154TH MEETING MINUTES

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION

February 4, 1997
INDEX

AREAS                                                                                                                                            ITEM

Cook Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Old Plank Road Prairie Nature

Preserve, Dedication.............................................................................................................................. 8

Lake Co. -- Addition of Herrmann Wildflower Farm as Nature Preserve Buffer to Edward L. Ryerson

Nature Preserve, Dedication.................................................................................................................. 9

Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication............................................................................................................................................ 10

Lake Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication............................................ 11

Ogle Co. -- Additions of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication............................................................................................................................................ 12

Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication............... 13

Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication............... 14

Mason Co. -- Proposal to Unregister a Portion of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land and Water Reserve.... 15

DuPage Co. -- Proposal to Construct a Regional Trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve................. 17

Pulaski Co. -- Proposal to Build a Boardwalk at Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve, Cache River State

Natural Area......................................................................................................................................... 18

Johnson Co. -- Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control Project..............................................................,,. 19

COMMISSION AFFAIRS

Adoption of Agenda.................................................................................................................................. 2

Approval of Minutes of 153rd Meeting, October 29, 1996......................................................................... 3

1997 Meeting Schedule............................................................................................................................. 4

INPC Staff Report..................................................................................................................................... 5

IDNR Staff Report.................................................................................................................................... 6

Preservation of Railroad Prairies................................................................................................................ 16

Public Comment Period............................................................................................................................. 20

Other Business.......................................................................................................................................... 21

Adjournment............................................................................................................................................. 22

NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION
MINUTES OF 154TH MEETING
(subject to approval of Commission at 155th Meeting)
Illinois State Library
300 South Second Street
Springfield, Illinois
Tuesday, February 4, 1997 -- 10:00 a.m.


154-1) Call to order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees

At 10:01 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chairman Donnelley, the meeting began.

Members present: Gerald Adelmann, Penny Beattie, Thomas Donnelley II, Guy Fraker, Don Pierce, Victoria Ranney, John Schmitt, and Michael Schneiderman.

Member absent: Francis Farwell, II

Others present: John Alesandrini, Steven Byers, Bob Edgin, Judy Faulkner, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Tammie McKay, Patti Malmborg, Angella Moorehouse, Debbie Scott Newman, Brian Reilly, Mary Kay Solecki, Karen Tish, and Barbara VerSteeg, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Carl Becker, Mark Guetersloh, Glen Kruse, and John Wilker, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Division of Natural Heritage; Karen Witter, IDNR Director's Office; Claudia Emken, IDNR Constituency Services; Alfred L. Koelling, Illinois State Museum; Ed Armbrust, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jim Herkert and Sue Lauzon, Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB); George Rose and Barb Traeger, Illinois Department of Transportation, Design & Environment; John White, Ecological Services; Peter Hudd and David Monk, Educational Resources in Environmental Sciences; Marilyn Campbell, INPC Consultant; Gordon L. Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance; Doris Westfall of Danville, a visitor; and Dianne Burton, The Nature Institute.

154-2) Adoption of Agenda

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Ranney, and carried that the Agenda for the 154th Meeting be adopted.

154-3) Approval of Minutes of 153rd Meeting, October 29, 1996

It was moved by Adelmann, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the minutes of the 153rd Meeting be approved as written.

154-4) 1997 Meeting Schedule

Carolyn Grosboll reported that the 155th INPC Meeting will be held at the Desoto House Hotel in Galena, Illinois on May 6, 1997.

154-5) INPC Staff Report

Don McFall reported that the 1989-1994 Biennial Report for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission has been completed and is available for distribution. He reported that the Biennial Report is actually three reports in one for the years 1989-90, 1991-92 and 1993-94. These reports contain status of the nature preserves, resolutions passed by the Commission, a list of the Natural Heritage Landmarks and a summary of the actions made by the Commission for those periods. The next Biennial Report is due in May, 1997 and will probably be ready some time this summer.

The Forest Service announced closure of 40 Natural Area Inventory sites on the Shawnee National Forest. The 40 areas cover over 8,700 acres and include very important areas the Commission has been concerned with for many years, such as: Pine Hills, Stoneface, Cave Hill, Burke Branch and others. The natural areas were closed to equestrian use as well as mountain bikes, off-road vehicles and rock climbing. It is felt the Commission played an important role in this final decision for these closures; in part, from the May 1996 meeting at Giant City State Park where the Commission expressed concern that these areas were not closed yet. The Commission wrote follow-up letters and it is thought that these actions played a large part in making the final decisions.

McFall reported that John Alesandrini obtained a Right of First Refusal on the Prairie Trails Natural Heritage Landmark in Whiteside County. This is an option offered to landowners when they sign up for the Natural Heritage Landmark program.

Since the last Commission meeting, the INPC staff worked on dedications in Monroe, St. Clair, and Lawrence counties which will be presented to the Commission at later meetings during the year. With the increase in staff, a bigger push is being made on the Registered Land and Water Reserves. McFall reported there are presently only two registered reserves in Illinois. Commissioner Schneiderman asked McFall to explain the difference between nature preserves and registered reserves. McFall explained that dedicated nature preserves are always permanently protected and that preservation is the highest and best use for the public. Uses of dedicated land are restricted to protect the natural features for which the area was recognized. After years of landowner contact, it was recognized that a more intermediate program was needed. In the last revisions of the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act, a program was developed for the Register of Land and Water Reserves. In general terms, registry of reserves is similar to a conservation easement. It protects the lands or waters, but allows much broader recreational uses; such as hunting and fishing which is not allowed on dedicated nature preserves. Registered reserves can be protected for a number of years or in perpetuity. One of the goals of the Land and Water Reserve program is to protect larger areas.

Randy Heidorn introduced Barb Ver Steeg, the Commission's Stewardship Project Manager. Ver Steeg began working with the Commission September 1, 1996, but was on maternity leave from October until mid-December.

Heidorn gave an update on the status of master plans. One hundred forty-five plans have been approved; currently 55 are up-to-date. That is a substantial drop in up-to- date plans from the last report, because many master plans expire at the beginning of the year. Sixty-five permits have been issued for 1997 already. Heidorn reported that this program is continuously growing.

After the last Commission meeting, Heidorn visited four field offices and gave training to IDNR and Commission staff on how to use the Manage Computer Program for planning and tracking management in dedicated nature preserves. The training has been productive for those wanting to learn the new system. Heidorn also reported that annual report forms and requests have been sent to the landowners in a different form this year. The landowners have been provided with information given in previous years so that they can update the information rather than having to make a new report each year. Hopefully, the new program will give more continuity among the annual reports for the same site.

In January, the Commission staff sponsored a herbicide testing session which allowed volunteers to obtain herbicide licenses. The Department of Agriculture has agreed to test groups of at least 50 members for the herbicide licenses in northern Illinois. Over 100 people signed up for the test.

Heidorn participated in a survey of bats at Pecumsaugan Creek/Blackball Mine Nature Preserve, located near LaSalle. Over 16,000 bats were found on the first day's count. That is about 200 bats less than what was found the previous year. However, the count on the Indiana bat, which is endangered, was up substantially; so it appears the bats are surviving. Heidorn reminded the Commission that approximately one year ago the Commission approved the installation of gates at this nature preserve to keep the public out of the mines and also to keep the public from disturbing the bats during their hibernation. The impact of the gates being installed will probably not be noted for another year since they were put up in the summer of 1996. The bat survey is completed every two years according to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recovery plan; so there will not be an official update for two more years.

Chairman Donnelley introduced Penny J. Beattie, a recently appointed Commissioner from Lincolnshire, Illinois. Mrs. Beattie is past-president of the Chicago Zoological Society which is responsible for governing the Brookfield Zoo. She replaces Judith Spasovich on the Commission.

Commissioner Schmitt thanked Judy Faulkner for her many acts in protecting the Nature Preserves Commission's interests on the Shawnee National Forest. Chairman Donnelley reiterated Commissioner Schmitt's appreciation and recognized Judy for many years as a faithful, arduous staff member.

154-6) IDNR Staff Report

Carl Becker reported that a 21-acre addition was made to Franklin Creek State Natural Area in Lee County. This tract was an inholding in the middle of IDNR's 520-acre natural area. It has 1/4 mile of frontage on Franklin Creek.

He added that a 3-acre addition was made to Harlem Hills Prairie in Winnebago County. Harlem Hills Prairie is Illinois' best example of a gravel hill prairie. IDNR protects 85 acres at the site.

Becker also reported that a public benefit certification was approved for conservation easement areas in Lake, McHenry, Kane, and Will counties. Some of these areas protect or buffer natural areas or endangered species habitat. The private landowners of these sites will receive a significant reduction in their property taxes.

Becker had available copies of a summary written by John Schwegman on the natural divisions of Illinois. It was originally printed in the Illinois Steward magazine. The photos by Michael Jeffords show representative natural areas in each of the natural divisions of the state. Schwegman retired from the Division of Natural Heritage in December 1996.

As a last notation, Becker suggested adding the 24th Annual Natural Areas Association Conference to prospective schedules. The conference will be held August 27-30, 1997 in Portland, Oregon.

154-7) Report on IDNR Advisory Board

Karen Witter, Assistant to IDNR's Director, spoke in the absence of John Comerio, IDNR Deputy

Director. Comerio, who was scheduled to speak, was attending the funeral of Senator Harry "Babe" Woodyard. Witter, who was the first director of the Nature Preserves Commission, talked about some activities that had taken place during the reorganization of IDNR, particularly involving the 11 different advisory boards, governing boards, and commissions that interface with IDNR. The duties of the boards and commissions remain the same as before the reorganization. One difference is that the name of the Department of Conservation Advisory Board has been changed to the Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board. This change of name involves a greater umbrella related to all the Department, which has caused an interest in examination of the role of the Advisory Board. The Board members are going through a strategic planning process to evaluate that role. The Department's emphasis has been on how everyone can communicate and work together. The Advisory Board has historically approved hunting and fishing regulations for the state and approved open space grants to local communities. The statutory responsibilities of the Advisory Board include the formulation of long-range policies for guidance of the Department and the protection of the natural resources of the state; development of areas and facilities for recreation throughout the state; prevention of timber reduction, and other natural resource related issues.

Commissioner Schneiderman asked Ms. Witter if their were any representatives on the Advisory Board who shared interests and concerns regarding natural areas in Illinois. Witter explained that the primary concern of the Board has historically been in the hunting and fishing areas. She was asked if a suggestion to the Governor might lead to a representative on the Board to represent the Commission's concerns. Witter explained that a representative of IDNR's legal staff is examining the concerns of the Board to make sure that all areas and services under the purview of the Department are being covered. Director Grosboll noted that one current member of the Board shares concerns and interests regarding natural areas. Director Grosboll also noted that the Advisory Board would like to see more communication between the various boards and commissions. She suggested, and the Commissioners agreed, that the chair of each board and commission be added to INPC's minutes mailing list.

Witter distributed handouts with the names and functions of the Illinois boards and commissions involved with IDNR.

154-8) Cook Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

Brian Reilly presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve. Good quality prairie grows along the side of a one mile segment of the Old Plank Road Trail between Central and Ridgeland Avenues in Rich Township in Cook County. This prairie lies 500 feet west of an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site - Penn Central Railroad Prairie, sites 540 and 541. These Inventory areas received preliminary approval to be dedicated as the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve in 1994. Rich Township would like to dedicate 2.49 acres as an addition to the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve and 0.66 acres as nature preserve buffer. Once complete, this 1.5 mile long nature preserve will protect some of the best mesic prairies in Cook County while providing the many trail users with an excellent opportunity to learn about Illinois' natural heritage.

It was moved by Fraker, seconded by Adelmann and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of 2.49 acres as an addition to the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve and 0.66 acres as nature preserve buffer as described in the proposal presented under Item 8 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting with final approval contingent upon final approval of the Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve.

(Resolution 1338)

154-9) Lake Co. -- Addition of Herrmann Wildflower Farm as Nature Preserve Buffer to Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented slides and a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication on behalf of Mrs. Edna Herrmann. Mrs. Herrmann proposes to dedicate approximately 11 acres of the Herrmann Wildflower Farm as nature preserve buffer to Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. This parcel, which does not include Ms. Herrmann's residence or commercial wildflower operation, consists of mature dry-mesic forest that extends from the Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve onto the proposed buffer. Although selective logging occurred on a portion of the proposed buffer prior to 1914, there has been no grazing or logging since that time. Despite the fact that the proposed buffer is not located adjacent to the nature preserve, the buffer is located within the immediate watershed of the nature preserve, lies within a buffer zone identified by Beverley Johnson (1993) in her manuscript entitled "Buffer Zone Planning and Management in the Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area", provides important ecological functions as outlined in Johnson's report, protects the nature preserve from more intensive development, and is consistent with the definition of "buffer area" as provided in the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act.

It was moved by Schneiderman, seconded by Beattie and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of addition of Herrmann Wildflower Farm as nature preserve buffer to the Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting.

(Resolution 1339)

154-10) Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

On behalf of Mrs. Glen Lloyd, Steven Byers presented slides and a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of 47 acres as additions to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve. These proposed additions will increase the amount of land preserved from 104.6 acres to approximately 151.6 acres. The larger proposed addition, approximately 24 acres in size, was included in the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Lloyd's Woods and is proposed for dedication as nature preserve. The other addition, approximately 23 acres in size, is proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. Dedication of these additions will protect high-quality forest communities, is consistent with good preserve design considerations, and will protect Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

It was moved by Ranney, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of addition of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve as described in the proposal presented in Item 10 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting .

(Resolution 1340)

154-11) Lake Co. -- Addition of Buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of a 9-acre parcel of land owned by Lake Forest Open Lands Association as nature preserve buffer to the Skokie River Nature Preserve located in Lake County, Illinois. The proposal to dedicate Skokie River Nature Preserve called for the linkages between major high-quality sections of the nature preserve to "be expanded through dedication of adjacent lands as buffer and improved by natural community restoration." In addition to the initial 100 acre tract dedicated as nature preserve, six tracts totaling 26 acres, have been granted final approval as nature preserve buffer. Dedication of this proposed addition would increase the size of the nature preserve from 126 to 135 acres. Lake Forest Open Lands Association seeks approval for implementation of several elements of a Master Plan presented in the proposal. Dedication of this addition and implementation of the Master Plan are compatible with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission recommendation to further buffer Skokie River Nature Preserve.

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of an addition of buffer to Skokie River Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the 154th Meeting.

(Resolution 1341)

154-12) Ogle Co. -- Additions of Nature Preserve and Nature Preserve Buffer to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

John Alesandrini presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of additions of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve. The Nature Preserve is a 141-acre dry and dry-mesic dolomite prairie nature preserve that was dedicated (116 acres nature preserve and 25 acres buffer) in 1992. The owner, Byron Forest Preserve District, proposes to add 10 acres of the original prairie remnant, the restored 25 acre buffer and an additional 40 acres of restored prairie as dedicated nature preserve; and proposes to dedicate an additional 120 acres of surrounding open space as nature preserve buffer. This dedication will provide an expanded, more manageable and less fragmented nature preserve boundary as well as additional ecological and physical buffer.

Alesandrini reported that a peripheral trail is included in the buffer and that it is for multi-use purposes. It is a single lane vehicle trail used mainly for maintenance vehicles and for burning. Snowmobiles are also allowed on the trail, but Byron Forest Preserve District is willing to close the trail to snowmobile use if the area is dedicated. Snowmobiles will be limited to the shoulder of the main road to the shelter house. The District desires to continue allowing cross-country skiing and an occasional cross-country ski race. They would also like to allow a boy scout troop to continue using a portion of the land as a campsite once a year for a couple of years. When the area is under restoration, the campsite will not be allowed.

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of additions of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting

(Resolution 1342)

154-13) Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal on behalf of Debbie Marlewski, who seeks final approval for dedication of 0.68 acres as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. The tract is located within the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Wauconda Bog. Wauconda Bog has also been recognized by the U.S. National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. At least 12 species of plants, currently listed as endangered or threatened by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, have been recorded from Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. Preliminary approval for dedication of this addition was granted at the Nature Preserves Commission's 153rd Meeting (Resolution #1333). Final dedication of this tract is consistent with good preserve design considerations that call for both enlarging the size of protected natural areas and for protecting natural areas from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Schneiderman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 151st Meeting.

(Resolution 1343)

154-14) Lake Co. -- Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. Albert and Teresa Tyde seek final approval for dedication of 3 acres as an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. The tract is located within the Illinois Natural Area Inventory boundary for Wauconda Bog. Wauconda Bog has also been recognized by the U. S. National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. At least 12 species of plants, currently listed as endangered or threatened by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, have been recorded from Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve. Preliminary approval for dedication of this addition was granted at the Nature Preserves Commission's 153rd Meeting (Resolution #1333). Final dedication of this tract is consistent with good preserve design considerations that call for both enlarging the size of protected natural areas and for protecting natural areas from adjacent incompatible land use changes.

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Schneiderman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Wauconda Bog Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting.

(Resolution 1344)

154-15) Mason Co. -- Proposal to Unregister a Portion of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land And Water Reserve

Tom Lerczak presented a proposal on behalf of Robert and Rudy Stinauer, the owners of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land and Water Reserve in Mason County. The Stinauers requested the Commission unregister a 3.4-acre portion of the Reserve. The Stinauers plan to trade the acreage to a neighboring landowner who will clear the land and put it into agricultural production. The Stinauers would receive a 12-acre tract from the neighbor if the Reserve land is deeded to him. The Stinauers propose to register the 12 acres they would receive from the neighbor.

The Stinauers do not wish to do prescribed burning or restoration because it might interfere with hunting. Lerczak explained that in terms of area, the new land would be more acres, but not of the same quality as that being considered for unregistering. After 20 years of restoration, the traded land would become close to the same quality as the portion proposed to unregister. The Stinauers would like to get the intent of the Commission for approval before the land is swapped or before other neighbors are contacted.

Carolyn Grosboll explained that the statute regarding unregistering a Registered Reserve is not clear.

Director Grosboll mentioned that if a public agency seeks to unregister or disturb an area, there must be a finding that the unregistration or disturbance is in the public interest. There is no mention of a standard for private individuals. Lerczak mentioned that a portion of the area has already been degraded. Chairman Donnelley said that he was not comfortable with the unregistration and the request for the intent of the Commission for approval, especially since the swap is still dependant on other neighbors as well as the Stinauer's wishes. It was noted that the land has only been registered for a little over one year. Concern was expressed about the impression that would be made on future owners of this or other registered reserves about the intention of the Commission when lands are registered.

It was moved by Schneiderman, seconded by Adelmann, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission disapproves the proposal to unregister a portion of Bob Spanski's Walden Too Land and Water Reserve.

(Resolution 1345)

154-16) Preservation of Railroad Prairies

Commissioner Victoria Ranney and John White presented a report on the preservation of railroad prairies. Commissioner Ranney suggested that the Commission focus more on the issue to preserve railroad prairies and that it appoint a committee to report on that subject at the next meeting. The railroad prairie areas are usually small and farmers generally cannot farm the ground; as a result, the prairie plants tend to grow in a sort of refuge. Dry prairie plants generally grow on the embankments and wet prairie plants grow in the ditches. Ranney and John White call the patches of sod " museum pieces" because they grow in soil which has never been broken. An area which was shown on slides to the Commission at a previous meeting was degraded by trespass from an adjacent construction. Although these areas are irreplaceable, White said not enough is being done to protect them. The proposal presented by Ranney and White suggested six ways to preserve the railroad prairies. Discussion following the presentation included questions on the original inventory list of the 1970's which included about 62 prairies. An updated list would include additional as well as degraded areas. Chairman Donnelley asked Commissioners Ranney and Adelmann to work with White to come up with an analysis of what could best be done to preserve the prairies. Commissioner Beattie offered to assist the committee.

154-17) DuPage Co. -- Proposal to Construct a Regional Trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve

Randy Heidorn presented a proposal from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to construct a regional trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve. Currently, there is a combination of trail conditions existing within the nature preserve ranging from a crushed limestone base trail to a mowed turf trail. The existing trail is wider than 10 feet in several areas. Steven Byers showed slides of the existing trail. At the 153rd INPC meeting, the Commission directed staff to meet with the District to resolve any differences on the design of this trail. The District approved an ordinance on January 29, 1997 which formalized the recommendations made by the staff. The following design elements were approved by the District: The new regional trail will consist of a 10 feet wide crushed limestone base and will include equestrian, bicycle, cross country skiing and pedestrian traffic. The trail will also be realigned closer to Swift Road. The interior trails will be mowed to a width of 7'3". This is the width of the equipment used to maintain this trail and is a considerable reduction in the existing width. The District has also agreed to eliminate the existing service parking lot and an unused trail corridor along the tollway right-of-way. Heidorn reported that through an oversight, the original proposal did not include the regional trail.

Chairman Donnelley asked if the original trail was in the dedication proposal. Heidorn said that it was not included in the original dedication proposal brought to the Commission. However, the packet brought to the Forest Preserves District's attention for approval of dedication did include the regional trail. Because approval of the trail was not found in any of the Commission's records it was brought back for approval. Essentially, the Commission thinks it approved one thing and the landowner something else. Chairman Donnelley noted that when the nature preserve was dedicated it did not include equestrian and biking. Byers stated that the incident was an oversight by the staff. He said that if the regional trail had been approved with the dedication of the nature preserve, then equestrian and biking on the trail would have been approved.

Commissioner Ranney objected to the proposal because a precedent might be set for equestrian and biking in other nature preserves. Commissioner Adelmann asked if a precedent was being set since there was a misunderstanding regarding the trail. However, Commissioner Adelmann pointed out that the Commission might not have approved the original dedication had it known the trail was included. Heidorn explained that the difference in this case was that there were two maps shown, one to the Commission and one to the Forest Preserve District. The one shown to the Commission did not include the trail, but the one shown to the Forest Preserve did show the trail. This was an inadvertent error. There was much discussion regarding the aspect of approving the trail after the dedication had been approved without it.

Chairman Donnelley asked Heidorn and Byers, if they were in accord with the District and the compromises that had been made after the error of omission of the trail. Heidorn and Byers agreed that they were satisfied.

It was moved by Schneiderman, seconded by Schmitt and carried with Ranney voting no that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission approves the staff recommendation for an approval to construct a regional trail within Churchill Prairie Nature Preserve according to specifications as worked out by staff and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, as presented under Item 17 of the Agenda of the 154th Meeting.

(Resolution 1346)

154-18) Pulaski Co. -- Proposal to Build a Boardwalk at Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve, Cache River State Natural Area

Randy Heidorn presented the proposal to build a boardwalk at Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve. The Nature Preserve is a cypress tupelo swamp located within the Cache River State Natural Area. No access is currently developed for this site. IDNR is proposing to construct a boardwalk to allow visitors to view a portion of the nature preserve. The trail is being routed to avoid the removal of trees and other sensitive features. Although all other endangered species can be avoided, some water elm (Planera aquatica) seedlings can not be avoided. IDNR proposes that the District Heritage Biologist be allowed to transplant the seedlings out of the way of the boardwalk. Water elm seedlings are relatively common within this nature preserve and the viability of this population of this species would not be negatively impacted by this activity. Transplanting populations of an endangered species of plant was previously approved by the Commission and carried out in Beall Woods Nature Preserve.

Heidorn reported that based on an earlier resolution, when a management item is approved by the Commission two times it is considered standard management and can be approved by the staff. Subsequent check of the resolution indicates that management actions become standard when they are approved three times (Resolution 1246, amended 1318.) Commissioner Adelmann asked if this might set an undue burden on the staff in some cases. Heidorn stated that the option of taking items to the Commission for approval is always open to staff. Commissioner Schneiderman suggested that there should be a stronger authority for the staff to approve management items rather than from a resolution that is found in the minutes of a prior meeting. He suggested that this procedure be included in the Commission's policy manual or rule. Chairman Donnelley suggested that the resolution approving this staff authority be reviewed at the May 6, 1997 meeting.

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Ranney, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants approval to build a boardwalk at Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve, Cache River State Natural Area as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 154th Meeting.

(Resolution 1347)

154-19) Johnson Co. -- Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control Project

Randy Heidorn reported that since the last Commission meeting, IDNR has moved forward with the Heron Pond revetment project. A package has been put together for the Comprehensive Environmental Review Process (CERP) and is currently under review. Construction plans are being developed and the work will be completed this summer. Heidorn reported that he and Carolyn Grosboll recently attended a meeting with Director Manning and other IDNR staff, and more was learned on the broader issue of erosion and entrenchment on the Cache River. It was learned that the Corps of Engineers are undertaking a broad study of the Cache River and the Planning Division of IDNR has been playing a major role in that study. Grosboll explained that the meeting discussions included ways in which Commission staff could participate in the study.

154-20) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

Gordon Goodman thanked the Commission and all the people who made possible the acquisition of the Town and Country property (28 acres in the area of Lyman Woods in Downers Grove). Mr. Goodman reported that after the last meeting, help was received from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to achieve the purchase of the Town and Country property.

Goodman updated the Commission on the proposed wellness center addition to the Good Samaritan Hospital complex also located in the Lyman Woods area.

154-21) Other Business

154-22) Adjournment

It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.