Agenda of the 155th Meeting

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION
DeSoto House Hotel
230 S. Main Street
Galena, Illinois
May 6, 1997 -- 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 154th Meeting, February 4, 1997

Item 4:* 1997 Meeting Schedule

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Don McFall
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Carl Becker
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 7:* Coles Co.-- Warbler Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Warbler Woods is a 202-acre tract owned by Dr. Lawrence Hunt of Charleston. The tract contains 152 acres of dry mesic and mesic upland forest. The forest supports breeding populations of forest interior birds and harbors a population of a state-threatened plant, false hellebore.

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

Item 8:* Lawrence Co.-- Robeson Hills Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Robeson Hills is a 22-acre site owned by Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana. The tract is a mesic upland forest on level uplands and moist slopes and ravines. This tract was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #14) and is directly adjacent to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve.

REPORT
Bob Edgin
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 9:* Mason Co.-- Sparks Pond Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Sparks Pond is a 230-acre tract owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and proposed for registration as a Land and Water Reserve. The proposed reserve contains sand ponds, sand prairie, oak forest and old fields. The area is included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #1341) because it supports populations of an endangered species of turtle, the Illinois mud turtle, and threatened species of frog, the Illinois chorus frog.

REPORT
John Wilker
Division of Natural Heritage
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 10:* McDonough Co.-- Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Thistle Hills is a 14-acre tract owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb. The proposed reserve contains glacial drift hill prairie and upland forest along a tributary of the LaMoine River west of Macomb. The prairies contain a large population of the state-threatened plant, Hill's thistle.

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

Item 11* Kane Co.-- Additions to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission conferred final approval to the Kane County Forest Preserve District's proposal for dedication of 6 acres of Burlington Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve at its 138th Meeting in February 1993 (Resolution #1151). Burlington Prairie was recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #20) for extant high-quality mesic prairie. Two other natural communities, wet prairie and marsh, also occur at Burlington Prairie. This proposal provides for dedication of an additional 15 acres of land, encompassing the balance of the high-quality mesic prairie and much of the wetlands. Furthermore, this proposal is consistent with provisions of the initial proposal that described acquisition and dedication of this 15-acre tract as a preserve design priority. This proposal will increase the size of Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve from 6 to 21 acres and will consist of 11 acres as nature preserve and 10 acres as nature preserve buffer.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission
Jon Duerr
Kane County Forest Preserve District
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 12:* Lawrence Co.-- Addition to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve, Dedication

Robeson Hills Nature Preserve is a 120-acre mesic upland forest owned by Vincennes University. The area was dedicated as a nature preserve in 1972. The University proposes to dedicate a 19.8-acre addition to the preserve. The addition is a deep, wooded ravine forested with mesic and dry mesic upland forest. The tract is included in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #14). The Commission gave preliminary approval for dedication of this tract at its 46th meeting in 1973.

REPORT
Bob Edgin
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 13:* McHenry Co. -- Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Tom and Carol O'Donnell propose to dedicate approximately 20 acres as Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. These 20 acres lie within the boundary of the area identified by the Illinois Natural Area Inventory (INAI #1015) as Boone Creek Fen. Preservation of these 20 acres are important; because, in doing so, the highest quality portions of extant sedge meadow and graminoid fen communities will be protected. In addition, dedication of this 20- acre site will protect important groundwater discharge zones that sustain graminoid fen communities that extend beyond the property owned by the O'Donnells. Of the 12 high-quality fens described in an article entitled "Prairie Fens in Northeastern Illinois: Floristic Composition and Disturbance", Boone Creek Fen is the only site that has not been dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Statewide, only 133 acres of high-quality graminoid fen were identified in the INAI. Of that total, 119 acres were located within the Morainal Division of Northeastern Illinois. Commission staff believe this first step by the O'Donnells will serve as a catalyst for other landowners to protect other portions of Boone Creek Fen.

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

Item 14:* St. Clair Co. -- Stemler Cave Nature Preserve, Dedication

Stemler Cave is a large cave in the sinkhole plain karst area of southwestern Illinois. The cave was recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #939) for its high quality terrestrial and aquatic cave natural communities. The cave supports a population of an endangered invertebrate, the Illinois cave amphipod. The entrance to Stemler Cave is owned

by Homer and Loretta Stemler. The Stemlers propose to dedicate one-acre surrounding the entrance to the cave as a nature preserve.

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

Item 15:* Will Co.-- Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Will County is proposing to dedicate 575.103 acres as the Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve; 358.032 are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and 217.071 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. The proposed nature preserve contains diverse examples of upland and floodplain forest, savanna, barrens, prairie, seep, fen, sedge meadow, and marsh as well as culturally-derived communities such as old field, successional forests and thickets. Unique and of ecological significance in Hickory Creek Barrens is the occurrence of "barrens", a rare natural community consisting of a shrubby prairie with a "shrub" oak component in its appropriate landscape context as a transition between forest, savanna and prairie communities. Barrens rarely persist today because these communities rapidly reverted to forest during settlement in the absence of natural disturbances such as fire, or cultural disturbances such as grazing.

REPORT
Dave Mauger
Will County Forest Preserve District
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 16:* Cook Co. -- Kennicott's Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Glenview Park District seeks final approval for dedication of a portion of Kennicott'sGrove as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of approximately 60 acres of Kennicott's Grove at the Commission's 144th Meeting in August 1994 (Resolution #1238) in recognition of two extant natural communities (dry-mesic woodland and sedge meadow) that support six known state-listed endangered or threatened species. The area now proposed for final dedication by the Glenview Park District, although slightly less than the amount conferred preliminary approval by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, represents the first phase of a preserve design and planning process that will very likely include preservation of more land than what was identified in the proposal for dedication. Information regarding the potential use of this site as a wetland mitigation bank, a map showing the area proposed by the Glenview Park District for final dedication, and an opinion regarding dedication of an easement are provided with the instrument of dedication.

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

Item 17:* Cook Co.-- Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeks final approval to dedicate 9.83 acres as the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve. Old Plank Road Prairie is a railroad prairie that was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #540 and INAI #541) for its high natural quality mesic prairie. IDNR plans to protect the prairie while redeveloping the right-of-way into a biking and hiking trail. The Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve received preliminary approval at the 151st meeting (Resolution #1310) of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

REPORT
Brian Reilly
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 18:* Cook Co. -- Dewey Helmick Nature Preserve Addition to Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Rich Township seeks final approval for dedication of 2.49 acres as nature preserve and 0.66 acres as nature preserve buffer. This prairie received preliminary approval as Additions to the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve at the 154th meeting (Resolution #1338) of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. The Dewey Helmick Nature Preserve is located 500 feet west of the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve, together these railroad prairies form over a mile of dedicated nature preserve.

REPORT
Brian Reilly
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 19:* Lake Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Lake Forest Open Lands Association seeks final approval for dedication of 9.0 acres as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve. The proposal to dedicate Skokie River Nature Preserve called for the nature preserve to "...be expanded through dedication of adjacent lands as buffer and improved by natural community restoration." Dedication of this 9.0-acre tract will increase the size of the preserve from 126 to 135 acres in size and will protect the southern border of the preserve from incompatible land uses. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this 9.0-acre tract and a Master Plan for the Derwen Mawr Nature Preserve at the Commission's 154th Meeting (Resolution #1341). The instrument of dedication prepared for this 9.0-acre tract specifically refers to the previously approved Master Plan.

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

Item 20:* Ogle County -- Additions to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve is a 141-acre dry and dry-mesic dolomite prairie nature preserve that was dedicated (116 acres nature preserve and 25 acres buffer) in 1992. The owner, Byron Forest Preserve District, proposes to add 10 acres of the original prairie remnant, the restored 25-acre buffer and an additional 35 acres of restored prairie as dedicated nature preserve; and proposes to dedicate an additional 110 acres of surrounding open space -- including recently restored prairie areas -- as nature preserve buffer. This dedication, which will provide an expanded, more manageable and less fragmented nature preserve boundary as well as additional ecological and physical buffer, was given Preliminary Approval for Dedication by the Commission at the 154th Meeting (Resolution #1342).

REPORT
John Alesandrini
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final approval for Dedication

Item 21:* Review of Commission Resolutions Outlining Management Approval Procedures

The current Rules for Management of Illinois Nature Preserves (Rules), effective January 31, 1994, added several new approaches for preparing nature preserve master plans and approval of specific management activities (17 Admin. Code 4000.150-4000.160). At the 145th meeting (Item 10), staff made a presentation outlining how to implement these procedures in a way to expedite management approval. As a result of this presentation and some discussion, the Commission adopted Resolution #1246, which (i) redefined the function of the Technical Advisory Committee, (ii) authorized staff to approve master plans, goal statements, management schedules and specific management actions that are in compliance with the Rules, Commission policies, and management guidelines, (iii) directed staff to bring all proposed management actions that are contested or not previously approved for use in a preserve, or covered by the Rules or a management guideline and (iv) authorized the chair to give final approval to master plans approved following this procedure. The resolution specifically referenced a memo to Brian Anderson from Randy Heidorn that defined additional detail about the procedure including defining that a standard management action was one approved by the Commission three times. At the 151st meeting (Item 18), the Commission amended Resolution #1246, to strike the words "contested or" (Resolution #1318). This change was suggested by staff since the existing resolution could be used to prevent or delay a routine management action from taking place, even though it had been previously approved by the Commission or was covered by the Rules or a management guideline.

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
To Be Determined

Item 22: Johnson Co. -- Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control Project

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission
ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
None

Item 23: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 24: Other Business

Item 25: Adjournment