McHenry Co. -- Request for Equestrian Trail at Glacial Park
Nature Preserve. ................................................. 7
Kendall Co. -- Emmons' Woods Land and Water Reserve,
La Salle Co. -- Voight Pauper Cemetery Prairie Land and
Water Reserve, Registration................................... 11
Saline Co. -- Horseshoe Geological Area Land and Water
Reserve, Registration......................................... 12
Hancock Co. -- Hancock Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication....... 13
Kane Co. -- Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve, Dedication..... 14
McDonough Co. -- Short Fork Marsh Nature Preserve,
St. Clair Co. -- Pruitt Sinkholes Nature Preserve,
Cook Co. -- Santa Fe Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication......... 17
Fayette Co. -- Ramsey Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve,
Kane Co. -- Addition to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve,
Lake Co. -- Additions to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve,
Lawrence Co. -- Addition to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve,
McHenry Co. -- Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication....... 22
Will Co. -- Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve,
Dedication - Deferred until October 28, 1997 Meeting.......... 23
Adoption of Agenda............................................... 2
Approval of Minutes of 155th Meeting, May 6, 1997................ 3
Next Meeting Schedule............................................ 4
INPC Staff Report................................................ 5
IDNR Staff Report................................................ 6
Election of Consultants.......................................... 8
Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report.......... 9
Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control............................. 24
Public Comment Period............................................ 25
Other Business................................................... 26
156-1) 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: Penny Beattie, Dianne Burton, Thomas Donnelley II, Jon Ellis, Guy Fraker, Don Pierce, Victoria Ranney, John Schmitt, and Michael Schneiderman.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Loretta Arient, Steve Byers, Bob Edgin, Judy Faulkner, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall (acting director), Tammie McKay, Patti Malmborg, Angella Moorehouse, Debbie S. Newman, Brian Reilly, and Karen Tish, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Carl Becker, Beth Loebach, Janeen Laatsch, and Diane Tecic, Division of Natural Heritage, Illinois Department of Natural Resources(IDNR); Parkie and Neill Emmons and their daughter, Nancy Cinatl, Emmons' Woods; Carol O'Donnell, Boone Creek Fen; Nancy Whitney, Long Grove Park District; Sharon Schramm, representative for Marion Lloyd; Lou Burleson, I-M Canal Civic Center Authority - Santa Fe Prairie; Karen Stasky, Santa Fe Prairie; Susan Dees, George Rose, and Bill Marvel, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Julene Perbohner, Perbohner & Associates, Attorneys, Crystal Lake, IL; Gordon Goodman, Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance; Rita M. Martin and Albert S. Rouffa, Downers Grove, Illinois; Tom Faust, Wight Consulting; June Keibler, Kane County Natural Areas Volunteer (KCNAV); Jewel Hahn, Steward, Parker Fen; Sheryl DeVore, Pioneer Press Newspapers; Valerie Spale, Save the Prairie Society and INPC Consultant; Ken Fiske, INPC Consultant; John D.Schroeder, Craig Hubert, Steve Gulgren, and Dr. Wayne Schennum, McHenry County Conservation District; Betty Coffin, Bob Coffin, Vernadine Mattlock, Connie Wachs, and Ed Wachs, visitors from Long Grove; Mark Mehrer, Illinois Archaeological Survey/Northern Illinois University; Edna Herrmann, Riverwoods, Illinois; Larry Page, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jon Duerr, Kane County Forest Preserve District; Mike Martinez, resident of Highland Park; Barbara Reed Turner of Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve; and Jennifer Pierce, daughter of Commissioner Don Pierce.
Chairman Donnelley extended the thanks of the Commission and all of those attending the meeting to Barbara Turner for her hospitality at the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve.
Chairman Donnelley reported the absence of one person who had expected to attend the meeting via a conference telephone call. He announced that Director Carolyn Grosboll was in labor at the hospital with her first child (John Emerson Grosboll was born at 9:05 p.m. at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois).
Chairman Donnelley also welcomed newly appointed Commissioners, Dianne Burton and Jon Ellis to their first official Commission meeting.
156-2) Adoption of Agenda
Chairman Donnelley reported that two changes would be made in the Agenda. Under Item 10, Kendall Co.- Emmons' Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration, the full presentation would be given; however, at the owner's request, the action would be deferred until the October 28, 1997 meeting. Donnelley also reported that Item 23, Will Co. - Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication, will be removed from the Agenda and resubmitted at the next meeting, October 28, 1997, again at the owners' request.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Pierce and carried that the Agenda, as amended, be adopted.
156-3) Approval of Minutes of 155th Meeting, May 6, 1997
It was moved by Fraker, seconded by Schmitt and carried that the Minutes of the 155th Meeting be approved.
156-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Don McFall announced that the 157th INPC Meeting will be held October 28, 1997 at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois beginning at 10:00 a.m. A field trip of the hill prairies at Pere Marquette State Park has been planned after the meeting.
156-5) INPC Staff Report
Don McFall reported that the General Assembly adjourned on June 1, 1997 and INPC's budget was approved at $491,700, which was the amount requested. Last year INPC's budget was $462,200.
McFall reported on highlights of the field staff activities since the last meeting:
John Alesandrini, Steven Byers, and Patti Malmborg attended the Midwest Savanna Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, July 29-31. The conference provided information that will help protect, restore, and manage oak savannas in Illinois.
IDNR recognized John Alesandrini at the dedication ceremony of a 960-acre addition to Apple River Canyon State Park, June 13, 1997. Alesandrini worked with the private landowner of the site to see it protected through state acquisition.
Brian Reilly represented INPC at the grand opening celebration of Old Plank Road Trail on July 19, 1997. The Old Plank Road Trail in Cook County includes two dedicated nature preserves. Reilly also negotiated a new Natural Heritage Landmark (NHL). Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad Prairie NHL in Iroquois County protects a mesic prairie included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI). The new NHL is more than 100 acres in size. The landowner is the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad Company.
Angella Moorehouse, of west-central Illinois, successfully negotiated a new NHL. Tartan Bluff NHL in Henderson County is an excellent example of a loess hill prairie. The site is included on the INAI. Landowner, Gus Hart of Oquawka, enrolled 28 acres in the landmark program.
Tom Lerczak, of central Illinois, continued to work with the city of Pana to protect Anderson Prairie as a land and water reserve.
Mary Kay Solecki's work with the Natural Areas Rescue Fund resulted in protection of three natural areas. Solecki did much of the initial legwork, which led to Save the Prairie Society's acquisition of Goodes Woods in Macoupin County, Hancock Savanna in west-central Illinois, and Tomlin Timber, a woodlot in Mason County, all on the INAI.
Debbie Newman, of southwestern Illinois, continued to work with the Village of Valmeyer and adjacent private landowners to protect a series of large natural areas. The areas cover more than 1,400 acres in the bluffs above the Mississippi River in Monroe County. Newman also helped at a workday at Fogelpole Cave Nature Preserve. Volunteers removed much junk from the cave during the workday.
Bob Edgin is evaluating two large wetlands for inclusion in the INAI. Brushy Slough is a 400-acre wetland in White County and Miller Pond is a 140-acre wetland in Lawrence County. If the areas are included on the INAI, the Commission's protection programs will be available to the private landowners.
Judy Faulkner presented a workshop for Commission staff on mediation techniques and landowner contacts. The staff learned techniques that will help them in their negotiation with landowners.
Randy Heidorn updated the Commission on various stewardship activities:
One hundred forty-seven legal master plans are in place, 61 are currently up-to-date. Barbara Ver Steeg, INPC's Stewardship Project Manager, has been extremely busy with permits this year. She has issued 272 permits to 103 applicants at 126 sites. Last year only 219 permits to 81 applicants at 118 sites were issued.
The final volume of a ground-water study (mentioned at the last meeting) conducted by the State Water Survey as a part of a 319 grant to the Commission should be received in about one month. This volume will contain the site specific data for 85 nature preserves. The information will be used to designate Class 3 Groundwater Areas under the Illinois Pollution Control Board's regulations. This classification will allow greater protection of groundwater feeding these nature preserves.
Heidorn reported the purple loosestrife bio-control program, authorized about two years ago, is thriving. Tens of thousands of insects have been released, mostly in the Chicago area although some releases have been done in southern and western Illinois. The bio-control agents control the purple loosestrife by feeding on the leaves of this pest.
In the Cook County Forest Preserve District during the past year, a moratorium has been in place stopping most forms of natural areas management. The Forest Preserve Board formed a Citizen's Advisory Committee to review the practices used on sites. That committee reviewed various management techniques used and made recommendations for approval of these methods.
It was indicated that the Cook County Forest Preserve Board was meeting at the same time as the Commission meeting to evaluate and approve the recommendations made by its Advisory Committee.
Commissioner Schneiderman asked what the staff thought of the recommendations. Heidorn replied that they provide for citizen notification and will allow management restoration to occur within the natural areas. In response to Commissioner Schneiderman's question, Chairman Donnelley reported he wrote to President Stroger saying he was happy they were getting back into some kind of Land Management. The Cook County Forest Preserve District is the largest owner of nature preserves other than IDNR, and staff were pleased with the recommendations.
Heidorn reported on continuing review of Commission policies including procedures to approve land management in nature preserves. INPC staff have reviewed and updated existing policies. A draft of the policies has been sent to Commissioner Schneiderman and the staff hope to bring a copy to the October meeting.
A deer management plan is being developed by IDNR for Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, which includes Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve. The administrative rules authorizing archery and shotgun hunting, to reduce the herd have been approved by the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) for the entire IDNR site. The plan will be presented to staff for approval before the actual hunting, beginning in October.
Material Services Corporation, a landowner near Lake in the Hills Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County, has applied for a Gravel Mining Permit to mine an area adjacent to the nature preserve. This includes mining no closer than 50 feet of the boundary of the nature preserve and placing overburden within that 50-foot border between the boundary and where the actual mining takes place. The IDNR's Endangered Species Consultation Program (ESCP) was involved in those discussions and a consultation took place with IDNR's Office of Mines and Minerals. A permit was issued by the Office of Mines and Minerals; however, suggestions made by ESCP were not incorporated into any part of the permitting process. Because of that, the ESCP classified this as an unsuccessful consultation. It is fortunate that Material Services Corporation has a history of being a good neighbor and has worked with us on many other sites and appears to be willing to do so in this situation.
Commissioner Schmitt asked what the ESCP did not take into consideration. Heidorn reported the two items concerned the need for additional information on the hydrology of the site and concern about placement of the overburden near the boundary of the property.
Chairman Donnelley expressed concern that an IDNR office was not more responsive to the Illinois Endangered Species Act and consultation process. He stated that staff should prepare a letter to express the Commission's concern that proper due process and diligence were not taken by IDNR offices in this matter. On the other hand, he noted Material Services Corporation has a history of being a very responsive partner at several sites.
156-6) IDNR Staff Report
Carl Becker reported the following activities for the Division of Natural Heritage since the last meeting:
As Don McFall reported previously, the budget for the Division of Natural Heritage was granted as proposed. A new initiative, called the Base Closure Initiative, was proposed to the Governor about a year ago. The initiative deals with Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (MNTP) and Savanna Army Depot (SAD) closures. A need for technical assistance in IDNR's partnership with the Forest Service at MNTP and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) at SAD was identified in the initiative and a need for four scientists to help in those efforts. Becker identified Larry Page in the audience to help him with the explanation. Needs at MNTP included a Grassland Bird Specialist and a Grassland Ecologist and at SAD, a Grassland Ecologist and a Wildlife Specialist were identified. These four positions will be involved in helping with development of plans for the management of those areas.
Becker added that MNTP will also have a volunteer coordinator because of the large acreage there and great interest. The four scientists will be at the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS); the volunteer coordinator will be within the Office of Resource Conservation and housed within the Division of Natural Heritage. Four residents will be budgeted; two at MNTP and two at SAD. These are positions for students who are in Masters degree programs. The students spend one year working for IDNR as a resident so they will acquire one year of experience before they graduate. This is a plus for the student and IDNR. At least six universities in the state are involved in the program. Two clerical positions will be added, one at MNTP and one at SAD. Another component will be an increase in nursery production to provide prairie plants for the restoration work at MNTP. The total initiative was for $600,000 and it is from general revenue funds.
The Little Vermilion River State Natural Area in Vermilion County was protected through landowner contact funded by the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund. Suzanne Smith, a local landowner, was contracted; she went up and down the area contacting other landowners from Georgetown to the Indiana state line telling them of the significance of the Little Vermilion River. One landowner was Peabody Coal. Peabody Coal expressed a desire to sell and this allowed IDNR to get in at the very beginning to purchase 1,000 acres of high quality stream property that was on the INAI (in some places, both sides of the river). One person who helped to get this area protected was Senator Harry "Babe" Woodyard. Woodyard passed away last spring after surgery. On July 21, 1997, the Little Vermilion River State Natural Area was renamed Harry "Babe" Woodyard State Natural Area in his honor.
Ben Tuggle of the USFWS in Barrington is leaving in September to be the Chief of Habitat Conservation Division of Wildlife Services in Arlington, VA. He will be sorely missed in this area by all who have worked with him in the past.
Since the last Commission meeting IDNR has optioned or acquired three more natural area tracts:
114 acres at Wagon Lake in St. Clair County This is a high quality wetland adjacent to the large forest blocks along the Kaskaskia River.
31 acres at Volo Bog State Natural Area (SNA) in McHenry County Volo Bog SNA protects Illinois' finest example of a tamarack bog. The site is now 900 acres in size and contains two dedicated nature preserves.
24 acres at Cache River State Natural Area in Johnson County This wooded tract contains the old bed of Cypress Creek. This was an important parcel to acquire to restore some of the hydrology of Cache River wetlands. The acquisition brings Cache River State Natural Area to 11,500 acres. Cache River State Natural Area contains three dedicated nature preserves.
Becker reported to the Commission that Bill McClain had produced the Prairie Establishment and Landscaping guide. Becker distributed copies of the guide to the Commissioners and told others there were some copies available.
Commissioner Schneiderman asked if finding scientists had been hard. Becker replied that excellent choices were available and making a selection had been very hard.
156-7) McHenry Co. -- Request for Equestrian Trail at Glacial Park Nature Preserve
Craig Hubert and Steve Gulgren presented a proposal for the McHenry County Conservation District that proposes to construct an equestrian trail within Glacial Park Nature Preserve. The proposed trail would run coextensively with an existing snowmobile trail, except a loop in the southern portion of the nature preserve. Before this site's dedication as a nature preserve, a network of trails serving hikers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers existed within the nature preserve area. The dedication proposal noted that the snowmobile trail would be moved to the perimeter of the nature preserve.
Commissioner Schneiderman asked if any of the trails proposed for use by equestrians would also be used by hikers. He was told that they were trying to separate the two uses because of problems in the past. Schneiderman also asked for clarification of the map shown for the proposed trails.
Chairman Donnelley asked where the existing equestrian trail was according to the map. Donnelley asked Randy Heidorn if the equestrian trail and snowmobile trail were part of the original proposal.
Heidorn explained that the original dedication included only the snowmobile trail. Donnelley asked why the equestrian trail was not included in the original dedication. Hubert and Gulgren could not reply, because they were not at the district when the original proposal was made.
Donnelley emphasized that after a dedication is approved, incorporating new uses is not feasible. Planning must be done before an area is dedicated. He suggested rerouting the trails outside the boundaries of the nature preserve.
Commissioner Schneiderman asked exactly what the Commission was being asked to approve and for the opinions of the staff. Randy Heidorn answered that since the equestrian trail was not originally presented in the dedication, the staff do not feel the trail should be added now. The staff are concerned that precedence would be set by adding an equestrian trail to a nature preserve long after it was dedicated without one.
After discussion, Chairman Donnelley asked if the Commissioners were ready to vote on the footpaths and hold off on voting on the equestrian trail.
Schneiderman suggested that a more specific proposal be made than the one suggesting an equestrian trail be made through the middle of the preserve. He also said that he did not wish to vote for the equestrian trail if it were not approved by the staff.
Judy Faulkner spoke about the southern Illinois equestrian trails in Shawnee National Forest that have been closed after much work by interested parties. She mentioned if a precedent was set on the equestrian trail, it would work directly against other areas being worked on in the state.
Heidorn stated that it is staff's position that the equestrian trail not be allowed.
It was moved by Pierce, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission denies approval of an Equestrian Trail at Glacial Park Nature Preserve as presented in Item 7 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
Ken Fiske asked if the problem with the equestrian trail was in setting a precedent or in the actual damage caused by the trails. Donnelley answered that both were unacceptable.
156-8) Election of Consultants
Don McFall recommended reelection of INPC's current consultants: Dr. Robert Betz, Bruce Boyd, Marilyn Campbell, Kenneth V. Fiske, Dr. Alfred Koelling, Al Pyott, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, and Valerie Spale, and that Ed Stirling, director of the Natural Land Institute in Rockford, be added as a consultant to the Commission.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Schneiderman, and carried that the following be elected as consultants to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Dr. Robert Betz, Bruce Boyd, Marilyn Campbell, Kenneth V. Fiske, Dr. Alfred Koelling, Al Pyott, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, Valerie Spale, and Ed Stirling.
156-9) Election of Officers
Commissioner Schmitt, speaking for the Nominating Committee, presented a slate of officers. Vicky Ranney was recommended for election as Chair; Guy Fraker as Vice-Chair; and Don Pierce as Secretary. Chairman Donnelley asked if any other submissions would be made from the floor. None were submitted.
It was moved by Burton, seconded by Schneiderman, and carried that the following Commissioners be elected as Officers of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Vicky Ranney, Chair; Guy Fraker, Vice-Chair, and Don Pierce, Secretary.
Tom Donnelley turned to Vicky Ranney and wished her good luck as she became the new Nature Preserves Commission Chair. Chair Ranney thanked Commissioner Donnelley for his long interest in natural areas not only in Illinois but in other parts of the country, especially Montana. Ranney reported Donnelley is well known in northeastern Illinois for his many contributions toward conservation. When he believes in something, he really believes in it. He helped the Lake County Forest Preserve Wildlife Advisory Committee with a very tricky issue of culling the deer herd. He was a leader for 15 years at Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, a Lake County forest preserve and the Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve that is within the forest preserve.
Donnelley chaired the Friends of Ryerson Woods and raised more than one million dollars for Ryerson Woods through public and private groups with a strong support from INPC to keep a very intrusive equestrian trail out of the nature preserve. Donnelley worked for many years on the acquisition of land across the river and that is about to go through. Solving these problems is possible, although difficult, so that the equestrian trail works outside the nature preserve. He helped Lake Forest District through a bond issue to raise money to make the referendum successful. Ranney stated that we all know Donnelley is loyal, steadfast, consistent, and organized, organized even to a fault. Donnelley gets the Commissioners all going weeks in advance and it has all resounded to the benefit of the State of Illinois and its natural areas.
Ranney then presented two items to Commissioner Donnelley in appreciation of his service; the first was an autographed, framed poster of Spring Woodland Wildflowers of Illinois and the second was an autographed book entitled Illinois Wilds.
Commissioner Schneiderman suggested that the Commissioners whose terms have expired, somehow make known to the Governor's office the importance of having all three of the new officers reappointed to the Commission, since the Commission is in a peculiar situation of having all three officers sitting on expired terms.
156-10) Kendall Co. -- Emmons' Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Brian Reilly presented a proposal and slides for Emmons' Woods, owned by Neill and Parkie Emmons of Plano. Approximately 60 acres of mature forest are in Kendall County. Forty-eight acres are in the floodplain of Big Rock Creek, a Biologically Significant Stream. The Creek has excellent water quality and provides habitat for the creek heelsplitter (Lasmigona compressa). Seventeen species of forest habitat sensitive birds use the site, including the state threatened veery (Catharus fuscescens), and brown creeper (Certhia americana).
Reilly explained that Neill and Parkie Emmons are looking into ways to establish a management trust fund in order to insure long-term protection of the property.
Commissioner Burton commended the Emmons for their offer of the reserve.
In turn, Neill Emmons commended the staff and Commission for their help in preserving the area. Mr. Emmons indicated he was very pleased with the Commission's actions earlier in the meeting.
At the Emmons' request, Commission action on the registration is postponed until the October 28, 1997 Meeting.
156-11) La Salle Co. -- Voight Pauper Cemetery Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Brian Reilly presented the proposal and slides for registration of Voight Pauper Cemetery Prairie Land and Water Reserve. The reserve is a one-acre cemetery prairie owned by Otter Creek Township in La Salle County. The cemetery consists of one acre of Grade C mesic prairie, representing some of the only mesic prairie in La Salle County, Illinois. Some plants found in the prairie include lead plant (Amorpha canescens), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), and yellow stargrass (Hypoxis hirsuta).
Commissioner Fraker asked for reminders of the difference in a registration and dedication. Reilly replied that a dedication requires both a preliminary and final approval and that a dedication carries very strict guidelines following the high-quality guidelines provided for the natural areas in Illinois. Registration of a land and water reserve is a one-step process for the Commission's approval or disapproval. The registration is designed for property that does not quite meet the requirements of a nature preserve; however, it is a nice piece of natural area that should be reserved. Registration restrictions are not as strong; for example, hunting and fishing are allowed on land and water reserves while they are not allowed in nature preserves.
It was moved by Fraker, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for registration of Voight Pauper Cemetery Prairie as a land and water reserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
156-12) Saline Co. -- Horseshoe Geological Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Judy Faulkner (IDNR) presented slides and a proposal for registration of Horseshoe Geological Area as a land and water reserve, on behalf of Jody Shimp of IDNR. Owned by IDNR, the area was recognized by the INAI (#841) as a Category IV natural area. Category IVtural areas are localities that are outstanding representatives of Illinois' geologic diversity. The proposed land and water reserve contains an outstanding exposure of the Shawneetown Fault. The site is approximately 1.2 acres and is in the Greater Shawnee Hills Section of the Shawnee Hills Natural Division.
The registry agreement proposes a management goal that is to maintain the view of the rock. The primary management strategy is herbicide application to keep the rock from becoming invisible because it is covered with vegetation. Jody Shimp has already started the process of spraying the herbicide.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Pierce, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for registration of Horseshoe Geological Area as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
Commissioner Schneiderman asked if the Department of Natural Resources routinely looks through all of the properties owned by the Department to decide whether they should be registered or dedicated. Carl Becker answered "yes" to the question. Every year the Department goes through an Annual Resources Review process at each site. One charge given to each site is to bring forth all the natural areas in the site and to ask all the other disciplines within the agency involved in the process about registering areas that are not already dedicated as nature preserves. Many IDNR areas are now in the process of being proposed for registration as land and water reserves. Many of these proposals will be brought to the Commission within the next year or so.
156-13) Hancock Co. -- Hancock Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for preliminary approval for Hancock Savanna (also known as Geissler Savanna), owned by Save the Prairie Society, as a nature preserve. Hancock Savanna is the second largest intact savanna in Illinois. The savanna is a 37-acre site in Hancock County. The site contains a rare example of the savanna natural community. Hancock Savanna was recognized by the INAI (#1229) as a good quality example of mesic and dry mesic savanna.
It was moved by Fraker, seconded by Schneiderman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Hancock Savanna as a nature preserve as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
Valerie Spale spoke on behalf of Save the Prairie Society to say that the organization is happy to be playing a role beyond its original protection at Wolf Road Prairie and trying to preserve little sites in peril elsewhere. The Society worked with the Geisslers for some time and it was a situation where Geissler needed to sell part of his land to conclude a balloon payment on the mortgage on his farm purchase. The Society was able to arrange the financing to accommodate him so that the site could be preserved rather than used for agricultural purposes.
Chair Ranney said the Commission is very happy to have Spale and Save the Prairie Society play the role of preservationists.
156-14) Kane Co. -- Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for Mr. Glen Spiegler who wishes to dedicate approximately five acres of Sleepy Hollow Ravine as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Sleepy Hollow Ravine was recognized by the INAI (#624) because of extant high-quality mesic upland forest and seep communities. A "best of its type" barrens found within the boundary of the natural area is not included in the proposed nature preserve, however. The area proposed for dedication includes the ravine itself, which plunges more than 75 feet from the top of the slopes to a stream that meanders along the ravine floor, and encompasses some extant high-quality mesic upland forest and all of the seeps. Land use changes within the immediate watershed of Sleepy Hollow Ravine represent a threat to this natural area. Dedication of Sleepy Hollow Ravine will preserve a striking topographic feature of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois, protect important elements of seep communities representative of this Division, provide an impetus to protecting more of the natural area, and provide an important protection tool. Staff of the Nature Preserves Commission recommend preliminary approval for dedication of a portion of Sleepy Hollow Ravine as an Illinois Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Donnelley remarked that the main problem with the ravine would be the hydrology of all the runoff coming down. It will flush the ravine very fast and erosion problems will be rampart if some way of disbursing the wash is not made, and especially during the major rainfalls.
Byers commented that the problem had been addressed in a letter written by Keith Shank, of IDNR's Endangered Species Consultation Program, which provided a specific design for the problem. This problem has been the primary concern of the Commission staff all along.
Schneiderman commented on the following sentence in Shank's letter: "The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be able to require remedial action for any condition on adjacent or nearby properties which can be demonstrated to be causing degradation of the Preserve." Schneiderman asked where the Commission gets the power to reach beyond the dedicated nature preserve.
Byers' perception was that the Commission is charged with protecting the nature preserves and upon dedication the Commission is in a position to work pro-actively to protect the sites.
Schneiderman indicated that he had much trouble finding power in the statute; but was willing to hold discussion on it later.
Byers suggested bringing in Deanna Glosser's staff to discuss the matter since the letter was from Keith Shank of her division.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Beattie, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Sleepy Hollow Ravine as an Illinois Nature Preserve as described in Item 14 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
A 15-minute break was taken to gather lunch at 12:15 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 12:30 p.m.
156-15)McDonough Co. -- Short Fork Marsh Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented Short Fork Marsh for preliminary dedication as a nature preserve. Short Fork Marsh is a 42-acre tract in McDonough County. The site contains several small marshes along Short Fork Creek. The marshes are of high natural quality and were included in the INAI (#144). Short Fork Marsh is one of only two marshes included on the INAI in the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. The proposed nature preserve is owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb. Dedication of 10 acres as nature preserve and 31.8 acres as nature preserve buffer is proposed.
It was moved by Beattie, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Short Fork Marsh as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in Item 15 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
156-16) St. Clair Co. -- Pruitt Sinkholes Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Scott Newman presented a proposal for preliminary approval of Pruitt Sinkholes, owned by Charles and Melba Pruitt, as a nature preserve. The Pruitt Sinkholes are an important part of the Stemler Cave system in St. Clair County. Stemler Cave was recognized by the INAI (#939) for its terrestrial and aquatic cave communities, for the presence of Illinois cave amphipod, an endangered species of cave invertebrate, and as an outstanding example of karst topography. The Pruitts propose to dedicate 2.5 acres as a Nature Preserve to protect several sinkholes that drain into Stemler Cave. The 120-acre Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve owned by the IDNR is less than 1/4 mile from Pruitt Sinkholes.
Newman accompanied volunteers in doing some cleanup at the site. Cans, bottles, old televisions, pesticide containers, etc. were pulled out of the caves. Some of the items removed had the potential of releasing pollutants directly into the cave system.
It was moved by Pierce, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for dedication of Pruitt Sinkholes as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in Item 16 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
156-17) Cook Co. -- Santa Fe Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for Illinois-Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Civic Center Authority who seeks final approval for dedication of Santa Fe Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve. INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication at its 152nd Meeting in August, 1996 (Resolution #1321). The proposed nature preserve encompasses Grade A mesic gravel and dry-mesic gravel prairie identified on the INAI (#51). Only three mesic gravel prairies were identified during the INAI. Of those three, Santa Fe Prairie and Chicago Ridge Prairie survive and were identified as "Gap List" sites. The third prairie has been destroyed. A long and colorful history of scientist, citizen, and corporate interest in protecting this prairie has been noted; it includes perhaps the birthplace of the prairie conservation movement in Illinois. Dr. Robert Betz is quoted as saying, "That first visit (to Santa Fe Prairie) with Floyd Swink was what made me decide to dedicate the next 35 years of my life to prairies." Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, who owned Santa Fe Prairie, have conveyed the property to the Illinois-Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Civic Center Authority. That commitment, the terms of that conveyance, and Director Grosboll's comments regarding those terms of conveyance are provided in the agenda package. Staff of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission recommend final approval for dedication of Santa Fe Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Donnelley asked if there were any changes in the items that Carolyn Grosboll had mentioned in her attachment to the Agenda. Byers suggested that Grosboll had addressed the items in her memorandum.
Schneiderman suggested that approving the dedication of this nature preserve, which is subject to qualifying restrictions, would be a grave mistake.
Fraker suggested that although stipulations were added to this item; he was willing to take a chance on future actions, because the best chance for preservation of the land, which is so valued, is going ahead with the dedication.
It was moved by Beattie, seconded by Ellis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Santa Fe Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in item 17 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting. (Schneiderman voted no)
156-18) Fayette Co. -- Ramsey Railroad Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
Judy Faulkner presented a proposal for final approval of Ramsey Railroad Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Ramsey Railroad Prairie is an 11.26-acre tract. INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication at its 153rd Meeting on October 29, 1996 (Resolution #1332). This is a dry mesic and mesic prairie owned by IDNR. The area is included in the INAI (#0549) and is one of the very few high quality prairies remaining in the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The prairie occurs on the right-of-way of an abandoned railroad acquired by the IDNR in 1990.
It was moved by Schmitt, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Ramsey Railroad Prairie as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in Item 18 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
156-19) Kane Co. -- Addition to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County who seeks final approval for dedication of a 5-acre nature preserve addition to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve. INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication of the addition at its 155th Meeting on May 6, 1997 (Resolution #1354) along with a 10-acre addition as nature preserve buffer. The 10-acre addition as nature preserve buffer however, is not included. Staff of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County state it is their intention to recommend dedication of the additional 10 acres after the Forest Preserve District has completed site plans for the buffer and after restoration efforts have been initiated. Staff of the Nature Preserves Commission recommend that the 5-acre parcel encompassing the balance of the high-quality prairie and identified in the Instrument of Dedication be granted final approval for dedication as an addition to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve.
It was moved by Schneiderman, seconded by Donnelley, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of an addition to Burlington Prairie Nature Preserve, as described in Item 19 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
156-20) Lake Co. -- Additions to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for Mrs. Glen M. Lloyd who seeks final approval for dedication of additions of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve. Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve was granted final approval for dedication by the Commission at its 91st Meeting in October 1982 (Resolution #688). Since then, the Commission has granted final approval for two additions and recently conferred preliminary approval for dedication of additions of nature preserve and nature preserve buffer at its 154th Meeting on February 4, 1997 (Resolution #1340). Lloyd's Woods was recognized by the INAI (#108) for extant high-quality mesic upland forest. This proposal calls for dedication of the balance of the high-quality natural communities as nature preserve and an adjacent old-field meadow as nature preserve buffer and will increase the size of Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve from approximately 104 acres to 151 acres.
Byers reported that he had worked with Sharon Schramm, Mrs. Lloyd's personal secretary, and also Mrs. Lloyd's attorney, Alice Lonoff. The attorney asked Byers to mention in his verbal presentation that a component of the proposal for dedication is to provide for an easement for access to Mrs. Lloyd's home and that was specifically pointed out also by the Commission.
Byers introduced Sharon Schramm to the Commission. She read a letter written by Mrs. Lloyd thanking the Commission staff for their help in dedicating her land.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Beattie, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of additions to Lloyd's Woods Nature Preserve, as described in Item 20 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting.
156-21) Lawrence Co. -- Addition to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve, Dedication
Bob Edgin presented a proposal for final approval of dedication for an addition to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve. Robeson Hills Nature Preserve is a 120-acre mesic upland forest owned by Vincennes University. The area was dedicated as an Illinois nature preserve in 1972. Vincennes University proposes to dedicate a 19.8-acre addition to the nature preserve. INPC conferred preliminary approval for dedication of the addition at its 155th Meeting on May 6, 1997 (Resolution #1355). The addition is a deep, wooded ravine forested with mesic and dry mesic upland forest. The tract is included in the INAI (#14).
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Schmitt, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of a 19.8-acre addition to Robeson Hills Nature Preserve, as described in Item 21 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
156-22) McHenry Co. -- Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication (Actually presented between Items 16 and 17 of the Agenda for the 156th Meeting)
Steven Byers presented a proposal for Thomas and Carol O'Donnell who seek final approval for dedication of Boone Creek Fen as an Illinois Nature Preserve. INPC granted preliminary approval for Illinois nature preserve dedication of 20 acres of Boone Creek Fen at its 155th Meeting, May 6, 1997 (Resolution #1356). Boone Creek Fen was recognized by INAI (#1015) for extant high-quality sedge meadow and graminoid fen communities. Of the 12 high-quality fens recognized by the INAI and described in an article entitled "Prairie Fens in Northeastern Illinois: Floristic Composition and Disturbance," Boone Creek Fen is the only site that has not been dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Statewide, only 133 acres of high-quality graminoid fen were identified by the INAI. Commission staff believe this first step by the O'Donnells will serve as a catalyst for other landowners to protect additional portions of Boone Creek Fen and recommend final approval.
Byers introduced Carol O'Donnell to the Commission. She said she felt grateful that the Commission took the time to preserve the fen and that she was grateful to know that it would be preserved after she and her husband, Tom, were gone.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Beattie, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for dedication of Boone Creek Fen as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in Item 22 of the Agenda of the 156th Meeting.
156-23) Will Co. -- Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication
Brian Reilly requested, on behalf of the landowner, that this item be deferred to the October 28, 1997 Commission meeting.
156-24)Update on Heron Pond Erosion Control
Randy Heidorn reported on some positive activities at Cache River and the concern about the erosion of the natural levee between Heron Pond and Cache River. Because of some concerns expressed by the Commission to IDNR, the gabion project was placed on the fast track. This is a project where gabions will be used along the Cache River to prevent the erosion and collapse of the natural levee between the river and Heron Pond. Actual construction work will begin in September. This will, hopefully, precede the rainy season in October. In preparation for this project, IDNR's District Heritage Biologists are moving a mussel bed that is in the area where this work will take place.
156-25) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
Gordon Goodman gave an update on Lyman Woods in Downers Grove, Illinois. A review in May of a proposal by Downers Grove for a Wellness Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, which would require the clear-cutting of eight acres of oak savanna adjacent to the public holding, roughly one-third of the high quality oak savanna would be lost. Because of the discussions at the May meeting, the DuPage County Forest Preserve District wrote to Carl Becker of IDNR and Becker wrote a supportive letter. The forest preserve and the park district have taken an active role in opposing this development. The park district has instituted a suit for breach of contract. It was heard in oral argument on a motion to dismiss Monday, August 4, 1997. The judge sustained the suit and it is set for a status call Wednesday, August 6, 1997. Meanwhile, pro bono support has been received from Jenner & Block and they have prepared a mandamus suit, which was explained in the press release which Mr. Goodman distributed. He explained the suit seeks to have the court order the Village of Downers Grove and the Facilities Planning Board, which is looking at a Certificate of Need for the proposed hospital facility, to conduct a consultation with the help of IDNR.
Mr. Goodman said attorneys had advised them too that it might be desirable to seek a mandate from the court for dedication of Lyman Woods as a nature preserve. This area has been given preliminary approval for dedication, but the Village of Downers Grove, which is one of the owners, opposed dedication that then was supported by the other two owners. If it is determined that the park district and the forest preserve district still support the dedication of Lyman Woods, then it is thought the attorneys would rule to amend the suit under Section 15 of the Natural Areas Preservation Act.
156-26) Other Business
Valerie Spale, as consultant for INPC, asked for copies of the Agenda and Minutes of the meetings. She said she had not been receiving them. She was assured that the database would be checked to assure her name is on the lists to receive those items.
Ken Fiske, also a consultant for INPC, commented and amplified Carl Becker's statement about the acquisition of the Volo Bog area in which CorLands was a contributor. In the CorLands half, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, has now taken the fine money they get from wetland violations and are sharing that money with CorLands. CorLands is then making that money available through a grant program to the 6-8 counties in northeast Illinois for the acquisition of wetland natural habitat; all of which is nature preserve quality. As this fund grows, and these matches are made, the Commission will be receiving more of these areas on a fairly regular basis as proposals for dedication. In addition, CorLands negotiated an agreement with the Corps of Engineers by which they are going to receive a payment of about $40,000 an acre for those developers who do not wish to provide any mitigation on their sites under the new wetland permits. Those monies are going to accumulate on the same basis. Some money will be available for the acquisition of natural habitats in northeastern Illinois on a cooperation basis. These are not outright gifts, but matching gifts that will be available. These areas are being prioritized right now.
Ranney asked who is in charge of the program. Fiske replied that Tom Hahn with CorLands is in charge.
Steven Byers introduced Robert and Elizabeth Coffin who had come in after the meeting began. The Coffins are owners of the nature preserve found not far from the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve.
It was moved by Donnelley, seconded by Pierce, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.