ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED NINETY FOURTH MEETING

Giant City State Park Lodge
Makanda, IL

May 1, 2007
9:00 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 5, 2007, and the 193rd Meeting Minutes, February 6, 2007

Item 4: 2007 Meeting Schedule

August 7, 10:00 a.m. - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
October 23, 10:00 a.m. - Sugar Grove Nature Center, McLean

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Heidorn and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 7: Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report

REPORT
Randy Nyboer
Endangered Species Protection Board Manager

Item 8:* Macoupin Co. – Culp Conservancy Woods Land and Water Reserve

The 190.7-acre Culp Conservancy Woods is owned by Ms. Rachel C. Konneker and Ms. Rebecca A. Loehr. The forest at Culp Conservancy Woods ranges from dry- mesic upland woods to wet-mesic bottomland woods along Honey Creek, all of which are characteristic of the Carlinville Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. No part of Culp Conservancy Woods was listed on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI), although a majority of the forest, especially on the bottomlands, is mature. Oaks (Quercus spp.) and hickories (Carya spp.) are common throughout the site, with several impressive specimens. Culp Conservancy Woods qualifies as a land and water reserve due to the presence of over 100 acres of contiguous forest with a breeding bird community that contains 16 area-sensitive species, as defined by the 1993 Division of Natural Heritage Publication #1. Selective timber harvesting has occurred at Culp Conservancy Woods and will continue on a limited basis under the guidance of a timber management plan that has been incorporated into the three-year management schedule. Fallen timber may be removed for personal use. Allowable activities include: picnicking; primitive camping; hunting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo); mushroom collecting; and, on a single-loop trail only, ATV riding, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and bicycling. Threats include invasion by non-native species and land subsidence due to underground mining. The owners wish to register the site in a time-limited agreement for ten years, with automatic renewal unless decided otherwise at the end of a ten-year period.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Tom Lerczak Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 9:* McHenry Co. – Jimenez Addition to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve,
Registration

The proposed Jimenez Addition to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve is a 2.98-acre tract of land owned by Pedro and Guadelupe Jimenez. The proposed addition is within the Black Crown Marsh Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) site (#1503) located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division along the McHenry-Lake County border. Black Crown Marsh is ecologically significant due to the diversity and high number of rare, threatened, and endangered birds that have been documented to use the wetland basin and surrounding uplands for foraging, breeding, and nesting. The wetland was classified in 1997 as a Category II INAI site for providing suitable habitat for nine state- threatened or endangered birds. The proposed addition represents another important step forward in providing long-term protection to the 405-acre Black Crown Marsh INAI site. Since a significant portion of the wetland basin remains under private ownership, the commitment of private landowners to this protection effort is critical to achieving success. This registration agreement is a result of a consent decree from a court case involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Jimenez Landscaping Corporation.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
John Nelson Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 10:* Vermilion Co. – Georgetown Addition to Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) proposes to register approximately 156.19 acres as the Georgetown addition to Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve. The addition is composed of bottomland and upland forests, fields and young reforestation areas. It lies approximately 0.25 mile south of Georgetown and 10.5 miles south of Danville in the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division. This site is proposed as an addition to the 942-acre Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve, which is located 2.2 miles to the east (downstream) and is within the Harry “Babe” Woodyard State Natural Area. Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve was registered as a land and water reserve by the IDNR in 1998 (Resolution #1411), and two subsequent additions were made to the Land and Water Reserve (Resolutions #1569 and #1799). This tract surrounds, buffers, and augments Carl Fliermans’ River Nature Preserve, which protects an approximately 1.2-mile long segment of the Little Vermilion River. This segment of the Little Vermilion River is home to two state-endangered fish, the bigeye chub (Hybopsis amblops) and bigeye shiner (Notropis boops), and two state-threatened mussels, the slippershell (Alasmidonta viridis) and the little spectacle case (Villosa lienosa). The Little Vermilion River is a biologically significant stream recognized by the INAI (#1140), and it provides habitat for numerous species in greatest need of conservation, as identified in the Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, including four mussels and six fish. Registration of the Georgetown addition will provide increased buffer for the River and the rare fish and mussels within it. In addition, restoration and protection of lands within this addition to Little Vermilion River Land and Water Reserve will decrease forest fragmentation, provide greater habitat for forest-interior birds, and supply additional watershed protection to the River.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Mary Kay Solecki Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 11:* Cook Co. – Addition to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the City of Markham, Illinois seek preliminary approval for dedication of approximately 31.937 acres as an addition to Gensburg- Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. The proposed addition is located in the Chicago Lake Plain Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and consists of 111 lots and platted, but not built upon, roads. With regard to the ownership of the lots: 28 lots are owned by TNC, and 83 lots are owned by the City of Markham (74 of which are encumbered by the Stein conservation easement). The one lot owned by the Markham Park District and the eight scattered lots remaining in private ownership are not included in this proposal. The proposed addition is located adjacent to Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve and lies embedded within the boundaries for both the INAI site (#400) and the National Registry of Natural Landmarks designated by the U.S. National Park Service. Elements of high-quality mesic sand prairie, wet-mesic prairie, and sedge meadow occur within the proposed addition and support a population of the state-listed plant. Dedication of this addition is consistent with the recommendations of an approved Master Plan for this site, good preserve design considerations, and elements of the Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan and Strategy. Dedication of the proposed addition (31.937) acres will increase the size of Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve from 125.826 to 157.763 acres.

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

Item 12:* Monroe Co. – Addition to Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed addition to Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, located along the boundary of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division and the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division, is a total of 10 acres in three separate parcels. This site is owned by David Storment. The three parcels, comprised of Conservation Reserve Program fields whose contract has expired, will square off the boundaries of the existing Nature Preserve. The fields are comprised of native prairie and non-native pasture grasses and native tree plantings. Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, also owned by Mr. Storment, is a 64.5-acre parcel that includes the entire 55-acre Storment Hauss Woods INAI site (#1617). The site is listed on the INAI with a Category I designation for high-quality upland forest and a Category VI designation for the presence of animal hibernacula. Storment Hauss Nature Preserve was given final approval for dedication on March 1, 2002 (Resolution #1641).

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Debbie Newman Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 13:* Ogle Co. – Addition to Pine Rock Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposes to dedicate 10.91 acres as an addition to Pine Rock Nature Preserve. Pine Rock Nature Preserve contains wet- mesic prairie, dry sand prairie, dry sand savanna, and sandstone cliff communities. A prominent outcrop of the St. Peter Sandstone is one of the notable features of the site. Pine Rock was dedicated in 1966 and was the 16th nature preserve in Illinois. The original dedication comprises 58.8 acres owned by the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities and held and managed by Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. The Nature Conservancy has long been the lead environmental advocate for the site through its land protection program. The site name was derived from the St. Peter sandstone monolith which rises 50 feet high above the relict prairie and the jack pine (Pinus banksiana) trees which historically grew on site (1877) but have since vanished. Approval of this addition will help protect and restore the natural resource features found within the existing nature preserve, as well as adding significant acreage of relict high-quality oak savanna, wet-mesic prairie, and dry sand prairie natural communities to Pine Rock Nature Preserve.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
John Nelson Preliminary Approval for Dedication
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 14: Winnebago Co. – Stonebridge Trail Land and Water Reserve, Proposal to Cross
the Land and Water Reserve with a Sewer Line

The Rock River Water Reclamation District requests INPC approval for a permanent easement across the Stone Bridge Trail Land and Water Reserve for purposes of installation and maintenance of a new sanitary sewer line extension. The proposed sanitary sewer line will service future residential and commercial development within the Village of Roscoe. Stone Bridge Trail Land and Water Reserve is owned by Roscoe Township and was purchased with C2000 grant monies. Its protection and management has been championed locally by the Natural Land Institute (NLI). This site was approved for registration by the INPC and the IDNR in 1995. The significant natural features of the Stone Bridge Trail are the Hamborg Road gravel prairie (INAI #1042, grade A and C), scattered prairie remnants along the railroad row, the state-threatened kittentail (Besseys bullii), and the federally threatened prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya). In addition to the INPC approval, the sanitary district must obtain approval from the NLI and the IDNR, entities which also jointly hold conservation easement rights across Stone Bridge Trail Land and Water Reserve. The primary concern related to this request relates to a planned residential development along the Stone Bridge Trail that will be serviced by the proposed sewer line. This residential development provides no buffer to the Stone Bridge Trail and the remnant prairies found along the common property line.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Jeffrey Linkenheld Approval of Proposal
Arc Design Resources
John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 15:* Vegetation Management Guidelines
The Management Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to address a land management issue in a nature preserve or land and water reserve. Once approved by the Commission, they become part of the policy guidance used by staff to review and approve management plans. Updated Vegetation Management Guidelines for the control of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), teasels (Dipsacus spp.), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and bush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) will be presented for approval. The guidelines were submitted to INPC Consultants and Advisors and to selected natural area land managers for review. Recommended changes were incorporated into the documents.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERD
Bob Edgin Approval of Management Guidelines
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 16: Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2008 Stewardship Proposals

The natural areas stewardship project uses monies provided by the NAAF (10% of NAAF appropriation) to fund management activities on both state-owned and private nature preserves and land and water reserves. From proposed FY 2008 appropriations, $950,000 will be available for natural areas stewardship needs statewide. Proposed projects will match an additional $330,000 in non-state funds for natural areas management.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Randy Heidorn Commission Approval
Nature Preserves Commission
Bob Szafoni
Department of Natural Resources

Item 17: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 18:* Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2008 Land Acquisition Proposals

The Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) is administered by the IDNR with review and recommendation of land acquisition projects by the INPC. The acquisition plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 includes acquisition of 22 tracts of land within 18 natural areas. All of the proposed parcels 1) are identified on the INAI, or 2) buffer a nature preserve or land and water reserve owned by the IDNR, or 3) provide habitat for endangered or threatened species of animals or plants. The proposed acquisitions total 3,700 acres and will cost approximately $18,600,000. As of April 3, 2007, the State budget has not been approved. The amount budgeted for natural area acquisition with the NAAF is $8,075,000. The INPC is asked to review and approve a longer list than there is funding for because matching money will be sought to stretch NAAF dollars and negations with some landowners will not be successful.

REPORT ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Don McFall Commission Recommendation
Department of Natural Resources

Item 19: Other Business

Item 20: Adjournment

 

Item 23: Other Business

Item 24: Adjournment