Jersey Co. - Katelyn's Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kankakee Co. - Sweet Fern Savanna Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Marion Co. - Karl Bartel Widlife Sanctuary Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Mason Co. - Barkhausen Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
McHenry Co. - Black-Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Edwards Co. - Addition of Buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication
Lake Co. - Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
Madison Co. - Bachman Farm Addition of Buffer to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Dedication
Union Co. - Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve, Dedication
LaSalle Co. - Addition to Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve, Dedication
Monroe Co. - Pautler Nature Preserve, Dedication
Ogle Co. - White Pines Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication
Lake Co. - Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation
Adoption of Agenda
Approval of the Minutes of 171st Meeting, May 1, 2001
Next Meeting Schedule
Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2002 Land Acquisition Proposals
Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report
Election of Advisors and Consultants
INPC Staff Report
IDNR Staff Report
300th Nature Preserve Celebration - Update
George B. Fell Biography
Public Comment Period
172-1) Call to Order,
Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 9:25 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair O'Keefe, the meeting began. Chair O'Keefe introduced Commissioner Kristi DeLaurentiis. In addition to being a recent appointment to the Commission, Kristi is the South Suburban and Will County Coordinator for the Metropolitan Planning Council and serves on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University. Kristi has many other accomplishments as well.
Carolyn Grosboll gave the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Kristi DeLaurentiis, Lorin Nevling, Joyce O'Keefe, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.
Members absent: Dianne Burton, Harry Drucker, and Jonathan Ellis.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Loretta Arient, Steven Byers, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Bob Edgin, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Angella Moorehouse, Kelly Neal, John Nelson, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, and Kim Roman, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Jennifer Aherin, Jim Heim, Brad Semel, and John Wilker, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Gayla Hill, Patti Malmborg Reilly, and Brian Reilly, Division of Natural Heritage, IDNR; Carl Becker, Office of Realty and Environmental Planning, IDNR; Sue Dees, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Marilyn Campbell, Illinois Audubon Society and INPC Consultant; Ken Fiske, Conservation Services and INPC Consultant; Dave Thomas, Illinois Natural History Survey and INPC Advisor; Dr. George Vander Velde, Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, and INPC Advisor; Jim Anderson, Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD); Guy Fraker, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Jerry Paulson, Natural Land Institute (NLI); Roger Beadles, representing Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve; Marianne Hahn and Ed Riley, representing Sweet Fern Savanna Land and Water Reserve; Vicki Miles and Denise Steck, representing Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve; Philip Moss, representing the Karst Conservancy of Illinois and Pautler Nature Preserve; Ed Martin, Rita Martin, Mike Miller, Frank Werderitsch, and Betty Wilker.
Chair O'Keefe reported that at the 171st Meeting of the INPC, held at Giant City State Park in Makanda on May 1, 2001, legal protection for four tracts of land, totaling 820 acres was approved by the Commission. One of these areas, Chip-O-Will Land and Water Reserve, is owned by a family who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. The estimated dollar value of this permanent easement on private land was $50,000, based on conservative estimates of the fair market value of the land. The private land was permanently preserved without acquisition of the land by the State. There are now 298 dedicated nature preserves in 78 counties, totaling 39,840 acres. There are 56 land and water reserves in 39 counties, totaling 21,550 acres. Chair O'Keefe congratulated the staff for their fine work.
Adoption of Agenda
Carolyn Grosboll stated that Item 18, Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve, will be moved to after Item 12 because the landowners, who are in attendance today, live in the southern part of Missouri, and they will be returning home following the presentation of their property.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the Agenda, as amended, be adopted.
of Minutes of 171st Meeting, May 1, 2001
Carolyn Grosboll proposed that the last sentence on page 16 which reads, "The landowner has decided not to sell the property at this time," be replaced with a sentence that reads, "No agreement has been reached at this time."
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the Minutes of the 171st INPC Meeting, May 1, 2001, as amended, be approved.
30 October at 10:00 a.m. - Desoto House Hotel, Galena, Illinois
Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2002 Land Acquisition Proposals
Brian Reilly stated that each year the IDNR puts together a list of land that it plans to buy using Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) moneys. The NAAF is comprised of a portion of the money collected from the real estate transfer tax. Part of the NAAF is set aside to purchase natural areas and to provide stewardship of natural areas. This year's budget is $5 million for the acquisition of high-quality natural areas and other land that is significant to natural areas. A few years ago, the INPC accepted the responsibility of reviewing the proposed NAAF acquisition list and making a recommendation to the IDNR Director on which lands should be acquired with the NAAF. The fiscal year (FY) 2002 list is comprised of 26 tracts of land. These tracts are within 18 Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) sites. The proposed acquisitions total 3, 211 acres of land and will cost approximately $8,638,728. This total is more than the $5 million allocated, however, not every tract will be acquired because some landowners may not be willing sellers, or the land may have been sold before it could be acquired by the IDNR. Once the list is approved, it will be prioritized on a willing seller basis and on a need basis. The properties for consideration include:
1) Additions to the land currently owned by the IDNR at Apple River Canyon in Jo Daviess County. This area includes a high-quality stream with several endangered species within Apple River Canyon.
2) Additions to Black-Crown Marsh in McHenry County. Black-Crown Marsh has eight endangered and threatened bird species nesting there and includes a significant wetland. The IDNR currently owns 160 acres of the Black-Crown Marsh natural area.
3) Additions to Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve in LaSalle County. The proposed acquisition will expand the IDNR-owned Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve and preserve habitat for the state endangered snowberry.
4) More acquisitions are being proposed at the Cache River State Natural Area in Johnson and Pulaski counties. Twenty endangered and threatened species of plants or animals occur here. The proposed additions will protect this bottomland habitat, buffer current IDNR holdings, and play an instrumental role in the Cache River's hydrologic future.
5) Campbell Pond, in Jackson County, is an outstanding example of a shallow natural lake in the bottomland of the Little Muddy River. The IDNR owns part of Campbell Pond, and this addition will help complete the preserve design and acquire more land identified by the INAI.
6) Cedar Bluff is part of Ferne Clyffe State Park in Johnson County. This area includes Cedar/Draper's Bluff Land and Water Reserve. The additions will provide buffer to the Land and Water Reserve while connecting it to the State park.
7) Cypress Pond is a 477-acre swamp bisected by the Johnson and Union County line. The proposed additions will more than double the State's holdings at this site.
8) Guthrie Cave, in Union County, was registered as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve in October, 1999. It is an example of high-quality terrestrial and aquatic cave communities. The proposed addition will protect land above and surrounding the cave.
9) Additions to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve in Jo Daviess County. Expanding this site will provide additional habitat for the rare species that occur there and will implement the area's preserve design by expanding and connecting acquisitions currently being pursued by the IDNR.
10) Iroquois County Conservation Area was recently registered as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve. Additions to this site will expand grassland habitat and provide an opportunity to relocate dove fields adjacent to Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve to this property.
11) Additions to McClure Shale Glade Nature Preserve and Berryville Shale Glade Nature Preserve in Union County. The proposed acquisitions will double the amount of protected land in the area.
12) Pike Marsh in McHenry County. Acquiring additional land to buffer Pike Marsh will benefit several endangered and threatened species and water quality.
13) Additions to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Marion and Jasper counties. This area supports breeding populations of seven species of declining state-listed grassland birds.
14) Additions to Redwing Slough State Natural Area in Lake County. The additions will be restored to native vegetation and managed for the wetland and wetland dependant bird species.
15) Sand Ridge Mud Turtle Site in Mason County. This 338-acre proposed acquisition provides habitat for five endangered or threatened species.
16) Additions to Upper Embarras River Woods Nature Preserve in Douglas County. This buffer will provide additional habitat for many rare plants and animals.
17) Valmeyer Hill Prairie in Monroe County. This area provides habitat for four threatened and endangered species. The IDNR is proposing to purchase a conservation easement on 200 acres. The property was mined extensively for limestone, and there are some large holes on the property. The Attorney General has recommended that the IDNR not buy this property because of liability risks, however, approval was given to purchase a conservation easement on the property. The landowner will maintain ownership of the property. The conservation easement will be in the form of a nature preserve or land and water reserve.
18) Addition to Wolf Road Prairie in Cook County. The proposed addition will expand and buffer the original prairie.
Commissioner Schwegman asked Brian if the dove fields at the Iroquois County Conservation Area could be purchased with Habitat Stamp money or some kind of hunting money.
Brian reminded the Commissioners that the Commission approved a cooperative partnership between the NAAF and those funds that are used to buy hunting habitat such as the Habitat Stamp, Duck Stamp, and Pheasant Stamp in order to acquire natural areas that benefit both the natural area and hunting interests. This is one of those properties where NAAF funds could be used along with the habitat money. Part of the property would be turned into a dove field, and the remaining property would be restored to native vegetation.
Commissioner Schwegman asked if we have ever gotten dedicated nature preserve type lands purchased with these other funds, or is that anticipated in the future.
Brian stated that it is definitely anticipated in the future. He stated that the IDNR is currently working on a project that would form the first such partnership. The prospect involves the purchase of a 750-acre tract of land along the Illinois River in Calhoun County. It is an INAI site, and it would be a cooperative partnership. The cost of the project is approximately $1.5 million, and the NAAF would contribute $150,000. The remaining funds would come from the Wetland Reserve Program, Habitat Stamps, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. This purchase will benefit the natural area, the heron rookery on the property, and buffer the INAI site. It will also provide hunting opportunities. A portion of the property may become a land and water reserve.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he would like to see how much other money is being budgeted for each site.
Commissioner Nevling recognized that the acquisition list needs to be longer than what can be acquired with the budget figures. He wanted to know how much money was available last year and how much money was actually spent.
Brian stated that the IDNR did a very good job last year at buying properties on the list. There are a few properties that were on last year's list that are on this year's list. No sites were dropped from last year's list. The money that was not spent last year was carried over to this year as the money is re-appropriated each year. The $5 million that is appropriated for FY 2002 is new money. There is also a significant amount of money that is from FY 2001. We still have FY 1999 money that is being used. Land acquisition takes a long time.
Commissioner Nevling stated that it is important for everyone to understand that land acquisition is not necessarily on a one-year cycle.
Chair O'Keefe expressed concern regarding the property near Valmeyer. She stated that regardless of whether or not the Attorney General has determined that the State would not be as liable with a conservation easement on Valmeyer Hill Prairie, it seems that the Commission has a responsibility to make sure that the property is safe for users.
Brian stated that the Valmeyer Hill Prairie is owned by the City of Valmeyer. It is not currently open to the public because of the liability issues with the open mine shafts. Acquisition of a conservation easement on the property by the IDNR does not require that the land be open to the public. It is still up to the landowner whether the property will be open to the public, and they would assume the liability. Brian has talked with Village officials about getting a grant to fund putting gates over the openings. Gating of the openings is not a realistic option because the holes are so large. There is loose soil on top of the bedrock, and the gate would need to be drilled directly into the rock. It could be done, but it would be very expensive. Fencing of the entire property was also discussed, and the Village expressed concern that if the property is fenced it would potentially create an attractive nuisance.
Carolyn Grosboll asked Brian if there was a fear of subsidence and was the Attorney General's office comfortable with the liability issue as far as the easement.
Brian stated that subsidence was not a significant fear, but there is some subsidence on the property. He stated that the Attorney General's office was comfortable with the liability issue as it relates to the conservation easement.
Chair O'Keefe asked who would manage the land.
Brian stated that it would be a partnership between the landowners, the Commission, and the IDNR. There are several endangered species on this site.
Chair O'Keefe stated that up to now we have not used the NAAF to purchase conservation easements, and she asked if this was a problem.
Brian stated that the primary reason this site is on the NAAF list is because of the diligence of the INPC staff. Brian stated that Debbie Newman contacted him several times to have this site added to the list. He stated the benefits outweigh any potential liability problems.
Randy Heidorn stated that having mined property in INPC programs is not unprecedented. The IDNR owns in fee a dedicated nature preserve that has open air shafts on the property. The property is the old Blackball Mine, and it is closed to the public.
Debbie Newman stated that this potential acquisition has been complex, and this particular action is warranted. There has been a lot of discussions about the liability issue. This property, like many other properties along the Mississippi River bluffs, has sheer-cliff drop-offs of 200-300 feet that raise similar liability issues as the air shafts.
Chair O'Keefe stated she agrees that the site has real value. She further stated that we need to look more broadly at the Commission's priorities. She stated that in recent years there has been an increased appreciation for the importance of large sites or macro sites. Rather than acquiring a new site or dedicating a new site, many of our recent dedications are buffers or additions to existing nature preserves. This is done for good reason. However, she stated that the State of Illinois and the INPC need to think about folding into their priorities the possibility of acquisitions in new areas. She understands that this depends on landowner contact, and the field staff are working on this. She stated that she is concerned that there are some new sites out there that we should really be targeting.
Brian stated that every INAI site is important. This list is made up based on availability, willing seller, and the threat to the area. He stated that he does not make a judgement as to which natural area is more important than another. The sites on the list may not be considered brand new, but, for example, the acquisitions near the Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve involve an effort of protecting more property along the Fox River. This was a brand new site two years ago, and only three tracts of land are protected there. Two tracts of land are owned by the IDNR, and we are trying to expand that. The Guthrie Cave protection effort is also two years old. The sites on the NAAF list referred to as the Sand Ridge Mud Turtle sites are new sites. These properties are near Sand Ridge State Forest. The proposed tracts include two or three tracts of wetlands that provide habitat for the mud turtle. Brian stated that the INPC staff and the IDNR staff are meeting with landowners of new INAI sites on a regular basis. Acquisitions of new sites open up new project areas. Several sites on the list are put there with the intension of completing the site's preserve design.
Chair O'Keefe stated that she would like to see a balance of new and old and a sense of priorities.
Chair O'Keefe asked if it would be beneficial to go into closed session to further discuss the priorities, acreage, and the amount of money to be spent on the particular sites on the NAAF list.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, that the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission go into closed session, pursuant to Section 2(c)(5) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act [5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5)] for purposes of discussing land acquisitions. Section 2 (c)(5) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act provides that a public body may go into closed session to discuss, "The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired." A unanimous roll-call vote was taken. Closed session started at 10:05 a.m.
The meeting was called back to order at 10:40 a.m. by Chair O'Keefe.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the fiscal year 2002 Natural Areas Acquisition Fund land acquisition list as presented under Item 5 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report
Commissioner Nevling stated that in the absence of the Nominating Committee Chairman, Commissioner Jonathan Ellis, he has been asked to present the Committee's recommendations. The third member of the Committee is Commissioner Dianne Burton. Commissioner Nevling stated that the Committee wishes to place the following nominations for officers before the Commission for consideration: for Chair, Commissioner Joyce O'Keefe, for Vice-Chair; Commissioner John Schwegman; and for Secretary, Commissioner Jill Allread. All have agreed to serve if elected.
Chair O'Keefe asked for any nominations from the floor, and none were offered.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following Commissioners be elected as Officers of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Joyce O'Keefe as Chair, John Schwegman as Vice-Chair, and Jill Allread as Secretary.
172-7) Election of Advisors and Consultants
Commissioner Nevling stated that a list of the nominated advisors and consultants is on the Agenda under Item 7. The nominated advisors, which were elected for the first time this past year, include the Chief of the State Geological Survey, the Director of the Waste Management Research Center, and the Chief of the State Water Survey. There are three other advisors that are embedded in State statute, and these are the Director of the IDNR, the Chief of the Natural History Survey, and the Director of the Illinois State Museum. Commissioner Nevling stated that there is a total of 12 nominated consultants. There were 11 consultants last year, and reappointment is recommended of those 11 and the advisors as outlined above. In the case of the consultants, it is recommended that an additional consultant, Jerry Paulson, be approved. Mr. Paulson is the Director of the NLI and is a former member of the Commission staff. All nominees have agreed to serve if appointed or reappointed.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following be elected as advisors to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Dr. William Shilts, Dr. George Vander Velde, and Dr. Derek Winstanley, and the following be elected as consultants to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Gerald Adelmann, Dr. Robert Betz, Bruce Boyd, John Comerio, Marilyn Campbell, Kenneth Fiske, Jerry Paulson, Al Pyott, John Schmitt, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, Valerie Spale, and John White.
Chair O'Keefe thanked the advisors and consultants for their willingness to serve.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the General Assembly passed the State budget before adjourning at the end of May, 2001. The Commission received a single line item appropriation of $1,124,600. This is a 9.2% increase over last year's budget of $1,029.400. The increase will cover increased personal services costs, including salaries, insurance, retirement, and other benefits.
Carolyn stated that at the 172nd INPC Meeting she reported on five bills before the General Assembly. Four of those bills were stalled in Committee and did not pass. Those bills included House Bill (HB) 1081 which may have impacted the Commission's prescribed fire program, HB 2358 which created the Local Legacy Act, HB 2054 which called for an advisory open space referendum, and Senate Bill (SB) 1173 which would have eliminated several Boards and Commissions, including the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB). Carolyn stated that she was pleased to report that the Bill to eliminate the ESPB did not pass. The fifth Bill was HB 2283 which, among other things, provided for a mechanism to clean up abandoned cemeteries. Language was added to ensure that if a cemetery was dedicated as a nature preserve, it would be managed for its natural heritage character in accordance with the site's master plan. That Bill has passed both houses and is currently waiting the Governor's signature. We are working to ensure that the Bill is signed as passed.
Carolyn stated that names have been recommended to Governor Ryan, in accordance with State statute, by Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Bruce McMillan to fill the terms of Diane Burton and Jonathan Ellis whose terms expired on June 30, 2001. Dr. Thomas and Dr. McMillan also recommended to Governor Ryan that Commissioner Allread be reappointed. Those Commissioners whose terms have expired will serve until they are replaced.
Carolyn updated the Commission on the Commission's strategic planning efforts. The concept of having the staff go through a strategic planning session was discussed at the 170th INPC Meeting on February 6, 2001. There were some concerns about the potential cost involved. She stated that she recently learned that the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA) has a Management Assistance Team which provides strategic planning services free of charge to Association members. The IDNR is a member of the IAFWA, and Director Manning has submitted a request on behalf of the Commission to receive strategic planning services. Carolyn stated that she is currently working with the Management Assistance Team on setting a date which will probably not be until early 2002.
Carolyn updated the Commission about the Black Beauty Coal Company permit for a new coal mine adjacent to the Little Vermilion River near the Carl Flierman's River Nature Preserve. The appeal hearings before the Office of Mines and Minerals and the Pollution Control Board have been held. Carolyn stated that both she and Mary Kay Solecki were deposed by Black Beauty's legal counsel. Neither one of those bodies have rendered their decision at this time.
Carolyn updated the Commission about the Lake in the Hills Village Hall which was to be built adjacent to Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve. Since the last Commission meeting, the new Village Board voted to purchase a 10.16-acre parcel, known as the Origer property, for the building of their Village Hall. They are no longer considering building that facility adjacent to the Nature Preserve. The new site is considered to be a strategic location because it is more conveniently located for the residents of Lake in the Hills. The Commission is extremely pleased that the Board took this action and has decided not to build the Village Hall on the Rothschild property located adjacent to Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve. Carolyn stated that there is an ongoing concern about what will happen to the Rothschild property, and staff will continue to monitor whether there is any potential for acquisition or what the Village intends to do with that property.
Randy Heidorn stated that Steven Byers represented the Commission at the Society of Wetlands Scientists' Conference in Chicago and co-chaired one of the Conference Committees. Kim Roman led one of the Conference field trips to the wetlands along the Fox River. Kim also attended a land auction in Kankakee County as part of the effort to protect the sand savannas in Pembroke Township.
Randy stated that Tom Lerczak was asked to serve as an advisor to the newly formed Fon du Lac Park District's Conservation Commission in East Peoria. The Conservation Commission will make recommendations to the Park District on acquisition of new sites and management and restoration of existing Park District properties. Fon du Lac Park District owns Bennett's Terraqueous Gardens Nature Preserve in Tazewell County.
Randy stated that the Pope-Hardin County Soil and Water Conservation District has asked Judy Faulkner Dempsey to assist them in implementing their Lusk Creek watershed plan. Part of the plan is to contact key owners of INAI sites in the watershed. This is a benefit to the Commission because we are partnering with a local entity to accomplish mutual goals.
The Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) Steering Committee began meeting a year ago on a quarterly basis. The fifth meeting was held last week in Peoria. The Committee is comprised of VSN sponsors (the INPC and TNC), volunteers, and landowners primarily from northeastern and central Illinois. The purpose of this group is to facilitate communication among the different groups and to promote management and stewardship of natural areas. The Committee is functioning well, and a number of work groups have been established to assess volunteer and landowner needs, identify potential funding sources, develop volunteer recruitment strategies, and assess the overall direction of the VSN. Products of these efforts have included development of a volunteer stewardship fund that both TNC and the INPC contribute to that provides equipment and support for volunteer groups. A grant writing workshop was held by TNC, and other kinds of workshops are planned, including a prescribed fire training.
Randy updated the Commission on deer management in nature preserves. Deer management is based on deer browse on vegetation. This is the fifth year of the deer management program at Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve. The current program consists of archery hunting and shotgun hunting during regular statewide seasons. There is vegetation monitoring during the growing season. The reduction of grazing impacts on the prairie has been notable, however, there is still significant grazing impact occurring. Most of the deer removed from the site occurred during the firearm season. The last year's number of deer removed during the hunting season is approximately one-third of what it was during the first year of control. This is to be expected. Adjacent lands act as refuges, and the efficiency of the control effort is somewhat hampered. Discussions are ongoing about how some of the adjacent large corporate owners can become involved. One complicating factor is at an adjacent site where the corporate property contains facilities for nuclear spent fuel storage. Beall Woods Nature Preserve's current program consists of an archery hunt and a shotgun hunt during the regular statewide seasons with vegetation monitoring during the growing season. Monitoring is showing a reduction in browse impacts. Although the archery hunt played a significant role during the first year, it was not very important in the second year. The plan is to continue this management activity at both Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve and Beall Woods Nature Preserve. George B. Fell Nature Preserve in Castle Rock State Park is also in its third year of deer management. There is archery hunting in the south part of the park outside of the Nature Preserve. The Nature Preserve is open for firearm and muzzle-loading hunting during the regular hunting seasons. The vegetation monitoring at George B. Fell Nature Preserve is suggesting a slight decrease in browse impacts. It is still early in the management program, but there are plans to continue for at least another year. Starved Rock Nature Preserve implemented its first hunt this past year. Starved Rock State Park contains two nature preserves, which are involved in the deer management program, Starved Rock Nature Preserve and Matthiessen Dells Nature Preserve. Archery hunting is only used at Matthiessen Dells Nature Preserve. Firearms are allowed throughout the entire site during the normal deer hunting season. The operation went smoothly this past year and the program will be continued next year. Horseshoe Lake Nature Preserve deer management was approved by the Commission in 1989. The program only consisted of a single day hunt in October. This program has not been working because there has not been enough of a decrease in the deer population to have any reduction in the browsing impacts. Randy stated that the IDNR decided to suspend the management program for this year so the program can be redesigned. It is hoped that an expanded program will be implemented in 2002. Two other deer management programs are on the horizon. A deer management program has been discussed for Kettle Moraine Nature Preserve in Moraine Hills State Park, and the other is at Wards Grove Nature Preserve.
Brian Reilly stated that Todd Pfeiffer began his duties as Chief of Operations for the ORC on July 16, 2001. Todd will be handling matters such as personnel and budget. The Division of Natural Heritage is a part of the ORC. This position was formally held by Jim Riemer who has moved to Deputy Director for IDNR.
Brian stated that Jeff Ver Steeg, Chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources, has accepted a position in Colorado, and he will assume those duties on September 1, 2001.
Brian stated that the administrative rules for incidental take were approved by the joint committee on administrative rules on July 10, 2001. Copies of the rules are available from the Division of Natural Heritage and should be available on the IDNR web page.
The budget for the Division of Natural Heritage is essentially the same as last year. There were increases only in salaries and other personal services costs.
The IDNR has acquired six new tracts of land with the NAAF since the 172nd INPC Meeting. The cost of these tracts totaled approximately $780,000. Three tracts, totaling 125 acres, were purchased at Chauncey Marsh Nature Preserve in Lawrence County. One tract, consisting of 40 acres, was acquired at Cache River State Natural Area, and several tracts were acquired from TNC at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Jasper and Marion counties. These tracts add up to 1,113 acres. Brian stated that the TNC tracts at Prairie Ridge are part of the Prairie Ridge Land and Water Reserves. The Open Land Trust (OLT) acquired 204 acres at Volo Bog which included a tract to the west for $1.5 million. It is an INAI site in McHenry County. The OLT also acquired 2,263 acres at Siloam Springs State Park in Brown County.
Carl Becker updated the Commission on the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). CARA is once again in the 107th Congress as HR 701. Two weeks ago it passed out of the House Resources Committee by a 2-1 vote. The next objective is to get it scheduled for a floor vote in September. There are currently 239 cosponsors of this Bill, guaranteeing passage. Thirteen of Illinois' 20 congressmen are cosponsors on this Bill (six Republicans and seven Democrats). This Bill enjoys a strong bipartisan support nationwide. If passed, CARA would appropriate $3.1 billion of outer continental shelf oil royalties and fees on an annual basis for 15 years. Illinois is estimated to receive $53.4 million per year. This money is primarily for conservation, protection, development of natural areas, natural resource sites, and parks, as well as historic sites. The objective is to get the House to schedule this for a floor vote in September. Illinois plays a key role in that Speaker Hastert from Illinois controls the schedule. Carl urged anyone that has contacts with Speaker Hastert's office or with their own congressman to call to have CARA called for a floor vote. It is fully expected to pass out of the House. A Senate version of CARA has been introduced by Senator Landrieu from Louisiana, and we look forward to action on that Bill in late fall or early spring. Carl stated that a strong vote in the House is needed to send a signal to the Senate to bring this up for a vote.
Commissioner Allread asked if there was a collaborative effort among states pushing on Capitol Hill to get this going.
Carl stated that there is an Illinois coalition for CARA which is an outgrowth of the Conservation Congress. At the present time there are over 100 organizations in the State that are participating in this effort. There are approximately 5,000 nationwide. The people that are coordinating this on a national basis are with the National Wildlife Federation, the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and a number of park districts.
Co. - Katelyn's Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Debbie Newman presented a proposal to register Katelyn's Woods as a land and water reserve. Katelyn's Woods is a 150.3-acre site that qualifies for registry in the Land and Water Reserve program by having more than 100 acres of forest that supports breeding populations of forest interior birds. The proposed reserve contains 128 acres of grade C dry, dry-mesic, and mesic upland forest representative of the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division and 22 acres of old field. Thirteen species of birds considered highly or moderately sensitive to forest fragmentation have been documented using Katelyn's Woods during the breeding season. The state-threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) inhabits the general vicinity of Katelyn's Woods. While the snake has not yet been documented on the property, the proposed reserve will protect additional foraging habitat for this species. The proposed reserve is located approximately one mile from the northern part of the 8,100-acre Pere Marquette State Park. The park contains Brainerd Cave Land and Water Reserve and Pere Marquette Nature Preserve. The owners of the proposed reserve, Joe and Deb Toigo, wish to register their land permanently.
Debbie stated that there is an abandoned farm house in one of the old fields. This is the only structure that occurs on the 150.3 acres. The landowners would like to leave this structure because it provides habitat for a few bats, black snakes, and ground hogs. The landowners would like to reserve the right to take the structure down in the future if they decide they want to do that. Debbie stated that the landowners have been very persistent in overcoming a few obstacles to get this to the Commission, and she would like to commend them for their efforts to protect this area.
Chair O'Keefe asked Debbie to extend the Commission's thanks to Joe and Deb Toigo.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Katelyn's Woods in Jersey County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Co. - Sweet Fern Savanna Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Sweet Fern Savanna as a land and water reserve. Sweet Fern Savanna, privately owned by Marianne Hahn, is a 62.2-acre natural area located in the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division in Kankakee County. Most of the site is recognized on the INAI (#1581) for its high-quality, dry-mesic sand savanna, and for the habitat it provides for six state-endangered species: sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina), shore St. John's wort (Hypericum adpressum), Carey's smartweed (Polygonum careyi), eastern blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium atlanticum), bristly blackberry (Rubus setosus), and primrose violet (Viola primulifolia). The proposed land and water reserve also provides habitat for many uncommon wildlife species, and for over 320 native plants. Its assemblage of different natural communities showcases the diversity of the Kankakee Sands.
Kim stated that some of the allowable uses include a minimally developed foot path, and Marianne Hahn will continue to allow her neighbors to hunt and horseback ride on the property. All of these uses are compatible with the long-term preservation of Sweet Fern Savanna. Other activities include cross-country skiing, and collection of native grass and seeds.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is very impressed with plants on this site, and he wanted to thank Marianne Hahn for such a generous offer.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Sweet Fern Savanna in Kankakee County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe stated that, on behalf of the Commission, she would like to thank Marianne Hahn for doing an extraordinary thing by acquiring this property so it can be preserved.
172-12) Marion Co. - Karl
Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Bob Edgin presented a proposal on behalf of the Illinois Audubon Society to register Karl Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary as a land and water reserve. The proposed Karl Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary Land and Water Reserve is an 80-acre tract located within the Prairie Ridge - Marion County INAI site (#754). The tract was purchased by the Illinois Audubon Society with the assistance of a Conservation 2000 grant and will be restored to prairie using local genotype seed. The Reserve is adjacent to an IDNR-owned land and water reserve on the west and south. This site will be managed in conjunction with the Marion County unit of Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA). PRSNA provides critical habitat for 27 endangered, threatened, watchlist, or grassland sensitive species. If registered, it would increase the total acreage of restored grasslands at PRSNA - Marion County to 1,087.5 acres. Allowable uses would include construction of wetlands, an interpretive trail, and a parking area.
Bob stated that there are two easements associated with the property. One is a power line right-of-way that is immediately adjacent to the blacktop road on the north boundary of the property. The other easement is a pipeline easement that was granted to the Texas Pipeline Company in 1950. This easement is for an unspecified width, and it grants the Texas Pipeline Company the right to construct and maintain a maximum of two pipelines within the right-of-way. Currently, there is one pipeline in that easement, and it is active. The property was purchased by the Illinois Audubon Society on March 27, 2001. One of the conditions of purchase was that the previous owner retained the agricultural rights to the property for the 2001 growing season. The property has agricultural crops on it at this time. The C2000 program stipulates that properties or easements that are purchased with C2000 funds must be encumbered by some type of conservation easement. The registration as a land and water reserve satisfies this stipulation, and it is the program of choice by the Illinois Audubon Society. The C2000 program also stipulates that the easement, or in this case registration, be completed as soon as possible following the closing of the real estate proceedings. Most of the management activities will be initiated in the fall, once the crop is harvested. The Illinois Audubon Society requests the right to do some contour work on the slopes to reduce the erosion, and they would like to rebuild a berm of the wetland and the spillway to create some wetland habitat. In addition, the Illinois Audubon Society requests the right to construct one or more shallow wetlands. Another key component of the C2000 grant was the aspect of providing educational opportunities in the form of an interpretative trail, and the Illinois Audubon Society would like to request the right to develop that at some point in time. They also request the ability to construct a parking area on the site to accommodate a maximum number of six vehicles.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is glad to see that this is named in Karl's honor.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Karl Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary in Marion County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe recognized Marilyn Campbell and the Illinois Audubon Society, and she expressed the Commission's thanks for their commitment to protect natural areas.
A lunch break was taken from 12:10 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.
172-13) Mason Co. - Barkhausen
Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
(Actually presented after Item 16)
John Wilker presented a proposal to register Barkhausen Woods as a land and water reserve. The proposed Barkhausen Woods Land and Water Reserve is a 128.4-acre tract owned by the IDNR which contains a 45-acre grade A dry sand forest. The property is part of the Barkhausen Refuge (over 1400 acres) which was donated to the IDNR in 1964 by Lou Barkhausen upon his death. Mr. Barkhausen was the third president of Ducks Unlimited and the founder of Wild Birds of America. This Category I INAI site (#362) is a dry sand forest which still retains much of its presettlement characteristics. The Barkhausen Woods Natural Area is one of only three identified high-quality natural areas of this community type within the whole of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. Of those three natural areas, Barkhausen Woods is the only one publicly-owned and actively managed. Therefore, added protective measures for this publicly-owned site are necessary and prudent to ensure protection of this significant natural resource.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is familiar with the area, and he is very supportive of seeking registration of this site.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Barkhausen Woods in Mason County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
172-14) McHenry Co. - Black-Crown
Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Brad Semel presented a proposal to register a portion of Black-Crown Marsh as a land and water reserve. The proposed Black-Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve is a 156.3-acre tract owned by the IDNR. The Black-Crown Marsh wetland complex is a 628-acre site composed of 238 acres of palustrine emergent wetland representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and 390 acres of upland buffer. It lies in the resource rich area of the Fox River watershed. This hemi-marsh and flooded scrub-shrub wetland is dominated by broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia) and willow (Salix spp.), with central areas of open water. The INAI designated Black-Crown Marsh as a Category II Natural Area (#1503) in 1997, recognizing its diversity and abundance of wetland-dependent avifauna; in particular those designated as state-listed threatened and endangered. Nine state-listed endangered or threatened bird species have been documented using Black-Crown Marsh, including the black tern (Chlidonias niger), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), black-crown night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), and yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). The site is important to this suite of wetland-dependent avifauna not only for foraging, but also as a significant nesting area. Only the American bittern and osprey are thought to limit their use of the site to spring and fall migration. The protection of Black-Crown Marsh will provide an opportunity to establish and maintain prime habitat for wetland-dependent avifauna.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Black-Crown Marsh in McHenry County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Co. - Addition of Buffer toBeadles
Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication
Bob Edgin presented a proposal on behalf of Roger and Vivian Beadles for preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition of buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. This proposed addition of buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve is approximately 4.5 acres. This addition includes upland oak-hickory forest representative of the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division with a herbaceous component that is similar in composition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. Beadles Barrens was identified by the INAI (#1547) and was granted final approval for dedication at the Commission's 166th Meeting in February, 2000 (Resolution #1523). A key item in the proposal for dedication of Beadles Barrens was the pursuit of protection for adjacent forested tracts that could provide buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve and assist with the formation of a more contiguous landscape.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition of buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve in Edwards County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe thanked Roger Beadles for his generosity and his work to restore and manage the property.
172-16) Lake Co. - Wadsworth
Prairie and Savanna Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to
Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve,
Dedication (Actually presented
after Item 18)
Steven Byers of the INPC and Jim Anderson of the LCFPD presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of the Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve. Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve is owned by the LCFPD and was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve at the Commission's 84th Meeting, June, 1981 (Resolution #591). The proposed Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition totals approximately 187 acres, of which 172 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and 15 acres proposed as nature preserve buffer. The Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition contains savanna, marsh, mesic prairie, and wet prairie representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and protects populations of the federally-listed eastern prairie-fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), three state-listed plant species and two state-listed animal species. The site is included on the INAI (#649). The proposed Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition will increase the nature preserve from 267 acres to 454 acres.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is familiar with this site, and he thanked Jim and the LCFPD for bringing this site to the Commission.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Wadsworth Prairie and Savanna addition of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve in Lake County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe thanked the LCFPD for moving ahead with the dedication of their lands.
Steven stated that he appreciates the opportunity to work with Jim Anderson, and it is anticipated that further work will be done with the LCFPD Board to bring additional sites to the INPC for formal protection in the future.
172-17) Madison Co. - Bachman
Farm Addition of Buffer to Mississippi
Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Newman presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of the Bachman Farm addition of buffer to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The Nature Institute proposes to dedicate 10.7 acres known as the Bachman Farm, as an addition of nature preserve buffer to the Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also partly borders the recently dedicated 7.25-acre Poole Farm addition of nature preserve. The Bachman Farm, located in the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division, is a key parcel within the watershed of the stream that separates the Mississippi Sanctuary and Oblate Fathers' Woods Nature Preserve, and is currently comprised of mesic upland forest and fallow pasture. The complex of adjoining lands in the area, including John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary Nature Preserve buffer, Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Poole Farm Nature Preserve addition and Oblate Fathers' Woods Nature Preserve comprise a total of 400 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 411 acres. The preservation of the Bachman Farm will also add more buffer to the nearby bald eagle winter roost on the John M. Olin Nature Preserve, and will preserve critical habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake, which is found in the vicinity of the property.
Debbie commended the Nature Institute and the Great Rivers Land Trust on their work to preserve land.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Schwegman, and carried, with Commissioner Sommerhof abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Bachman Farm addition of buffer to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve in Madison County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Commissioner Sommerhof thanked Debbie for her hard work.
Chair O'Keefe thanked the Nature Institute for bringing this property to the Commission.
172-18) Union Co. - Ren-Dill
Shale Glade Nature Preserve, Dedication (Actually
presented after Item 12)
Judy Faulkner Dempsey presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve. The proposed Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve is a 40-acre site owned by Vicki Miles and her mother, Lenita Rolfing. The area includes two-thirds of the Berryville Shale Glade (INAI #854) and is located in the Southern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The proposed Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve contains one- acre of the six acres of grade A shale glade left in Illinois. Shale is most commonly located below the soil surface. Shale glades are a unique natural community where shale is exposed providing the substrate for an unusual plant community. The shale glade community is characterized by little bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium), poverty grass (Danthonia spicata), and a mixture of prairie and woodland forbs. The surrounding dry and dry-mesic upland forest contain post oak (Quercus stellata), black jack oak (Quercus marilandica), farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) and black and white oak (Quercus velutina and Quercus alba). As one of the few shale glades left in Illinois, the Miles family wishes to preserve this rare natural area for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Ren-Dill Shale Glade in Union County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe thanked Vicki Miles and her family for their willingness to dedicate this property which is unique to the State of Illinois.
Chair O'Keefe asked that Item 16 be heard at this time in order to accommodate Jim Anderson of the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
172-19) LaSalle Co. - Addition
to Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing
Nature Preserve, Dedication
Kim Roman presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of an addition to Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve. Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve is a 17-acre site owned by the IDNR. The IDNR proposes to dedicate a 12-acre addition to the preserve. The preserve and the proposed addition contain sandstone cliffs representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and frontage along the Fox River, recognized by the INAI (#455) as an outstanding example of the rivers and creeks of the Illinois River watershed. The lower Fox River provides habitat for the state-endangered greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi) and the state-threatened river redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum). The state-endangered snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) and the state-threatened forked aster (Aster furcatus) occur in the proposed addition. The addition will increase the total acreage of Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve to 29 acres and lengthen the Nature Preserve's river frontage by approximately 700 feet. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 171st Meeting (Resolution #1588) in May, 2001.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition to Lower Fox River - Blake's Landing Nature Preserve in LaSalle County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
172-20) Monroe Co. - Pautler
Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Newman presented a proposal on behalf of the Karst Conservancy of Illinois for final approval for the dedication of Pautler Nature Preserve. The proposed Pautler Nature Preserve is a 3.18-acre site owned by the Karst Conservancy of Illinois that includes a portion of Pautler Cave, which is part of the Pautler Cave System INAI site (#1597). The cave system contains a high-quality aquatic and terrestrial cave community representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division and provides habitat for the largest number of troglobites (obligate cave dwellers) of any cave in Illinois. The cave system also contains abundant populations of the state and federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes). The proposed preserve includes a sinkhole containing an entrance to the cave, a small portion of cave passage, and a significant cave stream, as well as grade C dry-mesic upland forest and a small amount of old field on the surface. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 171st Meeting (Resolution #1589) in May, 2001.
Debbie recognized Philip Moss, Chairman of the Karst Conservancy of Illinois and thanked the Karst Conservancy for the efficient fashion in which this was brought to the Commission for final approval. She stated that the Karst Conservancy of Illinois will be a good, long-term partner.
Philip Moss stated that this is a small tract of land, just over 3 acres. It has many rare and one federally-endangered species. This cave provides access to one of six extant populations of Gammarus acherondytes in the world. It has the highest biodiversity of any cave system known in the State of Illinois. It is also an INAI site, and he would like to proceed with the final dedication. Philip stated the work to bring this before the Commission for the final dedication was all done by Debbie Newman, Randy Heidorn, and Carolyn Grosboll.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Pautler Nature Preserve in Monroe County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 20 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe thanked Philip Moss for his efforts in protecting this area, and she stated that this property is a wonderful addition to the Nature Preserve System.
Chair O'Keefe stated that Pautler Nature Preserve is the 299th nature preserve dedication.
172-21) Ogle Co. - White
Pines Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication
Jim Heim presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of White Pines Forest Nature Preserve. White Pines Forest is a 43-acre natural area owned by the IDNR. It is located in the 385-acre White Pines Forest State Park. The proposed preserve is included on the INAI (#87). It is the only state-owned, high-quality dry mesic upland forest community in the Freeport Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division that has native white pine as a forest component. In addition, the dolomite cliffs provide habitat for rare plants such as Canada yew (Taxus canadensis) and for sullivantia (Sullivantia renefolia), a state-threatened plant species. White Pines Forest is located in southwestern Ogle County, approximately 6.5 miles west of Oregon. Dedication of this property will preserve the largest remaining relict stand of naturally occurring white pine left in the State. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 146th Meeting (Resolution #1261) in February, 1995.
Jim stated that Whispering Pines Trail, which is a three-quarter mile trail through the Nature Preserve, will be grandfathered in to the final dedication.
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of White Pines Forest in Ogle County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda for the 172nd Meeting.
Chair O'Keefe stated that White Pines Forest Nature Preserve is the 300th Illinois Nature Preserve!
172-22) Lake Co. - Illinois
Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos
Investigations and Remediation
Randy Heidorn updated the Commission on the Illinois Beach asbestos issue. There have been ongoing discussions over the last two years dealing with contamination associated with the Johns Manville asbestos remediation. Randy stated that two notable things have occurred recently. In June, the Attorney General's office filed lawsuits in coordination with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) against Johns Manville. The lawsuits deal with violations of regulations relating to water use and disposal during the remediation process and the industrial canal that is immediately south of Illinois Beach Nature Preserve. The discussions are continuing between the Attorney General's office and the IEPA. The IDNR and the Commission have been kept informed about these discussions.
Randy stated that the IDNR is proceeding with the beach nourishment program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredges the outer Waukegan Harbor, and that dredge material is taken by barge to the shore of Illinois Beach. The USACE, in coordination with the IEPA and Illinois Public Health Department, has tested the material for asbestos and some other contaminants, and it was declared to be safe.
Nature Preserve Celebration - Update
Commissioner Allread stated that the 300th INPC Nature Preserve was approved earlier today, and September 5, 2001, is the scheduled date for the celebration at White Pines Forest State Park. A press release has been issued regarding this celebration, and copies of that press release are available. A press kit is being put together, and the Illinois media and environmental media are being contacted. Director Manning's column in the next issue of Outdoor Illinois will recognize the 300th INPC Nature Preserve Dedication. Chicago Wilderness Magazine will be doing a story on this event in its fall issue. Many parts of the communications plan have been initiated to let people know what the INPC is all about. Commissioner Allread stated that Randy Heidorn and the staff have been working with the designer from the IDNR to upgrade the Commission's web site. The State legislators will be sent a thank you for their support and to let them know that we have reached this milestone. The celebration event will start at 10:00 a.m. at White Pines Forest State Park. It will include a dedication ceremony and the unveiling of the new signs. School children from Centennial School in Polo, Illinois will be involved in the ceremony. Kim Roman was instrumental in arranging for the third graders' participation. Following the ceremony, there will be a tour of the Nature Preserve. The tour will be followed by a light lunch. Invitations will be going out soon to partners of the INPC, former Commissioners, advisors, consultants, owners of nature preserves and land and water reserves, and special guests. A new brochure is also being developed that will have a shelf life through the 40th anniversary of the Commission which will be in another year and a half.
Commissioner Allread stated that there is a letter in the mail to former and current Commissioners asking for financial support for this celebration because there is not a budget for this. Forms are available for those who are interested in contributing to this event.
Chair O'Keefe stated that Commissioner Allread is still working on how the third graders can be a part of the celebration, and she asked that suggestions be relayed to Commissioner Allread.
Commissioner Allread thanked TNC for offering to be the fiscal agent for the celebration. All contributions for the 300th nature preserve dedication ceremony will be tax deductible. The partnership with TNC has been very helpful to the Commission.
B. Fell Biography
Jerry Paulson stated that he was a staff person for the Commission from 1971 to 1981, and he had the privilege of working for George Fell during that period. Jerry stated that most of the people here today have never met George Fell, however they know that his name is associated with Castle Rock State Park and the nature preserve there, and that he was the founder and first Executive Secretary of the INPC. George played a large role in the conservation and natural area movement starting after World War II when he graduated from college. At that time he started working with the Ecological Society of America to promote the idea of setting aside areas in addition to state and national parks that would be areas for scientific research and preservation of species and communities. Jerry stated that this is ironic in some ways because White Pines Forest State Park was the type of area that George was interested in seeing protected from the people who wanted to build lodges, golf courses, and other recreational amenities in the state parks at that time. This area is being dedicated as a nature preserve almost 40 years later. That early concept of preserving natural areas was proposed by George starting in Illinois, but much to his delight, it got picked up by a group of scientists on the east coast which was the beginning of TNC. George became the first director of TNC. He carried that organization through its first formative years. George moved back to Illinois and started the NLI with the intention of using NLI as a vehicle to create the Illinois Nature Preserves system. Working through the Illinois Audubon Society and other groups, he got the legislation passed that created the system and the Commission, and he became the first staff person for the Commission. George also did many other things. He got other conservation legislation passed, including the Conservation District Act which created the first conservation districts in Illinois. He worked to get the Natural Areas Association formed and provided financial and staff support for that organization, and worked on many other interests throughout the years that he was alive. He also helped to preserve many natural areas, not only through the support of the INAI, the Commission, and the landowner contact program that followed the INAI, but by directly acquiring land at Castle Rock State Park which became the George B. Fell Nature Preserve, Franklin Creek Nature Preserve, Nachusa Grasslands, Harlem Hills Prairie Nature Preserve, Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve, and the list goes on. Jerry stated that he found after coming back to work for the NLI after 20 years, to his dismay and to the dismay of George's widow, Barbara Fell, there had only been preliminary efforts to document the contribution of this great man. This includes the work done by Brian Anderson and Jack White before George's death, but nothing ever came of that. With some financial backing from Barbara Fell, it is proposed to now finish the work that was started several years ago in documenting the evolution of the natural areas movement and George's contribution to that effort. A contract is in the works with a researcher and author who is willing to do the initial research to pull together all the pieces that are out there and to formulate an outline and concept of how this history could be put together. It could be tied in with the Commission's 40th anniversary. Jerry stated that the NLI would like to have the Commission's endorsement of this project and involvement in a couple of ways. Jerry stated that he would like to establish a steering committee or an editorial committee that would work with the NLI and the researcher to make sure that all the bases are covered and help define the scope of this project. Jerry stated that the NLI would like to have a representative from the INPC serve on this committee. The committee will meet at least three times over the next few months, and it is hoped to have the first phase completed by the end of the year. At that point, the project will be brought back before the Commission to give more details as well as the cost of the project. It is also hoped that the Commission would be able to help identify potential sources of funding for the publication.
Chair O'Keefe stated that she feels this is a wonderful idea, and it is a timely project. She stated that Don McFall will be the Commission's representative for the steering committee. Don's experience and involvement over the years will enable him to be an asset to this project. Chair O'Keefe asked if the researcher was going to be the writer.
Jerry stated that this was not necessarily the case. Once the scope of the project is identified, there may be other people that will be identified to be the writer.
Commissioner Allread asked if potential publishers have been identified to work on an advance system.
Jerry stated that the person who will be doing the research, has some experience working with publishers. George is a graduate of the University of Illinois (U of I). There has been some discussions about the possibility of using U of I Press, but no commitment or other contacts have been made.
Carolyn Grosboll asked if there was an estimate of what this project will cost.
Jerry stated that he did not have an estimated projection of the costs involved.
The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission endorses and supports the efforts to document the contributions to conservation efforts by George B. Fell.
Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
Philip Moss stated that, as a landowner, he would be perturbed to hear through a public meeting that his land was targeted for acquisition. He felt that the Commission would be well served to have held the land acquisition discussions in closed session. He felt that the Commission was right to target land, but he also felt that if word gets back to landowners that their land is being considered for acquisition without direct contact first, it may be putting the state at a disadvantage.
Philip also stated that he still has a mortgage on the cave owned by the Karst Conservancy, and if anyone would be interested in making a tax deductible donation, they should see him after the meeting.
Dave Thomas stated that he has been in a number of discussions over the last year about the INAI and the need to update it. He did not know if the Commission has taken that topic up about how this can be done. Some of the botanists that he has talked with feel that the INAI is out of date. An update of the INAI would be a major undertaking and a major investment of resources, but he feels it would be well worth doing.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that there have been discussions about the update of the INAI. The INAI technical report, which was completed in 1978, is currently being revised and modernized. The Commission has been working with the Natural Areas Program within the IDNR on their efforts to update the INAI.
Brian Reilly stated that the INAI falls underneath the Natural Areas Program, of which he is the Program Manager. Patti Reilly is the Natural Areas Project Manager, and her primary task is maintaining the INAI. There is a Natural Areas Evaluation Committee that holds quarterly meetings to update the INAI. Those updates are to add sites as they are identified, expand or shrink boundaries as sites change, and to delete sites that may have been destroyed. The original technical report was completed in 1978, however, the INAI is updated quarterly to reflect current changes on the landscape. Currently, there are approximately 1,100 INAI sites. The technical manual is being reworked to reflect modern changes in scientific methods and new categories. The update should be done by the end of this year. Since 1978, there have been two changes to the type of categories on the INAI. Most of the areas referred to on the INAI are considered to be Category I, high-quality natural community. Category II sites are endangered or threatened species sites. Category III sites are dedicated nature preserves which have been declared to be a high-quality natural area. Brian stated that there are six different categories in all. Property can be added to or deleted from the INAI through work by the natural heritage biologists. There are at least 25 natural heritage biologists around the State, and they review property and determine whether the property qualifies scientifically for the INAI. The Commission's nine field staff also make recommendations as to whether property qualifies for the INAI. When a potential natural area is identified, a call needs to be made to the IDNR to have a natural heritage biologist inspect the site. Brian stated that he has talked with Brian Anderson of the IDNR, Office of Scientific Research, about the possibility of getting the Natural History Survey staff to provide input. Frequently, they are the primary source to find these natural areas in the course of their everyday work. There seems to be a breakdown in getting people from TNC, the Natural History Survey, or researchers from the universities to contact the IDNR to inform us about the potential natural areas.
Brian stated that the IDNR gave a C-2000 grant to Marlin Bowles to re-evaluate the INAI sites in northeastern Illinois. Marlin is a great botanist, and he has a lot of experience identifying natural areas. However, there is nothing in the grant that says he has to turn that information in to the Natural Areas Program for inclusion into the INAI. Instead of reworking the INAI, we need to open the lines of communication so that information is turned in so these areas can be evaluated.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that Jack White hinted at the last meeting that he had something on his mind about this. Jack was the one who directed the first survey.
Brian stated that Jack recently had a meeting with Patti regarding the INAI.
Patti Reilly stated that her Program relies on the people in the field to bring in the information. There are many people in the field who are finding areas of interest, but this is never communicated to the Department Natural Areas Program so they can be inspected. The Program, which is continuously monitoring and updating the INAI, is not aware of all of the plans of other people. Patti stated that the Natural History Survey has a program which is called the Critical Trends Analysis Program (CTAP). She got a call from one of the CTAP staff who wanted to know what they should do when they found a potential natural area. They were never informed of the INAI.
Patti stated that since John Schwegman retired from the IDNR, there has not been a botanist on staff in the Division of Natural Heritage or the ORC who has the majority of their time devoted to helping the INAI. The natural heritage biologists are professional biologists, but not many have a botany background and need some guidance when it comes to doing evaluations on the land. She felt it would be helpful to have a botanist on staff who would be able to provide the necessary guidance and assistance in this area. She asked the Commission to support a request for a botanist to be hired for the ORC.
Chair O'Keefe stated that this is an area that the Commission is interested in. The Commission will be looking at ways to facilitate better communication and at assisting in the process of updating the INAI.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Nevling, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.