Winnebago Co. -- Registration
of Stone Bridge Reserve as an
Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve..................... 14
Cook Co.-- Addition of Nature Preserve to Paintbrush Prairie .... 15
Cook Co. -- Palatine Prairie.................................... 16
Lake Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve.. 17
Kane Co. -- Almon Underwood Prairie............................. 18
Kendall Co. -- Yorkville Prairie................................ 19
Madison Co. -- E. Dora Bohm Memorial............................ 20
Adoption of Agenda ............................................. 2
Approval of Minutes of 147th Meeting............................ 3
Next Meeting Schedule........................................... 4
Dr. George Rabb, Director of Brookfield Zoo..................... 5
INPC Staff Report............................................... 6
IDNR Staff Report............................................... 7
Public Comment Period........................................... 8
Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report......... 9
Election of Consultants......................................... 10
Proposal to Continue Rock
Climbing at Sentinel Nature Preserve,
Mississippi Palisades State Park............................... 11
Proposal to Protect Heron
Pond/Little Black Slough Nature
Preserve from the Effects of Cache River Entrenchment.......... 12
Proposal to Construct a Road Along the Edge of, and within,
Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve........... 13
Other Business.................................................. 21
Adjournment .................................................... 22
148-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:00 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chairman Farwell, the meeting began.
Members present: Gerald Adelmann, Thomas Donnelley, Francis Farwell, Don Pierce, John Schmitt, Valerie Spale, and Judith Spasovich.
Members absent: Anthony Dvorak and Wendy Paulson.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Brian Anderson, Steve Byers, Judith Faulkner, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, June Keibler, Tammie McKay, Mary Kay Solecki, and Sharon Suchecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Don McFall, Maggie Cole, Shannon Horn, and Michelle Woodby, Division of Natural Heritage, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Ken Fiske, Consultant to INPC; Darlene Fiske, Endangered Species Protection Board; Brian Reilly, Natural Land Institute; Dr. George Rabb, Chicago Zoological Society; Drew Ullberg and Chris Sand, Kane County Forest Preserve District; Stephen Christy, Lake Forest Open Lands; George Johnson, Illinois Native Plant Society; Gordon Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance; Sue Laue, Media Masters; Robert Buchanan and Nancy Wedow, Palatine Prairie; Doug Kantro, Ron Lafleur, and Rob Siebens, Mississippi Palisades Climbing Coalition.
148-2) Adoption of Agenda
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the Agenda for the 148th Meeting be adopted.
148-3) Approval of Minutes of 147th Meeting, May 2, 1995
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the minutes of the 147th Meeting be approved.
148-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Chairman Farwell reported that the next meeting will be held on October 31, 1995 at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois beginning at 10:00 a.m.
148-5) Dr. George Rabb, Director of Brookfield Zoo
Chairman Farwell introduced Dr. George Rabb, Director of the Brookfield Zoo. Dr. Rabb recounted a recent meeting he had with Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker Gingrich had arranged a tour of the Brookfield Zoo in conjunction with a promotional appearance for his new book in Chicago. Dr. Rabb related that the Speaker ultimately spent several hours with them. During the course of their discussions, which ranged widely and included a discussion of Dr. Rabb's work on global biodiversity issues, Speaker Gingrich indicated he had asked a number of prominent academicians to form an adhoc work group to advise him on biodiversity issues such as the re-authorization of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Speaker invited Dr. Rabb to participate in that process. Dr. Rabb expressed his pleasure that the Speaker was giving this issue so much personal attention and indicated he was finalizing an "issue paper" to forward to the work group.
148-6) NPC Staff Report
Carolyn Grosboll gave an update on Fort Sheridan and the Joliet Army Arsenal. Carolyn is pleased to report that in June, U.S. Representative John Porter worked out an agreement with the Army which calls for 290 acres at Fort Sheridan to be donated to the Lake County Forest Preserve District. Included in the 290 acres, are the ravines which have been preliminarily approved for dedication as a nature preserve as well as the Fort's golf course. Also under the agreement, the Army is authorized to sell the 110-acre historic district to the Fort Sheridan Joint Planning Commission for future development. The agreement requires both House and Senate approval. This agreement has been passed in the House and is on a conference committee report in the Senate. In exchange, the Army will get $14 million to build a National Army Museum near the Pentagon. Letters in support of this agreement are needed and should be sent to Senators Simon and Moseley-Braun.
Carolyn reported that the Joliet Army Arsenal bill has passed out of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Commerce, Agriculture, and National Security. This bill was voted on July 31, 1995. The bill is in roughly the same form as introduced, which provides for the 19,000-acre Midewin Tallgrass Prairie. Once the bill passes out of the House, it goes to the Senate for approval.
Carolyn reported on several events that Commission staff have been involved in since the last meeting.
Carolyn was pleased to announce that Tammie McKay has been promoted as Executive Assistant to the Endangered Species Protection Board and the Commission. Tammie will be administering the annual operating budgets and petty cash accounts for the Board and Commission; acting as procurement officer for the Board and Commission; overseeing the planning and coordination of Board and Commission quarterly meetings as well as providing many other types of support to the Board and Commission. Carolyn reported that the Commission hopes to have Tammie's current position filled by the next Commission meeting.
The Nature Conservancy's Little Vermilion River landowner contact project concluded in June. Mary Kay Solecki reports that Suzanne Smith was able to register four landowners out of 44 total riparian owners with the Little Vermilion River Registry. This program is similar to the Department of Natural Resources' Natural Heritage Landmark Program. Carolyn has a brochure which explains more about the project if anyone is interested.
The Cumberland County Highway Department has agreed as part of its consultation agreement with the Department of Natural Resources to provide the Department with funding for landowner contact on the Embarras River. The Highway Department was in consultation on a bridge project which would negatively impact several endangered and threatened species. The contract has been let and Amy Brown has been hired through Ecological Services of Champaign to conduct the landowner contact. This agreement with the Department is the first of its kind and the hope is to have other similar agreements.
The Natural Areas Conference will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 25-28, 1995. Judy Faulkner is a co-organizer for the Landowner Contact Sessions to be held at the conference entitled "Communications - the interpersonal side of land protection".
Carolyn reported that Susie Hager has resigned her position with the Commission to spend more time with her family. All Commission business in the West-Central part of the State is being handled by Mary Kay Solecki.
Randy Heidorn, Stewardship Coordinator, reported that currently there are 78 master plans existing for nature preserves of which 33 are current through 1995. An additional 23 preserves have approved management schedules that are current. An additional five preserves have up-to-date schedules and goals, but were dedicated prior to the time when formal dedication proposals were required. The Commission is planning to let a contract to prepare these resource summaries to complete these master plans.
Randy also reported that the master plan for Heron Pond-Little Black Slough Nature Preserve has been recently completed and has been submitted by the IDNR for Commission approval. Randy has reviewed the document and will be recommending Chairman Donnelley's approval of the plan per the recently approved master planning procedure.
Randy gave a report on purple loosestrife biocontrol. A third species of insect was released in Wauconda Bog, Brandenburg Bog, and Weingart Road Sedge Meadow Nature Preserve. This insect, Hylobius transversovittus, is a root boring and eating insect. Although these insects were discussed at the presentation in 1994 and again by John Schwegman in 1995, permission was not formally given for the release of this species. Randy discussed this transgression with the parties involved and they indicated that they will seek permission prior to further releases of additional species. Staff are comfortable with the release of this species, since it went through the same review as the two Galerucella beetles which were previously approved by the Commission.
148-7) IDNR Staff Report
Don McFall reported that the Directory of Illinois Nature Preserves has gone to the printer. The new Directory will provide information on the location, driving directions, ownership, size, and natural features of 236 nature preserves. The Directory has been expanded into two volumes, Volume I includes the nature preserves in northeastern Illinois and Volume 2 includes nature preserves in northwestern, central, and southern Illinois. Printing of the Directory was funded by a grant from the Donnelley Foundation.
Don reported that Todd Fink, former IDNR employee, died July 11, 1995 at the age of 36. Todd was the district heritage biologist in southern Illinois. Todd was an outstanding biologist, and especially proficient with birds. He managed some of IDNR's largest nature preserves including Heron Pond, Horseshoe Lake and Fern Rocks. Both the Department and Commission will miss Todd very much. A memorial fund in Todd's name has been established with the Conservation Foundation and several ideas for a suitable memorial project have been advanced.
Lastly, Don reported on a 763-acre addition to the Cache River State Natural Area which has been acquired by the IDNR since the last Commission meeting. This tract, which buffers Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve, will be restored to bottomland hardwoods and wetlands. The Nature Conservancy assisted in the acquisition.
148-8) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
Gordon Goodman gave a presentation on Lyman Woods, which was given preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission's 142nd meeting (Resolution 1219) in February, 1994. Mr. Goodman gave an overview of Lyman Woods which is located east of Highland Avenue and south of Oakbrook Road in Downers Grove. Approximately 19 acres of Lyman Woods consists of high quality oak woodlands, designated as a Class IV area by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District (DCFPD). The property is held in common by the Downers Grove Park District, the Village of Downers Grove, and the DCFPD. Mr. Goodman also provided maps of Lyman Woods and areas adjacent to the property.
Mr. Goodman reported that Wayne Lampa, of DCFPD, has prepared a floristic inventory and analysis of a 34-acre parcel located on the extreme northern boundary of Lyman Woods which is owned by Town and Country Homes. Mr. Lampa's inventory revealed the presence of 184 native plant species and 61 non-native plant species. Mr. Lampa believes the site also qualifies as a Class IV natural area. This designation, used by DCFPD, is the highest ranking for natural areas in DuPage County. Mr. Goodman stated that Mr. Lampa felt that protecting this parcel was essential to protecting the ecological integrity of Lyman Woods. Mr. Goodman believes that there may be species of concern on the property owned by Town and Country Homes and that further floristic inventories are warranted.
As a result of Mr. Lampa's designation of this parcel as a Class IV natural area, the DCFPD and the Downers Grove Park District have purchased 8-1/2 acres of the 34-acre parcel owned by Town and Country Homes. The Village of Downers Grove is planning to conduct a hearing on the future land use of the entire 34-acre parcel. Mr. Goodman and other local citizens believe the entire parcel should be kept as open space, and are presenting this alternative land use consideration to the Village of Downers Grove. Mr. Goodman has commissioned Steve Apfelbaum to provide his expert testimony regarding the ecological significance of the site, appropriate limitations on the use of this site to protect the publicly owned Lyman Woods, and the public benefits of adding the entire 34-acre parcel to Lyman Woods.
Chairman Farwell thanked Mr. Goodman for his presentation and commended him for making great progress on this project. Chairman Farwell indicated that the Commission will try to make every attempt to be helpful in this project.
Commissioner Spale stated that she is personally aware of this site and this project. She reiterated that it's a very beautiful area with potential for recovery as a high quality natural area. She hopes that the DCFPD will consider acquiring the entire parcel.
148-9) Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report
Commissioner Adelmann presented a slate of officers on behalf of the Nominating Committee. Tom Donnelley is recommended for election as Chairman, John Schmitt as Vice-Chairman, and Don Pierce as Secretary. Chairman Farwell asked for nominations from the floor. There were none.
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following Commissioners be elected as officers of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Tom Donnelley, Chairman; John Schmitt, Vice-Chairman; and Don Pierce as Secretary.
On behalf of the Commission, newly elected Chairman Donnelley thanked Commissioner Farwell for his leadership and also for the time and great effort that he expended on behalf of the Commission. Chairman Donnelley asked the staff of the Commission to prepare a resolution acknowledging Commissioner Farwell's service to the Commission.
Commissioner Farwell thanked Chairman Donnelley for his comments and stated that it has been a privilege being involved with everyone throughout the years and being a part of the wonderful work that is being accomplished by the Commission.
148-10) Election of Consultants
Brian Anderson recommended re-election of INPC's current consultants: Dr. Robert F. Betz, Bruce Boyd, Dr. James Brown, Marilyn Campbell, Kenneth V. Fiske, Bill Jacobs, Dr. Alfred C. Koelling, Albert S. Pyott, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, and Valerie Spale.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the following be re-elected as consultants to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Dr. Robert F. Betz, Bruce Boyd, Dr. James Brown, Marilyn Campbell, Kenneth V. Fiske, Bill Jacobs, Dr. Alfred C. Koelling, Albert S. Pyott, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, and Valerie Spale.
148-11) Proposal to Continue Rock Climbing at Sentinel Nature Preserve, Mississippi Palisades State Park
Randy Heidorn presented a proposal to continue rock climbing at Sentinel Nature Preserve which is located in extreme northwestern Illinois at the Mississippi Palisades State Park area. Sentinel Nature Preserve was dedicated at the 130th Meeting (Resolution 1074) in 1991. At that time, it was recognized that climbing could be construed as being a conflict with the Rules for Public Use. There were some discussions with the climbing community and it was determined that a reasonable argument could be made that rock climbing actually can be similar to hiking. It was also noted that there was not a lot of information on the impacts of climbing on natural resources. The Department of Natural Resources staff and Commission staff met with the climbers, who are members of the Mississippi Palisades Climbing Coalition (MPCC), and the ACCESS fund. The climbers offered to fund a 3-year program to study the impacts of climbing. In the meantime, they voluntarily restricted some of their usage at the preserve and began an experiment to see what kind of impacts were caused by climbing. That study was completed this spring. Randy met with the MPCC, reviewed those findings and found that there was no statistically significant impact of climbing on vascular vegetation. However, there were minor impacts to lichens. Based on the results of this study, the Commission staff proposes to allow climbing on the Sentinel Rock face, but to close the remaining portion of the cliff face to climbing, particularly Sun Butress area, and also to enlist the support of the climbers themselves to help police this preserve.
Randy introduced Rob Siebens, Ron Lafleur, and Doug Kantro from Mississippi Palisades Climbing Coalition and ACCESS Fund.
Rob Siebens reported on the long term project that they have been working on since 1990. Rob stated his goal was to put together a study and come up with an educational program to inform climbers of the beauty and the sensitive nature of the ecosystem of the preserve. Rob handed out a draft brochure to show the Commissioners what they plan to distribute to hikers and climbers. The brochure points out the restrictions and gives guidelines for hikers and climbers to follow at Sentinel Nature Preserve. His plan is to make people aware of the very special natural resources and the need to be careful in the way the site is used.
The MPCC has also done trail restoration projects to reduce erosion and to improve the trails. Rob reported that there are a number of trails in the preserve which are highly degraded and the ACCESS Fund and MPCC have the resources and manpower to make a contribution toward fixing those trails. MPCC would like to take part in not only producing safer trails, but trails that reduce erosion. In addition to working on trails, MPCC is also reducing litter in the preserve and park.
Doug Kantro showed slides of trails that are heavily used and of signs that they posted to keep hikers and climbers on the trails.
Randy reported that through follow-up by the landowner (IDNR), and use of the baseline research that has already been done, a long-term monitoring program can be instituted and evaluated every two to three years.
Brian Anderson reported that while granting continuation of the use at this time, as with any Commission approval for public use, if a situation should arise down the road where a preserve is being damaged for any reason, the Commission has the option of going back and restricting that use in some way. At this point, Commission staff are confident that there are not significant impacts, and in fact, are very impressed with the cooperation that the Commission has received from the climbing community.
Commissioner Schmitt thanked the MPCC and also encouraged them to continue their efforts on behalf of protecting those resources that are important, not only to them, but also to the Commission. Many times when there are user conflicts, it turns into a confrontational situation. He applauds MPCC for being reasonable about this whole issue and for working with the IDNR. The situation has been turned from one that could have been very bad into one that is going to be good for everyone. He feels that they are very responsible and their monitoring of Sentinel Nature Preserve is not only going to be beneficial to them and the site, but also to the Commission.
Chairman Donnelley seconded Commissioner Schmitt's comments and he expressed his view that the responsibility that MPCC has taken for the environment, as well as for the climbing and the hiking, is a win-win situation.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Farwell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the proposal to continue rock climbing at Sentinel Nature Preserve, Mississippi Palisades State Park as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 in the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-12) Proposal to Protect Heron Pond/Little Black Slough Nature Preserve from the effects of Cache River Entrenchment
Randy Heidorn described the potential threats to Heron Pond caused by the entrenchment of the Cache River. Heron Pond and all of the wetland resources protected in this preserve are threatened by changes in the hydrology of the Cache River resulting from man-made changes instituted over the last century to control flooding and promote agriculture. These changes in the flow of the river have caused the river to cut deeply into the channel and have promoted bank erosion. The combined impacts of this entrenchment and changes in the watershed of the Upper Cache are threatening the integrity of the natural levee that separates the river from Heron Pond. Piping of water through weaknesses in the levee has aggravated this problem. Left unchecked, Heron Pond will be drained with the resulting loss of this wetland resource. Randy stated that the long term solution to the problem would be changing the base flow of the stream by constructing in stream structures that would slow the flow of the river during normal and low flow times.
Randy also stated that the IDNR's Office of Water Resources (OWR) recently visited the site. OWR noted that the river no longer appears to be cutting downward and that erosion is occurring laterally. Based on this field visit, they do not believe that if levee failure were to occur, that it would be catastrophic. They recommended that the levee be monitored and any breaches that occur be filled. Randy requested that staff be authorized to approve any emergency repairs to the levee that might occur to prevent drainage of the wetland. Randy stated that the he envisioned a scenario where in the event of breach a small bulldozer or backhoe along with a dump truck would be needed at the site of the breach. Access through the trees to the point of the breach and work at the site of the breach would likely require the removal of some trees and some soil disturbance.
Chairman Donnelley pointed out that these actions, though drastic, were needed to prevent a much greater loss. A discussion of the problem followed. Commissioners expressed their view that this problem, which has been discussed by the Commission for nearly two decades, desperately needs a solution, and their disappointment that the long-term solution has not been implemented to date.
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolutions be adopted:
The Nature Preserves Commission authorizes stewardship staff to approve repairs in the event of a breach of the natural levee that threatens to drain Heron Pond. This authorization will expire after 2 years.
The Nature Preserves Commission urges the IDNR to expedite the development of a capital project addressing Cache River entrenchment in the vicinity of this preserve, and recommends incorporating this project into the IDNR's FY'97 capital budget. The Commission also directs staff to give quarterly reports on the status of this project until the problem is resolved.
148-13) Proposal to Construct a Road Along the Edge of, and within Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve
John Alesandrini presented a request on behalf of the Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Association Board for permission to construct a limited access service road through the nature preserve, primarily for the purpose of safely handling traffic during burial services. Two options were considered: a twenty-foot wide corridor to accommodate two-way traffic (with a turnaround), or a fourteen-foot wide corridor allowing for single land traffic and utilizing separate entrance and exit. Because of the additional loss of prairie and administrative constraints, the Commission indicated that the twenty-foot wide corridor is not acceptable unless all other options have been completely exhausted. The Commission directed staff to continue working with the Cemetery Association Board on road design, possible acquisition of additional property, and coordination with the Illinois Department of Transportation in obtaining approval for the proposed "separate entrance and exit" alternative. The Commission indicated that under the unusual circumstances at this particular nature preserve, they would find construction of a service road within the fourteen-foot wide corridor allowed under the Rules for Management to be acceptable.
With the recommendation of Chairman Donnelley, the Commission agreed to table the proposal to approve construction of a road along the edge of, and within Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve until John Alesandrini has further discussions with the landowners.
148-14) Winnebago County -- Registration of Stone Bridge Reserve as an Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve
Roscoe Township proposes to register a 3.25 mile stretch of railroad ROW and an adjacent 2-acre parcel as a land and water reserve. These holdings, totalling 54 acres, possess 0.4 acres of grade A and 15.6 acres of grade C or better prairie and a population of the state-listed threatened kitten tails.
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for registration of Stone Bridge Reserve as an Illinois Registered Land and Water Reserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-15) Cook County -- Addition of Nature Preserve to Paintbrush Prairie, Dedication
The Nature Conservancy proposes to dedicate an 8.0-acre tract as an addition to Paintbrush Prairie. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of Paintbrush Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve at its 145th Meeting, October 24, 1994 (Resolution #1248). Paintbrush Prairie is part of an archipelago of prairies commonly referred to as the Indian Boundary Prairies. Paintbrush Prairie was conferred preliminary approval for dedication because of the extant high-quality prairie at that site, its relative large size (60 acres in two different parcels), its juxtaposition within the Indian Boundary Prairies, and because the site supports two state-listed threatened plant species. The listed plants include the Early Fen Sedge (Carex crawei) and Eared False Foxglove (Tomanthera auriculata), which is also a candidate for federal listing. Dedication of this 8.0-acre tract will preserve surviving prairie that spans two parcels conferred preliminary approval at the Commission's 145th meeting. Further, this addition to Paintbrush Prairie is consistent with good preserve design considerations and tenets of landscape ecology.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of an addition to Paintbrush Prairie in Cook County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-16) Cook County -- Palatine Prairie, Dedication
Palatine Prairie is a 7.5-acre prairie characteristic of the "swell and swale" topography that once encompassed much of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Because of the moisture gradients associated with almost imperceptible differences in topography, five natural plant communities occur at Palatine Prairie. Over 100 native plant species have been recorded from these plant communities, including the White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum). Palatine Prairie was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (#856) because of the presence of this endangered species. Palatine Prairie is owned in part by the Palatine Park District (2.5 acres) and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (5.0 acres). Both owners have expressed support for dedication of Palatine Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Farwell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Palatine Prairie in Cook County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-17) Lake County -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication
A 12.5-acre parcel of land is proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer to the Skokie River Nature Preserve located in Lake County, Illinois. The proposal to dedicate Skokie River Nature Preserve approved at the Commission's 134th Meeting (Resolution 1106) called for the linkages between major high-quality sections of the preserve to "be expanded through dedication of adjacent lands as buffer and improved by natural community restoration." Five additional tracts, (Resolution numbers 1210, 1211, 1212, 1240, and 1263), totalling 13.5 acres, have been granted final approval as nature preserve buffer. This proposal is consistent with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission's recommendation to further buffer Skokie River Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses.
It was moved by Spasovich, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of an addition of buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve in Lake County as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
Commissioner Farwell abstained from the vote.
148-18) Kane County -- Almon Underwood Prairie, Dedication
Steve Byers presented Almon Underwood Prairie for final approval for 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. The proposed Almon Underwood Prairie was granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission's 147th Meeting, May 2, 1995 (Resolution #1270).
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Almon Underwood Prairie in Kane County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-19) Kendall County -- Yorkville Prairie, Dedication
Maggie Cole presented Yorkville Prairie for final approval for dedication as a nature preserve. Yorkville Prairie is a 26-acre wet-mesic prairie remnant located in the floodplain of the Fox River. The remnant contains 93% of the wet-mesic prairie remaining in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Approximately 11 acres is owned by the Illinois Department of Conservation. The remaining 15 acres is privately owned and received preliminary approval for dedication at the 115th Meeting (Resolution 954) as Kleronomos Prairie. Yorkville Prairie received preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve and the Commission's 135th Meeting (Resolution #1116).
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Yorkville Prairie in Kendall County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-20) Madison County -- E. Dora Bohm Memorial, Dedication
Judy Faulkner presented the E. Dora Bohm Memorial for final 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. E. Dora Bohm Memorial received preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve at the Commission's 147th Meeting (Resolution 1272).
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Spasovich, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of E. Dora Bohm Memorial in Madison County as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 20 of the Agenda for the 148th meeting.
148-21) Other Business
Commissioner Spale gave a report on nature preserves owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD). Meetings have been held regarding erosion issues and impacts on some of the nature preserves owned by CCFPD. The impacted areas are extensively used by equestrians and mountain bikers as well as hikers. There is concern that the trails which have been created within the preserves were not designated at the time of dedication, but this is being investigated. CCFPD is reviewing the comments of trail users and environmental groups who are requesting that some of the trails be closed. CCFPD's intention is to develop a strategy that protects natural quality of the nature preserves once all of the information is assessed. Commissioner Spale felt there isn't any action that is required by the Commission at this time. She further suggested that the issue may ultimately be referred to the Commission by the landowner, at which time the Commission may have to take some action.
Steve Byers added that nothing has been resolved at this point, and there have been no specific recommendations by CCFPD.
Commissioner Spale pointed out that Commissioner Schumann of the CCFPD has called for these hearings and he is very concerned about protecting nature preserves within Cook County as well as promoting restoration plans.
Brian Anderson feels it is important to convey to advocates for user groups and others who contact the Commission, that the relationship is between the Commission and the landowner (CCFPD) and the Commission won't take any action until the landowner comes forward with a proposal. The Commission does have authority to designate equestrian trails and to allow bicycle trails in nature preserves, however, the Commission will be concerned with where the trails are routed and the potential impacts to significant resources. But, at this point, the Commission has no proposal to respond to. It is very clear that the intention of CCFPD is not to totally eliminate all trails, but to allow appropriate trails where the natural resources of the preserves will still be protected.
Commissioner Spale indicated that while her term with the Commission has expired, she will continue attending these meetings as a consultant to the Commission, and plans to keep the Commission updated on this matter.
Commissioner Spale asked Maggie Cole to give an update on the Lower Fox River.
Maggie Cole handed out a copy of a newsletter. The Lower Fox River Coalition consists of many organizations in northeastern Illinois that have come together to protect the Lower Fox River. In June, member Ralph Frese led a tour with a number of people who canoed the Lower Fox River. Maggie commented that portions of the Lower Fox River are very beautiful and very scenic. The Lower Fox River Coalition applied for and received a $1,000 Non-Game grant to reprint their newsletter. This newsletter includes articles written by members of the Coalition, and describes how they have been moving forward in trying to protect the Lower Fox River. An eight-minute video has also been produced and a copy was sent to Representative Steve Spangler who has expressed a great interest in the Lower Fox River Coalition and its mission.
Commissioner Schmitt further reported that the family of Todd Fink has requested memorial donations be made to the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Commissioner Schmitt asked everyone also to please note on any contribution that is for the Todd Fink Memorial Fund. After the funds have been collected, Commissioner Schmitt will meet with the Fink family to decide on what the funds should be used for. Mr. Norman Fink, Todd's father, stated that the family intends for the funds to be used in an area of interest to Todd.
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Adelmann, and unanimously approved to enter executive session to discuss personnel matters. The meeting was reconvened and adjourned at 2:00 p.m.