ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION AGENDA
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINTH MEETING

Burpee Museum of Natural History
737 North Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103
May 6, 2003 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 3, 2003, and the 178th Meeting, February 4, 2003

Item 4: Next Meeting Schedule

16 September, 9:00 a.m. - Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield

Item 5: INPC Staff Report

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 6: IDNR Staff Report

REPORT
Glen Kruse
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation

Item 7:* Adams Co. – Fall Creek Gorge Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed 52.05-acre Fall Creek Gorge Land and Water Reserve consists of the northeastern portion of Fall Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook, owned and managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The Overlook serves as a roadside rest stop, located off the Marblehead Exit to the south of Illinois Route 336, 12 miles southeast of Quincy. Found within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois, Fall Creek Gorge includes all but the southernmost 2 acres of the 16-acre site identified by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #148) as a high-quality natural community (Category I); having approximately one vertical acre of grade B limestone cliff. The state-endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) was observed on the site. The Illinois State Geological Survey has stated that the area is a “significant geological natural area because of the exceptional natural exposures of Burlington limestone.” The site also contains significant archeological resources. Professional archeologists will monitor the site on an annual basis.

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 8:* Cass Co. – Panther Creek Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Panther Creek Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve, owned by the IDNR, is a 32-acre site within the West Open Unit of Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. The proposed reserve contains approximately 10 acres of loess hill prairie representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area is included on the INAI (#111) due to the high-quality loess hill prairie and the occurrence of two state-threatened species, Hill’s thistle (Cirsium hillii) and Ottoe skipper (Hesperia ottoe).

REPORT
Tim Kelley
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region IV

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 9:* Coles Co. – Woodyard Memorial Conservation Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Woodyard Memorial Conservation Area is owned by the City of Charleston and protects 205.14 acres of forest, hill prairie, and river within the Embarras River watershed Charleston received a C2000 grant from the IDNR to assist in the acquisition of the Conservation Area. The Conservation Area occurs on the south edge of the City of Charleston in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The Conservation Area encompasses four tracts of land with distinctive natural features. The 36.2-acre hill prairie tract protects Waterworks Hill Prairie, recognized by the INAI as a high-quality glacial drift hill prairie (INAI #5). Waterworks Hill Prairie is the largest and best glacial drift hill prairie remaining along the Embarras River. The 135.9-acre woodland tract contains upland woods, flooded ravine/wetland habitat and lake shore frontage on Lake Charleston. The state-threatened plant false hellebore (Veratrum woodii) occurs in the woodland tract. The ridge tract is .4 acres of upland forest. The 32.6-acre river tract protects a .4-mile segment of the Embarras River, a biologically significant stream that provides important habitat for at least five species of state-threatened or endangered fish and mussels. The little spectacle case mussel (Villosa lienosa) and the harlequin darter (Etheostoma histrio) have been found in the Embarras River within .2-mile of the river tract. The river also provides habitat for the state-threatened or endangered eastern sand darter (Ammocrypta pellucidum), rabbitsfoot mussel (Quadrula cylindrica), and snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra). However, these species have not been found in the immediate vicinity of the river tract.

REPORT
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 10:* Johnson Co. – Grassy Slough Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Grassy Slough Land and Water Reserve includes 2,672.50 acres in Johnson County in extreme southern Illinois. The area is owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Of the 2,672.50 acres of the proposed Grassy Slough Land and Water Reserve, 2,268 acres are enrolled in the Cache River Special Wetland Reserve Program. The area has been restored to wetland habitat through the C2000 program. Six hundred thousand dollars has been invested in the restoration. Prior to the purchase by TNC, the entire site was planted annually to vegetables. Historically, the area was dominated by low, wet bottomland hardwood forest and swamps. Grassy Slough has long been considered an important tract for preservation because of its geographic location. The tract separates the Little Black Slough Unit of the Cache River State Natural Area (CRSNA) (7,764 acres) from the Lower Cache River Unit of the CRSNA (6,342 acres). With registration of Grassy Slough, the results will be an unfragmented 16,778.5-acre riparian corridor in conservation ownership. An equally important outcome of preservation of Grassy Slough is that this is the site of the future reconnection of the Upper and Lower segments of the Cache River. This reconnection will be the key to restoring the structure and function of the river to a self-sustaining equilibrium and will help preserve a rich diversity of wetlands, forested swamps, and bottomland hardwood forests of the Bottomlands Section of the Coastal Plain Natural Division, an area which includes more than 100 species listed as threatened or endangered in the State of Illinois.

REPORT
Judy Faulkner Dempsey
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 11:* McHenry Co. – Goose Lake Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Goose Lake Marsh Land and Water Reserve is 80 acres in size and is owned by the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD). The proposed land and water reserve is part of a larger land holding that totals 270 acres of wetlands and surrounding upland habitats that are characteristic of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The proposed land water reserve, known as Streets Lake on the INAI (#1274), was included on the INAI because of the presence of five state-listed wetland bird species. Those species include the state-endangered Black tern (Childonias niger) and the Yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). The three state-threatened bird species include the Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), Pied-billed grebe (Podylimbus podiceps), and Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). In addition to these state-listed species, the marsh supports a diverse assemblage of flora and fauna.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 12:* Vermilion Co. – Kinney’s Ford Seep Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Kinney’s Ford Seep is a 37.6-acre seep and forest owned by the IDNR and located within the Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area in Vermilion County. This site contains a 3-acre, high-quality seep in the Vermilion River Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division that is recognized by the INAI (#1511). This proposed land and water reserve protects all of the high-quality seep owned by the IDNR and a portion of the recharge area for the seep. A smaller part of the Kinney’s Ford Natural Area occurs on private land west of the proposed land and water reserve. Kinney’s Ford Seep has relatively high plant diversity that includes 182 native plant species. The site is located within a half mile of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, Illinois’ only stream protected under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

REPORT
Bob Szafoni
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region III
Mary Kay Solecki
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 13:* Washington Co. – Sipple Slough Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The proposed Sipple Slough Woods Land and Water Reserve is a 40-acre tract owned by the IDNR. It contains southern flatwoods and shrub swamp/pond natural communities representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division and provides habitat for buffalo clover (Trifolium reflexum), an endangered plant species. Sipple Slough Woods is included on the INAI (#866). The proposed land and water reserve is directly adjacent to Chip-O-Will Land and Water Reserve, a 55-acre flatwoods site registered in 2001. The flatwoods at the proposed reserve is part of a 7,000 acres forest along the unchannelized portion of the Kaskaskia River. This is the largest unbroken block of forest in Illinois.

REPORT
Diane Tecic
Regional Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region IV

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Registration Approval

Item 14:* Cook Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication

Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve is a 12-acre canyon with a high-quality dolomite cliff natural community (INAI #0256) that is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC). Final approval for dedication of Sagawau Canyon was granted at the Commission’s 99th Meeting in May, 1984 (Resolution #799). Both Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve and the proposed 123-acre addition as nature preserve buffer owned by the FPDCC are located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The proposed addition includes 100 acres of dolomite prairie, 20 acres of dry-mesic forest, and 3 acres of graminoid fen that are being restored as part of a settlement agreement reached between the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Material Service Corporation and administered by Corporation for Open Lands (CorLands). One element of that settlement agreement calls for the FPDCC to submit areas being restored to the INPC for formal protection.

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 15:* Iroquois Co. – Addition to Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve is a 483-acre nature preserve owned by the IDNR and dedicated as a nature preserve in June, 1986. The IDNR proposes to dedicate 77 acres as an addition to the preserve. Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve and the proposed addition are included on the INAI (#577) and contain dry sand savanna, dry mesic sand savanna, sand flatwoods and mesic sand prairie representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The proposed addition is sand savanna, sand forest, and agricultural fields. Management plans for the proposed addition include reconstruction of shrub prairie and sand prairie in the old fields and prescribed burning in the sand forest and savanna.

REPORT
Kim Roman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 16:* Lee Co. – Addition to Franklin Creek Nature Preserve, Dedication

Franklin Creek Nature Preserve is a 189.41-acre nature preserve owned by the IDNR and dedicated as a nature preserve in July, 1970 with additions in October, 1970 and May, 1996. The IDNR proposes to dedicate an additional 8.5-acre tract. Franklin Creek Nature Preserve is located in the central portion of Franklin Creek State Park and is included on the INAI (#1068). The Nature Preserve contains upland and floodplain forest, sandstone cliff, and hill prairie natural communities representative of the Oregon Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division. The proposed addition contains dry mesic and mesic upland forest. With dedication of this addition the Nature Preserve will total 197.91 acres.

REPORT
Todd Bittner
District Heritage Biologist
IDNR, Office of Resource Conservation, Region I

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 17:* Macoupin Co. – King Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication

King Forest, owned by Mr. Mitch King, is a 17.5-acre site included within the 40-acre Chaney Woods Natural Area (INAI #30), recognized on the INAI for a 37-acre, grade B, dry-mesic upland forest. The proposed nature preserve supports approximately 15 acres of the grade B forest plus 2.5 acres of grade C, dry-mesic upland forest, both of which are natural communities representative of the Carlinville Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. The dry-mesic forest supports large canopy individuals such as white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. velutina), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), and mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa). The owner wishes to ensure the continued protection and proper restoration management of King Forest by having it dedicated in perpetuity as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

REPORT
Tom Lerczak
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 18:* Randolph Co. – Prairie of the Rock Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed Prairie of the Rock Nature Preserve, owned by J.W. (Bill) Gonterman, is a 10-acre blufftop parcel overlooking the Mississippi River floodplain and the town of Prairie du Rocher. Approximately 3 acres of the proposed nature preserve are included in the 80-acre Prairie du Rocher-South INAI site (#99). The Prairie du Rocher-South INAI site, located in the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division, contains a matrix of loess hill prairie, limestone bluff, and upland forest. The INAI site also contains the state-endangered Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis). The proposed nature preserve contains grade B & C loess hill prairie, grade A limestone cliff community, and grade C dry-mesic upland forest.

REPORT
Debbie Newman
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Preliminary Approval for Dedication

Item 19:* Hancock Co. – Stony Hills Nature Preserve, Dedication

Stony Hills Nature Preserve, owned by Roger Batz and Gretchen Graft Batz of Elsah, Illinois, contains approximately 54.4 acres. The entire proposed nature preserve lies within the boundaries of Jamar Haven Land and Water Reserve. In 1999, the INPC approved registration of Jamar Haven as the 39th Land and Water Reserve (Resolution #1504). Stony Hills contains approximately 3.5 acres of the 5-acre site recognized by the INAI (#1645) as the Niota Geological Area. The Niota Geological Area was confirmed by the Illinois State Geological Survey as a Category IV geological site. The site contains significant geological and archeological features and habitat for a state-threatened reptile. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 178th Meeting in February, 2003 (Resolution #1699).

REPORT
Angella Moorehouse
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 20:* Kane Co. – Dixie Fromm Briggs Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

The proposed 65.92-acre Dixie Fromm Briggs Prairie Nature Preserve, owned by Dundee Township, is a mosaic of natural plant communities arrayed upon a rolling topography with diverse soil types, different exposures, and varying moisture regimes. The site was recently recognized by the INAI (#1625) for populations of the state-threatened Hill’s thistle (Cirsium hillii). The populations of Hill’s thistle are surviving elements of a dry prairie plant community, an extremely rare community in the State. Only 1.4 acres of high-quality dry prairie were identified on the INAI. In addition to the dry prairie plant community, elements of sedge meadow and graminoid fen wetlands also survive at the site. The proposed Dixie Fromm Briggs Prairie Nature Preserve is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 178th Meeting in February, 2003 (Resolution #1700).

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 21:* McHenry Co. – Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) proposes to dedicate 96.63 acres ( 31.43 acres as nature preserve and 65.20 acres as buffer) to be known as Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve. A portion of the proposed nature preserve lies within a larger wetland basin recognized by the INAI as Detrana Fen (#1557). The proposed Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Five natural plant communities support 268 native plant species including the state-endangered green-fruited burreed (Sparganium chlorocarpum). The proposed 90.02- acre Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve is part of a 225-acre tract conveyed to TNC and the McHenry County Conservation District in 1999 by the Herz, Kessler, Lehman, Mecklenburger, Morris, Radov, Scholzman, and Weinberg families (the owners of Fel-Pro). The site was referred to by these families as the Fel-Pro Rest, Relaxation, and Recreation Ranch, hence the triple R designation. The balance of the site, and portions of the proposed Nature Preserve, will offer outdoor educational opportunities for the public and children enrolled in programs offered by Metropolitan Family Services. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 178th Meeting in February, 2003 (Resolution #1701).

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 22:* McHenry Co. – Buffer Addition to Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

The McHenry County Conservation District proposes to dedicate 17.21 acres as nature preserve buffer as an addition to Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve. A portion of the proposed nature preserve lies within a larger wetland basin recognized by the INAI as Detrana Fen (#1557). The proposed Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Five natural plant communities support 268 native plant species including the state-endangered green-fruited burreed (Sparganium chlorocarpum). The proposed 90.02- acre Fel-Pro Triple R Fen Nature Preserve is part of a 225-acre tract conveyed to The Nature Conservancy and the McHenry County Conservation District in 1999 by the Herz, Kessler, Lehman, Mecklenburger, Morris, Radov, Scholzman, and Weinberg families (the owners of Fel-Pro). The site was referred to by these families as the Fel-Pro Rest, Relaxation, and Recreation Ranch, hence the triple R designation. The balance of the site, and portions of the proposed Nature Preserve, will offer outdoor educational opportunities for the public and children enrolled in programs offered by Metropolitan Family Services. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 178th Meeting in February, 2003 (Resolution #1701).

REPORT
Steven Byers
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Final Approval for Dedication

Item 23:* Effingham Co. – Rock Cave Nature Preserve, Highway/Nature Preserve Erosion Control Project

Heavy rains in the spring of 2002 saturated the embankment of Highway 128 which borders Rock Cave Nature Preserve. This resulted in the embankment collapsing into the ditch and onto the Nature Preserve. The Illinois Department of Transportation proposes to implement erosion control measures involving the placement of a pipe and reshaping the embankment. This will help protect the site from erosion and sedimentation, and repair a serious driving hazard.

REPORT
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission
Gary Welton
Illinois Department of Transportation

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Project

Item 24: Lake Co. – Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

REPORT
Carolyn Grosboll and John Nelson
Nature Preserves Commission

Item 22:* Vegetation Management Guidelines

The Management Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to handle 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 reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and round-leaved bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and new guidelines for honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) and white mulberry (Morus alba) are presented for approval. Methods of control for these species include various applications and combinations of prescribed fire, cutting and spot treatments of herbicide depending on site specific conditions and management goals. These revisions were drafted by Eric Smith, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Debbie Scott Newman and Thomas Lerczak and edited by Mary Kay Solecki and Randy Heidorn. 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
Randy Heidorn
Nature Preserves Commission

ACTION TO BE CONSIDERED
Approval of Guidelines

Item 26: Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Item 27: Other Business

Item 28: Adjournment

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