ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA

ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-NINTH MEETING

Pere Marquette State Park Lodge
Route 100
Grafton, Illinois 62037
October 31, 2000 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 168th Meeting, August 1, 2000

Item 4: 2001 Proposed Meeting Schedule and Locations

6 February - Illinois State Library, Springfield
1 May - Giant City State Park, Makanda
7 August - Gaylord Building, Lockport
25 October - Desoto Hotel, Galena

Item 5:* Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2001 Land Acquisition Proposals

REPORT                                  ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Brian Reilly                               Approval of Additions to Acquisition List
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 6:* Proposal to Combine Natural Areas Acquisition Fund/Other Special Funds for Land Acquisition

REPORT                                   ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Brian Reilly                                 Approval of Proposal
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 7: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll, Don McFall, and Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 8: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 9:* Champaign and Vermilion Co. - Edgewood Farm Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed 156.7-acre Edgewood Farm Land and Water Reserve, located in east-central Illinois near Homer, is owned by Jim and Eleanor Smith. The proposed reserve contains a 1.2-mile segment of the Salt Fork River, a biologically significant stream (INAI #1427). The Salt Fork River provides habitat for four state-endangered mussels and one state-endangered fish. These are the round hickorynut mussel (Obovaria subrotunda), wavy-rayed lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola), little spectaclecase mussel (Villosa lienosa), rainbow mussel (Villosa iris), and bluebreast darter (Etheostoma camurum). The proposed reserve includes two separate tracts that contain bottomland forest, a slough, wetlands, upland forest, ponds, and hayfields. It lies in the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division. Fifteen species of state-endangered or state-threatened birds have been observed at Edgewood Farm. The proposed land and water reserve provides a riparian buffer along the Salt Fork River and benefits water quality in the river by limiting water runoff and soil erosion.

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

Item 10:* Coles Co. - Sargent's Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Sargent's Woods, located southeast of Charleston in east-central Illinois, is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality, dry-mesic upland forest (INAI #34). It represents the original woodland vegetation of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The proposed land and water reserve is a 54-acre dry-mesic upland forest owned by Leslee and Darla Combs. Sargent's Woods is a diverse forest that harbors 50 species of trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Mr. Combs' great-great-great grandfather was the first settler at Sargent's Woods. Many Sargent family members have conserved the woods over the years. Mr. and Mrs. Combs continued the family legacy of protecting the woods when they purchased Sargent's Woods in 1998. Mr. Combs was awarded a grant from Conservation 2000 to pay for a conservation easement, in the form of a land and water reserve, to permanently protect the forest.

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

Item 11:* Saline Co. - P & E Refuge Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Kathy Phelps proposes to register as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, the 33-acre P & E Refuge. The area has been an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark since 1986 and the owner now wishes to permanently protect the site. The proposed reserve contains a 1-acre dry-mesic upland forest, 17 acres of dry upland forest, 14 acres of dry barrens community, and a 1-acre camp site. These communities are representative of the Greater Shawnee Hills Section of the

Shawnee Hills Natural Division. Though not included on the INAI, P & E Refuge is an important site because of the barrens community and because it provides habitat for five state-threatened or endangered species: the threatened southern grape fern (Botrychium biternatum), the threatened climbing milkweed (Matelea obliqua), the endangered spring ladies tresses orchid (Spiranthes vernalis), the threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and the threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus).

REPORT                                   ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Judy Faulkner Dempsey              Registration Approval
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 12:* Cook Co. - Addition of Buffer to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is a 91-acre site owned by the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (70 acres) and the City of Elgin (21 acres). Bluff Spring Fen was recognized by the INAI (#537) for extant high-quality graminoid fen, sedge meadow, and calcareous seep wetland communities of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. In addition, the site supports 12 state-listed endangered or threatened plant species and one state-listed threatened insect. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve was conferred preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission's 109th Meeting (Resolution #890) in March, 1986. Subsequently, the Commission conferred final approval for a portion of the site owned by the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago at its 112th Meeting (Resolution #915) in October, 1986. The balance of the site, which is owned by the City of Elgin, received final approval for dedication at the Commission's 116th Meeting (Resolution #964) in November, 1987. The proposed addition consists of three parcels totaling 4.34 acres. Two of the tracts were purchased by the City of Elgin in 1996 as part of the City's continuing effort to acquire and remove homes located in the Poplar Creek flood plain. The third tract was conveyed to the City of Elgin in 1991 as a condition for approval of a nearby residential development. Formal protection of these three tracts of land is consistent with the recommendations of the recently adopted Elgin Parks and Recreation Master Plan. That plan specifically states: "Elgin contains three Illinois State Nature Preserves...Bluff Spring Fen, Trout Park, and Sleepy Hollow Ravine. These properties are also fragile and highly vulnerable to degradation from new development. The City of Elgin should aggressively protect these sites..." Dedication of the proposed addition would increase the acreage of Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve from 91 to 95.34 acres. On behalf of the City of Elgin, the INPC staff recommends dedication of the three tracts, totaling 4.34 acres, as an addition to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve.

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

Item 13:* Hancock Co. - Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), was dedicated in February, 1975, as the 54th nature preserve. Cedar Glen Nature Preserve consists of 145 acres with a 43-acre buffer. TNC proposes to increase the size of this nature preserve by dedicating an additional 252 acres of bottom land forest, located north of the present Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. The current nature preserve, as well as the proposed addition, lies within the Cedar Glen Kibbe Macrosite (INAI #565 and #152). Significant features of this macrosite include: high to moderate quality floodplain forests, dry-mesic oak-hickory woodlands, barrens, hill prairies, savanna, Bald Eagle winter roosts, mussel bed, heron rookery, turtle hibernaculae, and breeding habitat for rare fish. State-threatened or endangered species found within the macrosite are: Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) winter roosts, river otter (Lontra canadensis), lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus), butterfly mussel (Ellipsaria lineolata), black sandshell (Ligumia recta), leafy bulrush (Scirpus polyphyllus), drooping sedge (Carex prasina), and pale false foxglove (Agalinis skinneriana). The INPC previously granted preliminary approval for the dedication of 143 acres as nature preserve and 69 acres of buffer of this bottom land area in 1974 at the 53rd Meeting (Resolution #346). Over time natural succession and protection of this area has allowed the natural communities to improve such that the entire area now qualifies for nature preserve status.

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

Item 14:* Kendall Co. - Millhurst Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Millhurst Fen is a 7-acre site in Kendall County which was recently acquired by the IDNR. It is located approximately three miles southwest of Plano, in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Millhurst Fen is a rare natural community within the Grand Prairie Natural Division, and is included on the INAI (#981) because it provides habitat for three state-listed species: yellow monkey flower (Mimulus glabratus), slender bog arrow-grass (Triglochin palustris), and beaked spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata). Dedication of Millhurst Fen will allow this unique site and the threatened or endangered species which inhabit it to be protected in perpetuity.

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

Item 15:* Logan Co. - Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve, owned by Frank and Esther Bellrose, Ron Bellrose, and Sandra Miller Bellrose, is an approximately 106-acre tract that includes a 0.8-mile segment of Sugar Creek-Salt Creek Drainage Natural Area (INAI #1521) plus adjacent woodlands and grasslands. Sugar Creek is representative of the streams of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and is recognized on the INAI for its high mussel diversity (at least 10 species). Sugar Creek, within the proposed nature preserve, currently maintains at least 17 mussel species plus a variety of high quality aquatic habitat types. Riparian lands within the proposed nature preserve help to maintain high quality stream conditions by functioning as a buffer against nutrient enrichment and soil erosion and by providing shading and organic matter input. These areas also provide essential wildlife habitat in an intensely agricultural landscape that is experiencing rapid home site development in some sections. If approved, the nature preserve would be the first protected section of the approximately 13-mile stream natural area, in addition to being the first dedicated nature preserve in Logan County. The INPC staff recommends preliminary approval of Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

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

Item 16:* Madison Co. - Poole Farm Addition to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Institute proposes to dedicate 7.25 acres of the Poole Farm as an addition to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also borders the 16.5-acre Oblate Father's Woods Nature Preserve. The Poole Farm, located in the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division, is a key parcel within the watershed of the stream that separates the Mississippi Sanctuary and Oblate Father's Woods. The site also completes the protection of the dry-mesic and mesic forest that is contiguous on all three properties. The complex of adjoining lands in the area, including John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary Nature Preserve Buffer, Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, and Oblate Fathers Nature Preserve, comprise a total of 393 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 400 acres. The preservation of the Poole Farm will also add more buffer to the nearby Bald Eagle winter roost on the John M. Olin Nature Preserve, and will preserve critical habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake, which is found in the vicinity of the property.

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

Item 17:* Will Co. - Addition of Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) proposes to dedicate 25.93 acres as buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, bringing the total dedicated acreage of the site to over 300 acres. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna is an INAI site (#935) which lies in the Kankakee Sands Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area's dune and swale topography support high quality sand prairie, sand savanna, sedge meadow, and marsh communities. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve provides habitat for five state-listed species: regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia), false asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa), small sundew (Drosera intermedia), grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosis), and tubercled orchid (Plantanthera flava). The proposed buffer is comprised of an old field, dry-mesic sand savanna, and dry-mesic to mesic prairie. While a portion of the 25.93 acres was included on the original INAI, disturbance from past use is evident. The proposed addition would serve as important buffer to the higher quality natural communities within the existing Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve while the District restores the site to its original condition.

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

Item 18:* Will Co. - Addition of Buffer to Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve is an 800-acre site owned by the IDNR, FPDWC, and the villages of Park Forest and University Park. It is located in northeastern Will County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Approximately 500 acres of Thorn Creek Woods is included on the INAI (#933) for its Grade B dry-mesic upland forest, and for providing habitat for state-listed species. The entire 500 acres of INAI forest, plus an additional 300 acres of bottomland forest, wooded ravines, seeps, and marshes have since been permanently protected through dedication as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Thorn Creek Woods is one of the largest forested areas in northeastern Illinois. The FPDWC has recently acquired an additional 76.8 acres south of the existing Nature Preserve and proposes to dedicate it as buffer. This will bring the total dedicated acreage to 877.4, making it the fifth largest site in the Illinois Nature Preserves system.

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

Item 19:* Clay Co. - Martin T. Snyder Memorial Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Martin T. Snyder Memorial Nature Preserve is a 93.5-acre tract that is also known as Hanging Rock Sandstone Cliff Natural Area. This site was donated to the IDNR in 1999. Hanging Rock Sandstone Cliff is included on the INAI (#679) for its Grade A sandstone cliff, Grade B dry-mesic upland forest, and Grade C wet-mesic floodplain forest representative of the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The site was named for the extensive sandstone and shale cliffs that have been undercut by Raccoon Creek. These cliffs run for 700 yards along Raccoon Creek and are about 30 feet tall. The proposed nature preserve is a fragile natural community that supports over 375 species of plants and animals. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 168th Meeting (Resolution #1546) in August, 2000.

REPORT                                   ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Terry Esker                                Final Approval for Dedication
IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage

Item 20: Lake Co. - Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 21:* Update on Ad Hoc INPC Sign Committee

REPORT                                   ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Jill Allread                                  Approval of Sign Designs
Nature Preserves Commission

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

Item 23: Other Business

Item 24: Adjournment