Lake Co. -- Florsheim Park, Dedication 12
Macoupin Co. -- Macoupin Woods, Dedication 13
Whiteside Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication 14
Johnson Co. -- Deer Pond, Dedication 15
Lake Co. -- Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Dedication 16
Winnebago Co. -- Addition of the Dr. Barbara Mae Atwood Tract to Harlem Hills Nature
Preserve, Dedication 17
Heron Pond -- Little Black Slough Nature Preserve Erosion Control Project: Status Report 18
Request of Downers Grove Park District to Exchange Buffer for Other Land 19
Adoption of Agenda 2
Approval of Minutes of 149th Meeting 3
Next Meeting Schedule 4
Staff Report 5
IDNR Staff Report 6
Public Comment Period 7
Gordon Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance 8
Teaming With Wildlife National Coalition 9
Biocontrol of Purple Loosestrife in Illinois Nature Preserves: Annual Update 10
IDNR's Urban Whitetailed Deer Control Program 11
Approval of INPC's Organizational Chart 20
Other Business 21
Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:05 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chairman Donnelley, the meeting began.
Members present: Gerald Adelmann, Thomas Donnelley, Francis Farwell, Don Pierce, John Schmitt, and Valerie Spale.
Members absent: Anthony Dvorak, Wendy Paulson, and Judith Spasovich.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Steve Byers, Judith Faulkner, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tammie McKay, Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Carl Becker, Randall Collins, Bob Edgin, Terry Esker, Bill McClain, Don McFall, Mark Phipps, John Schwegman, Todd Strole, and Diane Tecic, Division of Natural Heritage, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Sue Lauzon and Jim Herkert, Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB); John Buhnerkempe and Paul Shelton, Division of Wildlife Resources, IDNR; Alfred C. Koelling, Illinois State Museum; David Voegtlin and Robert Wiedenmann, Illinois Natural History Survey; Susan Dees, Steve Doores and Barb Traeger, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Sharon Suchecki, former intern with INPC; Gordon Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance; Mark Duntemann, Natural Path Forestry, Missoula, MT; Susanne Masi, Chicago Botanic Garden and Natural Path Forestry Consultant; Sara Utter, Village of Lincolnshire; Brian Reilly, Natural Land Institute; Gretchen Bonfert, Green Strategies; Marilyn Campbell, Illinois Audubon Society; Albert Rouffa, UIC; and Ken Spale, Save the Prairie Society.
150-2) Adoption of Agenda
Carolyn reported one change to the Agenda; Item 19 will be presented by Carolyn rather than Randy Heidorn.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Farwell, and carried that the Agenda for the 150th Meeting be adopted as amended.
Chairman Donnelley announced that effective November 30, 1995, Brian Anderson resigned as Director of INPC to become the Ecosystems Project Manager for IDNR. Chairman Donnelley further announced and congratulated Carolyn Grosboll who has accepted the position as Director of INPC effective December 16, 1995.
150-3) Approval of Minutes of 149th Meeting, October 31, 1995
Carolyn reported the following changes to the Minutes of the 149th Meeting: INPC consultant, Al Koelling was present and his name should be added to Item 1. On page 13, Item 20, the resolution should read "The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Heeren Prairie Nature Preserve in Ogle County,..." not Cook County as it reads.
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the Minutes for the 149th Meeting be approved as amended.
150-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Carolyn reported that the next meeting will be held on May 7, 1996 at the Giant City State Park Lodge in Makanda, Illinois.
150-5) INPC Staff Report
Carolyn reported on several personnel matters. Effective January 1, 1996, Mary Kay Solecki, INPC's Central Illinois Field Representative, has begun a permanent part-time flexible work schedule. Mary Kay will be working 8:30 to 3:00 during the school year (September through May), and two mornings per week, Tuesday and Thursday, throughout the summer (June through August).
When Mary Kay became a part-time employee, a vacancy was created and that position has been established in Will County and will be located at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, which is the office of the U.S. Forest Service. The position will hopefully be filled in April, 1996.
Also, Commission staff have been working to fill two clerical positions in the Springfield office. The paperwork has been completed, and one position should be filled soon. The other position will be filled this Spring.
The paperwork to fill the Deputy Director for Protection position has been completed and will be posted in early March. This person will supervise the field staff and will be responsible for protection efforts of the Commission.
Randy Heidorn's title has been changed from Stewardship Coordinator to Deputy Director for Stewardship. Randy's duties will remain the same except that he will have supervisory authority in the absence of the Director. These changes are reflected in the INPC Organizational Chart which is Item 20 of the Agenda.
Carolyn gave an update on the New Initiative of the Division of Natural Heritage and the Commission. The Initiative originally provided for five new Natural Areas Preservation Specialists (NAPS) for the Commission and ten new District Heritage Biologists (DHB) for the Division of Natural Heritage. This Initiative was also going to be done through contractual means with an entity outside of State government. As this proposed initiative proceeded, the Commission and the Division of Natural Heritage ran into difficulties with the legalities involved with this proposed contract. After much discussion with IDNR, it was decided that these positions should be full-time State employees rather than contractual. Between the Division of Natural Heritage and the Commission, ten new DHB's, four new NAPS and two new permanent part-time Commission employees will be hired. One of the part-time employees will be located in Northeastern Illinois to help staff deal with threats to nature preserves. The other part-time position will be placed in the Springfield office to help Randy Heidorn with the stewardship program. The Commission and Division of Natural Heritage are currently working to locate office space for these positions and hope to begin filling them as soon as possible. The Commission is very excited about the opportunity to double the size of its field staff and to have ten new DHB's for the Division of Natural Heritage.
Carolyn reported on the second Defense Authorization Bill which contains the provisions to transfer the Joliet Army Arsenal to the U.S. Forest Service. This bill was passed by the House and the Senate a couple of weeks ago. The first Defense Authorization Bill was vetoed by the President, but the second bill does not contain the controversial items like the first bill. The President has said he will sign the bill, but if he doesn't sign it by February 9, 1996, it automatically becomes law. Carolyn congratulated everyone that worked so hard for this effort, especially Commissioner Adelmann who played an integral part.
Carolyn reported that Judy Faulkner, INPC's Southern Illinois Field Representative, has been asked to write an article for the May issue of the Illinois Steward Magazine on Illinois' Natural Heritage Program and the new Register of Land and Water Reserves program. The article will compare these programs to the Illinois Nature Preserves dedication process.
Carolyn reported that Judy is also part of a work group called the Core Committee which was founded to assist with the comprehensive management plan for the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Carolyn reported that Mary Kay Solecki, INPC's Central Illinois Field Representative, has continued her protection efforts along the Embarras River, an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory stream. Mary Kay and District Heritage Biologist Bob Szafoni have negotiated a plan to reforest a privately owned 2-3 acre field on the banks of the river in Cumberland County. This effort is partial mitigation to the county for construction of a bridge which destroyed a riparian forest on the river.
Carolyn reported that a Natural Heritage Landmark agreement for the Wade-Cutright Farm has been negotiated by Amy Brown. She is conducting landowner contacts along the Embarras River as part of the same mitigation plan. The owners are recognizing their 84-acre parcel adjacent to the river.
Carolyn reported that John Alesandrini, INPC's Northwestern Illinois Field Representative, assisted the Illinois DNR, Iowa DNR, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with events at the recently held Quad Cities Bald Eagle Days in Rock Island, Illinois on January 25 and 26, 1996.
Carolyn reported that Steve Byers, INPC's Northeastern Illinois Field Representative, recently represented the Commission at the Citizens for Conservation's annual meeting and its 25th commemorative celebration. At that meeting, former INPC Commissioner Wendy Paulson, received the William H. Miller Conservation Award.
Randy Heidorn, Deputy Director for Stewardship, gave an update on INPC master plans. Currently, INPC has 92 master plans of which 56 are up-to-date. An additional 35 nature preserves have partially approved master plans. Because these master plans do not contain dedication proposals, INPC has contracted two individuals to prepare nine resource summaries which will allow the master plans to be completed.
Randy reported that he attended a purple loosestrife biocontrol meeting in January in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Randy stated that it was very interesting to find out what is happening in other states and realize once again that Illinois is a leader in natural areas management.
Randy gave an update on the proposal to construct a road along the edge of Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve in Carroll County. Originally, INPC and IDOT were asked by the landowner, Brookville Lutheran Cemetery Association, to permit the construction of a two-lane service road which would have impacted the preserve. John Alesandrini talked to the Cemetery Association Board and negotiated an agreement for a 14-foot corridor which is within INPC's guidelines. This is all pending final approval of an IDOT highway access permit.
Randy gave an update on herbicide licenses. To date this year, 66 volunteers have signed up and have become indemnified by the Commission under this program. Illinois Department of Agriculture held a special testing session for volunteers. Sixty-seven volunteers attended this session.
Randy also reported that Mr. William Wingate died in an automobile accident. Bill Wingate is the namesake of Wingate Prairie Nature Preserve and has been an icon for natural areas and native plant protection in McHenry County and northeastern Illinois. As McHenry County Conservation District Board member and President, Bill was responsible for the development and implementation of the District's land management policy that emphasized restoration of native landscapes. Bill taught a few generations of students to appreciate the natural heritage, first as a grade school teacher in Barrington, Illinois and later as a school librarian in Crystal Lake Central High School. Bill spread his influence by teaching extension courses through Northeastern Illinois University to many teachers including Randy Heidorn. His "Wanders with Wingate" taught two decades of McHenry County volunteers. Randy expressed gratitude to Bill for his influence and the establishment of many nature preserves including: Sterne's Fen, Wingate Prairie, Lake in the Hills Fen, Cary Junior High School Prairie, Sands Main Street Prairie, Spring Grove Prairie, and Glacial Park Nature Preserve. Randy personally thanked him for being a friend, teacher, and helping Randy to change his career from a junior high school teacher to a natural areas professional. Bill Wingate's name will be remembered along with other defenders of Illinois' natural heritage such as Doug Wade and George Fell.
At this time, Chairman Donnelley asked for a moment of silence in memory of Bill Wingate. He also asked staff to prepare a letter to his family on behalf of the Commission showing appreciation of his accomplishments over his lifetime.
150-6) IDNR Staff Report
Carl Becker briefly reported on the New Initiative. The Division of Natural Heritage is also in the process of identifying office and work locations for their ten districts and will then proceed to establish them. The goal is to fill these positions before the end of this current fiscal year.
Carl reported on staff additions to the Division of Natural Heritage. Randall Collins has been recently hired in the Springfield office as the Database Manager and is in charge of the Natural Heritage Database and Natural Areas Inventory. Three new employees have began working at the Prairie Chicken Sanctuary: Brian Griffith recently was hired as a Site Technician I; Barbara Martin was hired as a part-time Office Associate and will work two days a week, and Bob Edgin was hired as a resident in December and will continue for one year. Another new resident employee, Diane Tecic, has began working in the Alton Natural Heritage office. Three recently hired residents are: Chris Dinesen and Carla Murray from Western Illinois University, and Amy Ragusa, from Eastern Illinois University. Chris and Amy are located at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie office and Carla is located at the Pekin office. These positions last one year and are part of their graduate program.
Finally, Carl reported that the Natural Areas Conference will be held October 23-26, 1996 at the Pheasant Run Resort and Conference Center in St. Charles, Illinois. Since Carl spoke of this at the last meeting, the conference has grown, because the 15th North American Prairie Conference and the Indiana Dunes Ecosystem Conference will be held in conjunction with the Natural Areas Conference. The first steering committee meeting was held in January. Brad Semel, District Heritage Biologist in the Chain-O-Lakes office, is the Chair for the Steering Committee. The field trip committee has been actively working on field trips as part of that conference. This event could bring 800-1,000 people into the Chicago region.
Commissioner Spale reported that Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve has been selected as one of the tour sites for the Natural Areas Conference.
Don McFall reported on the OSLAD and LAWCON grants. This is another important conservation program that is funded with the real estate transfer funds. Many very significant natural areas have been acquired through OSLAD grants, especially in northwestern Illinois. Don reported on six natural areas that he believes the Commission would be particularly interested in. He announced that $175,000 is available to the FPD of Cook County to acquire three acres of prairie adjacent to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve owned by Save the Prairie Society. This is a very significant addition to the prairie that will allow Save the Prairie Society to acquire additional land to help buffer that nature preserve.
Glenview Park District was granted $400,000 to acquire 14 acres adjacent to The Grove in Cook County. This site has habitat for four endangered species.
A long standing conservation acquisition priority in Illinois has been the Santa Fe Prairie in Cook County. The announcement was made that $400,000 was granted to the I&M Canal Civic Center Authority to acquire this 10-acre prairie. This is a very rare, mesic gravel prairie community that conservationists have been wanting to protect for many years.
The Kane County Forest Preserve District was granted $300,000 to acquire the Carson Slough, a 121-acre area that provides habitat for the yellow-headed blackbird and sandhill cranes.
The Lake County FPD was granted $400,000 to acquire the 45-acre connecting piece between Stockholm Lake and the Lakeland Forest Preserve. That area has three endangered plant species and a natural lake.
Finally, the Winnebago County FPD was granted $396,000 to acquire 437 acres along the Sugar River, a Natural Areas Inventory site that the Commission has been interested in for many years and where two nature preserves are located. That area will allow the Forest Preserve District to connect to some tracts of land they have been acquiring over the years. The OSLAD and LAWCON program has been very beneficial in getting some of the areas in protection.
150-7) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
150-8) Gordon Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance
Mr. Goodman presented materials to the Commissioners regarding 33 acres of property owned by Town and Country Homes located adjacent to Lyman Woods in Downers Grove. Mr. Goodman reported that a referendum has been placed on the March 19, 1996 ballot asking whether $3 million in bonds should be issued to purchase the 33 acres from Town and Country Homes.
Mr. Goodman is a current member of the Heritage Alliance Referendum Committee. This committee has been established by the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance organization which Mr. Goodman is also a current board member. Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is trying to put together a package which would not only have the potential $3 million from the Downers Grove Park District referendum, but would include funding from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District as well as private donations to purchase the 33 acres. The Alliance is continuing to work with agencies like the Park District and the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and the developer, at the same time this referendum is coming down. In particular, the Downers Grove Planning Commission will be hearing Town and Country's proposal for use of this land on February 13th, 1996 and the Alliance will attend this hearing. Mr. Goodman reported that the whole issue revolves around negative impacts to Lyman Woods since it is one of the two recognized nature preserve quality areas in Downers Grove. Belmont Prairie which is also an item on the Agenda, is the other high quality natural area.
The most significant aspect of the property north of Lyman Woods is the oak-savanna which the DuPage County FPD states is a class IV natural area with exceptionally high floristic quality. This property also contains oak hickory forest. Although there were homes on the property, it has had 11 years to revert to a natural state. In 1993, a study was done by Wayne Lampa, a naturalist of the DuPage County FPD, at the request of the District's Finance and Land Acquisition Committee. He reported that this is definitely a class IV area, the highest classification which would undoubtedly rate as one of the highest areas in the county when more extensive inventories of plants and animals are completed. (Mr. Goodman stated this report has been distributed along with a report by Steve Apfelbaum.) Mr. Goodman reported that Mr. Lampa was able to identify 184 native species with native index of 54. As a result of that study, the DuPage County FPD and the Downers Grove Park District purchased from Town and Country Homes an additional 8.5 acres adjoining the forest for $1.3 million. Mr. Goodman stated that there are still 33 acres which have as good or higher quality woods and plants that are important to Lyman Woods. Approximately 20-40% of the Lyman Woods habitat is in this corner that Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is trying to purchase. In order to try to purchase the 33 acres, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance commissioned a report from Steve Apfelbaum. In summary, Mr. Apfelbaum's report found that the overbuilding of office research facilities in the Chicago region had reduced this type of habitat, and within the last two years the DuPage County FPD staff demonstrated that this property was of the highest quality in DuPage County. To date, 8.5 acres have been purchased, but Mr. Goodman feels great public benefits can now be achieved for the future by purchasing the remaining 33 acres.
At the Commission's 148th Meeting in August, 1995, Mr. Goodman reported that the Village of Downers Grove held a hearing about the land use for this site. Several residents signed a petition requesting open space designation for this area. The Downers Grove Planning Commission and Village Council rejected the request. Currently, the site is designated as residential.
The proposal which will be heard by the Planning Commission on February 13th is for 169 townhouses to be built on 28 acres and an office complex to be built on the remaining five acres. Mr. Goodman was able to get approximately 13% of the registered voters in Downers Grove to petition the Downers Grove Park District's Board in January to put a referendum on the ballot. The Downers Grove Park District is cooperating with the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance and has passed an ordinance to put this issue on the ballot. The referendum is to sell $3 million in bonds for the purpose of purchasing part of the land at the Southeast corner of 31st Street and Highland Avenue. However, $3 million is not enough to buy the entire 33 acres of property. As stated earlier, the Alliance will have to put together a package with the DuPage County FPD and private donors, but the first step is to secure this $3 million approval.
Mr. Goodman sent a letter to Carolyn requesting an opportunity to address the Commission specifically to ask them to endorse the passage of the March referendum. He would also like the Commission to instruct INPC staff to work with Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance because there are lots of things that have to be done with the Downers Grove Park District, the DuPage County FPD, and the Conservation Foundation of DuPage County. Mr. Goodman would also like the Commission to send a letter commending Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance for their work. The most important proposal he brings to the Commission today is the proposed wording of an endorsement for the Heritage Alliance Referendum Committee to use in its campaign. Mr. Goodman asked the Commission to endorse passage of the Downers Grove Park District referendum on March 19, 1996 which authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $3 million "for the purpose of paying a portion of the cost of purchasing land at the southeast corner of 31st Street and Highland Avenue adjacent to Lyman Woods Preserve."
Chairman Donnelley asked how much more is required for purchase in addition to the $3 million.
Mr. Goodman stated that he doesn't know for certain, but he has an estimate of $6-8 million total based on a meeting of attorneys and staff of the DuPage County FPD and the Downers Grove Park District.
Carolyn asked if there is a contingency on the sale of the bonds, specifically whether an actual contract must be in existence before December 31, 1996 before the bonds can be issued.
Mr. Goodman stated that in order to cooperate with Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance, the Park District Board had to decide what the ground rules would be. The Board wrote a letter to Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance on December 7, 1995 which stated that they feel there is no point in selling the bonds if there isn't a reason to use the money. The Downers Grove Park District Board emphasized that the District would not proceed with the referendum until the minimum number of signatures for the referendum were presented. Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance has completed this task. Upon approval of the referendum, the Board will issue general obligation bonds only when a contract or an agreement to purchase has been accepted by all parties. The date of the contract to purchase can be no later than December 31, 1996. The Board members of the Downers Grove Park District also stated that they would not enter into a condemnation suit. Those are very strict guidelines, but Mr. Goodman thinks they are very acceptable and very appropriate in this case.
Commissioner Farwell asked Mr. Goodman if he has done financial impact work to determine how this action affects the taxes of the citizens of Downers Grove. Commissioner Farwell stated that this is a major consideration and he hopes Mr. Goodman has covered that effectively.
Mr. Goodman stated that the staff from the Downers Grove Park District have asked their bond counsel to look at assessed valuation and whether the bonds should be sold for 10, 15, or 20 years. Based on the District's estimates, the cost to a typical homeowner with a $150,000 home would be $10-12 per year.
Commissioner Pierce asked why the Downers Grove Park District approved the referendum, but not the purchase of the land.
Mr. Goodman explained that the Park District is enabling the referendum but not supporting it. He further stated that the Park District is enabling the referendum because their attorneys told them "if you put this on the ballot just as a citizen referendum, it won't mean a thing, and if everyone wants this and you approve something and you can't sell bonds, people are going to get awfully angry, so why don't you fix it so that the people only have to vote once."
Commissioner Spale commended the group for their hard work to protect the site. She stated that this site is a very lovely wooded property and she certainly would prefer to see it in open space rather than developed. Commissioner Spale asked Chairman Donnelley if the Commission can actually endorse a referendum. She feels the Commission can only commend Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance on their efforts to preserve this valuable open space.
Commissioner Adelmann asked Carolyn if there is a precedent and if the Commission is able to endorse an actual referendum.
Carolyn stated that there is no precedent for the Commission taking such action on local government issues. She further stated that the Commission has endorsed larger efforts like county-wide, state-wide and even national issues.
Commissioner Adelmann asked if their is a prohibition against the Commission endorsing the efforts. Carolyn indicated that there is no prohibition.
It was moved by Adelmann, and seconded by Pierce for the Commission to approve the wording that has been presented by Mr. Goodman to endorse the passage of this referendum.
Chairman Donnelley stated that this is something to be looked at very carefully. The Commission is a public non-political body. Everyone should be getting the benefit of the Commission's wisdom and judgement, and he feels if the Commission goes on record endorsing this political bond referendum, no matter how worthy it is, the Commission will be putting itself in a position where the Commission will have to support any bond referendum with a similar cause. Chairman Donnelley stated there is no prohibition of doing that, but this is "local politics" and he feels that most of these local areas get a little unhappy when state bodies take action or come in and endorse what the "local political bodies" themselves don't necessarily endorse. Chairman Donnelley stated that the Park District is enabling, but not supporting the referendum. He believes it is one thing to give endorsement if it is a state-wide operation, or a macrosite that would affect a large area, but this is very localized. He feels very strongly that this would be the wrong thing to do. Chairman Donnelley believes the Commission should highly commend the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance, DuPage County FPD, and Downers Grove Park District for their efforts in getting the bond referendum on the ballot. This is as far as the Commission should take this issue. The Commission certainly wants to encourage the local people to approve the referendum, but Chairman Donnelley thinks it is something that the citizens have to do and they can use some letter of accommodation, but the Commission shouldn't go so far as to put themselves on the line for a very local issue.
Commissioner Spale added that the question or issue really is the term "endorse" versus "commend" or "encourage" as acknowledgement of the work they are doing to protect high quality natural areas and open space. Commissioner Spale agrees that the term "endorsement" could be a little strong and could bind the Commission on some future projects, but she thinks "commendation" would serve the purpose very well.
Mr. Goodman replied "No, it wouldn't." He stated that Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance's point of view is that they already know that they are doing good and the Downers Grove Park District knows that they are doing good; but what they need is to get more than half of the votes, otherwise the good work they have done up to this point doesn't make a difference. He stated that he was hoping that the Commission would look at the merits of this; that is why he spent so much time explaining the merits. Mr. Goodman asked the Commission to stress in an endorsement that this property is an irreplaceable resource, and that this is the only opportunity and the only way in which that irreplaceable resource can be kept alive.
Commissioner Farwell suggested that the Commission endorse the "concept" of raising monies to protect high quality natural areas and to give this situation as an example of such concept. This will take the Commission away from any specific action.
The prior motion made by Commissioner Adelmann, and seconded by Commissioner Pierce was tabled and re-stated that the following resolution be adopted and presented as follows:
The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission endorses the concept that public agencies and/or private individuals or groups pursue methods of raising funds to protect high quality natural areas and/or lands supporting the habitat of Illinois' native flora and fauna, so people of present and future generations may enjoy and learn from these lands which are part of our natural heritage. An example of such a fund raising effort is the Downers Grove Park District Referendum to be voted on March 19, 1996, which if passed will authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $3,000,000 "for the purpose of paying a portion of the cost of purchasing land at the southeast corner of 31st Street and Highland Avenue in Downers Grove adjacent to the Lyman Woods Preserve", a high quality natural area. Further, the Commission commends the Downers Grove Park District and the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance for their efforts in getting this referendum on the March 19, 1996 ballot.
150-9) Teaming With Wildlife National Coalition
Carolyn reported at the last Commission meeting, Carl Becker showed a video presentation on the Teaming With Wildlife Initiative. This is an initiative of the 50 State Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The idea is to create a fund from monies collected from user fees imposed on certain recreational products, i.e. camping gear, binoculars, etc. The monies will be used for wildlife conservation, recreation, and education of fish and wildlife resources that are not otherwise protected. The goal is to produce $350 million annually nationwide to be allocated to the states based on area and population. Looking at Illinois' area and population, IDNR could receive up to $13.5 million on an annual basis from this fund. The Commission has been asked to endorse this initiative and to be listed as a member of the national coalition. Carolyn believes that this is a very worthy initiative that is gaining support every day. It is something that the Commission will benefit from in the future as well as the Department of Natural Resources. She believes it would be a worthwhile effort to support.
Chairman Donnelley stated that he has written 16 letters already as a private citizen and has received two responses, both being very much in support of it.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted and presented by Chairman Donnelley on behalf of the Commission:
On behalf of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and its Commission members, I hereby endorse the Fish and Wildlife Diversity Funding Initiative. My organization wishes to support this natural investment. Funds will be dedicated to wildlife conservation, recreation and education projects in every state. We are pleased to join all those who are Teaming With Wildlife and be listed as members of the National Coalition.
150-10) Biocontrol of Purple Loosestrife in Illinois Nature Preserves: Annual Update
Randy introduced Dr. Robert Wiedenmann and Dr. David Voegtlin from the Illinois Natural History Survey who took over the purple loosestrife biocontrol project last year and have really made great strides. Randy spent a few days with Dr. Wiedenmann and Dr. Voegtlin in Minneapolis, Minnesota this winter to learn about the national program and how Illinois will fit into it.
Dr. Voegtlin and Dr. Wiedenmann gave a presentation on the purple loosestrife biocontrol effort in Illinois for 1995 and 1996. Dr. Wiedenmann showed slides of Weingart Road Sedge Meadow. Earlier research efforts to develop biological control included the identification of all of the potential natural enemies in Europe where purple loosestrife is native. This list was shortened to include species that feed on only purple loosestrife. Numerous tests were run on the most promising species. Four of the five most promising species have been brought through quarantine and are cleared for release. Dr. Wiedenmann showed slides showing different beetle species that each feed on different parts of the plant. This suite of species working together will hopefully kill the purple loosestrife and represent what he thinks are the real possibilities for controlling the weed.
IDNR made releases at seven sites in 1994. At six of the seven sites they found clear evidence of over wintering. The seventh site could not be relocated. In 1995, the releases of three species were made at several sites and included approximately 2,500 of Galerucella (spp.), the leaf eating beetle, and approximately 300 of Hylobious (sp.) weevil, a root feeding weevil. Last year, beetles were released that were already depositing eggs. This gave us a second generation improving the chance of establishment. Dr. Wiedenmann showed slides of larvae feeding on the leaves; this reduces the photosynthetic capabilities of the weed plant at the release sites.
Through federal and private money, the national program is aiming to release 50,000 beetles this year. INHS staff are planning to release the same amount of beetles for Illinois alone. Dr. Wiedenmann reported that they are poised to take a lead and be a major player in this. They also want to monitor quantitatively the spread of the beetles from their release points. Since they now know that the beetles will establish, they want to determine distance, directions, and numbers. This step would take this program to a higher level. This project will take several years of infusion of insects and will require multiple species.
Dr. Wiedenmann believes the real beauty of this project is that it is occurring as a collaboration and cooperation of forest preserve districts, conservation districts and the state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has also provided some funds, as well as IDNR, and local agencies. He feels this is not something that any one group can do by themselves, but together they can all make this happen.
Dr. Wiedenmann thinks that biological control of purple loosestrife offers some real advantages over current mechanical or cultural control methods. Use of pesticides can be done safely at times, however biological control may be the only practical approach in some natural areas.
At the end of the presentation, there were two issues that needed to be addressed: one was the approval of introductions that were made last year and the other was for the approval of plans for this coming year. Staff asked that the Commission approve species for introduction as a biocontrol agents and that staff be authorized to approve the location of releases.
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Pierce, and approved that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the release of Hylobious into Weingart Road Sedge Meadow, Pistakee Bog and Wauconda Bog Nature Preserves as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
It was moved by Pierce, seconded by Spale, and approved that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval and authorizes INPC staff to approve the release of the two species of Galerucella and Hylobious into appropriate nature preserves.
150-11) IDNR's Urban White-tailed Deer Control Program
Paul Shelton gave a slide presentation on IDNR's urban deer control program. He reported that deer consume in excess of two pounds of dry plant material every day. They cause damage in a number of ways, by eating the end off of a corn plant in the silk state, causing a browse line in a forested area, stripping bark in other forested areas, destroying nursery and orchard stock, and by damaging vehicles. In Cook County alone, approximately 1,000 deer-vehicle accidents are reported per year averaging $1,500 per collision. All of this damage has been increasing in recent years. In urban areas people have problems with "displaced deer"; deer which aren't where people perceive they belong. The urban deer project was initiated in 1988 after the INHS studied the deer populations of the Chicago area. The study included how deer have changed the available habitat, the amount of habitat change, deer-vehicle accidents, and deer reproduction. During this comprehensive study, they determined that they needed extension capabilities to deal with the urban deer problem. IDNR's urban deer project focuses its activities in the four counties of Cook, Lake, Kane, and DuPage, although it does have statewide jurisdiction and may deal with urban deer problems in other areas as well. This is an extension service, but also has a regulatory component in which they monitor, check deer management proposals, approve or disapprove them, suggest changes, work with the land management agencies and their deer herd reduction efforts, and provide public education. Information is provided every day on a wide array of topics to individuals or to other agencies. This includes information on various types of fencing, different types of repellents (home remedies and/or commercial preparations), information related to deer-vehicle accidents, highway reflectors, deer whistles, different types of deterrents, and noise makers. IDNR staff can also tell how effective the item is and where it can be purchased, situations where it might prove feasible, or even more technical types of deer scare tactics.
IDNR works with a great number of individuals and the public at large. As far as organizations, IDNR works with airports, notably O'Hare International, which has an ongoing deer population control program. IDNR also works with Midway Airport and Glenview Naval Air base, as well as others throughout the state. Shelton reported that deer problems are not simply in the Chicago area, there have been problems at Peoria Airport, in Williamson County, and also in Galesburg. He reported that municipalities are probably becoming the fastest growing group of organizations which are interested in deer control. In recent years, particularly in Northeastern Cook County and Southeastern Lake County, the number of villages which have concerns about the deer population control have increased significantly with 8 or 9 asking for deer population permits this winter alone. In 1989, Cook County FPD was the first to begin a deer population control program at Busse Woods. The Lake County FPD and more recently DuPage County FPD have followed suit. The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Botanic Garden also have ongoing deer control programs. IDNR also works with cemetery associations and park districts.
IDNR's Division of Wildlife Resources serves in a regulatory capacity. Applications are reviewed in the form of deer management plans for population control permits to assure that the management within them is sound, that they have the potential for working, and that the monitoring of the program is adequate. If it requires a sharp-shooting program, they test the proposed sharp shooters to assure competency. Once the program is underway, the Division makes sure that they abide by the guidelines of their population control permits, but population control is not something that is mandated by the urban deer project or the forest wildlife project. It is something that is offered as an option but it must be selected by the land managing agency, not by IDNR. IDNR offers a variety of deer management options and the first choice to make is whether to actively or passively approach deer management. Passive, of course, is to simply allow nature to take its course, and that is happening in certain urban areas. Once one has chosen to take an active approach, then IDNR can be of help. If the interest is primarily abatement, whether it is exclusion, different types of fencing or plant wraps, IDNR can tell how well they work and what is available. There also have been a number of tests on repellents showing which ones work best and for what plants, and whether they are FDA approved for use on food plants. For longer term control, often some form of lethal population control is required. There are some other alternatives available that can be very expensive. Live capture option tends to be very difficult because finding a location to transfer deer to is very difficult and tends to be a very expensive method. IDNR will not allow capture and transfer release of deer without a permit. They have to be transferred to a bonafide zoological institution and there are very few of these because they already have enough deer of their own. Fertility control is currently not an adequate option because it is still in the experimental stages. IDNR offers assistance whether it be in the preparation of management plans, documentation of data, and/or supplying of information. They offer all options available to different managing agencies and governmental bodies or public associations make the choice of the option they wish to pursue. IDNR will assist them in any way with their ongoing control or damage abatement efforts.
Paul also brought an informational pamphlet which was recently released. The name of the brochure is "Watch Out for That Deer". It lists facts and tips on deer-vehicle accidents, when and where deer tend to most commonly occur, and what people can do to avoid them.
150-12) Lake County -- Florsheim Park, Dedication
Steve Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Florsheim Park Nature Preserve. Steve introduced Mark Duntemann, Sara Utter, and Susanne Masi, who have been instrumental in raising the awareness and appreciation for Florsheim Park. Susanne gave a slide presentation showing the natural characteristics of this site. This proposed nature preserve was recently included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (#1500) because the site supports the federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), the state endangered Crawford's oval sedge (Carex crawfordii), and the state threatened common yellow lake sedge (Carex rostrata) and dog violet (Viola conspersa). Prior to discovery of the eastern prairie fringed orchid at Florsheim Park, this species was known from 54 extant populations in the United States. Of that total, 21 populations are extant in Illinois, including 19 populations from the 6-county Chicago region. In addition, nearly 250 native species associated with four natural communities have been recorded from Florsheim Park. An undetermined width of property located just west of and adjacent to the preserve is also proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. Sara Utter reinforced the Village of Lincolnshire's commitment to preserve and protect the proposed preserve. The Village is working with a developer to the west that has been approved by the Village Board to be a single family home subdivision. They have created a 50-foot buffer along the property which would be Village owned; there will also be another 50 feet added to this where the homeowners will be required to maintain this. The Village is also working to create a buffer in the area along the edge of the lake which drains into the proposed nature preserve. Dedication of Florsheim Park as an Illinois Nature Preserve by the Village of Lincolnshire will preserve, in perpetuity, the environment of the parcel and therefore honor the terms of the resolution the Village adopted in accepting this property from the Florsheim family.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of 40 acres as Florsheim Park in Lake County, as a nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
150-13) Macoupin County -- Macoupin Woods, Dedication
Mary Kay Solecki gave a slide presentation as she presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Macoupin Woods Nature Preserve. This proposed nature preserve is located approximately 3.3 miles northeast of Palmyra in Macoupin County, and is an approximately 40-acre high-quality dry-mesic upland forest recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (#183). This woods is a gap list site -- the type of forest found here is not formally protected within its natural region, the Carlinville Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. Macoupin Woods has been informally protected as an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark by its owner, David Goode, for over 15 years. Save the Prairie Society is purchasing this natural area from Mr. Goode and wishes to dedicate the forest as an Illinois Nature Preserve when the Society gains ownership.
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Macoupin Woods in Macoupin County, as a nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
Commissioner Spale abstained from the vote.
150-14) Whiteside County -- Addition of Buffer to Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
John Alesandrini presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition as nature preserve buffer to Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve. Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve, owned by the Natural Land Institute, Rockford, was given final approval for dedication in 1995 (Resolution 1275). The 30+ acres of railroad prairie nature preserve include remnants of wet, wet-mesic, mesic and dry-mesic prairie and the Burlington Northern Railroad Prairie "Inventory" site (INAI 1075). The Natural Land Institute now proposes to dedicate four additional acres of mesic and dry-mesic prairie at the northeast end of Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve, immediately adjacent to existing nature preserve buffer, as an addition of nature preserve buffer.
John also thanked Brian Reilly, Director of the Land Protection Programs at the Natural Land Institute, who co-authored the original proposal for Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve as well as this proposal with John.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Lyndon Prairie Nature Preserve in Whiteside County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
150-15) Johnson County -- Deer Pond, Dedication
Judy Faulkner presented a proposal for final approval for dedication of Deer Pond Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is part of a 161-acre natural area located north of Old Route 146 approximately two miles west of Vienna, Illinois in the Bottomlands Section of the Coastal Plain Natural Division. IDNR owns and manages 60 acres of the wetland which contains most of the grade A swamp. One state-endangered plant, the cypress knee sedge, is known from the site while one state-endangered bird, the Cooper's hawk, and one state-threatened bird, the yellow-crowned night heron have bred there. Featherfoil, a rare plant, also occurs at the site. Dedication of the site is important because it is one of only seven grade A swamps in Illinois. This site was granted preliminary approval at the Commission's 146th Meeting (Resolution 1259).
A problem arose with IDOT regarding the boundary in relation to a state highway. Randy reported that IDOT was concerned with the original boundaries; IDNR actually owns both sides of the highway at one location, but the majority of the area IDNR owns is to the center of the road. The dedication proposal called for dedicating the entire area owned by IDNR. After reviewing the area, one adjustment has been made in the Instrument of Dedication which is to use the center line of the state highway as the boundary of the preserve and not dedicate the portion owned by IDNR that crosses the road. This is not a major road that receives a lot of heavy traffic. IDOT was still a little concerned that this would not allow them to do additional construction or bring this up to federal highway standards in the event they need to transfer this property or for other unforeseen occasions. IDOT staff indicated that this will probably not happen in the near future and is not a scheduled event in their 5-year plan. Currently, the existing right-of-way on IDNR property is 40 feet and that 40-foot easement supersedes the dedication as nature preserve. Within that 40 feet, IDOT will be able to do any type of road maintenance that is necessary. The final resolution here is that IDNR is dedicating to the center line of the highway and indicates to IDOT that if a widening or upgrading of the road occurs in the future, INPC would consider a temporary construction easement.
Carolyn added that the paved road is 36 feet wide. Half of the 36 feet or 18 feet is within IDOT's 40-foot right-of-way, so there is still 22 feet of unpaved property that is within their right-of-way. After talking with IDOT, they determined that there probably would be enough space within that 22 feet to do any permanent type widening that they would need to be done. However, IDOT may need more room to bring equipment in to do the construction work and INPC would have precedent for granting a temporary construction easement in those situations. Carolyn felt that this was a good compromise and IDOT was also satisfied.
It was moved by Pierce, seconded by Farwell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Deer Pond Nature Preserve in Johnson County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
150-16) Lake County -- Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Dedication
Steve Byers represented the Robert Parker Coffin Irrevocable Trust as he presented a proposal for final approval for dedication of 3.63 acres as the eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Nature Preserve. An additional 0.04 acres has been designated as nature preserve buffer. This site was included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (#1231) in recognition of the presence of the federally threatened Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea). This site represents one of 54 known populations in the United States. Of those orchid populations, 21 populations are extant in Illinois. The site was designated by Robert Parker Coffin and Elizabeth Magie Coffin as an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark in 1983. The proposal for dedication of this preserve which was given preliminary approval by the Commission at its 147th Meeting (Resolution 1271) included provisions for expansion of Illinois Route 22 from two to four lanes. The Instrument of Dedication does provide for that eventuality and specifically includes a narrow strip (0.04 acres) as nature preserve buffer. Access to the buffer is provided to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the specific purpose of maintenance of Illinois Route 22, but only with prior notice and approval of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
It was moved by Farwell, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Nature Preserve in Lake County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
Chairman Donnelley thanked the owners, Bob and Betty Coffin, for all of their time and effort and willingness to preserve this nature preserve and buffer.
150-17) Winnebago County -- Addition of the Dr. Barbara Mae Atwood Tract to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve, Dedication
John Alesandrini presented a proposal for final approval for dedication of an addition of the Dr. Barbara Mae Atwood Tract to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve. Harlem Hills Nature Preserve, located in Winnebago County, is a 52.4-acre dry-mesic gravel prairie that was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1973. Dr. Barbara Atwood owns a 1.8-acre tract that is adjacent to the nature preserve and is an extension of the dry-mesic gravel prairie. It is Dr. Atwood's desire to protect her 1.8-acre remnant as a privately owned "addition" to the IDNR-owned Harlem Hills Nature Preserve -- to be identified as the Dr. Barbara Mae Atwood Tract at Harlem Hills -- and further, to approve the continuance of IDNR stewardship of her prairie remnant as an integral and connected part of the nature preserve. This site was granted preliminary approval at the Commission's 149th Meeting (Resolution 1294).
It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Spale, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of the Dr. Barbara Mae Atwood Tract as an addition to Harlem Hills Nature Preserve in Winnebago County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 150th Meeting.
Chairman Donnelley asked John to convey his heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Commission to Dr. Atwood for her willingness to dedicate this meaningful property as an addition to Harlem Hill Nature Preserve.
150-18) Heron Pond/Little Black Slough Nature Preserve Erosion Control Project: Status Report
Randy Heidorn gave a status report on Heron Pond/Little Black Slough Nature Preserve Erosion Control Project. In the last quarter there has been data collection, and the Office of Water Resources is working on a hydraulic model. They have also been working with the U.S. Geologic Survey and with the INHS to collect some additional information. They are hoping this model will be completed sometime this spring.
150-19) Request of Downers Grove Park District to Exchange Buffer for Other Land
Carolyn reported that last fall staff received a request for a land swap at Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve from the Downers Grove Park District. The proposal asked that 4.29 acres of buffer, which is located outside of the hydrology of Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve, be exchanged for 4.29 acres of other adjacent land that is within the hydrology of the nature preserve. This property is known as the "Prucha property". The Park District wants to use the buffer area, along with possibly five acres to the north, for soccer and ball fields. The buffer area is currently mowed field and no restoration work has begun at this time. INPC Staff looked at the issue and determined that a hearing would be required because the swap would be considered a "taking" under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act. The standard when de-dedicating buffer area is whether the taking is in the "public interest", rather than the "imperative, unavoidable public necessity" standard that is needed to de-dedicate a nature preserve. However, upon further review of the issue, Carolyn discovered that the Rules for Public Use for Nature Preserves, which specifically prohibit recreational sporting activities in nature preserves do not apply to buffer areas. Those rules were passed before the Natural Areas Preservation Act, which for the first time provided for buffer areas under the Nature Preserves System. All prior laws did not address buffer areas. Carolyn believes that those rules were not intended to apply to buffer areas and that these fields may be allowed in the buffer if approved by the Commission. The Rules for Management provide that if a use or a particular management activity is not provided for in the Rules, the Commission, on a case by case basis, can look at a request of a landowner and make a determination on whether or not to allow the use or to approve the management activity. Carolyn talked with Ned Bell, Administrator of the Downers Grove Park District, and he understands that if the Commission were to allow this type of use in the buffer, that there may be some type of restrictions put on it like where the fields are located, how many ball fields there could be, and the types of amenities allowed like lighting, parking, concessions, etc. Basically, the Commission could look at a variety of issues. This concept appealed to him, since the period of time involved with a hearing could be lengthy. Also, the Park District's Natural Areas Committee has recommended dedication of the Prucha property, which is the property that they wanted to swap for the dedicated buffer. This area is within the hydrology of the nature preserve. Ned Bell confirmed that the Natural Areas Committee has recommended this, but did say that the Park District had not taken any action at this point in this regard. Carolyn isn't sure if the Commission has enough information at this time to take action, but perhaps they may want to ask staff to look at particular items and come back and address this issue at a later time upon request of the Park District.
Chairman Donnelley asked staff to get more information on this whole project. One of the items that INPC needs to be concerned with is the hydrology of the buffer that goes into the dedicated area. Chairman Donnelley also wants the staff to find out whether there are other areas that might be protected as buffer that could be part of this package. He recommended that staff look into this issue and collaborate with the Downers Grove Park District and come up with a package that might be best considered as a win-win situation for everyone.
It was moved by Spale, seconded by Pierce, and recommended to table this request for land exchange of Belmont Prairie Buffer until staff can proceed with further negotiations and obtain more information including the future use of the Prucha property.
150-20) Approval of INPC Organizational Chart
Carolyn reported that the INPC organizational chart reflects current changes in staff positions of the Commission. However, this chart was prepared before the Commission learned that four new NAPS and two new part-time permanent employees were going to be added to INPC's staff. An updated chart along with a new map of the areas the NAPS will be working in will be brought to the 151st Meeting.
150-21) Other Business
Gretchen Bonfert, Green Strategies, has been retained by Lt. Governor Kustra for an Illinois River Strategy project that has been ongoing since February, 1995 and carries through the end of 1996. Last year, the Illinois River Strategy team, which is a group of business, conservation, and agriculture leaders, identified 15 model projects in the Illinois River Valley. This group was advised by a technical committee of ecologists and economists, and Mary Kay Solecki served on that technical group. Just last month the Lt. Governor kicked off the project for 1996 which is a year long planning effort to develop an integrated management plan for the entire Illinois River Valley. Gretchen passed out the press release from this effort. Gretchen mentioned that the 30-member planning team has representatives from business and industry, agriculture and ecology. In the spring and fall months of this year, there will be approximately 100 other citizens and experts that will participate on issues and specific action teams. These teams will develop recommendations for improving all facets of the Illinois River Valley, from the capacity of the navigation channel, to the quality of wetlands, to reducing sedimentation of the Illinois River and the many economic and ecological issues that intertwine when all of these different issues are addressed.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Farwell, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.