Minutes of the 174th Meeting

(subject to approval of Commission at 175th Meeting)

Illinois Department of Agriculture
State Fairgrounds
801 Sangamon Avenue
Springfield, Illinois
Tuesday, February 5, 2002 - 10:00 a.m.

INDEX


AREAS    ITEM

Cass Co. – Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Champaign Co. – Riverbend Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Washington Co. – Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Will Co. – Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Jasper Co. – Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve, Dedication

Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

Marshall Co. – Lot 111 and Lot 119 Addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, Dedication

Will Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

Edwards Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication

Hancock Co. – Mud Island Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Kane Co. – City of Elgin Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Kane Co. – Fox Valley Land Foundation Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Lake Co. – Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Lake Co. – Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Monroe Co. – Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, Dedication

Peoria Co. – Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication

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

COMMISSION AFFAIRS

Adoption of Agenda

Approval of the Minutes of 173rd Meeting, October 30, 2001

Next Meeting Schedule

INPC Staff Report

IDNR Staff Report

Vegetation Management Guidelines

Memorandum of Understanding Between the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Report on Dedication and Registration of Private Lands

Public Comment Period

Other Business

Adjournment

174-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees

At 10:20 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair O’Keefe, the meeting began.

Carolyn Grosboll gave the roll call.

Members present: Jill Allread, Dianne Burton, Kristi DeLaurentiis, Jonathan Ellis, Lorin Nevling, Joyce O’Keefe, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.

Members absent: Harry Drucker.

Others present: John Alesandrini, Loretta Arient, Steven Byers, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Bob Edgin, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Tammie McKay, Angella Moorehouse, John Nelson, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Jennifer Aherin, Bill Glass, Tim Hickmann, Dan Ludwig, Todd Strole, Diane Tecic, and John Wilker, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Bill McClain, Patti Reilly, and Brian Reilly, ORC, Division of Natural Heritage, IDNR; Steve Davis and Keith Shank, Division of Resource Review and Coordination, IDNR; Sue Lauzon, Endangered Species Protection Board; Felecia Dahlkamp, Sue Dees, Scott Marlow, George Rose, and Barb Trager, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Marilyn Campbell, Illinois Audubon Society and INPC Consultant; John White, Ecological Services and INPC Consultant; Kristine Hubert and Sally Prunty, Champaign County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD); Guy Fraker, The Nature Conservancy; Tanner Girard, Illinois Pollution Control Board and former INPC Chair; Roger Beadles, representing Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve; Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang, representing Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve; William Drake, Jr., representing Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve and Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve; Glen and Linda Schuetz, representing Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve; David Storment, representing Storment Hauss Nature Preserve; and Dave Monk, Educational Resources in Environmental Sciences (ERES).

Chair O’Keefe reported that at the 173rd Meeting of the INPC, held at the Desoto House Hotel on October 30, 2001, legal protection for nine tracts of land, totaling 1,857 acres, was approved by the Commission. One of these nine areas is owned by a private individual who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. Two areas are owned by not-for-profit conservation organizations that also donated the value of the agreement. The estimated dollar value of these three tracts of private land is $300,000, based on conservative estimates of the fair market value of the land. The private land was permanently preserved without acquisition of the land by the State. Private lands protected without State acquisition at the 173rd meeting of the INPC include Kibbe Bottoms addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve in Hancock County, 252 acres; the Bachman Farm addition to Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve in Madison County, 10.7 acres; and Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve in Union County, 40 acres. A total of 302 acres of private land was protected. Protection of this land came about because the INPC has nine staff in the field working with private landowners. There are now 301 dedicated nature preserves in 78 counties, totaling 40,300 acres. There are 64 land and water reserves in 40 counties, totaling 22,750 acres.

174-2) Adoption of Agenda

Carolyn Grosboll stated that Item 7 has been deferred until circumstances surrounding adjacent property can be resolved.

It was moved by Burton, seconded by Nevling and carried that the Agenda, as amended, be adopted.

174-3) Approval of Minutes of 173rd Meeting, October 30th, 2001

It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the Minutes of the 173rd INPC Meeting, October 30, 2001, be approved.

174-4) Next Meeting Schedule

7 May, 10:00 a.m. - Independence Grove Visitor Center, Libertyville
6 August, 9:00 a.m. - Wildlife Prairie State Park, Peoria
29 October, 10:00 a.m. - Rock Springs Center, Decatur

174-5)INPC Staff Report

Carolyn Grosboll stated that staff held a Strategic Planning Session in Springfield on January 8, 9, and 10th. The session was facilitated by Dr. Dwight Guynn of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Management Assistance Team. All of the INPC staff, Commissioners O’Keefe and Allread, and three IDNR employees were able to attend.

Ms. Grosboll stated that the session went well, and everyone was pleased with the outcome and what was achieved. The process began by looking at information submitted from a questionnaire that was sent to the INPC current Consultants, Commissioners, former INPC Chairs, Advisors, staff, and several IDNR staff in early December. The group then worked to identify goals, objectives, and strategies that will help the Commission form its plan of work over the next five years. A draft plan has been put together, and the hope is to have a final draft ready for the Commission to review and approve at the 175th INPC Meeting in Libertyville on May 7, 2002.

Ms. Grosboll reported that she and Fran Harty, the IDNR Regional Heritage Administrator in Region III, were asked by Kirby Cottrell, Office Director for the ORC, to serve as co-chairs of a Prescribed Burning Task Force. The charge was for the Task Force to formulate a white paper on why prescribed burn legislation is necessary in Illinois by the end of January. Ms. Grosboll reported that they were able to meet that deadline. The Task Force is currently working on drafting the legislation. The hope is to have draft legislation put together by the end of February. The Task Force looked at several states that currently have a prescribed burn law. It was decided to use the Florida law as a model for legislation in Illinois.

Ms. Grosboll reported on a situation at Flora Prairie Nature Preserve in Boone County. John Nelson, INPC Northeastern Illinois Threats Coordinator, gave a deposition on January 28, 2002, in a case involving a proposed gravel mine adjacent to Flora Prairie Nature Preserve. The lawsuit resulted after the Boone County Board denied a special use permit to allow aggregate mining. The INPC received subpoenas for documents in this case last year. The Nature Preserve is owned by the Boone County Conservation District (BCCD). Last year the BCCD asked the Commission to determine if there would be negative impacts if this mining were to occur adjacent to Flora Prairie Nature Preserve. Both of the parties in the lawsuit hired consultants and experts to help them determine if there were going to be impacts. We were fortunate to have those reports available to assist us in our review. The Commission made several recommendations to the BCCD on ways to minimize the potential impacts, including a 500 foot setback, extensive monitoring, and more buffer around the Nature Preserve. Ms. Grosboll stated that this case is set to go to trial in late February, and Mr. Nelson will likely be called to testify at the trial. Mr. Nelson did a good job representing the Commission’s interests at the deposition, and he should do fine at the trial. Ms. Grosboll stated that she will continue to update the Commissioners as this case moves forward.

Don McFall stated that Commission staff negotiated two new natural heritage landmarks since the 173rd Meeting of the INPC. Kim Roman negotiated DuPont Hill Prairie Natural Heritage Landmark, owned by Orica Nitrogen, along the Illinois River bluffs in Grundy County. This is a 27-acre site containing glacial drift hill prairie and is listed on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI). In southeastern Illinois, Bob Edgin negotiated Pruitt Woods Natural Heritage Landmark, owned by Joseph and Norma Hart, in Saline County. This is an 18-acre site containing wet mesic floodplain forest and is listed on the INAI. Tom Lerczak worked with Gary and Robin Coon, the owners of Coon Hill Prairie Natural Heritage Landmark to enlarge the area to 3 acres in size. Coon Hill Prairie Natural Heritage Landmark protects a glacial drift hill prairie along the Mackinaw River in Tazewell County. Mr. McFall stated that there are now 127 natural heritage landmarks, totaling 5,600 acres.

Mr. McFall recognized four staff that have reached a milestone. Bob Edgin and Angella Moorehouse have been with the INPC for five years. Each were presented with a service pin. Tom Lerczak has been with the Illinois Natural History Survey and the INPC for a total of 10 years. Mr. Lerczak was presented with a service pin. Judy Faulkner Dempsey has been with the INPC for 15 years. Ms. Dempsey was presented with a service pin.

Chair O’Keefe stated that, on behalf of the Commission, she wanted to thank those who were recognized today. She stated that the staff of the INPC is outstanding, and the Commission is grateful for their dedication and hard work.

Randy Heidorn reported on an ongoing issue at Wingate Prairie Nature Preserve in McHenry County. Precision Twist, a manufacturer of drill bits located near Wingate Prairie Nature Preserve, has a history of releasing chlorinated solvents. The Company has been working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Voluntary Site Remediation Program, to clean up the site. In 2000, it was determined that some of the solvent had gone off site, and had flowed into the groundwater beneath Wingate Prairie Nature Preserve. Wingate Prairie Nature Preserve is south of Sterne’s Fen Nature Preserve. For the last year and a half, the IEPA has been chasing the plume to delineate where the plume has gone. The most recent round of sampling occurred in October, 2001. Preliminary results indicate that Trichloroethene (TCE) was detected at levels above the IEPA’s Class I groundwater quality limits at the surface within three seeps in Sterne’s Fen Nature Preserve. TCE was also detected in a couple of wells that are within Sterne’s Fen Nature Preserve. Samples were also taken north of a pond where the highest quality fen is located. As the sampling went north away from where the seeps entered into the pond, no solvents were detected. No solvents have been detected in any of the wells north of the pond. Preliminary analysis by the consultant suggested that the pond may be intercepting the chemicals of concern. The IEPA, at the Commission’s request, has asked the company to conduct an ecological risk assessment on the site. That request has been transmitted to the company. At this time, the company has not responded. Mr. Heidorn stated that there have been additional discussions with the IEPA, the Attorney General’s office, and the Commission on how to proceed. The Commission is pushing for the ecological risk assessment to determine what kind of threats are occurring within Sterne’s Fen Nature Preserve. He stated that he would keep the Commission updated on this situation.

Mr. Heidorn stated that as a result of monies raised in conjunction with the 300th Nature Preserve Dedication Celebration, the Commission was able to hire a college student, Tracy Bartholomew, during Christmas break to further upgrade the INPC web site and develop an online directory of nature preserves. Ms. Bartholomew scanned nature preserve maps and put the directory together. This information is ready to go to the web master to be posted on our web site. Mr. Heidorn stated that the directory should be up and running on the INPC’s web page in the near future. Mr. Heidorn acknowledged everyone who contributed to the 300th Celebration because this effort would not have happened without the money raised.

Mr. Heidorn stated that the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) had scheduled a strategic planning session, however, the session was deferred because of bad weather.

Mr. Heidorn reported that Kelly Neal and her husband, John Wilker, became proud parents of Rowyn V. Wilker on December 6, 2001. He congratulated them on their new arrival.

174-6) IDNR Staff Report

Brian Reilly stated that donations through the Illinois income tax check-off for the Wildlife Preservation Fund in 2001 were just over $225,000. This is about average with previous years. Solicitations for proposals for small projects are going out, and the deadline for those projects is April 15, 2002. This grant is frequently used for natural areas research, inventory/survey type work, and management that needs to be done on the natural areas.

Mr. Reilly stated that the federal Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) legislation has been idle since September 11, 2001, however, a rally in support of CARA is being scheduled in Washington, DC for mid March, 2002. The IDNR will be represented at the rally by Carl Becker and Virginia Scott. Patti Reilly has been asked to put together a display for the rally showing potential uses of CARA funds.

Mr. Reilly stated that Senate Bill 990 passed the United States Senate in December, 2001. This Bill authorizes spending for wildlife conservation in an amount similar to that included in CARA, but it appropriates nothing. No action has been taken on this Bill in the House.

Mr. Reilly stated that the Division of Natural Heritage, the INPC, and the ESPB Springfield staff, along with the five Heritage Regional Administrators, met in Springfield on December 30, 2001. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange information between Springfield and the field biologists. Another meeting has been scheduled for early May, 2002, with the intention of making this a quarterly meeting.

Mr. Reilly stated that several tracts of land were recently purchased using the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF). One tract included 127 acres at Redwing Slough State Natural using Area in Lake County for $2.34 million. This acquisition was made possible through a partnership of State money, federal money and non-profit conservation organization money. The NAAF contributed $1.14 million, the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed $1 million, the Illinois Conservation Foundation facilitated a $100,000 donation received from Corlands, and a local landowner contributed $36,000. A second tract included 466 acres at Cache River State Natural Area for $746,000. This tract was a high priority because it helped the IDNR implement the reconnection plan for the Cache River. A third tract included 792 acres at Calhoun County Conservation Area for $700,000. Of that $700,000, $150,000 was from the NAAF, and the remainder was from various habitat funds and the Wild Turkey Federation. This is the first project completed that partnered the NAAF with other habitat funds.

Mr. Reilly stated that the Open Land Trust (OLT) has purchased a couple of tracts. These acquisitions include 286 acres in Cook County near Tri-County State Park and Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve, and 570 acres on the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb County. There are several other OLT acquisitions pending.

Mr. Reilly stated that the technical report for the INAI is being revised to provide current information from which administrative rules can be written. Suggested changes have been compiled, and the technical report revision is progressing well. The draft technical report should be sent out for comments by early March, 2002. The first draft will be sent to the Natural Areas Evaluation Committee, regional biologists, and contributors to the original technical report. After they have had time to comment, it will be revised and released for IDNR comments. Once the IDNR reviews the report, it will be published as an IDNR publication. After that, the administrative rules will be compiled for the INAI.

Mr. Reilly reported that the Natural Areas Evaluation Committee holds quarterly meetings. The last meeting was held on January 15, 2002. Thirty-four sites were addressed at this meeting. Fifteen were new INAI sites located across ten different districts in the State. Of these 15, 14 were new Category I sites recognized because of their high-quality natural community. Seven were new Category II recognized sites because of specific suitable habitat for a listed species. Four were Category VI sites recognized because of unusual concentrations of flora or fauna. All four of these were stream beds that had a high diversity of mussels within them. Other changes to the INAI included four sites that were tabled for additional information, three sites received no action, four sites were approved for boundary changes, one site was approved for a name change, and seven sites were approved for an additional feature or category. No sites were removed from the INAI.

Chair O’Keefe asked who initiated the 15 inventory sites that were added to the INAI.

Mr. Reilly stated that the District Heritage Biologist (DHB) or the Natural Area Preservation Specialist (NAPS) hear about an area. They then evaluate the area by doing the necessary surveys. The INAI forms are then completed and submitted to the Committee. These areas are brought to the DHBs’ or NAPSs’ attention through the Illinois Natural History Survey, local conservation organizations, forest preserve districts, or during their general work process. Mr. Reilly stated that Patti Reilly has reinstated the use of the potential INAI forms.

Chair O’Keefe asked if the recently acquired site in Calhoun County is planned for registration as a land and water reserve.

Mr. Reilly stated that the IDNR will be working toward the registration of the Calhoun County site.

Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked when the draft technical report will be coming back to the IDNR for review.

Mr. Reilly stated that Patti Reilly hopes to have the report sent to the contributors in early March. There will be a two week opportunity for comments. Once the comments have been incorporated into the technical report, it will be sent to the IDNR for approval.

Keith Shank with the Division of Resource Review and Coordination, IDNR, provided an overview of the consultation process. He stated that in 2001, 106 proposed actions were identified that were in the vicinity of nature preserves or land and water reserves. In 41 cases, it was deemed that there was a potential for an adverse impact on a nature preserve. Over the course of the year, the Division of Resource Review and Coordination has dealt with approximately 61 cases of open consultations. From October to December, 2001, a total of 27 such projects were processed of which 14 were new ones. Thirteen cases were closed with no adverse impacts, and three new ones were opened.

Mr. Shank reported that the Village of Antioch rejected for the third and final time a proposed 1,300 home subdivision in the neighborhood of Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve. This action calls into question other subdivisions currently proposed and pending approval by the Village of Antioch that are located adjacent to Redwing Slough. The Consultation Program cannot take credit for the subdivision proposal being rejected. There was strong local opposition, and the local residents deserve the credit for defeating that proposal. There may be a lawsuit regarding this decision because there was an annexation agreement that was signed ten years ago that would allow 1,300 homes on this parcel. This consultation lasted for approximately three years. The IDNR worked with the developer to minimize and avoid adverse impacts, and the developer had proposed to donate approximately 40 acres to the Village to be used as a park. The developer also had approximately 300 acres that was to be placed in wetland management. Approximately two years ago the Village approved a large development with another 1,500 homes, however, no ground has been broken due to lawsuits.

Mr. Shank stated there was a proposal for a 30-acre commercial development directly adjacent to Exner Marsh Nature Preserve in McHenry County. Exner Marsh Nature Preserve has one of the largest documented populations in Illinois of the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle. The 30-acre development shares a 660 foot common border with Exner Marsh Nature Preserve. A meeting was held with the developers, and the IDNR recommended that they seek an incidental take authorization from the Department because it is the IDNR’s judgement that the developer will kill Blanding’s turtles as the turtles attempt to cross this area to nest. The developer has been reluctant to seek this authorization. At this time, it appears that the Village will approve that development.

Chair O’Keefe asked if the INPC would be a party to the lawsuit regarding the property in Antioch.

Mr. Shank stated that he did not think so. As of this date, there have not been any impacts directly related to this proposal to Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve. If there were, he felt that the Department would take the lead since it is an IDNR-owned property. He did not think that the Village cited the presence of Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve as a reason for denying the proposal.

174-7) Cass Co. – Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, Registration

The registration proposal for Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve was deferred.

174-8) Champaign Co. – Riverbend Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal on behalf of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District (CCFD) to register Riverbend as a land and water reserve. Ms. Solecki introduced Sally Prunty of the CCFD. Ms. Prunty wrote the registration proposal and agreement. The CCFPD proposes to protect approximately 2.19 miles of the Sangamon River stream bed and its riparian corridor as the Riverbend Land and Water Reserve. The proposed reserve is part of the Riverbend Forest Preserve which was acquired in 2001 by the CCFPD with funds from the IDNR’s Open Lands Trust program. The INAI identifies the Sangamon River, including the river segment within the Riverbend Forest Preserve (#1449), as a biologically significant stream, representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, with high mussel diversity that harbors three species of state-endangered or state-threatened mussels. Ms. Solecki stated that the Village of Mahomet has an existing utilities easement on a narrow strip of land which is a land bridge that separates Shadow Lake and Sunset Lake. This land bridge will remain.

Ms. Prunty stated that the CCFPD is excited about this land acquisition and that the acquisition is important for the Sangamon River. Ms. Prunty stated that the CCFPD looks forward to a long partnership with the INPC. Ms. Prunty thanked Ms. Solecki for her help in the registration process.

Chair O’Keefe thanked Ms. Prunty for attending the meeting, and she stated that the Commission looks forward to working with the CCFPD.

Commissioner Burton asked when the portion currently being tilled will be restored.

Ms. Solecki stated that the management schedule calls for this land to come out of crop production in 2002. It will be restored as soon as the CCFPD has the resources to do so. There will be no crop production once the area is registered as a land and water reserve.

Ms. Prunty stated that the CCFPD intends to restore all of the crop areas to presettlement vegetation based on soil analysis.

Commissioner Nevling asked if there was any beaver activity at this site.

Ms. Solecki stated that there was beaver activity when she was there in 1998.

Ms. Prunty stated that there currently is beaver activity at this site.

It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants approval for the registration of Riverbend in Champaign County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 8 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1626)

174-9) Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Mary Kay Solecki stated that she was pleased to present a proposal to register in principle Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. William Drake, Jr., and his four children own and propose to register approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest. The INPC first considered a proposal for preservation of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area in 1969. At that time, Mr. Drake’s mother, Mrs. William Drake, was the owner and was interested in preserving it. In 1969, the Commission passed a resolution which read, “The Nature Preserves Commission is heartily in sympathy with Mrs. William Drake’s desire to preserve her woodland on Gillette Hill in Logan County. It approves in principle the dedication of the area as a nature preserve, and it offers all possible assistance in working out a satisfactory means of accomplishing this.” Ms. Solecki introduced William Drake, Jr., who is a co-owner of the property. The family anticipates signing all the paperwork for the registration agreement by the 175th Meeting of the INPC. Ms. Solecki stated that Mr. Drake chose to exclude a one-acre tract as a potential cabin site or a housing site should his children ever decide to build a residence or a cabin. The Elkhart Cemetery is excluded from the registration. The proposed reserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain.

Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked how the owners would access the one-acre tract that is being excluded.

Ms. Solecki stated that the Mt. Pulaski-Elkhart Road goes along the north boundary and would allow access to this site.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Burton, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission approves in principle the registration of Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve in Logan County, as presented under Item 9 of the Agenda of the 174th Meeting and agrees to accept this Land and Water Reserve at such time as the landowners present the Commission with a legally executed Registration Agreement.

(Resolution 1627)

174-10) Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal to register in principle Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. Lisa Pasquesi and Catherine Carolin own and propose to register approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. The family anticipates signing all the paperwork for the registration agreement by the 175th Meeting of the INPC. Ms. Pasquesi and Ms. Carolin chose to exclude a one-acre tract as a potential cabin site or a housing site should their children ever decide to build a residence or a cabin. This acre exclusion does not directly front onto any existing road, but the family owns the land to the south. There is an existing, informal trail that goes to this site. The Gillette family home is excluded from the registration. There is a trail that leads from the cemetery back to the family home which is used by family members for hiking. Ms. Pasquesi has horses, and she uses this as a bridle trail. The family proposes to maintain these trails as both bridle and hiking trails. They have reserved the ability to maintain the trails by clearing the trees that fall off to either side or across the trails. The owners have also retained the right to remove fallen trees along the drive to the house, and to remove up to 20% of the dead, fallen trees for firewood. The proposed reserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission approves in principle the registration of Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve in Logan County, as presented under Item 10 of the Agenda of the 174th Meeting and agrees to accept this Land and Water Reserve at such time as the landowners present the Commission with a legally executed Registration Agreement.

(Resolution 1628)

Chair O’Keefe thanked Mr. Drake for his commitment and hard work in getting this area protected.

174-11) Washington Co. – Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve, Registration

(Actually presented after Item 14)

Debbie Newman presented a proposal to register Marilandica Acres as a land and water reserve. The proposed Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve is a 30-acre, high-quality southern flatwoods community, representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. It is owned by Glen and Linda Schuetz. The proposed reserve is part of the 158.75-acre Big Open Woodland INAI site (#1598). Marilandica Acres is mostly comprised of the less common pin oak (Quercus palustris), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) type of southern flatwoods and contains several prairie plants in the understory, a feature uncommon to flatwoods today. The site is also part of Illinois’ largest contiguous forest, located along the unchannelized portion of the Kaskaskia River corridor.

Ms. Newman stated that the proposed uses on this property are hunting, hiking, mushroom collecting, and firewood collecting for personal and family use. The landowners would also like to retain the right to put in a primitive campsite and to extract minerals, specifically oil and gas. The coal rights were severed long before Mr. and Mrs. Schuetz acquired the property. The owners do not want any drilling to occur on the proposed reserve, however, they want to retain the right to extract those minerals by other avenues such as side drilling from adjacent property.

Ms. Newman stated that Mr. and Mrs. Schuetz are advocates for the conservation of the forested corridor in the Kaskaskia basin, and she has had the pleasure of working with them for the last few years. Mr. Schuetz is an outdoorsman. He monitors the amphibian ponds and is very enthusiastic about preserving the biodiversity of the Kaskaskia River corridor. Ms. Newman stated that Mr. Schuetz has been expanding his interest and time in natural area preservation. He has been assisting in brush cutting on hill prairies and doing exotic species removal work on other nature preserves in southwestern Illinois.

Mr. Schuetz stated that they have owned the property for 30 years, and they have really worked on the property for the last 2 ½ years. He wanted to thank Ms. Newman for her hard work in bringing this to the Commission. He stated that he was pleased to offer the property for registration as a land and water reserve.

Chair O’Keefe thanked Mr. and Mrs. Schuetz for their generosity.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants approval for the registration of Marilandica Acres in Washington County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1629)

174-12) Will Co. – Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve, Registration

Bill Glass presented a proposal to register Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies as a land and water reserve. The proposed Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve is a 575-acre complex that consists of three areas on the INAI (#888, 889, and 1513). It is owned by the IDNR and located within Des Plaines Conservation Area in Will County. The proposed reserve protects rare dolomite prairie representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, and nine state-listed plants and animals. In addition to the inventory areas, grassland bird habitat and grade C prairie communities are protected.

Mr. Glass stated that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) agreed to a $7 million settlement with Material Service Corporation, and a number of agencies were invited to submit proposals for grants to do management within the lower Des Plaines River valley with that money. The IDNR submitted proposals and received approximately $400,000 to do management work on the three areas which are proposed for registration as Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies Land and Water Reserve. Some of this money was obtained through the assistance of Openlands Project and Corlands.

Mr. Glass stated that two of the three areas have historically been hunted, and that use will continue. There will be limited individual dog training going on, which is also a historical use of those areas. The frontage road pond will be the site of retriever trials that will take place from the parking lot. The large field trials with horses will not be continued in the dolomite prairie areas.

Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is familiar with this area, and he is pleased to see the IDNR bring the property to the Commission for registration as a land and water reserve.

Commissioner Nevling asked what kind of impact the dog trials have on the landscape.

Mr. Glass stated that the dog trials will be on an individual basis to exercise the dogs. Historically, there was a more formal dog trial on the property involving a large number of people and dogs. That will not be going on in the dolomite prairie. This was a compromise to get this area registered. There may still be some disturbance, and staff will be checking to see if there are nests being abandoned. If that happens, further compromises will need to be made in this area.

Commissioner Burton asked if these trials involved ground dogs or water dogs.

Mr. Glass stated that the only formal trial that will take place will be the retriever trial which is in the pond. The participants will have to work from the parking lot.

Chair O’Keefe asked if significant impacts were experienced, could the problems be addressed adequately.

Mr. Glass stated that he is not able to answer that. He would hope that would be the case. There have been grassland birds nesting at these sites successfully for a number of years, and there has been a lot more use than there will be once this area is registered. There may be some disturbance, but overall it should not have a significant impact.

Chair O’Keefe stated that registering this property would give it an additional layer of protection that it would not get otherwise.

Commissioner Ellis asked if most of the dog trials would occur in the fall.

Mr. Glass stated that some of the dog trials occur in the spring, but most of the trials occur in the fall. The spring trials occur early enough in the year as to not cause a problem. There may be a few at the beginning of May which could be a problem. There is a lot of field trial use in Des Plaines, but most of it does not occur in these areas.

It was moved by Ellis, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants approval for the registration of Des Plaines Dolomite Prairies in Will County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1630)

174-13) Jasper Co. – Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve, Dedication

Bob Edgin presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve. The Illinois Audubon Society (IAS) proposes to dedicate 25.86 acres of reconstructed prairie typical of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division as the Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve. The site, located in Jasper County, was purchased by the IAS in February, 2000, with the assistance of funds provided by the Grand Victoria Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The site is located within the Prairie Ridge - Jasper County INAI site (#754) and will be managed in conjunction with Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA). Seventy-nine species of grassland dependent bird species including the greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) have been observed on the site. If dedicated, the Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve would increase the amount of permanently protected grasslands at the Jasper County unit of PRSNA to 1,929 acres.

Mr. Edgin stated that this tract was purchased in February, 2000, by the IAS through the assistance of funds provided by the Grand Victoria Foundation, as well as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. During a previous sale of the property, the owner reserved 75% of the mineral rights to the property. The IAS was only able to acquire 25% of the mineral rights. The tract consists of 40 acres, but there are two areas that are being excluded and not being considered for dedication. One of these areas is a 60 by 65 foot area that is now a parking lot. The parking lot is near the entrance to the interpretive trails, and a kiosk is located at the parking lot. The kiosk provides general information about prairies and the importance of the Prairie Ridge project. The right side of the kiosk identifies all the partners that have come together to make this a successful project. Those partners include the IDNR, the ESPB, the INPC, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the IAS. A second area is not being dedicated because the 1.18 acres and 2.25 acres were enrolled in the grass waterway program through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). There is an additional 10 acres that are also in the CRP, but it is in the wetland program and has been developed into a nice, shallow water wetland. This area provides habitat for wetland dependent species.

Marilyn Campbell stated that the IAS is happy to continue its partnership with the IDNR on the expansion of Prairie Ridge. The IAS has purchased several tracts in this area and will continue to do so. Ms. Campbell stated that grasslands and wetlands remain the most endangered habitats in Illinois. The IAS was one of the original four conservation agencies in Illinois that formed the Prairie Chicken Foundation in order to try to save the native prairie grouse. The IAS remains dedicated to the preservation of this habitat.

Chair O’Keefe thanked Ms. Campbell and the IAS for the long and rich partnership.

Ms. Campbell stated that as soon as the CRP contracts are completed, the IAS will come back to the Commission to have the wetland portion dedicated.

Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked why the CRP sites were precluded from the dedication proposal.

Carolyn Grosboll stated that to be eligible for the CRP, the property must be able to be farmed. If restrictions against farming are placed on the property as part of the easement, the CRP agreement is nullified. The landowner could then be subject to repay some of the payments that they have received as well as forfeiting any future payments.

Mr. Edgin stated that the CRP contracts will run through 2010. At that time the land will be brought forward for dedication. With the exception of the 60 by 65 foot area, it will all be dedicated as a nature preserve. While it is in CRP and not being considered for dedication at this time, it is through the funding received from the CRP that this wetland was able to be constructed. The area is providing critical habitat for wetland dependent species and has a role in the overall project.

It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Robert Ridgway Grasslands in Jasper County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1631)

174-14) Logan Co. – Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication

Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve. William Drake, Jr. and his four children own and propose to dedicate approximately 65.8 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve. The Elkhart Cemetery is excluded from the dedication. Elkhart Hill has a rich cultural, as well as a natural history. John D. Gillette settled in Elkhart in 1838. He acquired approximately 20,000 acres of land and a lot of cattle. At one time Mr. Gillette was the world’s largest exporter of cattle to Europe. The family has worked to protect the forest for many years. Mr. Drake chose to exclude a one-acre tract as a potential cabin site or a housing site should his children ever decide to build a residence or a cabin. The proposed preserve is part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area which is recognized by the INAI as a high-quality mesic upland forest (#178), representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Elkhart Hill Natural Area is one of the finest, large prairie groves remaining in central Illinois. To paraphrase from the History of Logan County, Elkhart Hill is probably the most conspicuous physical feature that adorns the landscape of Logan County. Covered with virgin timber on its summit and sides, it captivates the vision of the passerby, as it majestically towers above the surrounding plain. In 1969, the INPC passed a resolution (#99) that approved in principle the dedication of the area as a nature preserve.

It was moved by Allread, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Elkhart Hill Grove in Logan County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1632)

Chair O’Keefe thanked Bill Drake for attending the meeting and for his generosity in protecting Elkhart Hill, one of the State’s most significant natural areas.

174-15) Marshall Co. – Lot 111 and Lot 119 Addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, Dedication

Tom Lerczak presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of the Lot 111 and Lot 119 addition to Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve. Hopewell Hill Prairies Nature Preserve is a 3.1-acre site within the 78-acre Hopewell Estates Hill Prairies Natural Area (INAI #231) that supports grade A and grade B glacial drift hill prairies with grade C woodlands representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The Nature Preserve and proposed addition is owned by Maury Brucker and Emiko Yang. The proposed addition totals 5.2 acres and consists of lots 111 and 119, which are adjacent to each other but separated by a small road from the dedicated nature preserve. The addition contains mature grade C dry-mesic upland woodlands and mesic ravine woods, mostly on steep north to northeastern facing slopes. The woods support a rich ground flora of mesic species including a large population of the highly conservative and formerly state-threatened Schreber’s aster (Aster schreberi), plus several species of ferns. Dedication of this nature preserve addition will add significantly to the diversity of habitat types under permanent protection, currently somewhat biased toward the dryer end of the moisture continuum and will represent an action consistent with recommendations of the Illinois River Bluffs Ecosystem Partnership, which advocates permanent protection for INAI sites.

Chair O’Keefe thanked Mr. Brucker and Ms. Yang for their continuing support.

Mr. Brucker stated that this area is very interesting and that the landscape leads to a great diversity of plants.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Lot 111 and Lot 119 addition to Hopewell Prairies Nature Preserve in Marshall County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1633)

174-16) Will Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication

Kim Roman presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve. The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) proposes to dedicate 14 acres as nature preserve buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, bringing the total dedicated acreage of the site to over 300 acres. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna is an INAI site (#935) which lies in the Kankakee Sands Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The area’s dune and swale topography supports high-quality sand prairie, sand savanna, sedge meadow, and marsh communities. Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve provides habitat for five state-listed species: regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia), false asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa), small sundew (Drosera intermedia), grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosis), and tubercled orchid (Platanthera flava). The proposed buffer is comprised of an old field that is converting to sand prairie, and a successional forest that is being restored to sand savanna. The 14 acres contain a parking lot and other facilities, and is occasionally used by the FPDWC as a staging area for some of its recreational activities. Located in a rapidly urbanizing area, this proposed addition will serve as important buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve.

It was moved by Ellis, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve in Will County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1634)

A lunch break was taken from 12:40 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

174-17) Edwards Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve, Dedication

Bob Edgin presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. Roger and Vivian Beadles propose to dedicate approximately 4.5 acres of buffer as an addition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. This addition includes upland oak-hickory forest representative of the Mt. Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division with a herbaceous component that is similar in composition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve. Beadles Barrens was identified by the INAI (#1547) and was granted final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 166th meeting in February, 2000 (Resolution #1523). A key item in the proposal for dedication of Beadles Barrens was the pursuit of protection for adjacent forested tracts that could provide buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve and assist with the formation of a more contiguous landscape. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of the buffer addition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve at its 172nd meeting (Resolution #1601) in August, 2001.

Chair O’Keefe thanked Mr. Beadles for his continued efforts to protect Illinois’ natural heritage.

It was moved by Allread, seconded by Burton, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve in Edwards County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1635)

174-18) Hancock Co. – Mud Island Addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of the Mud Island addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. Mud Island is a 119-acre floodplain forest island located within the Keokuk Pool of the Mississippi River, approximately two river miles south of Lock and Dam 20. The island, acquired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 1970, is being proposed as an addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve (dedicated in 1975). The proposed addition lies within the Cedar Glen Kibbe Macrosite (INAI #565 and 152) and contains floodplain forest representative of the Mississippi River Section of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Bottomlands Natural Division. The island serves as a night roost and feeding site for a large population of wintering bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Directly north and northeast lies Mud Island Mussel Sanctuary which contains 29 species of native mussels including one state-endangered mussel, sheepnose (Plethobasus cyphyus), and four state-threatened mussels, purple wartyback (Cyclonais tubercaulata), butterfly (Ellipsaria lineolata), ebonyshell (Fusconaia ebena), and black sandshell (Ligumia recta). A heron rookery is established on the island supporting 60 to 100 nesting pairs of great blue heron (Ardea herodias) and great egret (Casmerodius albus). The state-endangered lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and the state-threatened river otter (Lontra canadensis) have been observed in the river channel adjacent to Mud Island. This addition, combined with the Kibbe Bottoms addition (259.37 acres) which was dedicated in 2001, will increase the size of Cedar Glen Nature Preserve from 188 acres to 564.37 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of Mud Island addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1613) in October, 2001.

It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried, with Nevling abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of the Mud Island addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve in Hancock County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1636)

Chair O’Keefe stated that she would like to convey the thanks of the Commission to TNC. TNC has been a partner of the INPC since the beginning.

174-19) Kane Co. – City of Elgin Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of the City of Elgin addition of nature preserve buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve. The City of Elgin seeks final approval for dedication of a 0.27-acre addition of buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve. Trout Park Nature Preserve is a 26-acre site owned by the City of Elgin. Trout Park was recognized by the INAI for high-quality forested fen (#625), representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Other natural communities include a series of fens and seeps, several spring runs associated with the strong ground water discharge, and elements of mesic and dry-mesic upland forest. In addition, four state-listed endangered or threatened plant species have been recorded from Trout Park Nature Preserve. Two separate platted city lots totaling approximately 0.8 acres were granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 173rd meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1615). One lot is located at 530 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired by the City of Elgin. The other lot is located at 486 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired from Ms. Alice Macy by the Fox Valley Land Foundation. On behalf of the City of Elgin, CorLands, and the USACE, the INPC staff recommends dedication of this lot as an addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve. Dedication of this lot will formally protect undisturbed high-quality natural communities, preserve important ground water discharge zones, and buffer Trout Park Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses.

It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of the City of Elgin addition of nature preserve buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve in Kane County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1637)

174-20) Kane Co. – Fox Valley Land Foundation Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of the Fox Valley Land Foundation addition of nature preserve buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve. The Fox Valley Land Foundation seeks final approval for dedication of a 0.43-acre addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve as Nature Preserve Buffer. Trout Park Nature Preserve is a 26-acre site owned by the City of Elgin. Trout Park was recognized by the INAI for high-quality forested fen (#625), representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. Other natural communities include a series of fens and seeps, several spring runs associated with the strong ground water discharge, and elements of mesic and dry-mesic upland forest. In addition, four state-listed endangered or threatened plant species have been recorded from Trout Park Nature Preserve. Two separate platted city lots totaling approximately 0.8 acres were granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commission’s 173rd meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1615). One lot is located at 530 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired by the City of Elgin. The other lot is located at 486 Glenwood Trail and was recently acquired from Ms. Alice Macy by the Fox Valley Land Foundation. On behalf of the Fox Valley Land Foundation, Ms. Alice Macy, CorLands, and the USACE, the INPC staff recommends dedication of the lot owned by the Fox Valley Land Foundation as an addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve. Dedication of this lot will formally protect undisturbed high-quality natural communities, preserve important ground water discharge zones, and buffer Trout Park Nature Preserve from incompatible land uses.

 

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Ellis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of the Fox Valley Land Foundation addition of nature preserve buffer to Trout Park Nature Preserve in Kane County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 20 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1638)

174-21) Lake Co. – Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve. The proposed Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve is owned and managed by the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) and is located within the Fourth Lake Forest Preserve. Fourth Lake Fen is a large wetland complex recognized by the INAI (#652) for its high-quality calcareous floating mat, sedge meadow and marsh, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The grade A calcareous floating mat is one of ten in the State, and provides habitat for six state-listed endangered or threatened plant species and four animal species. The INAI boundary for Fourth Lake Fen was recently expanded to include additional endangered and threatened species locations and Rollins Road Savanna (which was added to the INAI as a Category II site in 1999). Since the INAI sites are contiguous, the site is now referred to by the INAI as the Fourth Lake Fen - Rollins Road Savanna. The LCFPD proposes to dedicate approximately 255 acres of the wetland basin as the Fourth Lake Fen Nature Preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 90th meeting (Resolution #681) in August, 1982, and again at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1616) in October, 2001, because so much time had gone by since the last action.

Mr. Byers stated that it has been a pleasure and opportunity to work with the new leadership of the LCFPD. He also wanted to acknowledge the leadership that Al Westerman has provided as President of that organization.

It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Ellis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Fourth Lake Fen in Lake County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1639)

Chair O’Keefe stated that the Commission conferred preliminary approval of this site in August, 1982, and again in August, 2001. She stated that this shows the change of thinking on the part of the LCFPD leadership, and the Commission is happy to see the follow-up on this dedication.

174-22) Lake Co. – Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication

Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed Lyons Prairie and Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the LCFPD, is approximately 150 acres in size and is part of the 264.13-acre Lyons Woods Forest Preserve. Lyons Woods is included on the INAI (#1250) as a Category II site. The proposed nature preserve contains mesic, wet-mesic and wet prairie, upland dry-mesic forest, and dry-mesic savanna natural communities, typical of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, and a successional old field community. In addition, the site supports the federally-threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), and three additional state-endangered or threatened plant species. More than 150 species of vascular plants have been recorded at the site. The quality of the natural communities, as well as species richness for each of those natural communities, will continue to improve with management. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1617) in October, 2001.

It was moved by Burton, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Lyons Prairie and Woods, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 22 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1640)

Mr. Byers stated that he would relay the action of the Commission to Mr. Westerman, and he looks forward to bringing additional LCFPD sites to the Commission in the future.

174-23) Monroe Co. – Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, Dedication

(Actually presented after 27)

John White presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of Storment Hauss Nature Preserve. The proposed Storment Hauss Nature Preserve is a 64.5-acre tract in Monroe County. The site is listed by the INAI (#1617) because it has 63.9 acres of high-quality forest and two copperhead dens (classified as an unusual concentration of fauna). The site consists of a series of ridges and ravines with a sandstone canyon and a small creek, representative of the Mount Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The vegetation is a magnificent oak-hickory forest with an unusual assemblage of sun-loving woodland plants. Forty-two species of reptiles and amphibians have been found in or adjacent to the preserve area. The tract is owned by David L. Storment, who has willed it to the State of Illinois. Mr. Storment wishes to ensure the site's permanent protection by dedicating it as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1618) in October, 2001.

Mr. White stated that there are some white pines on the land that Mr. Storment has asked not to be targeted for removal in any kind of vegetation management program. The pines are not causing any problems. There are also some dog grave sites and stones on the land that Mr. Storment has asked not to be disturbed. These two points are listed in the management schedule and master plan. In addition, the nature preserve dedication document states that the owner will be exempt from the provision that normally prohibit firearms from being carried in a nature preserve. Mr. Storment will not be hunting on the nature preserve, but he does want to have the right to carry a firearm when on the property.

David Storment stated that he is extremely appreciative of John White and Diane Tecic’s extremely wonderful expertise and true dedication to protecting Illinois natural areas.

Chair O’Keefe stated that this project has moved quickly, as the preliminary approval was given at the 173rd Meeting of the INPC on October 30, 2001. She stated that the Commission was pleased to have Mr. Storment here today, and she thanked him for his generosity.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Ellis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Storment Hauss in Monroe County as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 23 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1641)

Diane Tecic stated that it has been a privilege working with Mr. Storment. After giving Mr. Storment several protection options, he clearly decided on a nature preserve. Ms. Tecic stated that Mr. Storment had made this land a nature preserve long before this formal dedication. She stated that it has also been a privilege working with Mr. White.

174-24) Peoria Co. – Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie Nature Preserve

(Actually presented after Item 22)

Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie Nature Preserve. Located on the border of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois, Brimfield Railroad Prairie consists of a 6-acre former railroad corridor. The site was purchased by Dr. Harold and Cheryl Pauli Gardner in 1992, for the purpose of protecting the best prairie remnant along the abandoned railroad line. Dr. Gardner has put forth tremendous effort over the past 10 years to rehabilitate this site by re-establishing a burn regime, interseeding the prairie with seeds collected from nearby prairie remnants, and by removing invasive exotic plants. Though not included on the INAI, the site currently contains approximately 115 species of native prairie grasses and forbs typical of a grade B mesic black soil prairie. Four small populations of the state-endangered queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) have been established on this site. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 173rd meeting (Resolution #1619) in October, 2001.

Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if this was setting a precedent.

Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Doris Westfall Prairie Restoration Nature Preserve in Vermilion County is similar. Since “restoration” is in the title of the site, it reflects that it is a restoration project. After some discussion, it was decided that it would be an acceptable site for nature preserve dedication as long as “restoration” was a part of the title.

It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie in Peoria County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 24 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1642)

174-25) Lake Co. – Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation

Randy Heidorn reported that there has not been much change during the last quarter. Most of the activity has been related to a cleanup of Area 2, which is a parcel that is located outside of the Nature Preserve, south of Johns Manville and north of the Commonwealth Edison Plant at the end of Green Street. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has taken the authority and will be cleaning that up themselves. There has been continuing discussion to finalize the settlement between Johns Manville, the State of Illinois, and other parties for the cleanup within the Nature Preserve. Those discussions are continuing, and a final version of the settlement is imminent. The cleanup will involve regularly picking up the asbestos containing material that comes to the surface as a result of frost activity.

Mr. Heidorn stated that it appears that the Waukegan Harbor dredge material will not be placed in the containment basin on the Johns Manville property. The Waukegan Citizens’ Advisory Group (CAG) and theUSACE have made that decision.

174-26) Vegetation Management Guidelines

Randy Heidorn stated that the Vegetation Management Guidelines (VMG) have not been updated for some time. The VMG require approval of the Commission. The guidelines provide guidance to staff on how to manage various stewardship issues within the nature preserve system. Originally the guidelines were listed in the rules for management of nature preserves. Now guidelines are presented to the Commission for approval. They are distributed to landowners and other people who manage natural areas. Once a management activity is approved as a guideline, it is considered a standard practice for management.

Mr. Heidorn stated that there are two guidelines before the Commission today. One for fescue and one for smooth brome. Fescue is a grass that has become a serious problem in some natural areas. There are two species of fescue included in this guideline: large fescue and meadow fescue. Fescue invades prairies and glades, more on the dry end of the spectrum. Fescue tends to be slow to establish, but once established, it is difficult to eliminate. It grows in association with an endophyte that produces toxins which inhibits other soil organisms. The endophyte also produces alkaloids that can be toxic to mammals and other insects. Once the fungal endophyte becomes established with the fescue, this grass becomes very difficult to control. The control methods in the proposed guideline include a combination of the use of fire and a certain amount of herbicide treatment. The fire should be coordinated to minimize the impact on nesting birds. Late spring burns can have some impact on some other cool season grasses. Follow-up spot treatment with a glyphosate (Roundup) is a normal approach. This should be done in a dormant season for other grasses. Control methods in buffer and more severe areas with nothing else present is a control with Roundup or Plateau, or a combination of these. This is spelled out in the guidelines. Hand pulling is not an effective means of control. Mowing and grazing can favor fescue. The use of fire when the fescue is dormant is not effective, and water level manipulation is not practical on natural areas. At present, there are no biological controls for fescue.


Mr. Heidorn stated that smooth brome is a roadside and pasture plant. It invades prairies and savannas, particularly under mesic and dry-mesic conditions. It forms dense sods, excluding other species. Similar to the fescue, the method recommended in a natural area is prescribed burning late in the year for successive years. It requires several years of successive burns, and the management prescription needs to be adjusted to not impact ground nesting birds and cool season grasses. In severely disturbed buffer and other severely disturbed areas, prescribed fire, followed by a fall treatment of Roundup, is suggested. Spot treatment is another option. Poast is another chemical that is acceptable for use in the buffer areas. Prescribed burning when smooth brome is dormant or at tiller emergence has no effect on the control. Digging up clumps is not effective, and mowing does not work. Most herbicides are ineffective if applied during dormancy or immediately after mowing. There are no biological controls known at this time.

Mr. Heidorn stated that the initial guidelines for these species were coordinated by Mary Kay Solecki. The original document for smooth brome was written by Ms. Solecki. The document was revised by Eric Smith, a DHB with the IDNR. The original fescue document was put together by Max Hutchison and revised by Terry Esker, a DHB with the IDNR.

Commissioner Schwegman stated that these guidelines look good. He stated that he has done a lot of work with exotic control in the past.

It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission approves the revised vegetation management guidelines for fescue and smooth brome as presented under Item 26 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1643)

Mr. Heidorn acknowledged Mary Kay Solecki for her hard work on this project.

174-27) Memorandum of Understanding Between the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

(Actually presented after Item 16)

Carolyn Grosboll stated that a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IDNR and the INPC was included in the Agenda packets. The MOU was put together to better establish the Department’s and the Commission’s respective powers and duties under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act (INAPA) and to formalize how the Commission and the Department have been operating over the last 40 years. The MOU sets out the history of the Commission and Department relationship, the legal responsibilities of both parties under the INAPA, and specifies 11 items that the Department and the Commission agree upon.

Item 1 provides that the Department agrees to continue to provide facilities, supplies, and other support to the Commission provided that the General Assembly appropriates money to IDNR to administer the INAPA. The INPC has been very appreciative that the Department has provided office space for its staff and provides supplies, equipment, etc. The General Assembly grants a one line item appropriation to the Department which says, “for the administration of the INAPA.” That money has always been the Commission’s budget. The Commission shall continue to develop and administer its operations budget, and the Department shall retain its authority to approve Commission expenditures. This is essentially the way the parties have operated in the past.

Item 2 provides that the Commission shall establish and direct the plan of work for the staff of the Commission, including staff in the field and in the Commission’s main office. Commission staff shall report to the Commission through the Commission’s Director. This reflects what is currently happening.

Item 3 states that the Commission shall provide staff assistance to the Department in matters related to the INAPA and in maintenance of the INAI.

Item 4 states that the Commission shall continue to serve as the advisory body to the Department on the use of the NAAF, including, but not limited to, NAAF monies for natural areas stewardship and land acquisition. This solidifies the Commission’s role as the advisory body to the Department on the use of the NAAF.

Item 5 deals with the commitment that the Department made a few years ago to register all of its Category I INAI sites. There has always been a concern about the IDNR staff time commitment involved in doing that. In order to help alleviate some of the work that the DHBs would have to do in this regard, staff of the Commission, in partnership with Department personnel, shall be responsible for the preparation of proposals and legal documents for all lands to be dedicated as nature preserves and registered as land and water reserves. The Commission personnel will take the lead on the preparation of these documents, but they will involve the Department’s staff as the documents are being developed.

Items 6 and 7 are similar in that staff in the field and the staff in Springfield are going to be invited to attend regular meetings of the Department. For the field staff, it would mean attending the Regional Administrator meetings that are held on a monthly basis. Since there is some overlap of the INPC field areas with the different regions of the Department, it will have to be determined who is going to which region’s meeting. As far as the Springfield staff is concerned, it would mean INPC staff would attend regular manager meetings that are held at the Springfield level. The goal is to help share information and promote better communication.

Item 8 states that the Commission staff shall be governed by and adhere to all State and Departmental rules, regulations and policies; and, applicable bargaining unit contracts.

Item 9 states that the Department and the Commission shall work cooperatively to defend areas protected under the Commission’s programs from any threat that may negatively impact the area and shall provide assistance, guidance and advice to each other on other matters of mutual interest. Both the Department and the Commission recognize the importance of defending areas from threats, as well as other matters of mutual interest.


Item 10 states that a Department representative shall attend the Commission’s quarterly public meetings. There has always been a staff report given by Department personnel at the Commission’s meetings.

Item 11 states that either party can terminate the MOU with 30 days written notice to the other.

Commission Nevling stated that the MOU should lay out the obligations for both parties. Item 3 states that the Commission staff shall continue to assist with the maintenance of the INAI. He suggested that it should also say that the Department is responsible for maintaining it.

Ms. Grosboll stated that this issue is discussed on page one of the MOU where it states that, “WHEREAS, the Commission uses the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, currently maintained by the Department, as a guide for determining the eligibility of lands for participation in the Commission’s programs...”. Ms. Grosboll stated that a provision could be added to further address this under the specific agreed upon items.

Commissioner Nevling stated that he wanted to make sure that the INAI is maintained by the Department.

Tim Hickmann thanked Ms. Grosboll for her lead on this project. Mr. Hickmann stated that he had no objection to the Commission strengthening the language about the Department having the primary responsibility to maintain the INAI.

Ms. Grosboll stated that language could be added to say that the Department shall be responsible for the maintenance of the INAI, and the Commission shall assist in that process.

Commissioner Nevling stated that in the third “WHEREAS”, he wanted to know if the Act directs the Department to support the work or if it suggests that. He was concerned about the second to last line which begins “The Act”, where it says “and at its discretion, to provide services, supplies, funds, and other assistance.” He wanted to know if it was really at the discretion of the Department.

Ms. Grosboll stated that is what the statute says, and that she and Mr. Hickmann tried to mirror the statutory language as much as possible.

It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:

The Commission approves, as amended, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as presented under Item 27 of the Agenda for the 174th Meeting.

(Resolution 1644)

174-28) Report on Dedication and Registration of Private Lands

(Actually presented after Item 26)

Don McFall reported that 95% of the land in Illinois is privately owned. The Commission is looking at ways to increase the participation of private landowners in protecting natural areas. Mr. McFall stated that 35, or 12%, of the 301 nature preserves are owned by private individuals and families. The privately owned sites total 925 acres out of the 40,000 acres that are dedicated, which is 2.3% of the total dedicated nature preserves acreage. Ten of the 35 private nature preserves are located within the six county metro area of Chicago. The first nature preserve was dedicated in 1964. The first privately owned nature preserve was dedicated in 1982. The privately owned nature preserves range in size from one-acre to 202 acres, and they average 28 acres in size. In addition, there are privately owned additions to another 7 public nature preserves.

Mr. McFall stated that 23, or 36%, of the 64 registered land and water reserves are owned by private individuals and families. The privately owned land and water reserves account for 10% of the acreage in the system. Two of the 23 privately owned land and water reserves are located in the Chicago metro area. The first land and water reserve was registered in 1995, as was the first private one. The privately owned land and water reserves range in size from 8.5 acres to 240 acres, and average 94 acres in size.

Mr. McFall stated that it is clear from looking at the numbers that the largest nature preserves and land and water reserves are owned by the IDNR, northeastern Illinois forest preserve districts, TNC, or not-for-profit conservation foundations. The private sector is filling in the gaps in the system. It takes a very special individual to undertake the nature preserve dedication. The land and water reserves are 3-4 times larger than the average nature preserve, and they tend to be more downstate. Most of the individuals who register their land retain the right to use the property for hunting and gathering firewood for personal use.

The first motivation for the private landowner is conservation. The property tax reduction is just an added benefit which some landowners do not even take advantage of. The charitable donation for the value of the gift is important. The follow-up stewardship assistance is key to having these sites protected by the private individuals. The private landowners appreciate having the biologists informing them of what they have and how important it is. They also appreciate the follow-up stewardship.

Chair O’Keefe stated that this report was requested because she had some concern that the Commission was settling for a land and water reserve when the land could have been dedicated as a nature preserve. She wanted to know if the numbers showed this to be true. She was glad to see the numbers, and believes this information will be helpful when formulating the INPC’s strategic plan.

Mr. McFall stated that in some cases if it were not for the land and water reserve option, we would not been able to have any protection agreement. When a landowner is contacted, all the programs are explained. One private owner did upgrade from a land and water reserve to a nature preserve.

174-28) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)

John White stated that Dorothy Donnelley passed away at home on Sunday, February 3, 2002. Mr. White stated that Dorothy was married to Gaylord Donnelley. Mr. Donnelley passed away ten years ago. They were two great supporters of nature preservation. They had a home in central Lake County on top of Windblown Hill, near Libertyville. There was a nature preserve right outside of Mrs. Donnelley’s window. The Donnelleys were supporters of many good causes involving nature preservation, outdoor recreation, education, and health and welfare of dogs. Their worked touched many people. They also had a home in South Carolina where they became leaders to save thousands of acres. Mr. White stated that he first met Mr. Donnelley in the early 1970s when Mr. Donnelley was Chair of the INPC. Mr. White stated that he met Mrs. Donnelley in 1989 when he was invited to their home to look for ways to protect their land and some of the surrounding property. Much of what they have done for us will always be with us.

Chair O’Keefe stated that Mr. and Mrs. Donnelley will be remembered by conservationists for their contributions for many years.

Dave Monk stated that it is always a pleasure to come to the INPC meetings and to see the energy that is behind putting these things together. Mr. Monk asked if there is a definitive writeup about George Fell because he would like to see something like this come about.

Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Natural Land Institute (NLI) is currently spearheading an effort to write a biography on George Fell. She stated that Don McFall is serving as the INPC representative on the Committee.

Don McFall stated that the NLI and Barbara Fell have chosen a writer to summarize the approach to be taken. The options are to have a straight biography, a biography which also includes a history of the natural areas movement in the midwest, or a coffee table book which would contain photos of the nature preserves along with the story of George Fell. The other members of the Committee are Jerry Paulson, Brian Anderson, and Carl Becker.

Chair O’Keefe stated that the effort to do this book about George Fell is nicely timed because the Commission is looking forward to its 40th anniversary.

Todd Strole stated that he has a connection to many of the sites that were represented at this meeting, and he wanted to point out that these sites are truly significant. The properties that were presented today are a testament to the hard work of the field staff.

Keith Shank addressed the Commission as a member of the public. He wanted to call to the Commission’s attention a piece of legislation that has been introduced into the General Assembly. Mr. Shank stated that House Bill (HB) 4089, if enacted, would become effective immediately. The Bill would require any coal operator who is currently holding a permit from the IDNR to mine coal to submit a notice of intent to the IEPA for a general National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. If the IEPA failed to respond within 15 days to notify them that they needed an individual NPDES permit, all of these coal operators would immediately receive a general NPDES permit which would supercede any individual NPDES permit that they are currently holding. In the future, anyone who receives an IDNR Mines and Minerals permit would submit such a notice to the IEPA. Unless the operator is notified within 15 days that they needed an individual permit, they would automatically receive authorization to discharge into the waters of the State under a general NPDES permit which include only very basic limitations.

Mr. Shank stated that he wanted to mention this as a private citizen because it is his personal opinion that this Bill is a direct response to the special conditions imposed in the NPDES permit for the Vermilion Grove Mine owned by Black Beauty Coal Company to partially protect the Carl Fliermans’ River Nature Preserve located down stream of the mine. Before coming to the IDNR, Mr. Shank worked for the Department of Interior for 17 years in the federal Office of Surface Mining, where he worked with the Illinois coal industry. Since 1980, it has been standard operating procedure to apply for a permit from the IDNR to mine coal and to apply to the IEPA to get an NPDES permit. This has always been a separate and distinct process, and it has never been a problem until lately. He stated that it was his opinion that there have been several recent instances where particular natural resource protection issues have been raised through the NPDES process rather through the Mines and Minerals process. This is because the processes are different, and the respective agencies look at different things. As Mr. Shank looked over HB 4089, it appeared to him that the purpose of the Bill was to remove any possibility that a coal operator might be denied a NPDES permit and thereby be barred from mining coal so long as the coal operator had a permit from the IDNR. This is a completely different way of doing business than has been done in the past. He stated that he was not recommending any particular course of action to the Commission with regard to HB 4089, but he would hate to see this Bill slip through and be enacted without anyone noticing it. The Bill does not mention any recourse that would be available to the IEPA if they do not respond within that 15 days. It was his opinion that 15 days was not a sufficient amount of time to allow a response from the IEPA. The NPDES permit process is the only place where antidegradation of existing water quality is addressed. There is not a provision in the Mines and Minerals process to look at that type of thing.

Carolyn Grosboll asked if Mr. Shank knew what the IDNR’s position was on this Bill.

Mr. Shank stated that this Bill has been submitted to a number of different individuals within the Department for their comments, but he is not aware of an official position that has been taken on this Bill. Mr. Shank stated that this Bill was sponsored by five Representatives from the downstate communities of Sparta, Carbondale, Harrisburg, Mt. Vernon, and Benton. These are all coal mining areas that are currently regarded as depressed because coal mines have closed. This Bill is packed as regulatory relief from redundant and duplicative types of regulations.

Chair O’Keefe suggested that Carolyn Grosboll further explore HB 4089 and its ramifications. She felt that there could be tremendous potential for future degradation of INAI streams with a great deal of biological integrity. She would also like to have Ms. Grosboll act on the Commission’s behalf if this Bill would present a threat to existing nature preserves. Chair O’Keefe stated that she agrees that 15 days is not long enough to expect an Agency to act. It takes more time than that to take a position.

Commissioner Nevling asked Ms. Grosboll if she felt comfortable with such a job assignment.

Ms. Grosboll stated that in her daily course of work she does monitor legislation and provides comments to Diane Hendren in the IDNR’s Legislative Office.

Commissioner Allread stated that it may be more appropriate for the individual Commissioners to act, with Ms. Grosboll acting as a liaison to the Commissioners. Ms. Grosboll can provide the Commissioners with her interpretation of what this is and to look at what the other parts of the IDNR are saying. The Commissioners, as citizens, can then become more of a voice and write a letter.

Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that if there is going to be less oversight on these issues as suggested, that perhaps because there is a potential for significant impact to nature preserve holdings already, that the INPC should take a formal position in opposition to the Bill.

Commissioner Ellis stated that since the Commission does not meet again until May, a telephone call could be made to each Commissioner after they have reviewed information sent via fax. A poll could be taken as to the options that are available to the INPC. Chair O’Keefe could then take the results of that poll and exercise her options accordingly. He felt that the Bill needed to be reviewed in its entirety first.

Commissioner Schwegman stated that he would like to have staff look into this.

Chair O’Keefe stated that she would like to direct staff to analyze HB 4089 and develop a recommendation for a formal position and to have the Director of the INPC convey that recommendation to the Chairman who will then poll the Commission to see if they would like to pursue action.

174-30) Other Business

There was no other business.

174-31) Adjournment

It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Allread, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.