian Boundary Prairies (Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve and

              Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve)

 

              The regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia) is listed as a threatened species in     Illinois. Since the 1970s, the species has experienced a precipitous decline east of the     Mississippi River and is today absent from many states where it formerly occurred.       In Illinois, robust populations can still be found at The Nachusa Grasslands and in the       sand prairies southwest of Peoria.  A large population still exists on both sides of the    Indiana/Illinois state line in the Kankakee Sands region (Newton/Iroquois counties).     In the Chicago Metropolitan area, populations were known from the Gensburg- Markham Prairie until the late 1970s and from the dune areas near Braidwood          through the late 1980s.  Both of these populations have been extirpated. The Chicago       Academy of Sciences proposes to reintroduce this species to Gensburg-Markham               Prairie Nature Preserve and Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve.  Currently the Kankakee Sands population is the closest geographically to the Indian Boundary   Prairies. No genetic studies have been conducted on the this population, but this species is a wide ranging butterfly and it is likely that the Braidwood population had         been a stepping stone population between the donor and recipient sites allowing for at               least some genetic flow. In September, 2007, 5-10 gravid female S. idalia were     collected from the donor site approximately five miles northwest of Enos, in Newton          County Indiana. Females were transported to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in    Chicago in a chilled cooler, then placed on pots of  woolly blue violet (Viola sororia)      covered with muslin sleeves to induce ovopositioning.  Larvae were reared to            pupation on the potted host plants. Pupae will be transported to the translocation site,    and affixed to vegetation in the field where they are to be established. After         consultation with several Commissioners, preliminary translocation was planned for September, 2007. Translocation is proposed for both 2007 and 2008.  The established     population will be monitored at the population and genetic level. All other required    permits have already been obtained.  This is being presented to the Commission for         formal approval of the ongoing and future translocation of the regal fritillary    butterfly.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Doug Taron                                               Approval of the Project

              Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

              Kelly Neal

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 17:* Johnson Co. – Introduction of the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys

              temminckii) at Heron Pond-Little Black Slough Nature Preserve

 

              An official IDNR-approved Endangered Species Recovery Plan for the alligator        snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) was approved in February, 2006 by all Divisions of the IDNR Office of Resource Conservation and Office Director Mike        Conlin.  As extreme southern Illinois was once the stronghold for this animal, this is           the most logical place to begin our recovery/reintroduction efforts.  A total of eight               official release sites in the Cache River and Big Muddy River watersheds have been          selected by the recovery team.  Animals including yearlings, juveniles, and adults will     be obtained from the State of Louisiana either through purchase and/or capture from    the wild.  Current research shows no genetic variation between turtles within the   Mississippi River drainage (which includes Illinois and Louisiana).  Permission has               been granted to the IDNR from the State of Louisiana to live trap and transport     animals back to Illinois for recovery efforts. Currently we have approximately 30 yearling turtles being housed at the Glen Oak Zoo in Peoria and six biologists from          the IDNR will be traveling to Louisiana in October, 2007.  The IDNR is seeking     permission from the INPC to release all yearlings and some wild captured animals at          Heron Pond/Little Black Slough Nature Preserve in the spring of 2008.  This site is an ideal first release site as it is protected and contains prime habitat for the alligator      snapping turtle.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Joe Kath                                                   Approval of the Project

              Department of Natural Resources

              Kelly Neal

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 18:* Vegetation Management Guidelines

 

              The Management Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to     address 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 control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), exotic buckthorns               (Rhamnus spp. and Frangula alnus), and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), and newly          developed guidelines for musk thistle (Carduus nutans) and purple rocket (Hesperis          matronalis) will be presented for approval.  The guidelines were submitted to INPC Consultants, Advisors, and selected natural area land managers for review.           Recommended changes were incorporated into the documents.

 

              REPORT                                                    ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

              Bob Edgin                                                  Approval of Management Guidelines

              Nature Preserves Commission

 

Item 19:   Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

                                     

Item 20:   Other Business

 

Item 21:   Adjournment