ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

182nd MEETING

Chicago Botanic Garden
Linnaeus Room
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022

May 4, 2004 10:00 A.M.

*Documentary Material Enclosed

Item 1: Call to Order, Roll Call, and Introduction of Attendees

Item 2:* Adoption of Agenda

Item 3:* Approval of Minutes of the Special Meeting, February 2, 2004, and the181st Meeting, February 3, 2004

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

3 August, 9:00 a.m. - University of Illinois, Urbana
26 October, 10:00 a.m. - Giant City Lodge, Makanda

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Don McFall and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 7:* Kane Co. – Campton Hills Park Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed 126-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 in January 2003. The proposed land and water reserve is a mosaic of graminoid fen, calcareous seep, sedge meadow, basin 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 126-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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission
Mary Ochsenschlager
St Charles Park District

Item 8:* McDonough Co. – Addition to Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve, Registration

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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Angella Moorehouse Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 9:* Ogle Co. – Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Kyte River Bottoms, owned by the Natural Land Institute (NLI), is 235 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. The qualifying features of this site are: it provides habitat for at least two state-listed species, and it is a wetland at least
50 acres in size. Additional surveys of the property may also conclude that it provides breeding habitat for forest interior birds. Allowable uses of the site include fishing, hunting, primitive camping, and hiking.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 10:* DeWitt Co. – Mettler Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Mettler Woods, owned by The Nature Conservancy, 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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Tom Lerczak Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 11:* Jo Daviess Co. – Addition to Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Conservancy 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).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Angella Moorehouse Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 12:* Lake Co. – Addition to Hybernia Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Hybernia Homeowners Area 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 plant 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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 13:* McHenry Co. – Lee and Mary MiKell Bull Valley Seep Buffer Addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 14:* St. Clair Co. – Addition to Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

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).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Diane Tecic Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Regional Heritage Administrator
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region IV

Item 15:* Vermilion Co. – Addition to Fairchild Cemetery Prairie/Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

Grand Prairie Friends-Prairie Grove Volunteers propose to dedicate a .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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mary Kay Solecki Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 16:* Will Co. – Addition to Long Run Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication

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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Kim Roman Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 17:* Ford Co. – Sibley Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

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 185-390 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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mary Kay Solecki Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 18:* Kane Co. – Nitch Addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve, Dedication

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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Steven Byers Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 19:* McDonough Co. – Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication

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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Angella Moorehouse Final Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 20: Cook Co. – Busse Woods Nature Preserve, Spillway Modification at Busse 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 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). The petitioner will give an overview of the proposal in order to provide the Commissioners an early opportunity for input and guidance. The petitioner plans to return with a follow-up presentation at the August meeting at which time project approval will be requested.

REPORT
John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission
John Steffen
DuPage County Department of Development and Environmental Concerns

Item 21:* Will Co. – Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve Water Detention Basin

The Forest Preserve District of Will County (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. This site 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.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Randy Heidorn Approval of Water Detention Basin
Nature Preserves Commission
David Robson
Forest Preserve District of Will County

Item 22: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 23: Other Business

Item 24: Adjournment


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