Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - 10:00 a.m.
182-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:05 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair Allread, the meeting began.
Don McFall gave the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Kristi DeLaurentiis, Harry Drucker, Dr. Ronald Flemal, Dr. Richard Keating, Jill Riddell, Bruce Ross-Shannon, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.
Members absent: None.
Others present: Steven Byers, Bob Edgin, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Angella Moorehouse, John Nelson, Kelly Neal, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); former INPC Director Brian Anderson, Maggie Cole, Patti Reilly, Todd Strole, and Diane Tecic, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Michael Miller, Illinois State Geological Survey, IDNR; Randy Nyboer, Illinois Natural History Survey and Endangered Species Protection Board, IDNR; Valerie Spale, former INPC Chair and Save the Prairie Society; Carl Becker, Bruce Boyd, and Fran Harty, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Jill Kennay and Rebecca Olson, Natural Land Institute (NLI); David Miller, Illinois Audubon Society; Stephen Packard, Chicago Audubon Society; Rachel Cook and Heather Lindon, Chicago Botanic Garden; Marlin Bowles, Morton Arboretum; David Robson, Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC); John Steffen, DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns; Jim Anderson, Lake County Forest Preserve District; Joe Roth, CorLands; Carolyn Grosboll, former INPC Director; Dr. Robert and Alice Henry, representing Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve and Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve; Mary Ochsenschlager, St. Charles Park District, representing Campton Hills Park Land and Water Reserve; Edward and Rita Martin.
Chair Allread thanked the staff of the Chicago Botanic Garden
for hosting a presentation and tour of the Garden for the INPC Commissioners
and staff on Monday afternoon, May 3, 2004. She also thanked the Chicago Botanic
Garden staff for their hospitality for the 182nd Meeting of the INPC.
182-2) Adoption of Agenda
It was moved by Flemal, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the Agenda be adopted.
182-3) Approval of the Minutes of the Special Meeting, February 2, 2004, and the 181st Meeting, February 3, 2004
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the Minutes from the Special Meeting, February 2, 2004, be approved.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Keating, and carried that the Minutes of the 181st Meeting, February 3, 2004, be approved.
Chair Allread reported that at the 181st Meeting of the INPC, held at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Springfield on February 3, 2004, legal protection for 12 tracts of land totaling 2,137 acres was approved by the Commission. Four of the 12 areas are owned by private individuals or not-for-profit corporations who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. The dollar value of the tracts of private land is $968,000, based on conservative estimates of the fair market value of the land. This private land was permanently preserved without acquisition of the land by the State. Private lands protected without State acquisition at the 181st Meeting of the INPC were Kedzior Woodlands, Fulton County, 120 acres; Mskoda, Kankakee County, 649 acres; Tallmadge Sand Forest, Kankakee County, 157 acres; and Walden West, Mason County, 42.7 acres. A total of 968 acres of private land was protected. Protection of this land came about because the INPC has eight staff in the field working with private landowners. There are now 319 dedicated nature preserves in 79 counties totaling 43,289 acres and 106 land and water reserves in 49 counties totaling 31,317 acres.
182-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Meeting Date Location
183 3 August, 9:00 a.m. - University of Illinois, Urbana
184 26 October, 10:00 a.m. - Giant City Lodge, Makanda
Chair Allread stated that the Commission would like to recognize Carolyn Grosboll, former Director of the INPC, for the contributions she has made over the last 11 years.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission wishes to recognize
and commend the leadership of, and the lasting contributions made by Carolyn
Taft Grosboll who served the Commission for 11 years, including nine years
as Director. Her passion for her work and compassion for her staff created
a work environment that resulted in an unprecedented increase in the number
of protected rare natural areas in Illinois. Under Carolyn’s guidance,
the Commission dedicated 63 new Illinois nature preserves and registered 104
new land and water reserves. Using public initiatives, such as the Commission’s
40th anniversary celebration in 2003, she successfully raised public awareness
of the Commission’s programs and its work, which resulted in more private
landowners voluntarily protecting their rare lands for the benefit of future
Carolyn’s commitment to cooperation and partnership building led to higher levels of land stewardship, including collaboration in the Volunteer Stewardship Network and many other conservation and land management programs. She also implemented stronger protection and defense programs that enabled the Commission to protect these sensitive areas from increasing threat and destruction.
Illinois citizens are grateful to Carolyn for leading the Commission
with a strong vision, for advancing its mission, and for protecting its integrity.
Her legacy will endure for all time in the form of the native prairies, protected
forests, sandstone bluffs, wetlands teeming with wildlife, and other rare
and precious gifts of nature. We thank her for helping "save Illinois’
Chair Allread presented Ms. Grosboll with a framed photo of Heron Pond Nature Preserve, contributed by Dr. Michael Jeffords. The inscription read, "Presented to Carolyn Grosboll with profound gratitude for 11 years of outstanding service as Director and Deputy Director of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, May 4, 2004."
Carolyn Grosboll thanked the Commission for the wonderful opportunity
she has had over the last 11 years to work with each and everyone. She thanked
everyone for their dedication and commitment to protect the last remnants
in Illinois protected so that future generations can enjoy them. She stated
that she plans to stay involved in the effort to protect the natural areas
182-5) INPC Staff Report
Chair Allread stated that Deputy Director Don McFall will serve as the interim Director of the INPC until a new Director is hired. A selection committee was appointment by Chair Allread later in the meeting. The selection committee will work with IDNR administrators to fill the Director position. Due to the State’s current difficult budget situation, the position may not be filled right away. She stated that the Commission understands those constraints and wants to work hand in hand with the IDNR to hire a dedicated and professionally qualified individual who will carry on the legacy that Ms. Grosboll and her predecessors have set to make this such a magnificent program for the last 40 plus years.
Don McFall stated the INPC’s Biennial Report for 2001-2002
was completed in March, 2004, and it was distributed.
The public comment period ended April 29, 2004, for the Administrative Rule for Public Use of Dedicated Nature Preserves. No comments were submitted. The Rule went on second notice last week, and the Rule should be finalized before the next meeting of the INPC.
Mr. McFall stated that the ownership of two nature preserves has changed. Lloyd’s Woods Nature Preserve in Lake County, dedicated in 1982 by Mrs. Glen Lloyd, is now owned by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. The Natural Land Institute transferred its ownership of Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve in Cook County to The Nature Conservancy. Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve is now owned by Northeastern Illinois University and The Nature Conservancy. Two natural heritage landmarks have also changed ownership and were re-enrolled in the program. Michelle Simone, Restoration Ecologist with the IDNR, negotiated with the owner of Hinkle Prairie in Tazewell County to enlarge that area from .25 acres to 4.5 acres. This site protects Illinois’ only population of an endangered prairie plant.
John Nelson updated the Commissioners on the threats involving Northeast Illinois.
1. Santa Fe Prairie Nature Preserve, Cook County: He stated that the criminal court case against three truck drivers continues. The States Attorney’s office is pursuing this matter aggressively, and the next court date is May 28, 2004. The civil case against Prairie Materials is also proceeding.
2. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, Cook County: Implementation of the Bluff Spring Fen Protection Plan continues. Mine portal construction is nearly complete, and potential groundwater impacts to the fen are being monitored by the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois State Geological Survey. Planning efforts with Bluff City Materials continue regarding storm water issues within Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. An Army Corps of Engineers permit application is being prepared for the fen wetland enhancement/restoration within the Nature Preserve. A groundwater model is nearly calibrated and ready for use as a predictive tool to help with the planning effort. Conference calls and meetings with Bluff City Materials representatives are ongoing.
3. IDNR Consultation: During this quarter, the IDNR Consultation
Program received Action Reports that involve four large proposed residential
developments located near two nature preserves and two land and water reserves.
The sites are:
Barber Fen Nature Preserve, McHenry County
Volo Bog Nature Preserve, McHenry County
Black-Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve, McHenry County
Redwing Slough/Deer Lake Land and Water Reserve, Lake County
Progress has been made regarding the Barber Fen Nature Preserve consultation, and consultation will continue with the other three sites.
4. Intrusions into Dixie Fromm Briggs Nature Preserve, Kane County: Three adjacent backyards were extended into Dixie Fromm Briggs Nature Preserve. Letters have been sent to the homeowners informing them of the intrusions, the legal protection status of the Nature Preserve, potential for fines, and objection to the use of public land for private use. Nature preserve signs have been posted, and the owner of Dixie Fromm Briggs Nature Preserve, Dundee Township, plans to erect a fence later this year to help secure the property boundary.
5. Boone Creek Fen Groundwater, McHenry County: Mr. Nelson stated
that he has been working with the Boone Creek Watershed Alliance (BCWA) to
help protect groundwater in the Boone Creek Fen area. Over the next six months,
a new technology will be tested in this area to protect groundwater. The Sabrex
Corporation has developed a new water softening system that does not rely
on chlorides. Chlorides from water softeners are increasingly being recognized
as a major source of groundwater contamination. This is especially a concern
where water softeners and septic systems are used near sensitive fen wetlands.
With increasing residential development occurring around fen wetland nature
preserves in Northeastern Illinois, the need to deploy a safe, environmentally
sensitive technology is critical to ensuring the survival of the fens. The
test unit will be installed in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lee MiKell, and the
testing will be performed by the BCWA.
Randy Heidorn submitted the following written report to the Commission:
1. Planning for the 31st Natural Areas Conference to be held October 13-16, 2004, at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza continues. The theme for the conference is Emerging Issues [in natural areas conservation]: Possibilities and Perils. Dr. Eric T. Freyfogle, from the University of Illinois, will give the keynote address. Mayor Richard M. Daley has also been invited to give an address on the Natural Areas programs sponsored by the City of Chicago. Several symposia are scheduled for the Conference, including symposia on the impacts of emerging diseases on natural area management, preserve system design, urban natural areas, federal programs to protect natural areas, education, and invasive species. In an effort to gather more papers, the deadline for submission of abstracts was extended to May 1, 2004. Currently, approximately 90 abstracts have been submitted for the contributed paper sessions. Abstracts are also being requested for the poster session on Thursday, October 14, 2004, which will feature a student poster competition. Planning for field trips, the annual awards banquet (scheduled to be held at the Shedd Aquarium), Illinois Artisans Art Spree, exhibitors and VSN group displays are also well underway. Registration materials are expected to be mailed in early July. Expected cost for the conference will be $210-240 for the full event. Rooms in the conference hotel will be $109 plus tax (single or double).
2. Public Lands Stewardship Initiative: The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the State Wildlife Incentive Grant application and agreement prepared by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) with the assistance of Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) staff to fund large stewardship projects on sites owned by the IDNR. The project sites include Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area and Manito Prairie Nature Preserve, Tazewell County; Mineral Marsh Nature Preserve, Henry County; Wilmington Shrub Prairie Nature Preserve, Will County; Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, Vermillion County; Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve, Piatt County; Henry Allan Gleason Nature Preserve and Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason County; Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (including both nature preserves and land and water reserves), Marion and Jasper counties; and Cache River State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve, Johnson County. Over the next two years this project will bring $250,000 in federal funds to these sites.
3. Volunteer Stewardship Network: The VSN steering committee met on Wednesday, April 28, 2004.
a. Illinois Beach Asbestos: As a part of the final remediation and closing of the asbestos landfill on Johns-Manville (JM) property to the south of Illinois Beach Nature Preserve, JM will be modifying surface water flow on its property including the Industrial Canal (IC), along the southern boundary of the Nature Preserve. In addition, asbestos is present in the bottom sediments of the IC. During the closing process for the landfill and during any remediation of the IC, water quality monitoring will be increased in the IC. If unacceptable levels of suspended solids, asbestos or other chemicals are detected in these monitoring efforts, the connection to Lake Michigan from the IC will be closed. This has the potential to backup contaminated water into the swales of the Nature Preserve, similar to that which occurred in the early 1990s when the opening of the IC to Lake Michigan was silted in. To minimize such potential contamination and to ensure that water flow within the swales can remain connected to Lake Michigan levels, JM has proposed to place temporary weirs on their property at the connection of the swales to the IC to block the flow. To ensure that water is not inadvertently impounded by these weirs in the Nature Preserve, a pipe will be placed to collect water in each of the swales and discharge it to the lake. All of this work will be done within JM property. Comments for this design have been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by IDNR, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the IDNR has submitted the comments to JM.
b. Staff assisted with prescribed burns at Superior Street Prairie Land and Water Reserve, DesPlaines Conservation Area, Long Run Seep Nature Preserve, Mskoda Land and Water Reserve, Argyle Hollow Barrens Nature Preserve, Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, Bois du Sangamon Nature Preserve, Carpenter Park Nature Preserve, Hog Chute Crossing Natural Heritage Landmark, Allerton Park, Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve, Loda Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve, Hitts Siding Prairie Nature Preserve, Jennings Family Hill Prairie Nature Preserve, Chip-O-Will Land and Water Reserve (2 units), Sipple Slough Land and Water Reserve (2 units), Pere Marquette, Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Jasper County (11 units), Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Marion County (6 units), Ballard Nature Center, Green Prairie Natural Heritage Landmark, Chauncey Marsh Nature Preserve (2 units), Fern Rocks Nature Preserve, Shellbark Bottoms Natural Heritage Landmark, Richard R. and Jean W. Graber Grassland Land and Water Reserve, Allison Prairie, and Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve.
c. Work days were conducted by staff at Byler Cemetery Savanna Nature Preserve and Julius J. Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve
d. Deer Management: IDNR continued winter sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease using sharp shooters. This included sampling in the vicinity of Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve and Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Although no deer were taken directly from the nature preserves, 33 deer were taken from Kinnikinnick Creek Conservation Area.
5. Fire Training: INPC staff participated in advanced fire training
courses taught in sessions sponsored by Chicago Wilderness. Courses taken
include Advanced Wildland Firefighter training (S131), and Intermediate Fire
Behavior (S290). INPC staff participating included Kim Roman and John Nelson.
182-6) IDNR Staff Report
Todd Strole, Acting Division Chief of Habitat Resources, stated that the Wildlife Preservation Fund recently completed the review of projects. A total of 67 projects were received. Twenty-eight of the 31 small projects have been forwarded for funding. Fourteen of the 36 large projects have been forwarded for funding. There will be a meeting of the Citizens’ Committee on May 5, 2004, to finalize the process.
As of April 16, 2004, $135,000 has been received for the Wildlife Preservation Fund through the checkoff process on the Illinois income tax form.
Mr. Strole stated that he, the Director of the IDNR, and other IDNR staff, along with Don McFall, met with Allen Nicholas, Forest Supervisor from the Shawnee National Forest. The primary reason for this meeting was to discuss the natural areas that are contained within the Shawnee National Forest. He stated that he felt it was a very successful and productive meeting. He also stated that he was very encouraged by this meeting and how Jody Shimp, Regional Administrator in Region 5, is working with the Forest Service on natural areas management and protection.
Mr. Strole stated that after considerable thought, work, and time, the IDNR has completed the revised prescribed burning policy for the IDNR. The task force that was charged with working on the revised policy has a finalized policy ready to present to the Department. Mr. Strole stated that Carolyn Grosboll was a major participant in the effort to revise the burn policy.
Mr. Strole stated that the recovery plan for the Prairie Chicken has been completed. Dr. Jeff Walk, Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan Coordinator for the IDNR, was the primary coordinator of this project, and many staff members participated in the preparation of the recovery plan. Copies of this publication are available, and he asked that anyone wanting a copy should contact the Division of Wildlife in Springfield.
A project entitled "The Fox and Kishwaukee River Watershed Habitat Restoration Grant for wetland restoration in Boone Creek" is a $74,003 project. This is for wetland restoration and enhancement on 22 properties in the watershed. Winter work has been completed with brush clearing and stump treatment of more than 30 acres. Several of the properties are nature preserves. Additional work, including brush clearing, will continue this summer.
Mr. Strole stated that a public landowners encroachment workshop is in the planning stages. A tentative date for this workshop is set for July 28, 2004. John Nelson of the INPC, and John Oldenburg, DuPage County Forest Preserve District, will be talking about boundary encroachment issues on public lands.
Dr. Brian Anderson, Office Director of the Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), stated that the reorganization of the ORC was implemented approximately two weeks ago. There are now three primary divisions in the ORC: the Division of Fisheries Resources, the Division of Wildlife Resources, and the Division of Habitat Resources. He stated that he is pleased that Todd Strole has stepped forward to take the helm of the Division of Habitat Resources, and he feels that Mr. Strole will do a great job. The Division of Habitat Resources included two lines to the field. One line, formerly known as Natural Heritage, is now known as the Restoration Ecology section. Two units have been added to the Forestry section. There is a new Urban Habitat section, and the Urban Forestry program is part of that. The nurseries have been split out into a Plant Propagation section. There are currently four sections within that Division.
He stated that Mike Conlin, former Chief of the Fisheries Division, has stepped up to be the Assistant Office Director of the ORC. Mr. Conlin will oversee several support sections, Fiscal, Personnel, Federal Aid, and Program Support. Program Support includes programs that cut across disciplines and includes primarily federal programs such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Corps of Engineers projects, and other farm bill projects. Joel Cross will head up a new planning unit under Mr. Conlin’s supervision. One of the primary focuses of the planning unit is development of the state-wide Wildlife Comprehensive Plan. This plan is required under the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) Lite program, and it will be a comprehensive umbrella plan to direct most of the federal funding over the coming decades. Commission staff are going to be directly involved in the development of that plan, and it will be a site focused plan. The plan will include priorities of not only the Habitat Resource Division, but many of the non-profits with which we work. By federal statute, this plan must be in place by October, 2005.
Dr. Anderson stated that a key component behind this restructuring was to reconnect the chain of command between the field and the Divisions. Under the former structure, there were Regional Resource Administrators to whom the discipline based Regional Administrators reported. Field staff, who are responsible for implementing programs, had no reporting responsibility to the Divisions that contained the state-wide programs. This connection has now been re-established. Under this new structure, the Division of Fisheries will handle aquatic organisms. The Division of Wildlife will handle all terrestrial organisms, and the Division of Habitat Resources will handle the habitats, habitat restoration, and habitat establishment associated with all those species (aquatic and terrestrial). In particular, there will be an endangered species program in each of those Divisions. In order to do a recovery plan for a listed species, it will require the involvement of the Division of Habitat Resources as well as one of the other divisions. He stated that it was his observation that when there were conflicts associated with the protection of threatened or endangered species, only the former Division of Natural Heritage had to stand up and protect the species. Under this reorganization, the entire ORC will be responsible for protecting threatened or endangered species. From an operational perspective for the short term, staff who are involved with threatened or endangered species projects will continue with those projects. When new threatened or endangered species issues arise, the split will more or less be Wildlife and Fisheries if it is an inventory or a population manipulation issue. If it is restoration of the habitat of a threatened or endangered species, it will go to the Division of Habitat Resources. The one exception is that there are some groups of species for which there is an individual who has the greatest amount of expertise. Any Program Manager in the ORC will have access to the best available expertise on staff, no matter what Division that person should operate in.
Dr. Anderson stated that the ORC looks forward to working directly with the INPC and the Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB).
Commissioner Schwegman asked if there is a plant endangered species program within the Division of Habitat Resources.
Dr. Anderson stated that Ben Dolbeare will be in the Division of Habitat Resources. Joe Kath will be in the Division of Wildlife, and Glen Kruse will eventually be in the Division of Fisheries.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if it would be possible to get a copy of the organizational chart for the reorganization of the ORC.
Dr. Anderson stated that he will provide the organization chart to Don McFall, and he can distribute the information to the Commissioners.
Chair Allread thanked Dr. Anderson for his overview of the reorganization within the ORC.
Randy Nyboer, ESPB, updated the Commission on the Board’s activities since its 121st meeting in February, 2004. The Board approved the new listings and delistings for endangered and threatened species of Illinois. This action is taken every five years. He stated that 482 endangered and threatened species are listed. There were some notable additions and deletions. Even though there are no gray wolves, also known as timber wolves, in Illinois, this species was added to the list as Illinois is listed as part of the habitat for the gray wolf. The Franklin’s ground squirrel was added to the endangered listing. He stated that approximately 99.9% of the habitat for the Franklin’s ground squirrel is gone, and the surveys have turned up very few populations. The cerulean warbler has also been added as a threatened species. The red-shouldered hawk was removed from the threatened listing. Three species of mussels have been extirpated. The common snipe has been kept off the list.
Mr. Nyboer stated that the ESPB has no funding for Fiscal Year 2005. Janet Boyer is assisting with activities of the ESPB in Springfield. The next meeting of the ESPB is scheduled for May 21, 2004, at the Brookfield Zoo.
Commissioner Flemal asked if the list of threatened or endangered species is available on the internet.
Mr. Nyboer stated that the list will go out for review on May 7, 2004. Once the administrative review is completed, it will be placed on the internet.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Nyboer for his presentation and for
keeping the lines of communication open to build collaboration between the
Board and the Commission.
Don McFall stated for the record that the registration documents have been signed by the landowner prior to coming before the Commission as required by the administrative rules.
182-7) Kane Co. – Campton Hills Park Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Steven Byers and Mary Ochsenschlager, St. Charles Park District,
presented a proposal to register Campton Hills Park Land and Water Reserve.
The proposed 120.121-acre Campton Hills Park Land and Water Reserve is part
of a 345-acre parcel that was transferred to the St. Charles Park District
by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) in January, 2003. Ms. Ochsenschlager
gave a brief history of the property. The proposed land and water reserve
is a mosaic of graminoid fen, calcareous seep, sedge meadow, marsh, dry prairie,
oak woodland and savanna located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern
Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Collectively, these plant communities
support a total of 303 native plant species, including the state-threatened
Hill’s thistle (Cirsium hillii). Campton Hills Park was recently added
to the INAI (#1670) in recognition of this species presence in the dry prairie
plant community. Only 1.4 acres of high-quality dry prairie were identified
on the INAI. In addition, provisions of the State’s Administrative Code
(17 Ill. Admin. Code 1090) dictate that agencies receiving land from the State
of Illinois must protect wetlands that are present with a conservation easement.
Protection of the 120.121-acre Campton Hills Park as a registered Illinois
land and water reserve will honor the requirements of the State’s Administrative
Code regarding protection of wetlands and honor the commitment of the St.
Charles Park District to formally protect the unique natural landscapes and
natural resources at Campton Hills Park.
Mr. Byers stated that there is an active correctional center located south of the proposed land and water reserve. There are a number of trails on this site that accommodate largely passive recreational activities such as bird watching and hiking. The IDOC owns an in-holding, a water tower, which is not included in this proposal. The IDOC also maintains a 30-foot wide easement for access to the water tank. The St. Charles Park District reserves the right to continue with its passive outdoor recreational opportunities, and it reserves the right to route and construct additional passive recreational trails and/or to eliminate the trails as they see fit. The St. Charles Park District also reserves the right to route and construct a regional bike trail and equestrian trail extending through the proposed land and water reserve. This will be done with oversight from the INPC. A number of the wetlands within the proposed land and water reserve are being restored under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The St. Charles Park District reserves the right to monitor those wetlands in accordance with the agreements with the Corps of Engineers. The St. Charles Park District also reserves the right to maintain a verbal agreement with the IDOC to divert groundwater to the correctional facility in order to maintain fresh, oxygenated water in a manmade lake as may be necessary.
It was moved by Flemal, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Campton Hills Park in Kane County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 7 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Ms. Ochsenschlager and the St. Charles
Park District. The Commission looks forward to a wonderful, cooperative relationship.
182-8) McDonough Co. – Addition to Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal to register an addition to Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve. She stated that Dr. Robert and Alice Henry would like to enlarge Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve to include 114.224 acres of additional land. Thistle Hills, owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb, Illinois, was accepted as the sixth Illinois registered land and water reserve in September, 1997 at the 155th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1353). The original registration included a 14.16-acre tract located west and northwest of the Henry residence and in the center of their 185.9-acre property. In May, 2000, at the 167th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1533), a 53.18-acre addition was registered. The site is located within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois in central McDonough County. Portions of the existing reserve and proposed addition are recognized by the INAI (#1684) as a Category II (endangered and threatened species habitat) site for the presence of breeding Henslow’s sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii), Hill’s thistle (Cirsium hillii), and regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia). This addition will bring the total of permanently registered land to 181.564 acres.
Ms. Moorehouse introduced Dr. Robert and Alice Henry.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve in McDonough County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 8 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Dr. and Mrs. Henry for attending the 182nd Meeting of the INPC and for protecting their property.
Dr. Henry thanked the Commission for approving the addition to Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve.
182-9) Ogle Co. – Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Kyte River Bottoms as an Illinois land and water reserve. Kyte River Bottoms, owned by the Natural Land Institute (NLI), is 234.9 acres in size and is located in Ogle County, within the Oregon Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division. Found near the confluence of the Kyte and Rock Rivers, the property is comprised primarily of wet-mesic floodplain forest, but mesic forest, dry-mesic upland forest, sedge meadow, dry-mesic savanna, and perennial stream communities are also found on site. The sizable forested floodplain retains many oxbows and seasonal ponds, and is frequently inundated during the Rock River’s flood stages. Kyte River Bottoms provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, including the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii). The 1.5-mile stretch of the Kyte River included in the registry proposal is a unique aquatic resource which also provides habitat for the state-threatened river redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum). While a breeding bird survey has not been performed, the state-threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) has been observed along with several forest interior bird species. The NLI purchased the property in 2003 with the assistance of a grant from the IDNR Conservation 2000 program. The NLI proposes to register in perpetuity its 235-acre Kyte River Bottoms as an Illinois land and water reserve. This site qualifies as a land and water reserve since it provides habitat for at least two state-listed species and is a wetland at least 50 acres in size. Additional breeding bird surveys of the property may also conclude that the site provides breeding habitat for forest interior birds.
Ms. Roman introduced Jill Kennay and Rebecca Olson from the NLI. She stated that there will be a small parking lot constructed in the northwest corner of the property. The NLI reserves the right to allow hunting, primitive camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and other compatible activities within the proposed land and water reserve.
Commissioner Riddell asked if the NLI is planning on retaining ownership to the entire site for the foreseeable future.
Rebecca Olson stated, "yes."
Commissioner Flemal stated that the Rock River Valley area is one of the great spots in Illinois, and he encouraged everyone to explore this area. He thanked Ms. Roman for allowing him to join her in a tour of this site.
Randy Nyboer stated that this is probably the largest block of floodplain forest that is left in the entire Rock River area, and it is a resource rich area.
Ms. Olson stated that the property is adjacent to a Forest Legacy Conservation Easement which is approximately 90 acres in size. The contiguous protected area will go all the way to the Rock River.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried, with Ross-Shannon abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Kyte River Bottoms in Ogle County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Rebecca Olson and Jill Kennay for attending the 182nd Meeting of the INPC. She asked that the gratitude of the Commission be expressed to the NLI, and the Commission looks forward to working with the NLI in the future.
182-10) DeWitt Co. – Mettler Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Mettler Woods as an Illinois nature preserve. Mettler Woods, owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a 77-acre site, which includes the 65-acre Mettler Woods Natural Area (INAI #20), recognized on the INAI for a 44-acre, grade B, dry-mesic upland forest. The proposed nature preserve also supports 21 acres of the grade C forest plus about 12 acres of early successional forest, all of which are natural communities representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The dry-mesic forest supports large canopy individuals of species such as white oak (Quercus alba), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa), and shagbark hickory (Carya ovata). Watercourses at Mettler Woods drain into Salt Creek Natural Area (INAI #1432), located within one mile to the south. The owners wish to ensure the continued protection and proper restoration management of Mettler Woods by having it dedicated in perpetuity as an Illinois nature preserve.
Mr. Lerczak stated that this site was damaged by a tornado
during the spring of 2003. He also stated that a professional survey of the
wooded boundaries will be done this summer, and the actual acreage may differ
slightly once the survey has been completed.
Commissioner Riddell asked if there is property that is currently being farmed and if so, is this acreage within the proposed nature preserve.
Mr. Lerczak stated that the tract owned by TNC is approximately 88 acres, and the surrounding land is used for agriculture. TNC has put that portion into a perpetual lease agreement with an adjacent landowner in exchange for that landowner watching over the site. That land will continued to be farmed, and that is why it was not included in the proposed nature preserve.
Commissioner Keating asked if Mr. Lerczak has noticed any problem from herbicide drift from the adjacent farmland.
Mr. Lerczak stated that he has seen problems develop around the border area from herbicide drift at other small sites, but he has not noticed any significant problem at this particular site. He stated that this would be something to address in the management plan.
Commissioner Keating asked if this perpetual agreement would continue on through the heirs of the person now farming the property.
Mr. Lerczak stated that the agreement can continue on due to the way it is written.
Commissioner Schwegman asked if any of the property will be left to regenerate naturally following the tornado, or will it be restored through active management.
Mr. Lerczak stated that at this point in time, other than the redistributing of the acorns, the property is regenerating on its own. Management of the site has not been discussed in detail, and he would be an advocate of allowing the site to regenerate on its own with the possibility of doing some prescribed burning and a minimal amount of other activities.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Keating, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Mettler Woods in DeWitt County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked TNC for proposing this wonderful property for protection.
A lunch break was taken from 11:50 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.
182-11) Jo Daviess Co. - Addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) proposes to dedicate 48.466 acres as an addition to the 361.7-acre Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve owned by the IDNR. This would increase the size of the Nature Preserve to more than 410 acres. Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve received final approval for dedication at the 113th INPC Meeting in May, 1987 (Resolution #929). The site lies within the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division in western Jo Daviess County, Illinois. The proposed addition lies within the western portion of the 1,600-acre Hanover Bluff INAI site (#1058), recognized by the INAI as a Category I (high-quality dry dolomite prairie and dry sand prairie), Category II (for the presence of 11 state-endangered and threatened species), and Category III (dedicated nature preserve). One state-listed plant, meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense), has been observed within the proposed addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also contains suitable habitat for the state-endangered shadbush (Amelanchier interior) and hairy white violet (Viola incognita).
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve in Jo Daviess County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Bruce Boyd, Carl Becker, Fran Harty, and Randy Nyboer for their efforts to protect this site. She stated that the Commission appreciates the continuing partnership with TNC and other individuals involved in this project and looks forward to continuing the success in preserving this wonderful area.
182-12) Lake Co. - Addition to Hybernia Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval
for dedication of an addition to Hybernia Nature Preserve. The Hybernia Homeowners
Association proposes to dedicate a .46-acre addition, consisting of three
lots, to the 27-acre Hybernia Nature Preserve. Hybernia Nature Preserve is
located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division
of Illinois in Lake County. The ecological significance of this site was first
recognized by the INAI in 1990 for high-quality mesic prairie and sedge meadow
plant communities (#1235). These natural plant communities support the state-endangered
and federally-threatened Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea)
and the state-threatened small sundrops (Oenothera perennis). Hybernia was
dedicated as an Illinois nature preserve by the Red Seal Development Corporation
at the 128th INPC Meeting in August, 1990 (Resolution #1050). The adjacent
Highmoor Park Nature Preserve received final approval for dedication at the
131st INPC Meeting in May, 1991 (Resolution #1083). The proposed addition
is also included within the INAI site and supports high-quality sedge meadow
and wet mesic prairie natural communities. Protection of the three lots that
comprise this addition are considered critical for the long-term survival
of the federally-listed Eastern prairie fringed orchid and were inadvertently
excluded from the original dedication of Hybernia Nature Preserve.
Mr. Byers stated that the Hybernia Homeowners Association, working with the INPC, has been much more aggressive in protecting this site from encroachment and facilitating management. There are three remaining privately owned lots which are narrow and rectangular in size. There is a question as to their being buildable lots. The Eastern prairie fringed orchid survives on one of the lots that is still in private ownership. He stated that the Commission will be working closely with the Hybernia Homeowners Association to develop a plan to protect the last three lots.
Commissioner Riddell asked if the private owner of the lot which has the federally listed species on the site is aware of this fact.
Mr. Byers stated that he and John Nelson have been working with the landowner on this issue. The attorney who is representing the landowner feels that these lots are buildable and are of considerable value. This issue still remains open.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Hybernia Nature Preserve in Lake County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the182nd Meeting.
182-13) McHenry Co. – Lee and Mary MiKell Bull Valley Seep Buffer Addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of the Lee and Mary MiKell Bull Valley Seep Buffer Addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Lee and Mary MiKell propose to dedicate approximately 6 acres of their 12-acre parcel as a buffer addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Their property consists of mesic forest, calcareous seep, and early successional plant communities perched on a north-facing slope overlooking Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Both the Nature Preserve and proposed buffer addition are located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois and within the Boone Creek Fen and Seep INAI site (#1015). The outstanding natural feature of the proposed buffer addition is a groundwater discharge zone that supports a calcareous seep plant community. Dedication of the proposed buffer addition will increase the acreage of land formally protected within or adjacent to the Boone Creek Fen and Seep INAI site from 95.1 acres to 101.1 acres.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Keating, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Lee and Mary MiKell Bull Valley Seep Buffer Addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
182-14) St. Clair Co. – Addition to Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Diane Tecic presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition to Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve addition is 74.82 acres of mixed forest and old field prairie restoration owned by the IDNR. This addition is adjacent to and bisects the original 105-acre Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed addition is comprised of 2 parcels, one approximately 5.5 acres running through the southern end of the Nature Preserve, and the other 69.3 acres located on the west side of the Nature Preserve. This will bring the total size of the entire Nature Preserve to approximately 200 acres. This proposed addition is important because it protects grade B dry and dry-mesic upland forest, representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division, and numerous sinkholes within the Stemler Cave recharge area. This area is at the northern edge of the "sinkhole plain" karst region of Randolph, Monroe, and southwestern St. Clair counties. The cave was recognized by the INAI for its high-quality terrestrial and aquatic cave communities. The cave has particular importance because it was a collection site for the State and federally-endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes) and the newly listed enigmatic cave snail (Fontigens antroectes).
Ms. Tecic thanked Debbie Newman for preparing most of the dedication proposal. Ms. Tecic also discussed some of the management issues of the site.
Commissioner Keating stated that given the sensitivity of a cave system to percolating groundwater, what would be the technique used to remove the bush honeysuckle.
Ms. Tecic stated that herbicide will be used to remove the bush honeysuckle since there is no alternative. There are some herbicides that are specifically not to be used in places with sensitive groundwater, and those will not be used. In degraded areas such as this, Roundup is used. She stated that it is her understanding that when Roundup hits the soil, it binds with that so the active chemical does not get into the percolating groundwater. The areas that are more sensitive or within sinkholes, application to small areas may be done.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve in St. Clair County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
182-15) Vermilion Co. – Addition to Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition to Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve. Grand Prairie Friends-Prairie Grove Volunteers propose to dedicate an .89-acre addition to Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve in Vermilion County. Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve, located approximately six miles northwest of Danville, is a .5-acre nature preserve that was dedicated in 1986 to protect the high-quality savanna found here. The Nature Preserve, owned by the Vermilion County Conservation District, is included within the larger 1.5-acre Fairchild Cemetery Savanna Natural Area which is listed on the INAI (#1073) in recognition of the high-quality savanna, representative of the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division. Grand Prairie Friends-Prairie Grove Volunteers recently acquired this portion of the unprotected area of the INAI site and proposes to dedicate this part of the savanna, with the exception of a public road right-of-way, as an addition to the Nature Preserve. Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve and the proposed addition contains the only high-quality savanna known in east-central Illinois and this natural area is one of the few remaining savanna remnants in Illinois.
Ms. Solecki stated that this is a small, but important addition to the Nature Preserve because it provides access from the roadway. People who wish to maintain burial plots in the Cemetery access the Cemetery through this road.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve in Vermilion County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
182-16) Will Co. – Addition to Long Run Seep Nature Preserve,
Kim Roman presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition to Long Run Seep Nature Preserve. The IDNR proposes to dedicate 35.75 acres as an addition to Long Run Seep Nature Preserve, and dedicate 5.75 acres as nature preserve buffer. The proposed addition is an extension of the natural communities found within the existing Nature Preserve, and may also provide suitable habitat for the state-threatened and endangered species currently inhabiting Long Run Seep Nature Preserve. The IDNR dedicated Long Run Seep as an Illinois nature preserve in 1990. Long Run Seep is recognized on the INAI (#1039) for its high-quality fen and seep communities, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, and the presence of three state-listed species: beaked spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata), grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosa), and slender bog arrow grass (Triglochin palustris). In addition, Long Run Seep is one of the few sites in Illinois to provide habitat for the federally and state-endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana). Most of the INAI site is included within the boundaries of the original 43.1-acre Nature Preserve. Since the IDNR’s original dedication of Long Run Seep, it has recently secured 41.5 acres adjacent to the Nature Preserve, completing land acquisition of the entire INAI site, and helping complete preserve design.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Long Run Seep Nature Preserve in Will County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 182nd Meeting.
182-17) Ford Co. – Sibley Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal for final dedication of Sibley Grove as an Illinois nature preserve. Sibley Grove is a 50.48-acre mesic savanna and wetland owned by the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) located 34 miles east of Bloomington-Normal. TNC proposes to dedicate 49.85 acres as a nature preserve and .63 acre in the northwest corner of the tract as buffer and for use as a picnic area. This grove of 185 to 390 year-old oak trees is one of the best mesic savannas in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is the best remaining example of a mesic savanna, pond, marsh, and prairie complex in east-central Illinois. Since 1995, TNC has been restoring the savanna and has recreated a wetland that formerly existed prior to cultivation. TNC intends to transfer ownership of this area to the Land Conservation Foundation, a private non-profit conservation organization based in Champaign. TNC, with the full support of the Land Conservation Foundation, proposes to dedicate Sibley Grove Nature Preserve to permanently protect the imperiled natural community found here and to honor the intentions of Hiram Sibley and other family members who donated this grove to TNC to permanently safeguard the natural features of the grove. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 181st Meeting (Resolution #1761) in February, 2004.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Sibley Grove in Ford County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda of the 182nd Meeting.
Ms. Solecki stated that she would like to recognize Fran Harty, TNC, for his help in this project. She stated that he was instrumental in moving this project forward.
182-18) Kane Co. – Nitch Addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers present a proposal for final dedication of the Nitch addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve. Joe and Jean Nitch propose to dedicate a .733-acre addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve. Both the proposed addition and Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve are located in Kane County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Sleepy Hollow Ravine was included on the INAI (#624) in recognition of the high-quality seep and mesic upland forest communities surviving within the ravine and a barrens community located atop the south side of the ravine. Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve is owned in part by Mr. Glen Spiegler who owns 7.4 acres of the lower portion of the ravine and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County which owns 4.3 acres of the ravine and adjacent upland. Dedication of this tract will increase the size of Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve from 11.7 to 12.433 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 180th Meeting (Resolution #1739) in September, 2003.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of the Nitch addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve in Kane County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda of the 182nd Meeting.
182-19) McDonough Co. – Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for final dedication of Short Fork Seep as an Illinois nature preserve. Short Fork Seep is a 41.81-acre site owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb, Illinois. The site lies within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois. Short Fork Seep contains approximately 10 acres of the 16.18-acre Short Fork Seep INAI site (#144). The remaining 6 acres of the INAI site are located on the east side of the county road under separate ownership. The portion of Short Fork Seep which lies within the INAI site is proposed for dedication as nature preserve, with the remaining 31.81 acres to be dedicated as nature preserve buffer. This site was previously granted preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve by the Commission in 2000 at the 167th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1532), under the name Short Fork Marsh. The plant communities within the site have since been re-evaluated and reclassified for the INAI (Category I) as high-quality seep (1.7 acres of grade B) and sedge meadow (.3 acre of grade B), hence the name change to Short Fork Seep. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 181st Meeting (Resolution #1762) in February, 2004.
Alice Henry stated that it was not a difficult decision to protect their property, but it has been a long process. Mrs. Henry gave a brief overview of the history of the land and the process of how they decided to protect their property. She thanked Ms. Moorehouse for her perseverance and hard work in achieving the goal of protection of this site.
Ms. Moorehouse stated that Dr. and Mrs. Henry are giving up
development rights to over 98% of the land that they own by enrolling the
acreage into the Illinois Nature Preserves System.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Short Fork Seep in McDonough County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda of the 182nd Meeting.
Commissioner Drucker thanked Dr. and Mrs. Henry for their dedication over the last 40 years and for their efforts to protect their land. He stated that the Henrys are inspirational to others.
Chair Allread stated that one of the things that this Commission aspires to more and more is to work with private landowners because that is where we are most vulnerable in losing Illinois’ most rare natural areas. As private landowners, Dr. and Mrs. Henry have set an example for the Commission to take forward to show there are people who have the rare quality of understanding what they have and are giving their property so it can be protected in perpetuity. She thanked Dr. and Mrs. Henry on behalf of the Commission.
Chair Allread stated that she would also like to commend Ms. Moorehouse for her hard work and dedication. It is important to have the dedicated INPC staff out in the field working with landowners, and their special efforts are appreciated.
182-20) Cook Co. – Busse Woods Nature Preserve, Spillway Modification at Busse Woods Reservoir
John Nelson and John Steffen, DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns presented information regarding possible spillway modification at Bussee Woods Reservoir. The DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns proposes to modify the principal spillway of the Busse Woods Reservoir to help alleviate downstream flooding of Salt Creek during heavy rain events. Busse Woods Nature Preserve is located 8,500 feet upstream of the principal spillway. The Nature Preserve, dedicated in 1965, contains an oak flatwoods community and an ephemeral wetland that are sensitive to changes in groundwater and surface hydrology. While the project is not within the boundary of the Nature Preserve, INPC project approval is required as part of an inter-governmental agreement between DuPage County and the Cook County Forest Preserve District (landowner) and to address any changes to Nature Preserve hydrology that may occur as a result of the proposed project.
Mr. Steffen gave a comprehensive overview of the proposal in
order to provide the Commissioners an early opportunity for input and guidance.
He stated that he will return with a follow-up presentation at the August,
2004 meeting at which time project approval will be requested. Mr. Steffen
provided two handouts to the Commissioners. The methodology of the approach
used for the design of the proposed modification was discussed. Three categories
of flood damages were examined: residential, business/commercial, and associated/emergency
Mr. Steffen stated that the purpose of the project is for flood control. The modification of the dam will provide over $2.2 million in flood protection benefits downstream in Cook and DuPage counties to approximately 178 homes and businesses. Busse Woods Nature Preserve is approximately 1.5 miles upstream from the spillway of the Busse Woods Reservoir. The modification that is being proposed is part of a 1992 watershed management plan for Salt Creek that DuPage County adopted. That plan identified four major reservoirs that would be constructed or modified. This project is the last piece to be completed, and it would only be operated as needed. He explained the operation of the existing spillway. He stated that they are not proposing to increase the height of the weir, therefore, long-term groundwater should not be affected by the project. The proposed modification consists of an addition of an inflatable rubber dam within the existing dam spillway. The rubber dam would inflate with compressed air to three feet above the existing weir when water gets two feet above the existing weir, thereby restricting the flow of water out of the reservoir area. This will result in increased flows and elevations within the reservoir, creating more flood storage and slowing the rate of flow downstream.
With this proposed spillway modification, there will be slight increases in elevation at the southern limits of the Nature Preserve, but there will be no increase in elevation of flooding at the northern limits of the Nature Preserve. The summary of results at the southern and northern boundary of Busse Woods Nature Preserve for five maximum storm events was discussed. A study was done by Dr. George Ware, Morton Arboretum, to examine the affects of the increased duration on trees, and it was his opinion that during the growing season (March 1 to November 1), if a conservative 120 hours of inundation on trees in any one occurrence was not exceeded, there would be no impact to the trees.
Mr. Steffen stated that in conclusion, the proposed modification provides over $2.2 million in benefits, does not significantly increase elevations and durations within Busse Woods Nature Preserve. Further modification of the operation of the inflatable dam will allow for minimization of increases in duration and elevation within the Nature Preserve. Once the final design is complete, he would like to bring this issue before the Commission for approval of the spillway modification.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if the inflatable dam has to be all the way up or all the way down.
Mr. Steffen stated, "yes."
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if studies have been done on other plants in the area.
Mr. Steffen stated that the study was only done on trees, however, he would check to see if there was information available about the plants.
John Nelson stated that the INPC approved the construction of the Busse Woods Reservoir in 1975. That resulted in the permanent inundation of approximately 4.5 acres of the Nature Preserve. That action permanently increased the water table and the water levels in the Nature Preserve. The system is under some degree of stress, but the actual degree of stress remains uncertain at this point. A concern that was addressed was to prevent any connection in flooding between the Reservoir and the ephemeral ponds within the Nature Preserve. The ephemeral ponds are critical habitat for amphibians. If fish get into those systems, it could have a serious impact on those populations. Mr. Nelson stated that he does not want any hydrologic connection between those as a result of the modification. The project is designed to reduce flooding downstream. It represents no benefit to the Nature Preserve. He stated that it may help to look at this request by asking does it represent no negative impact to the Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Keating stated that with respect to herbaceous plants, other than trees, they usually show aspect dominance. There is a period of time during which they grow, bloom, and set seeds, and this is usually a much shorter period of time than the entire growing season. It depends upon when the flood event happens and what stage of their life history they may be in.
Commissioner Schwegman asked if it would be possible, as part of the planning process, to characterize the herbaceous vegetation in the area that will get flooded.
Mr. Nelson stated that he is looking for as much information as Mr. Steffan’s Department can provide. There has been a great deal of engineering analysis on the spillway, and several alternatives have been studied. There has also been analysis of economic benefits of the project downstream. He stated that he would like to see more empirical data that focuses on the Nature Preserve. Elevational data is one of the important components to model the impacts to the Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Drucker asked what would happen if the amount and duration of the inundation has been miscalculated or if there are more flooding events than were previously anticipated resulting in the death of the trees in 90% of the Nature Preserve.
Mr. Steffen stated that he would not be opposed to doing more studies or whatever it takes to try to quantify the project to the Commission’s satisfaction.
Commissioner Drucker asked what alternative might there be to help relieve flooding downstream if Busse Woods Nature Preserve was not there.
Mr. Steffen stated that the only thing that could be done in that instance would be to purchase the property.
Commissioner Drucker stated that the value nature and wetlands provides is never factored in to the decisions that are made, however, an argument could be made to say that the landowner should be compensated to save $2.2 million.
Mr. Steffen stated that the IDNR has provided a grant in the
amount of $975,000 to pay for the reservoir modification. The actual modification
will cost approximately $475,000. The remainder of the money is going to the
Forest Preserve to do shoreline stabilization within the Nature Preserve itself.
DuPage County is working with other agencies to find more money to stabilize
more of the shoreline.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that in terms of some of the local municipal decisions for development, there are repercussions because of the storm water runoff. If the long range impacts of those decisions are examined, the Commission can be forearmed against the retrofitting and try to insure the least tolerant areas will not be significantly impacted.
Mr. Steffen stated that there is a comprehensive ordinance and storm water program in DuPage County, and additional wetlands are being created.
Valerie Spale stated that approximately ten years ago John Shaefer proposed some visionary ideas to prevent flooding along the Salt Creek which included buyouts of flood prone properties and a moratorium on development within the Salt Creek floodplain areas. A lot of that was never pursued. She was involved with establishing the Salt Creek green way in the early years. She is concerned that the Nature Preserve is being looked at as the last place to save flooding situations because of poor prior decisions regarding development. Ms. Spale stated that she is also concerned that this might lead to future abuses within floodplain areas along Salt Creek and give false assurance that flooding will be taken care of by hearing requests for more intrusion into the Nature Preserve. She asked if Mr. Steffen has consulted with Mr. Shaefer or his firm regarding his previous proposals. She also asked what position the Forest Preserve District of Cook County has taken on this issue.
Mr. Steffen stated that they have developed and implemented a green way through Salt Creek. It has been difficult because of the expensive properties in Elmhurst. In some of the other areas, the County has purchased over 100 homes since 1990 in the Salt Creek watershed. The Forest Preserve District does own 27% of the County at this time. He stated that an intergovernmental agreement is being developed between the State, DuPage County, and Cook County. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is in favor of this project.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that the understory has significantly changed since the study was done, and this directly suggests that the study should be redone or reconsidered to see how accurate the data is. If there has been significant impacts since the study, the prior study cannot stand as justification for a decision.
Mr. Steffen stated that he will work with the Commission staff to address that issue.
Joe Roth, CorLands, stated that they have been a close partner with the Commission over the last several years, and CorLands has encouraged the Commission’s programs. He stated that issues with surface and groundwater are very complex, subtle, and difficult. He stated that baseline data is very important in order to make an informed decision. A very aggressive monitoring program after the fact is also needed to determine any negative impact.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Steffen for his presentation. The
Commission has some guarded concerns, and she encouraged him to work with
Commission staff to address those concerns to insure the protection of the
Nature Preserve. She stated that the Commission would be happy to address
this issue again at the 183rd Meeting of the INPC in August, 2004.
182-21) Will Co. – Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve Water Detention Basin
Randy Heidorn and David Robson, Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) presented a proposal for a water detention basin at Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve. The FPDWC, after reviewing alternative methods to protect Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve from sediment, requests permission to build a settlement basin within degraded portions of the Nature Preserve.
Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve is located in a rapidly urbanizing area of Will County, and over the past decade has experienced a significant negative shift in its plant communities from off site hydrological impacts. The storm water runoff from a recently developed industrial park flows into a drainage ditch which leads to the north end of the Nature Preserve. Within the Nature Preserve, the channel becomes less defined and water disperses through an area which was once a grade B sedge meadow. Complicating matters is the dolomite limestone which lies just beneath the soil’s surface and the presence of a pipeline (installed decades ago) running through the site which has created a berm. Water cannot trench itself through the area due to the bedrock at the surface, and water cannot continue over the pipeline berm. Silt-laden storm water is forced to fan out over the high-quality wetland communities. The heavy sediment and nutrient loads from the runoff has changed the grade B sedge meadow into a thicket of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Currently, the reed canary grass stand is estimated at one-half acre and is expected to increase in size, replacing additional higher quality communities within the Nature Preserve. The FPDWC has investigated numerous alternatives to abating the storm water impacts and proposes to implement the two most feasible alternatives. In addition to improving the function of an existing infiltration "trough" outside the Nature Preserve, the FPDWC proposes to create a detention basin/sediment trap within the one-half acre reed canary grass stand. Recently deposited sediments would be removed and an earthen berm would be created. Storm water would flow into the basin, raising water levels to a height that would clear the height of the pipeline berm. Heavy silt loads would be captured, and excessive surface water would be redirected over the berm. Since this proposal involves non-traditional management activities within a dedicated Illinois nature preserve, the Commission’s concurrence and approval is requested.
Mr. Robson stated that FPDWC is able to undertake this large project to restore Romeoville Prairie as a result of a Material Services Corporation Settlement Fund which is being administered by CorLands. He provided a handout to the Commissioners outlining the proposed solution to the water detention problem in this area, along with a handout showing the hydrologic modeling results. The FPDWC is proposing to build a small detention area and expand the infiltration trench. The west detention basin would be installed into the highly degraded area to capture the storm water, slow it down, hold it, allow some settling to occur, and provide adequate water supply to the recharge trough. The recharge trough would be slightly enlarged so the base of it would be 10 feet wide, in contact with the bedrock. The width is largely to facilitate future maintenance. The ditch, with ComEd’s approval and support, would be widened. The goal is to corral the storm water as it is discharged into this area by building a low berm around the edge to match the existing elevation, preventing its continued movement into other areas and to try to save what is left of the sedge meadow and quality wetland. A concrete spillway berm would be created over the end bridge pipeline to allow the water to find the river to the east. The hydrologic modeling results were discussed in detail. He stated that he has not received formal response from ComEd on this proposal, however, initial response has been favorable. Final approval for crossing the pipeline has not been secured as of this date, however, he does not anticipate any problem in securing this approval.
Mr. Robson also discussed other potential solutions, however, for one reason or another it was determined by the FPDWC that the potential solutions were not feasible.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Village and private landowners have agreed to the west basin design.
Mr. Robson stated that east basin, the west basin, and the discharge trough are located within the FPDWC property. Only the east basin, east of the common right-of-way, is occurring within the dedicated Nature Preserve boundary.
Commissioner Flemal asked if there was enough documentation on the sedimentation rates to know the capacity and how the reservoirs will trend over the years.
Mr. Robson stated that he is not certain there is documentation on the sedimentation rate, however, they realize that regular maintenance of the detention basins will be required. This has been considered in the design for access to limit future impacts to the Nature Preserve. Access for this project and for future maintenance will occur right off of Forest Wood Drive, come up on the pipeline right-of-way and down into the ditch and the storm water management system. The work would be done within the storm water management system itself.
Joe Roth stated that if this project is approved, the FPDWC will prepare a long-term monitoring and maintenance plan for the facilities.
Commissioner Flemal asked if it is known at what stage the FPDWC will go in and remove the sediment from the basin.
Mr. Roth stated that this would have to be worked out with Mr. Heidorn, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the FPDWC.
Mr. Heidorn stated that rarely does staff recommend a structural hard solution to address a management issue. He would like to commend the FPDWC for looking at all of the alternatives. Decisions were made that were beyond their control. He stated that he feels this is a reasonable approach to solve the problem, and staff recommends approval of the slight expansion of the groundwater recharge trough and the development of a new detention basin in a severely disturbed area within the Nature Preserve.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that due to these impacts
the Commission is addressing after development, would it be possible to create
some guidelines to try to require the developer of adjacent properties to
be more mindful of future impacts by addressing the storm water impacts prior
to proceeding with the development.
Kim Roman stated that projects should be sent to the IDNR for review prior to proceeding with development. Apparently this slipped through the cracks.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the Natural Areas Preservation Act
is a reactive process. It is very difficult to get ahead of degradation before
it happens. At best, people get involved in a consultation, but ultimately
municipalities and other authorities do not have to necessarily follow the
IDNR recommendations. John Nelson has played an important role in getting
the word out ahead of time and educating people so these things do not happen.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval of the water detention basin proposal as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda of the 182nd Meeting.
182-22) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
There was no public comment.
182 -23) Other Business
Chair Allread stated that two sets of minutes from closed meetings
of the Commission were included in the Commissioners’ packets. The first
meeting was held on August 7, 2001, and the second meeting was held on August
6, 2002. These meetings were closed in accordance with the Open Meetings Act
to discuss the purchase of real property. Section 2.06 of the Open Meetings
Act provides that public bodies, "shall periodically, but no less than
semi-annually, meet to review minutes of all closed sessions. At such meetings,
a determination shall be made and reported in an open session that: 1. the
need for confidentiality still exists as to all or part of those minutes,
or 2. that the minutes or portions thereof no longer require confidential
treatment and are available for public inspection." She asked for a motion
to determine whether or not the minutes from each meeting should be kept closed.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the closed session minutes from the August 7, 2001, and August 6, 2002, meetings will remain confidential but will be reviewed semi-annually to ascertain the need to be kept confidential.
Chair Allread directed staff to explore the possibility of allowing portions of closed session minutes to be released to the public.
Chair Allread provided the Commissioners with material from Partners for Parks and Wildlife, which is a newly formed coalition of State environmental and conservation organizations. She stated that the individual INPC Commissioners, as private citizens, joined the coalition. The Commission is not a member. She stated that the coalition participated in a lobbying day in Springfield to talk about the advantages of protecting the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD)Fund, as well as the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF), which funds the INPC as well as other positions within the IDNR. Chair Allread stated that there is still a tremendous amount of effort in the next three weeks, prior to the end of the legislative session, to continue to let legislators know that this is an important issue for the conservation community and the people of Illinois.
Marlin Bowles, Plant Conservation Biologist from the Morton Arboretum, presented a comprehensive overview of a 25-year study of long-term changes in high-quality prairies and wetlands. He stated that the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) provided a nice community classification system and grading system. In the Chicago region, over 100 prairie and wetlands that were sampled in 1976. Approximately half of the sites that were studied had known fire management histories. This allowed them to link data between 1976 and 2001 together by understanding how the sites had been burned. The study addressed the fate of the areas and what changes have taken place in three areas: species richness, species composition, and how the structure of these communities have changed. The findings were discussed in terms of fire management, habitats, and qualities comparing A versus B. The research showed that the grade A sites have survived, however, the greatest loss was to the grade B sites.
He stated that for dry, dry-mesic sites, 10% fire frequency (two burns in 20 years) is enough to keep these sites stable and not lose species richness overtime. Twenty percent fire frequency (four burns in 20 years) will maintain species richness for mesic, wet-mesic sites. Mesic, wet-mesic sites need to be burned more frequently because they have more moisture and accumulate litter at a faster rate. There has been a jump increase in alien species in both the dry, dry-mesic sites and mesic, wet-mesic sites. There was no relationship between fire for this. He stated that it is his opinion that deer browse is also a factor in the increase of the alien plants. The study also showed a tremendous increase in dry, dry-mesic sites and mesic, wet-mesic sites in the ratio of woody species to grass species. As this ratio increases, a decline in species richness occurs. The more fire is used, there will be fewer shrubs and more grasses resulting in more species richness. A 65% fire frequency is needed to maintain a stable woody graminoid ratio on mesic, wet-mesic prairies. For grade A sites, the data suggests if fire frequency is approximately 50% it will stabilize the composition.
In summary, vegetation is shifting towards a greater abundance of woody vegetation, lower abundance of grasses, and composition shifting towards a greater abundance of a general species with a loss of characteristic species in the prairies that were surveyed. He stated that this type of information needs to be tested over the next 20 years.
When looking at wetlands, the percent is just about the same for the loss of wetlands. The greatest losses were for grade B sites, and the highest survivorship was for grade A sites.
He stated that it is important to talk with local forest preserve districts to urge them to increase the rate of burning. This 25-year study has been put into report form and has been distributed. He also recommended that trained volunteer stewards be given a greater opportunity in helping with prescribed burning.
Commissioner Drucker thanked Mr. Bowles for his presentation. He asked if other things like insects were part of this study.
Mr. Bowles stated that Ron Panzer has found that some of the smaller cemetery prairies no longer have some of the insect species because they have been burned often.
Commissioner Drucker asked if the size of each site was taken into account to see if there was any correlation between the long term viability and quality of the prairie and the frequency with which it needs to be burned.
Mr. Bowles stated that this was not done. The INAI transects
were used, and the samples were done at those transects were. In most cases,
the transects were in a very small part of a large area. He has not looked
at size in relationship to species richness. Most prairie plants are perennials.
Patti Reilly stated that Mr. Bowles has given his data to the IDNR so it can be incorporated into the database.
Mr. Bowles stated that this data exists all across Illinois, and he stated it is important for the IDNR and the Natural History Survey to survey the rest of the State as soon as possible.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Bowles for his presentation.
Chair Allread stated that at the 183rd Meeting of the INPC on August 3, 2004, the Commission will be electing new officers. She stated that Commissioner Riddell has agreed to chair the nominating committee.
Chair Allread stated that a selection committee will also be
formed consisting of Commissioners to work on the replacement for the Director
of the INPC. She stated that Commissioner Drucker, Commissioner Keating, and
Commissioner Ross-Shannon have agreed to be on this selection committee. This
committee will work collaboratively with the IDNR to fill this position with
the most qualified person to carry on the success of the INPC.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Schwegman, and unanimously
approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702