Mason Co.-- Registration of Bob Spanski's
Walden Too as an
Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve..................... 9
Kankakee Co.-- Bourbonnais Geological Area...................... 10
Kane Co.-- Almon Underwood Prairie.............................. 11
Lake Co.-- Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Preserve.............. 12
Madison Co.-- E. Dora Bohm Memorial............................. 13
Ogle Co.-- Heeren Prairie....................................... 14
Johnson Co.-- Deer Pond Nature Preserve......................... 15
Lake Co.-- Tower Lakes Fen Nature Preserve...................... 16
Whiteside Co.-- Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve............... 17
Adoption of Agenda ............................................. 2
Approval of Minutes of 146th Meeting...........................3
Next Meeting Schedule........................................... 4
NPC Staff Report................................................ 5
IDOC Staff Report................................................ 6
Public Comment Period........................................... 7
Cumulative Report on Acquisitions through the
Natural Areas Acquisition Fund .............................................. 8
Proposal for Wetland Restoration of Buffer at
Skokie RiverNature Preserve................................................ 18
Other Business.................................................. 19
Adjournment .................................................... 20
147-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:00 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chairperson Farwell, the meeting began.
Members present: Gerald Adelmann, Thomas Donnelley, Francis Farwell, Wendy Paulson, Don Pierce, John Schmitt, Valerie Spale, and Judith Spasovich.
Members absent: Anthony Dvorak.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Brian Anderson, Steve Byers, Sharon Cline, Judith Faulkner, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, June Keibler, Tammie McKay, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Carl Becker and Don McFall, Division of Natural Heritage, Illinois Department of Conservation (IDOC); Ken Fiske, Consultant to INPC; Darlene Fiske, Endangered Species Protection Board; Susan Dees and Barb Traeger, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Bruce Boyd, The Nature Conservancy; Brian Reilly, Natural Land Institute; David Harrison, Whiteside County Natural Area Guardians; Ken Spale, Save the Prairie Society; Craig Culver, Bourbonnais Township Park District; John Bouseman, Illinois Natural History Survey; Dick Young, Kane County Forest Preserve District; Bob and Betty Coffin, Vernadine Martlock, and Barbara Turner, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Preserve; Alfred Koelling, Illinois State Museum; Mary Ochsenschlager, St. Charles Park District; Stephen Christy, Lake Forest Open Lands; George Johnson, Illinois Native Plant Society; Perry and Bernice Lakin, and Merilyn Bohm, Almon Underwood Prairie.
147-2) Adoption of Agenda
Chairman Farwell requested that Item 13 be moved and presented between Items 8 and 9 of the Agenda.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the Agenda for the 147th Meeting be adopted as amended.
147-3) Approval of Minutes of 146th Meeting, February 7, 1995
Brian Anderson reported a correction to page 3 of the Minutes. The third paragraph reads: "Congressman Willard," it should read "Congressman Weller;" this name is mentioned twice in this paragraph and both should be changed to "Congressman Weller." Commissioner Adelmann reported that Item 21 states Adelmann motioned to second the adjournment and he was not at the meeting. Commissioner Schmitt seconded the motion to adjourn.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the minutes of the 146th Meeting be approved.
147-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Chairman Farwell reported the locations of remaining meetings for 1995, with all meetings beginning at 10:00 a.m.:
Meeting Date Location
148 August 1, 1995
Glenview Park District
1421 Milwaukee Avenue
149 October 31, 1995
Pere Marquette State Park
147-5) NPC Staff Report
Brian Anderson reported the passing of John Madson, who was a former Nature Preserves Commissioner, a noted author, and a wonderful person. Recently the Local Land Trust Newsletter reprinted an article by Mr. Madson called The Legacy of Love and Anger which Anderson felt captured John's environmental philosophy well. Copies were provided.
Chairman Farwell recommended the Commission send an expression of sympathy to Mr. Madson's family and appreciation of his efforts in conservation as well as his serving on the Commission.
Ken Fiske reminded the audience that Mr. Madson wrote the script for the Nature Preserves Commission's slide show.
Carolyn Grosboll reported that at the last Commission meeting, Chairman Farwell asked her to put together a list of incentives and programs available to landowners which would encourage them to protect their properties. After the meeting, Carolyn realized that the Natural Resources Coordinating Council has already prepared such a document which is entitled "Landowner's Guide to Natural Resources Management Incentives". This booklet is very comprehensive and discusses federal and state programs which provide cost sharing, technical assistance, or tax incentives to landowners who want to preserve their property. Carolyn also provided copies of this document at the meeting.
Carolyn reported that the legislature is beginning its final month of the session. There are a few bills that are of interest to the Commission. The first is Conservation 2000. House Bill 965 and Senate Bill 300 contain the provisions of Conservation 2000. The contents of the bills are essentially the same as last year. Each bill has passed out of its original chamber and is going through committees in the second chamber. It appears that Conservation 2000 will pass this year.
Another bill deals with the land transfer of the John M. Olin Nature Preserve located near Alton, Illinois. The nature preserve has been owned by Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Edwardsville since the mid-1970's when the Department of Conservation (IDOC) conveyed title to SIU. A not-for-profit group called The Nature Institute has been managing the property for SIU. Recently, SIU became concerned about liability issues related to an old quarry pit and stated its interest in transferring the property. The Nature Institute expressed an interest in obtaining title to the property. Legislation to transfer the property to The Nature Institute is winding its way through the legislature and appears that it will also pass.
Carolyn reported that the Joliet Army Arsenal transfer to the Forest Service is moving right along. Representative Weller arranged to have the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hold a hearing in Elwood, Illinois on April 17th. Some of the members of the Committee were able to tour the Arsenal prior to the hearing. Panels representing the State of Illinois, the federal government, local economic interests, conservation interests, veteran's groups,
and education testified at the hearing. Commissioner Adelmann testified as a member of the panel representing conservation interests. Undersecretary Lyons of the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the site in late March and expressed the Department's and the Clinton Administration's support for the transfer. Representative Weller hopes to have a vote on the bill sometime this month. Carolyn will continue to give updates as this progresses.
Carolyn is continuing to attend meetings of the Stream Protection Work Group as part of the Commission's Committee on Water Law and Stream Protection. The Group has been focusing lately on voluntary incentive programs for stream protection. The group hopes to have a proposal to the State Water Task Force sometime this summer. Carolyn also had the opportunity to review proposals submitted for the rewrite of the state's water laws. The first phase of that task should be done in late August or early September.
In mid March, Carolyn attended a conference in Tampa, Florida on Environmental Regulation and Prescribed Fire. The Conference emphasized how important prescribed fire is as a management tool and discussed how to balance the need for prescribed fire with environmental regulations and liability concerns. One of the most significant things discussed was the passage of legislation in Florida and other southeastern states governing prescribed fire. The legislation provides that it is a property right to use prescribed fire on one's land, establishes criteria for certification as a prescribed fire user, and provides for a simple negligence standard if damage results because of a prescribed fire.
Carolyn reported that INPC staff attended the "Illinois' Renewable Natural Resources" conference in Springfield on March 29-31, 1995. The conference was in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Illinois Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, the Illinois Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and the Illinois Society of American Foresters. The conference was co-sponsored by several state agencies and conservation organizations.
Carolyn reported that the annual meeting of the Illinois Native Plant Society will be held June 2-4, 1995 at Byron Forest Preserve District overlooking Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve. John Alesandrini will be leading field trips to more than 12 dedicated nature preserves and Brian Anderson will be the featured speaker.
Last Saturday was the 8th Annual LaRue Pine Hills Appreciation Day in Southern Illinois. Judy Faulkner and Sharon Cline attended and reported that it was a success.
During the last quarter, Steve Byers had the pleasure and honor of representing the Commission at several events, including presentations featuring the natural resources of the Chicagoland Region for the Kendall County Natural Area Guardians, the state-wide meeting of the Izaak Walton League, and a Tree City USA celebration hosted by the Department of Conservation's Division of Forestry and the Morton Arboretum.
Finally, Carolyn reported that INPC's West-Central Illinois Field Representative, Susie Hager, has taken a leave of absence until August 1, 1995, in order to spend more time with her family. All INPC correspondence for West-Central Illinois is being directed to Mary Kay Solecki.
Randy Heidorn reported that he and Fran Harty gave a presentation at the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee. Specifically, Randy talked about purple loosestrife control and how that is being done in Illinois. Approximately 75 people attended the meeting and Randy felt it was a really interesting experience because Tennessee has interesting ideas for controlling exotic plants. Randy felt that Illinois is really doing very well controlling exotics compared to other states.
Randy gave an update on master plans, and reported that at this time there are 30 master plans that have updated management schedules. There are 77 master plans that are legal under the current system. There are also an additional 15 sites that have management schedules prepared and being implemented, but require completion of the "preserve goals" section to legally qualify as master plans.
Randy gave an update on permit applications for research in Illinois nature preserves. Since the beginning of the year, 72 permits have been issued for researchers.
Lastly, Randy announced that the Department of Agriculture will hold a special testing program for volunteer applicators and operators on May 6 at the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. A training session will be held in the morning and testing will follow in the afternoon. Anyone interested should preregister by contacting The Nature Conservancy's Illinois Field Office in Chicago.
147-6) IDOC Staff Report
Carl Becker reported on Conservation 2000. The total effort is designed to include $100 million dollars over 6 years. A significant part of that $100 million will be bond funds with $3 million dollars in bond funds scheduled for the first year. The issue of authorizing bond funds became a point of controversy in the General Assembly, and while the general revenue portion of Conservation 2000 will probably pass, IDOC will now have to wait until the fall session or perhaps next spring for the bond portion of Conservation 2000.
On an item related to Randy Heidorn's previous report, Illinois has taken another positive step with regard to biocontrol of purple loosestrife. IDOC has been using insects from Cornell University to begin biocontrol of purple loosestrife. Unfortunately, Cornell has indicated it will cease propagation of the insects. IDOC has recently facilitated an agreement between the Corps of Engineers (COE), Chicago District, and the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) in Champaign. INHS will provide the insects for continued efforts on biocontrol for purple loosestrife with COE funding.
Carl reported that IDOC recently held a recognition ceremony and dinner for Fred Keck, owner of Guaranteed Air Freight of St. Louis, MO. Mr. Keck has been providing the air freight to move prairie chickens from Minnesota and Kansas to Illinois to be released. The fertility of the Illinois prairie chickens was found to be very low, being in the 50-60% range when it should have been in the 95-99% range. Some genetic research was conducted which indicated that there was less genetic diversity within the Illinois prairie chicken population than elsewhere. Guaranteed Air Freight has been very helpful because when the prairie chickens are captured and brought to Illinois, it is less than 24 hours from the point of capture to the point of release. IDOC staff counted only 6 to 8 booming cocks on the Jasper County Prairie Chicken Sanctuary four years ago. Currently there are 60 booming cocks on the leks in Jasper County, and fertility is back up in the 90% range.
Carl reported on the reorganization and formation of the new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that is to occur on July 1, 1995. IDOC currently has four advisory boards and commissions associated with it. These include: INPC, Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB), Illinois Council on Forestry Development, and the Conservation Advisory Board. With the new DNR, additional boards and commissions that will be associated with this larger organization include: State Mining Board, Miners Examination Board, Oil and Gas Advisory Board, Board of the Illinois State Museum, Board of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the Hazardous Waste Research Information Center Program Advisory Board. The new complexion of the Agency will present some interesting challenges. A number of the other entities that will be brought into the agency will be restructured as Offices of the DNR, they include: Office of Water Resources, which is currently the Division of Water Resources at Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Office of Mines and Minerals, which is currently Department of Mines and Minerals (DM&M), and the Abandoned Mines Reclamation Council; and the Office of Scientific Research and Analysis, which includes the three Scientific Surveys, the Hazardous Waste Research Center, and the Illinois State Museum. Another new office is being formed by taking parts of some of the old Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) and some parts of IDOC and forming the Office of Realty and Environmental Planning. The Consultation Process for natural areas and endangered species is being moved from the Division of Natural Heritage into the Office of Realty and Environmental Planning. A number of other environmental review functions in the agency are going to be combined into the Division of Impact Review and Coordination.
Don McFall reported on the public benefit certification for conservation easements which is required after January, 1995 by legislation passed last year which was spearheaded by Open Lands, with the help of Carolyn Grosboll. Property encumbered by conservation easements in Illinois which protect certain important natural resources in perpetuity receive a 75% reduction in property taxes. Since this became law January 1, 1995, four conservation easements have been submitted for the public benefit certification. They were in Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties and Don expects that most future easements will also be in the metropolitan area. Three of those four conservation easements were found to have a significant natural resource base.
Don reported on three areas that have been either optioned or acquired using the real estate transfer tax monies. One is an Illinois mud turtle site in Mason County in the sand area near Sand Ridge State Forest. IDOC is purchasing 230 acres that has a complex of sand prairie dotted with natural wetlands and supports a population of Illinois mud turtles and Illinois chorus frogs. These two species are left from when Illinois had a much dryer climate thousands of years ago.
At Franklin Creek State Park in Lee County, IDOC has optioned an additional 51 acres and IDOC's goals there are to enlarge and buffer Franklin Creek State Park and connect it with The Nature Conservancy's Nachusa Grasslands Preserve. Franklin Creek State Park is also a major component of the Rock River Macrosite project.
At Green River Conservation Area in Lee County, IDOC acquired 240 acres of land that will be restored to grassland, but perhaps just as significantly, it will allow recreational pressure to be taken off of the high quality prairie and wetland natural areas at Green River Conservation Area. The Natural Areas Acquisition Fund was used in combination with other funds to effect the acquisition.
Chairman Farwell introduced Bruce Boyd, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. Mr. Boyd reported that he was very pleased to be with the Commission. He stated that he is somewhat new to conservation in Illinois, but observed that the reputation of the Commission is well known, and that the contribution to conservation that the Commission has made is extraordinary. He stated that the mission of The Nature Conservancy in Illinois is to protect rare plants, animals, and natural communities by protecting the lands and waters that they need to survive. In doing that over the years, one of the guiding principals for the Conservancy has been the protection of natural areas. TNC has focused on that over the last 20 years and has aggressively attempted to protect natural areas around the state, and is continuing to do so. That remains an important part of TNC's mission. For instance, at Indian Boundary Prairies, TNC has recently optioned a couple of pieces of property. One is an 8-acre tract that will connect 2 pieces of Paintbrush Prairie which he thinks will be a very significant acquisition. TNC continues to acquire properties that become available at that preserve. In Southern Illinois, TNC recently purchased a limestone glade which is a globally rare natural community. TNC has however, expanded their scope somewhat. They have found over time that protecting small sites wasn't always enough. They found that some of these arks of nature began to spring leaks, and that some species of plants and animals require larger sites in order to be viable. Examples are migratory songbirds. Research done by Scott Robinson and others has suggested that in order for populations of migratory songbirds to be viable, they require much larger tracts of land. TNC has attempted to accommodate these findings and achieve a greater conservation objective by expanding their scope in certain places. Where TNC has expanded their scope, they always use natural areas as a core. For instance, at Nachusa Grasslands Preserve, TNC focused there because there were already native communities, and rare species present. TNC has built a larger preserve around these natural features to provide more viable prairie habitat for some of the prairie plants and animals that require larger tracts of habitat. At the Cache River, TNC has followed a similar strategy. They have taken a core of natural areas and built a preserve around those natural areas. TNC has worked very closely with IDOC and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in accomplish their objectives at the Cache River. One implication of focusing upon larger sites is that one must work in partnership with others, because a single organization can not accomplish some of these broader conservation goals alone. Mr. Boyd feels the conservation community needs to work together, and he looks forward to continuing this work with the Commission.
Chairman Farwell expressed his appreciation to Mr. Boyd for joining the Commission.
147-7) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
Ken Fiske reported that the federal Open Space Standards Act has been under review and those standards were supposed to be published in October, 1994. They are currently at the University of Illinois for publication and should be published by the end of June. Ken thought the Commission would be interested to know that the standards are no longer going to be strictly tied to acres per thousand of population with respect to grants for recreational development, but they are going to be based on the documented need for facilities. The new standards are recommending that all areas which have non-recreational use, and are presently in the nature preserves or natural heritage areas be subtracted from acreage totals. In other words, municipalities, counties, or states who have protected open space for non-recreational purposes will not be penalized in the grant process. This is going to be a major change in the whole Open Space Standards Act.
147-8) Cumulative Report on Acquisitions through the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund
Don McFall provided a handout summarizing cumulative land acquisitions executed using Natural Areas Acquisition Fund monies.
147-9) Mason County -- Registration of Bob Spanski's Walden Too as an Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve
Mary Kay Solecki presented Bob Spanski's Walden Too, which is part of an approximately 118-acre farm owned by Robert Stinauer and his father, Rudolph, for registration. They wish to register 86.875 acres as a Registered Reserve under the Register of Land and Water Reserves. The proposed Registered Reserve is a large, dry sand savanna containing several small, dry sand prairie openings. Along with protection of the natural community, the registration would also provide the opportunity for continued sport hunting. The area lies in Mason County, about 8.5 miles south of Havana. This natural area lies within the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. Registration of the proposed Registered Reserve will result in legal protection of over 95% of the high-quality natural area recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for registration of Bob Spanski's Walden Too in Mason County as an Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-10) Kankakee County -- Bourbonnais Geological Area, Dedication
Steve Byers presented the Bourbonnais Geological Area for preliminary approval of approximately 15 acres as nature preserve, and 20 acres as nature preserve buffer on behalf of the Bourbonnais Township Park District. The Boubonnais Geological Area was identified on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) as a category IV geologic area (G #19) for the outstanding natural exposure of Silurian Racine Reef. Other exceptional features noted by the INAI for this geologic area include a high-quality dolomite cliff and a terrestrial cave community. To date, 156 geologic areas at 152 sites in the state have been included on the INAI as outstanding representatives of the state's geology. Of that total, only five geologic areas have been dedicated as Illinois Nature Preserves. The Silurian Racine Reef formed between 405 and 425 million years ago from deposition of organic sediments composed primarily of marine fauna. Although northeastern Illinois is underlain by Silurian dolomite and some reef deposits, natural exposures of this bedrock are rare and occur only where torrential melt waters from retreating glaciers eroded the glacial till away.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Bourbonnais Geological Area in Kankakee County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-11) Kane County -- Almon Underwood Prairie, Dedication
June Keibler presented Almon Underwood Prairie for preliminary approval of dedication as a nature preserve and nature preserve buffer. In accordance with the wishes of former owner Bernice Meredith Lakin, the Kane County Forest Preserve District proposes to dedicate two acres of high quality dry gravel prairie as nature preserve and an additional 13 acres as nature preserve buffer. The two acres of high-quality dry gravel prairie at this Illinois Natural Area Inventory site (INAI #1412), represent approximately 10.9% (2 of 18.4 acres) of the total amount of this type of prairie know to survive in the entire state. This prairie also occurs on the northwestern terminus of the Kaneville Esker, a geologic feature identified on the INAI.
It was moved by Spasovich, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Almon Underwood Prairie in Kane County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-12) Lake County -- Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Preserve, Dedication
June Keibler presented the proposed Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Preserve for preliminary approval of dedication as a nature preserve, on behalf of Robert and Betty Coffin. This 12-acre site supports a viable population of the federally threatened, state endangered Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea). This site was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #1231), and was formerly recognized as a Natural Heritage Landmark by the owners and the Illinois Department of Conservation. The population of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchids at this site have responded positively to management efforts. Furthermore, the Coffin's have generously allowed local, state, and federal agency personnel to use this site for hand pollination training sessions associated with the federal recovery plan. Orchid seeds produced from this site in 1993-1994 have been distributed to other potential orchid sites as part of that federal recovery plan.
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Preserve in Lake County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-13) Madison County -- E. Dora Bohm Memorial, Dedication
(Actually discussed between Items 8 and 9)
Judy Faulkner presented the E. Dora Bohm Memorial for preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve. Owned by Joanne Cruickshank and Clifford L. Weidner, 6.14 acres of the 83-acre Bohm Woods INAI natural area is being proposed as the E. Dora Bohm Memorial Nature Preserve. In 1981, the Commission approved in principle the dedication of the entire 83-acre natural area. In 1982, 10.3 acres in the northwest portion of the woods were dedicated as Bohm Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is located in Madison County, approximately 2 miles west of Edwardsville, and is composed entirely of grade A, mesic upland forest.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of E. Dora Bohm Memorial in Madison County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-14) Ogle County -- Heeren Prairie, Dedication
John Alesandrini presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Heeren Prairie as a nature preserve. The proposed nature preserve is an approximately two-acre portion of Mr. Arnold Heeren's farm in north-central Ogle County, Illinois. The site is a dry dolomite prairie that was described by the INAI as 1.1 acres of Grade A and 1.1 acres of Grades B and C (INAI #89). As with all high quality prairie remnants, this tract, which is located in the Freeport Section of the Rock River Hill County Natural Division, is of value to the Nature Preserves System because of its rarity. Since 1983, Heeren Prairie has been an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark.
It was moved by Spasovich, seconded by Paulson, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Heeren Prairie Nature Preserve in Ogle County as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-15) Johnson County -- Deer Pond Nature Preserve, Dedication
Judy Faulkner presented Deer Pond, one of only seven grade A cypress swamps in Illinois, for final approval of dedication as an Illinois nature preserve. The proposed preserve is part of a 161-acre natural area located north of Old Route 146 approximately two miles west of Vienna, Illinois in the Bottomlands Section of the Coastal Plain Natural Division. The Department of Conservation owns and manages 60 acres of the wetland which contains most of the grade A swamp. One state-endangered plant, the cypress knee sedge, is known from the site, while one state-endangered bird, the Cooper's Hawk, and one state-threatened bird, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron have bred there. Featherfoil, a rare plant, also occurs at the site. Dedication of the site is important because it is one of only seven grade A swamps in Illinois. This site was granted preliminary approval at the Commission's 146th Meeting (Resolution 1259).
Brian reported that IDOT had raised concerns about dedication of this site upon receiving the agenda. Brian passed out a map of the site to Commissioners showing the actual plat of the property that was acquired by IDOC. In the southeast corner of the property and along most of the southern border, this property actually goes to the center line of what is an abandoned section of Illinois Route 146. In fact, in the extreme southeast corner IDOC actually owns property across the entire right-of-way of the road. Since this was an abandoned section of Illinois Route 146, IDOT has straightened the road and left the section adjacent to the preserve as a cut-off, paved two-laned road, approximately 18-feet wide. IDOC assumed that IDOT would not have an interest in this property in terms of future road development. There are approximately six homes which use this road, but what IDOC didn't realize at the time was that there is a policy requirement that before IDOT can turn an abandoned roadway over to the county, they have to reconstruct the road to minimum federal highway administration standards. This road is not at those standards. In working with IDOT, Brian proposed that IDOC amend the Instrument of Dedication to allow for the future reconstruction of this highway to minimum federal highway administration standards and grant permanent right-of-way for the pavement, shoulders, slide slopes, and ditches. Also, Brian proposed that IDOC grant a temporary construction easement, both not to exceed 100 feet north of the northern right-of-way line of the road. IDOC is willing to concede this right-of-way because Deer Pond itself is in the northern 2/3 of the property down slope of this area. This is an upland, and is actually an abandoned pine plantation. The natural quality is minimal. In the past, the Commission has traditionally pulled back the boundary of proposed preserves 100 feet or stated that up to 100 foot could be used for highway construction. This has created somewhat of a problem in the past because in some cases it left an undedicated strip even after the road was upgraded. That could allow future expansion of a road from a two-lane to a four-lane. That is not something the Commission would want. This scenario would allow the boundary to come right up to the right-of-way and the Commission wouldn't have to deal with other than IDOT interests.
Susan Dees reported that currently an 80' right-of-way is standard and in the unlikely event that the road were brought up to those standards, the right-of-way might have to be slightly wider to accommodate the side slopes.
In response to Commissioner's questions, Brian stated that that side-slope requirements could change with grade. He confirmed that IDOT is not now in negotiation with the County to accept this road. He also agreed minimum federal highway administration standards could change, but felt the recommended approach could accommodate a change in the future.
It became clear during discussions that the Commissioners had reservations about agreeing to the set back.
Brian agreed to bring a more detailed proposal back to the Commission and Judy Faulkner stated that she will also obtain slides of this property.
With the recommendation of Commissioner Schmitt, the Commission agreed to table the proposal for final dedication of Deer Pond as an Illinois nature preserve until a more detailed proposal is presented.
147-16) Lake County -- Tower Lakes Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steve Byers presented Tower Lakes Fen for final approval for dedication as an Illinois nature preserve. Tower Lakes Fen received preliminary approval for dedication at the 143rd Meeting (Resolution 1231). The 10-acre Tower Lakes Fen is owned by the Tower Lakes Improvement Association. Tower Lakes Fen is part of a wetland basin (INAI #94) that is jointly owned by Citizens for Conservation (approximately 40 acres) and the Lake County Forest Preserve District (approximately 50 acres). At least 190 native plant species have been recorded from this wetland basin, including four state endangered and four state threatened species. The portion of the wetland basin owned by Citizens for Conservation, referred to as Wagner Fen, was granted final approval at the 144th Meeting (Resolution 1241).
It was moved by Spasovich, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Tower Lakes Fen Nature Preserve in Lake County as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-17) Whiteside County -- Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
John Alesandrini presented Lyndon Prairie for final approval for dedication as an Illinois nature preserve. The proposed Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve is a three-mile corridor of abandoned railroad right-of-way (ROW) northeast of Lyndon, Illinois in the central part of Whiteside County. Scattered remnants of dry-mesic, mesic and wet-mesic prairie occur along the ROW. Approximately four-fifths of a mile - in the center part of this section of ROW - was listed by the INAI and characterized at that time as a mixture of Grades A, B and C prairie. The Natural Land Institute, as owner thereof, proposes to dedicate approximately 23.3 acres of this ROW prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve and an additional 12.6 acres as Nature Preserve Buffer. This site was granted preliminary approval at the Commission's 145th Meeting (Resolution 1252). The Commission had previously expressed reservations about adjacent landowners, who might or might not have some residual interest in the property, signing the dedication as originally proposed. Legal arguments concerning adverse possession reinforced their reservations, and staff now propose that only the Natural Land Institute will sign the instrument of dedication as owner.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve in Whiteside County as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
147-18) Proposal to do Wetland Restoration of Buffer at Skokie River Nature Preserve
Lake Forest Open Lands Association proposes a wetland mitigation project on three acres of dedicated buffer in the Skokie River Nature Preserve. The purpose is to take a currently-degraded section of land and restore it to the sedge meadow/wet prairie once extant on the site.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for wetland restoration of buffer at Skokie River Nature Preserve in Lake County as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 147th meeting.
Chairman Farwell abstained from the vote.
147-19) Other Business
Commissioner Adelmann encouraged everyone to contact Senators Simon and Braun regarding support for the Joliet Army Arsenal. This could be voted on in the House of Representatives soon.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Adelmann, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.