145th Agenda

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIFTH MEETING
Goose Lake Prairie State Park
5010 N. Jugtown Road
Morris, Illinois
Tuesday, October 25, 1994 -- 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 144th Meeting, August 2, 1994

Item 4:* Next Meeting Schedule

Item 5: NPC Staff REPORT

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
None

Item 6: DOC Staff Report

REPORT
Carl Becker
Dept. of Conservation
Division of Natural Heritage
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
None

Item 7: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 8: Recognition of Outstanding Service

REPORT
Brian Anderson
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED

Item 9:* Water Law in Illinois

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
None

Item 10:* Redefining the Function of the Technical Advisory Committee on Management

REPORT
Brian Anderson
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
None

Item 11:* Cook County -- Dropseed Prairie, Dedication

Dropseed Prairie, at 13 acres, is the smallest of the Indian Boundary Prairies. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy. Dropseed Prairie, originally identified by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as I-57 Prairie, was recognized for the extant very high quality (Grade A) and high quality (Grade B) mesic prairie communities. Those communities have prospered, as have all the Indian Boundary Prairies, under the watchful guidance of Friends of the Indian Boundary Prairies, an affiliate of The Nature Conservancy's Volunteer Stewardship Network. This prairie, together with Paintbrush Prairie, is situated on calcareous soils that support unique assemblages of prairie not commonly encountered on either Sundrop Prairie or Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve. Despite its smaller size, the Grade A and Grade B mesic prairies located at Dropseed Prairie make it an important and integral component of the Indian Boundary Prairies.

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

Item 12:* Cook County -- Paintbrush Prairie, Dedication

Paintbrush Prairie, one of the Indian Boundary Prairies owned by The Nature Conservancy, is proposed for dedication as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Paintbrush Prairie is 60 acres in size, and includes elements of high quality mesic prairie, as well as recovering wet-mesic prairie, wet prairie, and sedge meadow communities. Paintbrush Prairie supports two state threatened plant species, the eared false foxglove (Tomanthera auriculata) and early fen sedge (Carex crawei). The eared false foxglove is also a candidate for listing as a federally threatened species. The calcareous soils of Paintbrush Prairie support plant associations that contribute to the overall plant species richness of the Indian Boundary Prairies. Paintbrush Prairie is large enough to attract grassland nesting birds and several habitat restricted insects. Its relatively large size, and juxtaposition within an archipelago of prairies make Paintbrush Prairie an important and integral component of the Indian Boundary Prairies.

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

Item 13:* Cook County -- Sundrop Prairie, Dedication

Sundrop Prairie, one of the Indian Boundary Prairies owned by The Nature Conservancy, is proposed for dedication as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Sundrop Prairie is a relatively large 80-acre, prairie/wetland complex that supports Grade C sand prairie and mesic prairie communities. The more common sand prairies, located on the sandier soils of Sundrop Prairie, demonstrate closer affinities with Gensburg-Markham Prairie Nature Preserve than either Paintbrush Prairie or Dropseed Prairie. The high quality sedge meadows support a rich assemblage of plants, including the state threatened early fen sedge (Carex crawei). At least 230 plant species have been recorded from Sundrop Prairie. The proposed Sundrop Prairie Nature Preserve is also large enough to attract grassland nesting birds and several habitat restricted insects. Its relatively large size, and juxtaposition within an archipelago of prairies make Sundrop Prairie an important and integral component of the Indian Boundary Prairies.

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

Item 14:* Lake County -- Addition to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication

One parcel of land, totalling approximately 2.0 acres, is proposed for dedication as buffer to the Skokie River Nature Preserve located in Lake County, Illinois. The 2.0 acres consist of degraded mesic prairie located immediately adjacent to McLaughlin Prairie, one of two Illinois Natural Areas Inventory sites encompassed by the Skokie River Nature Preserve. The proposal to dedicate Skokie River Nature Preserve, approved by the Commission at its 134th Meeting (Resolution 1106), called for the linkages between major high quality sections of the preserve to "...be expanded through dedication of adjacent lands as buffer and improved by natural community restoration." This proposal is consistent with those recommendations and will further buffer the existing nature preserve from nearby, incompatible land uses. Private dedications have increased Skokie River Nature Preserve from 100 acres to approximately 113.5 acres.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

Stephen Christy
Lake Forest Open Lands Association

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* Morgan County -- Addition to Meredosia Hill Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Owned by the Department of Conservation, a 6.2 acre addition is being proposed for preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve. The 30.02-acre Meredosia Hill Prairie Nature Preserve was dedicated on September 25, 1986. In 1977, 11 acres of this 30-acre nature preserve were identified by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as grade B loess hill prairie. The proposed addition is primarily composed of loess hill prairie, however, a small area of old pasture and a portion of an abandoned sand mine are present. The hill prairie is dominated by sideoats grama and little bluestem. Common forbs include pale purple coneflower and silky aster. The state endangered pink milkwort also occurs on this tract. Meredosia Hill Prairie Nature Preserve is located in northwest Morgan County approximately six miles northeast of the town of Meredosia. With this dedication, all of the remaining inventoried natural area will be brought under protection. This addition will bring the total acreage of this nature preserve to 36.25 acres.

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

Item 16:* Whiteside County -- Lyndon Prairie, Dedication

The proposed Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve is a three-mile corridor of abandoned railroad right-of-way (ROW) northeast of Lyndon, Illinois in the central part of Whiteside County. Scattered remnants of dry-mesic, mesic and wet-mesic prairie occur along the ROW. Approximately four-fifths of a mile - in the center part of this section of ROW - was listed by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) and characterized at that time as a mixture of Grades A, B and C prairie. The Natural Land Institute, as primary owner, and in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Miles J. Wooster Trust and the Wooster family, propose to dedicate approximately 21.8 acres of this ROW prairie as an Illinois nature preserve and an additional 8.7 acres as nature preserve buffer.

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

Item 17:* Cook County -- Chicago Ridge Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Chicago Ridge Prairie is considered a "Gap List" site because the mesic gravel prairie present at this site is not currently represented in the Illinois Nature Preserves System. Two of only three mesic gravel prairies identified during the INAI currently survive. The Corporation for Open Lands (CorLands) proposes to dedicate a total of 12.9 acres, that encompasses 7.9 acres of high quality mesic gravel prairie and wet prairie communities and approximately 5.0 acres of wetland fill, as an Illinois Nature Preserve. At least 150 species of plants are known from Chicago Ridge Prairie, including the state-endangered small white lady slipper and the state-threatened Hill's thistle. The Two-spotted skipper, a species included on the State Watch List, has also been recorded from Chicago Ridge Prairie. Management considerations outlined in the proposal include future fencing and trail routing along the perimeter of the proposed preserve and removal of the fill placed in the wet prairie community. Preservation of Chicago Ridge was possible because of the cooperative agreement between CorLands and the Oak Lawn Park District. Ultimately, Chicago Ridge Prairie will be transferred to the Oak Lawn Park District. Chicago Ridge Prairie

received preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission's 143rd Meeting (Resolution 1229).

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

Item 18:* McHenry County -- Bates Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Owned by the McHenry County Conservation District, a 183-acre portion of the 270-acre Bates Fen is proposed for dedication. Representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, the fen's grade B marsh, sedge meadow, and graminoid fen communities support five species of threatened or endangered plants, and provide breeding habitat for 3 endangered and one threatened bird species. The area recognized by the INAI (#708) encompasses Bates Fen and Oakwood Hills Fen Nature Preserve. Bates Fen received preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve at the Commission's 138th Meeting (Resolution 1164).

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

Item 19:* Will County -- Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Owned by the Forest Preserve District of Will County, a total of 407 acres is being proposed for preliminary approval for dedication as nature preserve; 180 acres as nature preserve and 227 acres as nature preserve buffer. Messenger Woods was recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory for the presence of high quality, dry-mesic and mesic upland forests. Other plant communities present within the proposed preserve include shrub swamp, wet prairie, and cultural communities. At least 146 native plant species have been recorded from the proposed preserve, including the state-endangered rock elm and heart-leaved plantain. Both species, however, may have been extirpated from the proposed preserve. Avian species of note include the state-endangered Cooper's Hawk and state-threatened Veery which are known to nest within the proposed preserve, as well as the Red-Shouldered Hawk, a state-endangered species that nests on private land immediately north of the proposed preserve. Picnicking facilities currently exist in the center of the proposed buffer and an equestrian trail is proposed along the periphery of the preserve. Dedication of Messenger Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve will preserve the best surviving examples of high quality dry mesic and mesic upland forests located south of the Chicago Lake Plain. Messenger Woods received preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve at the Commission's 144th Meeting (Resolution 1239).

REPORT
Marcy DeMauro, Forest Preserve
District of Will County

Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 20: Other Business

Item 21: Adjournment