(subject to approval of Commission at 176th Meeting)
Independence Grove Visitor Center
16400 W. Buckley Road
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 - 10:00 a.m.
Cass Co. Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Logan Co. Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration
McHenry Co. MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Lake Co. R. and J. Halkovich Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Lake Co. Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication
Lee Co. Addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
McHenry Co. Lee Miglin Savanna Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication
Putnam Co. Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication
Jasper Co. Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve, Dedication
Jo Daviess Co. Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication
Logan Co. Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication
McHenry Co. Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve Buffer, Dedication
Will Co. Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication
Lake Co. Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve - Deer Research Proposal
Cook Co. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve Proposal to Introduce Swamp Metalmark Butterflies
Lake Co. Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation
Adoption of Agenda
Approval of the Minutes of the Special Meeting, February 4, 2002, and the 174th Meeting, February 5, 2002
Next Meeting Schedule
INPC Staff Report
IDNR Staff Report
Vegetation Management Guidelines
Strategic Plan for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 2002-2007
Public Comment Period
At 10:15 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair OKeefe, the meeting began.
Carolyn Grosboll gave the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Dianne Burton, Kristi DeLaurentiis, Harry Drucker, Lorin Nevling, Joyce OKeefe, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.
Members absent: Jonathan Ellis.
Others present: John Alesandrini, Loretta Arient, Steven Byers, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Bob Edgin, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Angella Moorehouse, John Nelson, Kelly Neal, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Ed Anderson, Tim Kelley, Debbie Nelson, Randy Nyboer, and John Wilker, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Patti Reilly and Brian Reilly, ORC, Division of Natural Heritage, IDNR; Nancy Williamson, C-2000, IDNR; Sue Dees and George Rose, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Thomas Donnelley, II, former INPC Chair; Frank Farwell, former INPC Chair; Vicky Ranney, Prairie Crossing and former INPC Chair; Ken Fiske, INPC Consultant and former INPC Chair; Jerry Paulson, Natural Land Institute (NLI) and INPC Consultant; John White, Ecological Services and INPC Consultant; Jim Anderson, Carol Calabresa, Jennifer Filipiak, Loretta McCarley, Steve Messerli, Michael Talbett, and Al Westerman, Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD); Jill Kenney, NLI; David Miller, Illinois Audubon Society (IAS); Steve Packard, National Audubon; Peter Cruikshank and John Tuohy, The Wetlands Initiative (TWI); Stephen Christy, George Covington, Jim Richter, and John Willard, Lake Forest Open Lands Association (LFOLA); Stephanie Folk, Lucy Hutcherson, and Debra Shore, Chicago Wilderness; Tim Gilmscheid and Susan Niederlander, Liberty Prairie Conservancy; Dr. Doug Taron, Chicago Academy of Sciences; Jeanie Dammann, Boone Creek Watershed Alliance (BCWA); Gray Anderson and Dr. Clayton K. Nielsen, Holterra Wildlife Management; Kelly and John MacDonald, representing MacBrough Land and Water Reserve; Robert Halkovich, representing the R. and J. Halkovich addition of nature preserve buffer to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve; Victoria Evan-Cook and James Evan-Cook, representing Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve; Marilyn Miglin, representing the Lee Miglin Savanna addition of nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve; Debbie, Amber, and Ashley Staley, representing Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve; Roger Beadles, representing Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve; Ed and Rita Martin, and Jill Riddell.
Chair OKeefe recognized four former INPC Chairs: Vicky Ranney, Tom Donnelley, Frank Farwell, and Ken Fiske, who were in attendance. Chair OKeefe stated that their attendance shows the dedication on the part of the Commissioners, both current and former, as well as the staff, to the mission of the INPC.
Chair OKeefe stated that it is a pleasure to be in Lake County, and to provide everyone an opportunity to see what a wonderful forest preserve district system Lake County has in place. She thanked Steve Messerli and the LCFPD staff for hosting the meeting. She also thanked the LCFD and LFOLA staff for a wonderful tour at Middlefork Savanna on May 6, 2002.
Chair OKeefe presented a certificate of appreciation to Al Westerman, President of the LCFPD Board, and Carol Calabresa, Vice President of the LCFPD Board. The certificate read: This certificate is presented to the Lake County Forest Preserve District in recognition of its renewed commitment to the preservation of Illinois highest quality natural areas through their dedication as Illinois nature preserves. The Lake County Forest Preserve District is one of the Commissions many partners in protecting natural areas, native plants and animals, and endangered species. To date the District has dedicated ten Illinois nature preserves, totaling more than 2,200 acres. These dedicated lands protect some of Illinois finest remaining forests, prairies, marshes, bogs, and fens, as well as the tremendous diversity of life which they support. Chair OKeefe thanked the LCFPD for its protection efforts.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that Item 17 will be presented after Item 8.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Burton and carried that the Agenda, as amended, be adopted.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the Minutes of the Special Meeting, February 4, 2002, be approved.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that a correction to the 174th Meeting Minutes should be made on page 13, second full paragraph in the second to the last sentence. The sentence should read native prairie grouse rather than native prairie grass.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the Minutes of the 174th Meeting, February 5, 2002, as amended, be approved.
Steve Messerli, Executive Director of the LCFPD Board, welcomed everyone to Independence Grove Forest Preserve. He thanked the INPC for its efforts in conservation throughout the State of Illinois. He said that he has had an opportunity to live in different parts of the country, and he has clearly found a great home in Lake County. The LCFPD has dedicated 1,500 acres of property to the INPC in the last year. Mr. Messerli stated that he looked forward to continuing that cooperative working relationship.
Mr. Messerli stated that he spent the last weekend cutting buckthorn, and he would like to revisit legislation next year that would prohibit nurseries from selling buckthorn. Volunteer organizations throughout the State are spending a lot of time removing the buckthorn. He would also like to talk about funding for restoration. In November, 2000, Lake County had a referendum on the ballot requesting additional funds to provide for operation and restoration work, public safety, and access, but the referendum failed. He would like to see funding to restore land which would be the ongoing operation and maintenance funding for restoration. He would like to see a State initiative to provide funding which would be tied to the nature preserve dedication of land. The money would be set aside for restoration of that land. The LCFPD has an aggressive restoration program which is apparent at Middlefork Savanna. MacArthur Woods is also an example of this restoration program.
Chair OKeefe thanked Mr. Messerli for his comments and for the hospitality that has been shown to the Commission. The INPC is grateful to the commitment of the LCFPD to preserving its high quality natural areas.
Chair OKeefe reported that at the 174th Meeting of the INPC, held in Springfield on February 5, 2002, legal protection for 11 tracts of land, totaling 1,239 acres, was approved by the Commission. Four of the 11 areas are owned by private individuals 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 dollar value of the six tracts of private land is $235,000, 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 174th meeting of the INPC include Marilandica Acres Land and Water Reserve in Washington County, 30 acres; an addition to Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve in Edwards County, 4.5 acres; the Mud Island addition to Cedar Glen Nature Preserve in Hancock County, 119 acres; the Fox Valley Land Foundation addition to Trout Park Nature Preserve in Kane County, .5 acre; Storment Hauss Nature Preserve in Monroe County, 64.5 acres; and Brimfield Railroad Restoration Prairie Nature Preserve in Peoria County, 6 acres. A total of 224 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 305 dedicated nature preserves in 78 counties, totaling 41,280 acres. There are 67 land and water reserves in 41 counties, totaling 23,400 acres.
6 August, 9:00 a.m. - Wildlife Prairie State Park, Peoria
29 October, 10:00 a.m. - Rock Springs Center, Decatur
175-5)INPC Staff Report
Carolyn Grosboll stated that at the 174th Meeting of the INPC, the Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the IDNR. Ms. Grosboll stated that the MOU was signed by Director Manning in February, 2002. As a result of the MOU, staff have been attending weekly conference calls at the Springfield headquarters and monthly meetings in the field with IDNR staff. The MOU has served to facilitate better communication between the INPC and the IDNR.
Ms. Grosboll stated that the INPCs Springfield staff will be moving to the new IDNR building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds sometime between mid June and the end of July, 2002. The INPC will be located on the third floor of the building, and the phone numbers will remain the same. The fax number may be changing. The address for the new building is One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, Illinois 62702. Envelopes, letterhead, and business cards have been ordered reflecting the new address. Hopefully, the move will not disturb the work schedule significantly.
Ms. Grosboll updated the Commissioners regarding the State budget. There is a $1.3 billion deficit going into next fiscal year. So far, the Commissions program has not been impacted by this deficit. The Commission is funded through the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) rather than the General Revenue Fund (GRF). The State has already gone through one round of layoffs, and there were 12 people affected within the IDNR. One of those people was within the Division of Natural Heritage. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 17, 2002, however, they will not leave Springfield until the budget issue has been resolved. Ms. Grosboll stated that she would continue to keep the Commissioners updated on this process as the General Assembly deals with the budget.
Ms. Grosboll stated that House Bill (HB) 4089, which was brought to the Commissioners attention at the 174th Meeting of the INPC, would have eased the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) permit requirements for coal mining. Concern was expressed at the 174th Meeting of the INPC about the potential impact to the waters of the State if this Bill was passed. Ms. Grosboll stated that she has been monitoring the Bill, and it has not moved since it was introduced in the House. The Bill has been sitting in the House Rules Committee. Ms. Grosboll stated that she checked with the IDNRs Legislative Office, and was told that the Department is opposed to the Bill. The IDNR will continue to monitor this Bill as well.
Ms. Grosboll stated that it was with sadness that she reports the passing of a former Commissioner, Jeffrey R. Short, Jr. Mr. Short served on the Commission during the early 1970s, and he was very instrumental in the protection of Beall Woods Nature Preserve in Wabash County. He was also the founding president of the Openlands Project of Metropolitan Chicago in 1963. He was also extremely active at all levels of conservation, including local, national, and international efforts. Mr. Short served as president of the family corn milling business, J.R. Short Milling Company, after his father passed away in 1955. Ms. Grosboll stated that Mr. Short will be sorely missed by many people.
John Nelson, Northeastern Illinois Threats Coordinator for the INPC, updated the Commission on several issues. The first issue relates to Boone Creek Fen Illinois Natural Area Inventory (INAI) site in McHenry County which contains Spring Hollow Nature Preserve, Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, and soon to be dedicated Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve Buffer. There is a development proposed called the Sanctuary at Bull Valley which is approximately one-quarter of a mile away from this INAI site. The development site is 300 acres in size and is located within the critical recharge zone for the Boone Creek Fen INAI site. The site is characterized by kettle moraine topography, and it sits on top of the Woodstock Moraine. Kettle depressions are the prominent feature of this site. There is no surface drainage off of this 300 acres. All the rain that falls on this site becomes incorporated into the groundwater or is evaporated back into the atmosphere through transpiration. Mr. Nelson stated that Ed Ellinghausen, a member of the BCWA, alerted the INPC and the IDNR to this potential threat. Mr. Ellinghausen is a civil engineer, and he characterizes this site as the hydrologic pump for the Boone Creek Fen INAI. At the request of the INPC, the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois State Geological Survey produced a recharge zone map showing where the recharge zone was for the INAI site. This development fell within that recharge zone. As a result, the IDNR has opened consultation on the development. INPC staff and members of the BCWA have testified at public hearings before the Planning Commission of the City of Woodstock. As a result, the developer has hired a hydrologist, Dr. Nick Schneider. Dr. Schneider has testified that the recharge function of this site can actually be enhanced by the development. The INPC staff and the BCWA continue to argue that the natural infiltration and recharge function of this site needs to be protected through conservation-minded development design. The next public hearing is scheduled for June 13, 2002. Mr. Nelson stated that he spoke with the developer on May 6, 2002, and the developer is setting up a meeting between the INPC, the IDNR, the Illinois State Water Survey, and the Illinois State Geological Survey to discuss the recharge issues.
Mr. Nelson stated that the next threat issue relates to Flora Prairie Nature Preserve in Boone County. A lawsuit was filed against Boone County by Quality Aggregate, Inc. after Quality Aggregate was denied a Special Use Permit to operate a limestone quarry next to Flora Prairie Nature Preserve. Flora Prairie Nature Preserve is a 9.8-acre dry dolomite prairie. The proposed quarry would be 300-feet deep and only 85 feet away from the Nature Preserve. The Special Use Permit was denied due to environmental concerns for the Nature Preserve, as well as traffic issues and opposition from local neighbors. The INPC reviewed mitigation plans, along with reports submitted by three environmental consultants. Two of these consultants were working for the Boone County States Attorney, and one was working for Quality Aggregate, Inc. The INPC provided the Boone County Conservation District (BCCD), which owns the Nature Preserve, with specific recommendations regarding the mitigation plan. Mr. Nelson stated that he and Kim Roman testified in court, and on April 23, 2002, the Circuit Court of Boone County ruled in favor of Quality Aggregate, Inc. Roger Russell, the Boone County States Attorney, argued the case on behalf of the County, and he stated that the judges ruling was written in a manner to protect the decision and limits any hope of appeal. The INPC was disappointed with this ruling. The conditions of the Special Use Permit are uncertain at this time. Mr. Russell will be recommending that the judge enforce the recommendations made by the INPC. One of the most important recommendations was to include 500 feet of buffer between the quarry and the Nature Preserve.
The next threat Mr. Nelson reported on involves Exner Marsh Nature Preserve and a development called Lake Pointe Development or the Walgreens Development. Exner Marsh Nature Preserve is located in McHenry County. It is a 116-acre wetland owned by the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD). Mr. Nelson stated that this is a textbook example of a nature preserve that is enveloped by urban development. Only ten years ago, this wetland was surrounded by agriculture. It is now surrounded by subdivisions on three sides. A 30-acre development featuring a Walgreens Drug Store is proposed for one of the remaining open parcels near Exner Marsh Nature Preserve. The marsh supports one of the highest concentrations of Blandings turtle populations known in McHenry County. It is the IDNRs biological opinion that the development will negatively impact this State threatened species. The developer has applied for an incidental take authorization. This will protect the developer in the event that a taking occurs, but it will also require the developer to write a conservation plan that must be approved by the IDNRs Division of Natural Heritage. Local and regional newspapers have featured this story, and local residents are concerned about the impacts of the Walgreens Development on the Nature Preserve and the Blandings turtles. Mr. Nelson stated that he received a letter on this issue from a nine-year old boy, Henry Cilley, which said, Dear Mr. Nelson, Please help the Blandings turtles. What did they ever do to anyone? I dont want any of them to die or become extinct. Mr. Nelson stated that this is the kind of public response and input that is coming in. This young man initiated a petition and collected over 300 signatures. He will present his petition to the Lake in the Hills Village Board. Mr. Nelson stated that the INPC and the IDNR are not opposed to this development, however, we want to insure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the Nature Preserve and the Blandings turtle. The INPC and the IDNR are currently reviewing a mitigation plan submitted by the developer.
Mr. Nelson stated that there is also a threat to Parker Fen INAI in McHenry County from the Ladd Development. Eight estate homes are proposed near the wetlands with three of the home sites adjacent to the INAI wetland itself. The concern is for a pair of state-threatened Sandhill cranes that have nested in the wetland for five of the last six years. It was the recommendation of the INPC and the IDNR that these three sites be dropped from the development in order to protect this nesting site. It is recommended that there be 800 feet of buffer around a nest site for a Sandhill crane to give it the solitude and disturbance-free zone that it needs to successfully reproduce. Mr. Nelson stated that he provided written recommendations to the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals (MCZBA), and he testified at a public hearing on April 23, 2002. The MCZBA voted 5-2 in favor of the development. The Sandhill cranes have returned this year, but given the impending development and the current number of homes that are already near this nesting site, we are not optimistic about the future of this nesting site.
Mr. Nelson stated that there is also a threat to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve in McHenry County. There is a proposed 6-acre development with five condominiums and warehouses that would be located next to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve. The developer is requesting annexation into the Village of Lakemoor and rezoning to light industrial. Mr. Nelson stated that he attended two public hearings to express opposition to this type of land use so close to a registered land and water reserve. Not only is the zoning that the developer is requesting inconsistent with the surrounding land use, it would open the door to further light industrial use near Moraine Hills State Park and Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve. The Planning Commission voted to deny the developer the preliminary plat. The Village of Lakemoor Zoning Board of Appeals also failed to vote on the issue due to the lack of a second. Mr. Nelson stated that this was a vote of no confidence for the proposal. The proposal will now go before the full Village Board for a final decision.
Commissioner Drucker asked if a private developer was being used for the Walgreens Drug Store project.
Mr. Nelson stated that the developer is Parr Development, Inc. Walgreens will lease the building from the developer.
Commissioner Drucker asked if the INPC recommended concessions would be from Walgreens or from the developer.
Mr. Nelson stated that the concessions are being asked of the developer. The consultation is between the State and the Village of Lake in the Hills, but the developer is very much involved in the consultation process. The McHenry County Defenders (MCD) have written letters of concern to Walgreens, and the Walgreen name has been featured in newspaper articles because people associate the development with Walgreens, not with Parr Development. It would be good if Walgreens would help on this issue, but they have not been approached by the INPC.
Commissioner Drucker asked Mr. Nelson if he felt that Walgreens could offer some support to influence the developer in terms of granting the concessions that the INPC has recommended.
Mr. Nelson stated that would be a possibility because the Walgreens Drug Store is the centerpiece of this development. The site is 30 acres in size, and the Walgreens store will take up a good portion of the site. There will also be other buildings associated with the development.
Commissioner Drucker stated that there is tremendous development pressure in McHenry County, and there are numerous wonderful natural areas, some of which are under protection and some the Commission is seeking to protect. He asked if it would be helpful if a meeting could be held with the appropriate village boards and a representative of the INPC to increase the villages awareness about the importance of these areas and give them ideas about guiding development in a way to minimize impacts to the natural areas.
Mr. Nelson stated that there are numerous municipalities in Northeastern Illinois, and it would be impossible for one person to tackle that. He stated that on a small scale, he is involved with the BCWA, and they are trying to take a proactive role. They are working with the City of Woodstock on their comprehensive plan and making them aware of recharge zone issues. That Planning Commission has been receptive to the message. To do this across the entire region would be impossible for one person to do.
Chair OKeefe stated that the Commission stands prepared to participate in any meetings where Mr. Nelson feels it might be useful.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked how are these issues brought to the attention of the Commission.
Carolyn Grosboll stated these issues are most often brought to the Commissions attention through the consultation process with the IDNR, or a citizen brings an issue to the Commissions attention.
Ms. Grosboll stated that Chicago Wilderness has an ongoing effort to contact various local boards to talk about natural resources within the Chicago land area and how these areas can be protected from development pressure.
Don McFall stated that a new natural heritage landmark was negotiated since the 174th Meeting of the INPC. Debbie Newman negotiated Horse Creek Glade Natural Heritage Landmark, owned by William and Kathy Mueller of Belleville. This is a 2-acre site in Monroe County near the Mississippi River bluffs. It contains a sandstone glade and an endangered species occurrence. The landmark protects one of only two known populations of the fameflower in Illinois. There are 128 natural heritage landmarks, totaling over 5,700 acres. This program is for private individuals who own natural areas and endangered species sites.
Mr. McFall stated he would like to recognize some of the staff for their years of service. He said that the INPC has dedicated people. Service pins were awarded to Kim Roman, Steve Byers, John Nelson, Mary Kay Solecki, and Loretta Arient. Ms. Roman has been with the Department and the Commission for a total of seven years, and she was awarded a five year service pin; Steve Byers has been with the Commission for 12 years, and he was awarded a ten year service pin; John Nelson has been with the Natural History Survey and the Commission for a total of 12 years, and he was awarded a five year and ten year service pin; Mary Kay Solecki has been with the Commission for 17 years, and she was awarded a five year, ten year, and 15 year service pin; and Loretta Arient has been with the State and the Commission for 23 years, and she was awarded a ten and 15 year service pin.
Randy Heidorn stated that the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) Steering Committee met on May 1, 2002, and a strategic plan was discussed. A mission statement was agreed upon which reads, The Volunteer Stewardship Network Steering Committee exists to support, promote, and expand the role of volunteers working to protect and manage native landscapes in Illinois. He stated that he will keep the Commission updated as the strategic planning effort moves forward.
Mr. Heidorn stated that he has been involved in discussions about the cleanup of cemeteries since the INPC has a number of cemetery prairie nature preserves. The INPC works with the landowners to do prescribed burns on these areas, and there has been some concern that the fires may cause damage to the headstones, and therefore may possibly violate State laws that protect grave markers. As part of an agreement with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the INPC has been asked to document the condition and the locations of headstones in some of the cemetery nature preserves. Mr. Heidorn stated that he and Angella Moorehouse went to Root Cemetery Savanna Nature Preserve and used the global positioning system (GPS) to record the coordinates and take digital photos of the headstones. It is hoped that this can be done at all of the cemetery nature preserves.
Mr. Heidorn stated that there have been further updates done to the INPC web page. The Directory of Nature Preserves is now being put on the web site. Area 1 has been completed, and he invited everyone to look at this and provide comments to him. These additions were made possible through the donations for the INPC 300th Nature Preserve Dedication. The Commission was able to hire a student to do the scanning and other necessary data entry to get the information onto the web site. Mr. Heidorn stated that the other eight areas will soon be added to the web page.
Brian Reilly provided an update on the Wildlife Preservation Fund, a fund generated through the Illinois State Income Tax checkoff program. Staff met to review and prioritize wildlife preservation grants to be given out. The committee that will make the final determination on these grants will meet later this month and will choose which projects will be funded. Many worthwhile projects have been submitted.
Mr. Reilly stated that the budget process is moving ahead, and little change is expected from the current years budget.
Mr. Reilly stated that the ORC will be located on the third floor of the new building, along with the INPC. The exact move date has not been determined.
Mr. Reilly stated that the Springfield staff of the Division of Natural Heritage, INPC, and the Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB) met with the Heritage Regional Administrators on May 1, 2002. Quarterly meetings are now held so the Springfield staff can keep the lines of communication open with the field staff.
Mr. Reilly stated that since the 174th Meeting of the INPC there were two sites purchased using the NAAF. Three tracts of land, totaling 35 acres, were purchased at Iroquois County Conservation Area. This was a project that was originally brought to the IDNRs attention by Kim Roman. A closing is pending on the second site with the IAS for 190 acres of land at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in the Jasper and Marion county area. Mr. Reilly stated that more acquisitions are expected in the near future. The Open Land Trust (OLT) purchases consisted of 640 acres adjacent to Allerton Park in Piatt County, 833 acres at Spunky Bottoms, a bottomland forest along the Illinois River, in Brown County, and 660 acres at Big Bend Fish and Wildlife Area, a bottomland area along the Rock River, in Whiteside County.
Mr. Reilly stated that the INAI Evaluation Committee
has been holding quarterly meetings. At the April 9, 2002, meeting, the Committee
approved adding seven new sites to the INAI. Other action taken included: three
sites were deleted from the INAI, four boundaries were changed, two names were
changed, an additional category was added to three new sites, and two sites
were combined into one site. Mr. Reilly stated that there is a total of 1,203
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal to register Illinois River Sand Areas as a land and water reserve. The proposed Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve, owned by New Dominion Farms of Illinois, Inc., is a 40.68-acre site containing a disturbed, but largely intact, sand prairie and blowout complex (approximately 2 acres) that is representative of the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. Most of the site consists of early successional woodlands and former agricultural lands, both of which will be restored to sand prairie. The proposed reserve supports a population of the state-threatened Illinois chorus frog (Pseudacris streckeri illinoensis) and provides suitable habitat for the state-endangered Illinois mud turtle (Kinosternon flavescens spooneri), which has been documented at ephemeral sand ponds on an adjacent tract to the north (i.e., the former Lewis Landfill). Both the Illinois chorus frog and Illinois mud turtle use sand prairie habitats for burrowing during dormant phases of their life cycles, which last significantly longer than active phases. A population of the rare and formerly state-threatened large-bracted corydalis (Corydalis curvisiliqua var. grandibracteata) occurs on the site. The owner proposes to register the land for 20 years.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked what type of animal containment area is adjacent to this property.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that it is a hog farm. There is a railroad with a berm that runs between this property and the hog confinement area, and minimal impact is anticipated from the hog farm.
Tim Kelley stated that he wrote the Management Plan for the proposed Illinois River Sand Areas Land and Water Reserve. The Department of Agriculture requires berms around the containment ponds of a hog confinement operation. There is also a railroad berm between the hog farm and the proposed land and water reserve. There was an aboveground pipeline carrying effluent from the ponds which ran between the properties to the west of the Lewis Landfill. There was a minor leak in this pipeline approximately three years ago, so the pipeline was buried to eliminate problems with surface contamination. Mr. Kelley stated that there is no opportunity for any waste contamination from the hog farm to spill onto the proposed reserve.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Illinois River Sand Areas in Cass County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 7 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
(Actually presented after Item 13)
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal to register Elkhart Hill Grove as a land and water reserve. Lisa Pasquesi and Catherine Carolin own and propose to register approximately 65.2 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve. 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. The Commission approved in principle the registration of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1628) in February, 2002.
Ms. Solecki thanked Lisa Pasquesi and Catherine Carolin for their persistence in working together toward the common goal of natural area protection.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Elkhart Hill Grove in Logan County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 8 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
(Actually presented after Item 17)
Steven Byers presented a proposal to register MacBrough Marsh as a land and water reserve. The proposed MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve is 2.9-acres in size and is owned by John and Kelly MacDonald. The proposed reserve is located adjacent to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve, a large wetland basin that supports an abundant variety of wetland-dependent bird species. Both Black Crown Marsh and the proposed MacBrough Marsh Land and Water Reserve are located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The site is included on the INAI (#1503) because nine state-listed endangered or threatened wetland bird species have been recorded using the wetland basin. A large portion of the wetland basin at Black-Crown Marsh was granted approval for registration as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve at the Commissions 172nd Meeting in October, 2001 (Resolution #1600). MacBrough Marsh qualifies for registration as a land and water reserve because of its close proximity to Black Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve and also its location within the designated INAI site. The site itself consists primarily of wetland (currently an open water phase) and a relatively narrow width of upland buffer. Registration of the MacBrough Land and Water Reserve is consistent with the IDNRs goal of developing and implementing an ecosystem based strategy for the protection, restoration, and enhancement of Illinois biotic communities. In addition, registration of this site as a land and water reserve provides an opportunity for the IDNR to partner with private property owners to protect the Black Crown Marsh wetland basin.
Mr. Byers stated that Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald have reserved the right to place one waterfowl blind on their property.
Kelly MacDonald stated that she is happy to see this project come full circle. She stated that she grew up a mile and a half from Black Crown Marsh, and she spent many days exploring and playing throughout the entire area. She stated that she did not have any idea that she would be blessed enough to live on this marsh. She stated that both she and her husband realized what a gem they had when the drain tiles failed, and the water returned. They have enjoyed watching countless migratory duck species return every spring. They keep a list, and in one day there were 12 different species of migratory ducks in this area. Mrs. MacDonald stated that she was excited that her daughter will have an opportunity to explore and play in the same natural area that she did when she was a child.
John MacDonald clarified the pronunciation of MacBrough, which is his wifes maiden name. Mr. MacDonald stated that Brad Semel assured him in 1994, after the drain tiles failed, that this would all come to be. Mr. MacDonald stated that he never thought that he would see himself before the Commission donating this conservation easement. He thanked the Commission for its help, and he thanked Steve Byers for his help. He also stated that Mr. Semel has endured his phone calls for the last 8-9 years, and he wanted to thank Mr. Semel for his assistance.
Commissioner Drucker stated that the Commission relies on private citizens to bring important land to the Commission for protection and being receptive to putting it under a conservation easement. He felt that it was a partnership. Commissioner Drucker, on behalf of the INPC, thanked Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald for their contribution.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of MacBrough Marsh in McHenry County, as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of R. and J. Halkovich addition of nature preserve buffer to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve. Robert and Jan Halkovich wish to dedicate approximately 4 acres of land located immediately east of and across St. Marys Road from MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve as nature preserve buffer. MacArthur Woods is a 504-acre forest preserve owned and managed by the LCFPD. MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve represents a portion of the vast, extensive woodland habitat that once extended along the eastern edge of the Des Plaines River and is representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. MacArthur Woods was recognized by the INAI (#78) because of high-quality forest communities. State-listed bird species known from the site include the Brown creeper (Certhia familiaris) and Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). In addition, state-listed plant species include the dog violet (Viola conspera), purple-fringed orchid (Platanthera psycodes), dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens), marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata), and tubercled orchid (Habenaria flava). In June, 1981, 446 acres of MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve were dedicated as the MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve on behalf of the LCFPD (Resolution #590). Dedication of this tract will buffer MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve from incompatible land use and development along its eastern boundary and protect a surface water linkage with the nature preserve. In addition, dedication of this addition may serve as an impetus for other landowners to protect the current open-space character of land that extends along St. Marys Road.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of R. and J. Halkovich addition of nature preserve buffer to MacArthur Woods Nature Preserve in Lake County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Mr. Halkovich thanked Mr. Byers and the INPC. He stated that he and his wife proposed to donate approximately four acres of their five-acre parcel. They have owned the land for approximately 20 years. Excluded from the dedication is a house and septic field on approximately one acre, and they have no plans to do any expansion. The land consists mostly of mature oaks and ash trees, and they decided that they would like to see the trees preserved. He appreciated the opportunity to present his land to the Commission. He stated that it was his hope that the entire corridor along St. Marys will be preserved.
Chair OKeefe thanked Mr. Halkovich for his efforts in preserving his land.
175-11) Lake Co. Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers of the INPC, Jim Anderson of the LCFPD, and Stephen Christy of the LFOLA presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve. The proposed Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve is approximately 581.8 acres in size and is owned in part by the LCFPD (499 acres) and the LFOLA (82.8 acres). Of the 499 acres proposed for dedication by the LCFPD, 375 acres are proposed for dedication as nature preserve and 124 acres is proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. The 82.8 acres owned by the LFOLA are proposed for dedication as nature preserve buffer. The proposed nature preserve lies embedded within more extensive holdings of the LCFPD that total 589.12 acres. Middlefork Savanna has frequently been described as the best surviving mesic or black soil savanna in Illinois and is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Natural Morainal Division. Middlefork Savanna was recognized by the INAI (#1245) for its high-quality mesic savanna community. This community type is among the most rare in Illinois as the INAI reported that only 2 acres of high-quality mesic savanna survived. The Nature Conservancy has described black soil savannas (or fine-textured soil savannas) as critically imperiled globally. Other surviving natural communities include mesic and wet prairie, sedge meadow, and marsh. One federally-listed species, the Eastern prairie-fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) and four state-listed species have been recorded at the site: golden sedge (Carex aurea), marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata), and pale vetchling (Lathyrus ochroleucus). The Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a state-threatened reptile reported from the site. Dedication of Middlefork Savanna as an Illinois Nature Preserve will protect critical habitat for the one federally-listed and four state-listed species and protect the globally imperiled fine-textured soil or mesic savanna.
Al Westerman, President of the LCFPD, stated that the entire Board is proud and pleased that the INPC is holding its meeting in Lake County. Mr. Westerman introduced Loretta McCarley and Mike Talbett of the LCFPD Board. The LCFPD has had great success over the last few years because of their great staff. Steve Messerli has been supportive of the dedications. The LCFPD has met several of its goals. The LCFPD is trying to acquire as much land as it can which is adjacent to high-quality areas. He stated that it was his understanding that the LCFPD has surpassed DuPage County in the total number of acres purchased.
Stephen Christy stated that it was amazing to be at this meeting. When he thinks back to the late 1970s when he and Mr. Westerman worked togther at the LCFPD, he was astonished at that time to see what was essentially an intact example of the Chicago River Valley still there. As he began to work on the Middlefork Savanna project, he found that it still existed because it was in long term wealthy ownership, and vast parts of it were inaccessible. The valley was poorly drained, and the drainage ditch did not function very well. Farmers could not get to certain parts of the land because it was too wet. There was also a railroad that went through the middle of it which periodically set fire to the land. He stated that he made a presentation to the City of Lake Forest in the early 1980s to preserve this area. When the City tried to purchase 80 acres of the site, a developer bought it out from under them. That started a partnership between the City of Lake Forest, LCFPD, Lake Forest Open Lands Association (LFOLA), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to stop the housing development. The Mayor of Lake Forest and the President of the LCFPD were brothers. Not only did the LCFPD say that it wanted to acquire the developers land, it was urged to acquire other land by TNC and LFOLA. This earned the LCFPD the immortal title from the developer that they had a license to steal. He stated that many people in Lake Forest who lived along this area said that they did not want any outsiders and did not want the area preserved. This project involved all the partners to get this preserved. He stated that LFOLA will continue to work to preserve more property. Mr. Christy introduced the LFOLA board members: John Lillard, Jim Richter, George Covington, and Frank Farwell.
Mr. Westerman stated that Jim Anderson is a strong supporter of land preservation, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Under Jims guidance, the LCFPD has started some of the largest land restoration projects in its history. Mr. Westerman stated that they were glad to have Mr. Anderson on their staff.
Jim Anderson introduced Steve Packard, who along with Wayne Schennum, found the real significance of this site which is the 25-acre tallgrass savanna.
Steve Packard stated that Middlefork Savanna has an interesting history. When the first conservationists looked at it for possible natural area significance, they did not think that it was worth much. At some point during this process, the INAI had been completed. The INAI did not find any savannas of any substantial size, except for sand savannas. Mr. Packard stated that John White and others encouraged him to keep looking. He stated that Wayne Schennum suggested this place in Lake Forest. Mr. Packard stated that he visited this site in the middle of winter, and he found a fine remnant savanna. Others looked at this site, and they felt that it was the finest example in Illinois. In the early years, before the INPC had built up as much influence, the best 40 acres would have been dedicated. With the encouragement of John Schwegman and others, LCFPD kept buying the whole valley which is all remnant savanna, wetlands, and prairie. Mr. Packard thanked LFOLA, LCFPD, and the landowners who cooperated. He also thanked the INPC for their work.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Middlefork Savanna in Lake County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Chair OKeefe thanked all who participated in this project.
A lunch break was taken from 12:20 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.
John Alesandrini presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve. Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District (LCSWCD), is a 23-acre remnant of mesic upland forest in Lee County. The site is listed on the INAI (#688) based on its status as a dedicated nature preserve (Category III). It is located in the northern portion of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division of Illinois and within the floodplain of the upper portion of Big Bureau Creek. The Commission conferred final approval of dedication for this site at its 113th Meeting in February, 1987 (Resolution #926). In May, 2001, the LCSWCD acquired an adjacent 4-acre tract that is similar to the nature preserve (moderately disturbed upland mesic forest). The SWCD proposes to dedicate this 4-acre tract as an addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if there was a home or other buildings currently on this property.
Mr. Alesandrini stated that there are no homes or buildings on this property. Some of the wood lot properties further down the creek have been recently developed.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of an addition to Bartlett Woods Nature Preserve in Lee County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
(Actually presented after Item 7)
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of the Lee Miglin Savanna addition of nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Marilyn Miglin proposes to dedicate approximately 18 acres as a nature preserve buffer addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Boone Creek Fen is a complex of wetland and upland communities included on the INAI (#1015) in recognition of high-quality sedge meadow and graminoid fen plant communities. Only 354 acres of high-quality fens survive in the entire State. The state-threatened Slippershell (Alasmidonta viridis) mussel occurs in the stream embedded within this natural area. Boone Creek Fen is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Fen communities are dependent upon protection and stewardship of the surrounding landscapes and ground water recharge zones. The portion of Boone Creek Fen owned by Tom and Carol ODonnell was conferred final approval for dedication by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission at its 156th Meeting in August, 1997 (Resolution #1376) with the Carol and Lydia and Tom and Brandon Addition receiving final approval at the Commission 167th Meeting in May, 2000 (Resolution #1540). The Spring Hollow Addition owned by Betty Babcock received final approval for dedication at the Commissions 159th Meeting in May, 1998 (Resolution #1418). The proposed Lee Miglin Savanna addition includes elements of dry-mesic savanna and old field plant communities. More importantly, the proposed addition will protect both groundwater recharge and discharge zones for this natural area.
Mr. Byers stated that Mrs. Miglin reserves the right to maintain a roadway and access to her cottage. The cottage is not included in the buffer.
Mrs. Miglin stated that until she met Steve Byers approximately nine months ago she did not know what a fen or oak savanna was, and she did not know what the beautiful things growing on the property were that her family has enjoyed for so many years. She commended the INPC on its vision because without preservation no one will know the significance of these areas. She thanked the Commission for its consideration. She stated that her life has changed, and she has become enlightened thanks to Steve and others. Mrs. Miglin stated that she hoped the Commission would continue to protect natural areas because this vision is important to the future of everyone. Her late husband, Lee Miglin, loved the oak savannas even though he did not know what they were called at the time, and he took such good care of them. She felt that it was an honor to have the property preserved in his name.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Lee Miglin Savanna addition of nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Chair OKeefe thanked Mrs. Miglin for her good
(Actually presented after Item 18)
John Alesandrini presented a proposal for preliminary approval for the dedication of Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve. The proposed Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve, owned by the Ringbill Habitat Foundation, is a 26-acre seep and seep-related wetland community that was identified by the INAI as part of Senachwine Seep (#825). It is located within The Hennepin and Hopper Lakes Project, a 2,600-acre wetland restoration project along the Illinois River in Putnam County. It is the largest identified seep area in the Illinois River Section of the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Bottomlands Natural Division. The proposed nature preserve will be managed by TWI in conjunction with The Hennepin and Hopper Lakes Project.
Mr. Alesandrini stated that much of this area was farmland along the Illinois River. Currently it is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). This program provides owners with funding and assistance for restoration. The portion that is encumbered by this program, which is the farm portion of Tom Dores family property, is not included in the nature preserve dedication. Those parts that are outside of the CREP are protected by a conservation easement. In this case, the conservation easement is from the Ringbill Habitat Foundation to the Marshall-Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District.
Mr. Alesandrini introduced John Tuohy, President of TWI, and Peter Cruikshank, Board Member of TWI and President of the Ringbill Habitat Foundation.
Peter Cruikshank thanked the Commission and stated that he is excited about what he is hearing at this meeting. He stated that he was at the site a few days ago with Doug Stots, a fellow Board Member and ornithologist from the Field Museum. Dr. Stots identified 101 species of birds, and the warblers were hardly moving through yet. They plan to return to the site this week. In December they counted 30,000 birds. Once the pumps were turned off a year ago, Dr. Stots identified 65 species that have not been seen there in the 2-3 years that they have been doing the bird inventory. Mr. Cruikshank invited the Commission to tour this site in August. He stated that this is an exciting project, and he thanked Mr. Alesandrini for his work.
Mr. Alesandrini introduced Jerry Paulson, Executive Director of the NLI. He stated that Mr. Paulson did a lot of work initiating this project.
Mr. Paulson stated that there is a theme here today which is wrapping up projects that have been on the drawing boards for many years. After this area was identified on the INAI, the NLI initiated the landowner contact program with the Commission. Thomas Dore and his parents were contacted in 1978 by former Commission staff member Lydia Meyer. A proposal was made at that time to dedicate this as a nature preserve. Once the attorney found that it was part of a levy district, it became too complicated to proceed. Mr. Dores father passed away, and the family did not proceed with the dedication. Mr. Paulson stated that he started to talk with Mr. Dore when he was working with TWI, and Mr. Dore said he wanted to have the area preserved in his parents honor. TWI made a commitment to Mr. Dore. Mr. Dore donated the money to preserve the property, and it is fitting that it be named in honor of his parents. Mr. Paulson stated that Mr. Dore is quite a conservationist.
Mr. Alesandrini stated that Mr. Dore was unable to attend this meeting because he had another commitment.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he supports the dedication of this area.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if there are any long range plans for the land that is currently under the CREP.
Mr. Alesandrini stated that the CREP is a 15-year program commitment. The conservation easements that were given by the various non-profit landowners to the Marshall Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District are worded such that those easements protect all of the areas outside of the farmlands that are under a CREP contract. That protection starts immediately upon signing and recording of those documents. Those same easements state that, in 15 years when the CREP contracts expire, those lands will also be covered by the conservation easement given by the various owners to the Marshall-Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District. To that extent, there is a long term protection plan in place to maintain this wetland restoration and prevent future owners from deciding to drain the area.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Nevling, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep in Putnam County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Chair OKeefe thanked Mr. Cruikshank for his
kind invitation to tour the area.
Bob Edgin presented a proposal for final 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 was purchased by the IAS in February of 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 (#754) and will be managed in conjunction with Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA). The Robert Ridgway Grasslands Nature Preserve will increase the amount of permanently protected grasslands at the Jasper County unit of PRSNA to 1929 acres. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1631) in February, 2002. A 20-feet wide permanent easement for the construction, operation, and maintenance of an underground water line was granted to the E. J. Water Corporation on March 1, 2001. Dedication of the nature preserve will be subject to this pre-existing easement. This water line is a four inch line, and the disturbance associated with this is along the south edge of the property line and is adjacent to the county road. The actual impact to the area will be minimal.
Mr. Edgin introduced Dave Miller, President of the IAS.
Chair OKeefe welcomed Mr. Miller, and stated that the INPC appreciates the efforts of the IAS.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Robert Ridgway Grasslands in Jasper County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Ed Anderson presented a proposal for final approval for the dedication of Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve. The proposed Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve, owned by the IDNR, encompasses 5 tracts totaling approximately 442 acres within Apple River Canyon State Park. The proposed preserve includes dry prairie, dry dolomite prairie, seep, dolomite cliff communities and dolomite exposures representative of the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division. The adjoining ravines and upper portions of the canyon are characterized by dry and dry-mesic upland forest communities with species exemplifying the regions boreal affinities. At least nine state-endangered and four state-threatened plant species are known to occur within the proposed nature preserve along with the state-threatened river otter. Portions of the Apple River have been excluded from this proposal, and will be proposed for registration as a land and water reserve in the future. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for the dedication of this site at its 173rd Meeting (Resolution #1614) in October, 2001.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Apple River Canyon in Jo Daviess County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
(Actually presented after Item 8)
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal for final dedication of Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve. William McClellan Drake, Jr., Valentine Snell, Mason Hammond Drake, Ascha Kells, and Victoria Evan-Cook own and propose to dedicate approximately 65.2 acres of high-quality upland forest as Elkhart Hill Grove Nature Preserve. 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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1632) in February, 2002.
Ms. Solecki thanked William Drake and his family for their persistence in working together toward the common goal of natural area protection.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Elkhart Hill Grove in Logan County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Chair OKeefe thanked Victoria Evan-Cook for attending the meeting, and she stated that it is a true victory after the many years of hard work to make this happen.
Victoria Evan-Cook thanked the Commission for its assistance in this project. She stated that it has been a dream of hers to have this area protected.
Steve Packard stated that 25 years ago he was on
staff at the INPC. He stated that the staff talked then about the importance
of dedicating Elkhart Hill, and as he looks at the agendas that come across
his desk, he is impressed with the accomplishments and the importance of the
INPC. He thanked the Commissioners for their hard work.
(Actually presented after Item12)
Steven Byers presented a proposal for final dedication of Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve Buffer. Ms. Deborah Staley wishes to dedicate Amberin Ash Ridge, a 9.8-acre tract of mesic upland forest and seep natural communities, as nature preserve buffer. Amberin Ash Ridge is located in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. This proposed nature preserve buffer is located within the Boone Creek Fen INAI (#1015) site, a complex of high-quality sedge meadow, graminoid fen wetland, and upland communities. A portion of Boone Creek Fen was conferred final approval for dedication at the Commissions 156th Meeting in August, 1997 (Resolution #1376). A key element of the proposal called for efforts ...to assemble a much larger preserve... ...and encompass just not the wetlands identified on the INAI, but would extend...nearly a mile upstream and encompass much of the adjacent uplands. Preservation of the seeps and woods at Amberin Ash Ridge as nature preserve buffer will protect important groundwater recharge and discharge zones that maintain water quality in Boone Creek and support natural communities recognized by the INAI. The Amberin Ash Ridge Nature Preserve buffer was granted preliminary approval for dedication at the Commissions 157th Meeting in October, 1997 (Resolution #1379).
Deborah Staley thanked the Commission for its patience for the length of time it took to complete this process. Amberin Ash Ridge is the combination of the names of her three daughters. She introduced Amber and Ashley. Erin was unable to attend today. Ms. Staley stated that most of the activity being done to protect the watershed in the Boone Creek Watershed area is being done by private landowners. They are trying to be the group that provides information, education, contacts, networking, and cooperation with the various surrounding communities to protect the area. She stated that she felt that the future of all of this stands with the private landowner. She also felt that it was unrealistic to think that in this part of the country large tracts of land will be acquired with government money or donated funds.
Chair OKeefe thanked Ms. Staley for her efforts to protect this area.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Amberin Ash Ridge Buffer in McHenry County, as an Illinois Nature Preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Commissioner Allread stated that on behalf of the
Commission she would like to thank Amber and Ashley Staley for attending this
meeting as it is an important day for their family.
(Actually presented after Item 16)
Kim Roman presented a proposal for final 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 areas dune and swale topography support 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. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 174th Meeting (Resolution #1634) in February, 2002.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final 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 19 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Jim Anderson stated that the LCFPD has been approached by Holterra Wildlife Management regarding a research project to investigate a new contraceptive, Spay-Vac. The LCFPD manages deer populations at three of its Illinois nature preserves, including Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. This new contraceptive is a step forward in contraceptive research in that it can applied one time and be effective at reducing deer reproduction. Holterra Wildlife Management has worked with fallow deer in the past, and with the help of the LCFPD, would like to use this contraceptive with urban deer populations. The LCFPD felt that the best site for this project would be Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. Most of the area around this site is residential, and the deer population stays within the Nature Preserve. This site allows easy access, can be closed off, and the deer management has been well documented over the last 12 years. Mr. Anderson stated that they have talked with Marty Jones and Dan Brouillard of the IDNR, and a proposal has been submitted to IDNR for a scientific collecting permit. He stated that both Mr. Jones and Mr. Brouillard have raised some concerns, including that this project may eliminate culling as a management tool for deer population. The LCFPD is not proposing that. This is just a method to keep certain deer populations under control. The LCFPD anticipates that culling will have to continue at the Nature Preserve to manage the deer population to limit any impact to Ryerson Nature Preserve. Mr. Anderson stated that other concerns have been expressed about possible local municipalities deer management projects impacts to this project. The LCFPD deer management policy instructs the LCFPD staff how to conduct their deer management program. It includes looking at possible contraceptive methods to assist the deer management program. He stated that he is before the Commission today to determine if this type of research is appropriate for a nature preserve, and if it is worthwhile for the LCFPD to look into conducting this research at Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve. If the Commission is against this type of research on a nature preserve site, the LCFPD will tell Holterra Wildlife Management. If this cannot be done at this Nature Preserve, the LCFPD would probably not proceed with this research. Mr. Anderson stated his belief that this is a deer control method that is going to be coming in the future as a management tool.
Commissioner Allread asked for an explanation of how this product works.
Dr. Clayton Nielsen, Holterra Wildlife Management, stated that the Spay-Vac vaccine is a new form of an immuno-contraceptive that is based on a pork protein called porcine zona pellucida (PZP). In this case, the doe are given a hand injection of the vaccine while they are immobilized on the ground. The vaccine encircles the egg and keeps sperm from uniting with the egg, thereby preventing conception. There has been experimental research on Spay-Vac in island settings and inside of fence enclosures. The research has been done with fallow deer, grey seals, and white-tailed deer. These are all mammalian species, and they are all fairly similar in their morphology and reproductive capacity. Thus far, there has been no adverse affect on the deer. When deer are traditionally given the contraceptive agent, they have a fawn already that is developing. It does not affect the fawns in anyway, and the fawns are born that year. In subsequent years, the deer are rendered infertile. A research project conducted in British Columbia, Canada has been done to address the negative influence through hormonal work. They have taken blood samples, and they have been able to euthanize some of the deer to look at their fat reserves. This is then compared to free ranging deer that were not treated with the contraceptive agent. They found that there were no ill health affects on the deer when using Spay-Vac. This study is cited in the proposal. It is a permanent sterilization. Thus far, the vaccine has worked for up to ten years in seals. The research that has been done on deer thus far has found that it works for three years, and there is no reason to believe that it should not continue to last beyond three years to potentially the entire lifetime of the doe.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this drug for research purposes only. She asked if the impacts are known as far as human consumption of the deer.
Gray Anderson, Holterra Wildlife Management, stated that the deer will be well marked. The animal will have an ear tag and be tattooed. There are various ways of marking the animals, and they will have a Do Not Consume tag on them which is consistent with protocol.
Randy Heidorn stated that he has talked with the IDNR after they have preliminarily reviewed the proposal. The IDNR had several serious concerns, but because of some of the other priority activities (chronic wasting disease being the primary one), the reviewers have not had a lot of time to digest the proposal. The IDNR has not made a recommendation on the proposal at this point. Mr. Heidorn stated that since the primary deer experts are within the IDNR, he felt that it was important to get their input.
Mr. Heidorn stated that when reviewing a permit application, the scientific validity of the research is not evaluated. The research is evaluated on how it will impact a preserve. Mr. Heidorn stated that he is concerned about a study that is affecting a keystone species. The species has community-wide impacts throughout the nature preserve. When research is done inside a nature preserve, those types of community-wide affects are generally avoided except in situations where the value of the research is worth the potential risk to the nature preserve. This is the policy call that the Commission is being asked today. Mr. Heidorn stated that his recommendation to the Commission is that no decision be made until the IDNR has made its recommendations.
Commissioner Drucker asked if there are other sites throughout the country where similar field trials are being contemplated.
Mr. Anderson stated that Holterra Wildlife Management came to the LCFPD first. The LCFPD is interested in doing the study because it is part of their deer management policy to look at these contraceptives to see if they work. So far they have looked at the different methods, but they have all have required two time treatments for sterility. This is the first time that they have found something that seems to be workable with a single treatment. Mr. Anderson stated that Edward L. Ryerson Nature Preserve is the best site for a lot of reasons. He stated that the LCFPD understands the IDNR concerns, and they have submitted a scientific collecting permit to the IDNR with the understanding that the IDNR is going to review the scientific protocol. The IDNR understands that in conjunction with this project, the LCFPD will do culling to keep the population down. This site is still being impacted by the deer population even though they are trying to manage the deer on the site. Mr. Anderson stated that this is a good management tool.
Ms. Grosboll stated that if the research value outweighs the impacts to the nature preserve, this type of research would be allowed in a nature preserve. The Commission will have to wait to hear what the IDNR experts tell us as far as the validity of the project.
Mr. Anderson stated that if the INPC has questions in the future, he would like the Commission to contact the LCFPD.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Commissioners would be receiving a staff recommendation on the protocol or would this come back before the Commission.
Ms. Grosboll stated that after the IDNR has had a chance to review the proposal, they will probably distribute it to staff at the Natural History Survey, as well as other experts in the field. Once they have come to a consensus, this issue would be brought back to the Commission for approval.
Commissioner Nevling stated that controlling the deer population is a difficult, expensive process. This product holds considerable interest to those involved in management. At the same time, we will need to know from the deer experts what the impacts might be. He asked if an avian impact had been investigated. He also asked if a veterinarian would be involved in this research. He felt that the product has potential.
Dr. Nielsen stated that no avian research has been done. A veterinarian will be used to obtain the immobilizing drugs and is part of the protocol.
Dr. Doug Taron, Chicago Academy of Sciences, stated that this work is being funded by the BP Foundation through the Leader Award that was received by the Chicago Academy of Sciences in December, 2001. Historically there are records for the occurrence of the swamp metalmark butterfly at Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. These records come from the Bristol collection and are dated from the mid 1920s through 1939. The swamp metalmark is a characteristic fen species with a narrow range in the midwest. It is found in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri. The swamp metalmark butterfly is listed as an endangered species in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois, and it is a species of special concern in all other states in its range with the exception of Missouri. Within Wisconsin, this species has been the subject of a successful translocation effort in the mid 1990s. This effort was conducted by Susan Borkin of the Milwaukee Public Museum who is collaborating with the Chicago Academy of Sciences on this work. Dr. Taron stated that the proposal before the Commission is to translocate this species from a fen in Dundee, Wisconsin to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve in Cook County. The host plant for this species is swamp thistle. The proposal calls for obtaining gravid females from a fen in Dundee, Wisconsin, transfering them to the breeding facility at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and inducing the females to lay eggs on potted swamp thistle. At the end of the summer, the prediapausal larvae will be transferred to winter rosettes of swamp thistle at Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. Meanwhile, a molecular genetic study will analyze the microsatellite primers for this species to compare the genetic diversity at the donor and the recipient sites. This portion of the work is important because only a very small number of females will be used for the translocation. This will give them a small genetic base to start with. The molecular work will help ensure that they have received sufficient genetic diversity to maintain a viable population at Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. In addition to the permit that they are seeking from the INPC, three other permits are required because it is a listed species in both Wisconsin and Illinois. They will be required to obtain permits from the IDNR, and he will be making a presentation to the Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB) on May 17, 2002. Dr. Taron stated that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has indicated that this work will be included in Susan Borkins permit to work with the swamp metalmark in Wisconsin. They will be able to take specimens under her incidental take permit. They have already received a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will allow them to transport a plant eating insect across the state line. The purpose of this presentation is to request approval of the proposal to translocate the swamp metalmark to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Nevling asked if it has been determined if the source has the genetic variability.
Dr. Taron stated that the protocol for the study would be to do the source population in conjunction with taking material from it this summer. The recipient population will be analyzed next summer at Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. The source population is a natural population, and the presumption is that it has sufficient molecular diversity to be viable because it has been a viable population.
Commissioner Nevling stated that in work with some plants of Illinois with widely separated populations has shown little long-term success, and that is why he was asking about a variability study from the source before the time of the translocation.
Dr. Taron stated that because the molecular genetics study and the translocation are part of the same funding package, they are constrained by the timetable of the funding package. The timetable is one year.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Commission staff has had an opportunity to review this and if they have prepared any type of recommendation.
Randy Heidorn stated that he has reviewed this proposal, and he is pleased with the project. He stated that there were a couple of issues that came up in terms of approvals. Typically on any management plan like this, the INPC would request the custodian and the landowner to approve it. A letter has been received from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) who serves as the custodian of this site, and they are in support of this project. A letter has also been received from the landowner, the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The landowner supports this project, however, they indicated that they want to review this as a permit application. They would like Dr. Taron to present this proposal to them, resulting in an action from their Board. When all the pieces are in place, staff is ready to issue a permit.
Commissioner Sommerhof asked if this site is managed by fire, and if so, does fire have a negative effect on these butterflies. If there is a negative effect, would fire management stop at this site.
Dr. Taron stated that there are two strong concentrations of the host plant where they will be releasing the larvae. They are going to begin by modifying the burn plan to protect those two small areas with the concentrations of host plants. Outside of those areas, the host plant is at lower concentrations scattered across the entire site. They will continue their planned rotation of prescribed burning so there will always be portions of the host plant population that would be spared the effects of burning.
Commissioner Nevling asked if there were any viable populations of the swamp metalmark butterfly within Illinois at this time.
Dr. Taron stated that, to his knowledge, there were not. There are two small populations, one in Coles County and one in Vermilion County, that were reported in the early 1980s. Those are too small to function as donor populations. There is another reason not to use those populations as donor populations. They both appear to be in the part of the range of that species that has two broods per year. In northern Illinois, the collection dates are consistent with a single brooded population as is found in Wisconsin. Work that was previously done in England with restoration attempts of the great copper found that severe problems were encountered when they tried to introduce a double brooded population of that species into a site that had been formally occupied by a single brooded population.
Commissioner Nevling asked about John Bousemans and Dr. James Sternburgs work with the recent publication on butterflies of Illinois.
Dr. Taron stated that Mr. Bouseman and Dr. Sternburg both reference the populations in Coles and Vermilion counties. The northeastern population was referenced to Kane County due to the fact that the Bristol collection records simply say Elgin. Dr. Taron stated that those records almost certainly refer to Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve which is just over the border in Cook County.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Commission could receive periodic updates on this project.
Dr. Taron stated that he would be willing to give such updates.
It was moved by Nevling, seconded by Drucker, and carried, with Allread abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the reintroduction of swamp metalmark butterflies in Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve in Cook County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Randy Heidorn stated that the Waukegan Park District (WPD) is considering building a sports complex on the old building site of the Johns Manville property. The site excludes the original super fund site where the asbestos is being contained in a landfill. The WPD commissioned a study approximately a year ago to look at the risk posed by asbestos containing material from outside of their proposed study sites. The study looked at the Nature Preserve as a potential site that could pose a health risk to users of the proposed facility. The study was done by Dr. Berman from California, and it assumed that the conditions would remain the same as they are today if there was no further remediation. They also assumed that the industrial canal and those areas would remain in place. The study showed that there was not a health risk associated with the presence of the asbestos in the Nature Preserve that would affect users of the sports complex. Dr. Bermans method was very aggressive in that he took the samples and tumbled them. He produced fibers in the samples of asbestos containing material. Most of the asbestos containing material is transite, which is asbestos embedded in concrete. When the study was finished, Dr. Berman recommended that the canal not be drained because there are additional potential contaminants in the canal. This is consistent with the concern that the INPC has consistently expressed. Mr. Heidorn stated that the canal is important to the hydrology of the overall site. Mr. Heidorn stated that the study did find contamination on the proposed site of the sports complex. The IEPA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the Illinois Attorney Generals Office have told Johns Manville and the WPD that they will have to bring the cleanup of the site into one of their voluntary cleanup programs. This will allow for oversight on the cleanup.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the WPD gave a presentation on what the facility would look like. He felt that this was a fairly positive neighbor on the south end of the Nature Preserve. This facility will work to buffer the area better than an industrial site, and the WPD seems willing to work with the INPC to deal with drainage issues and light issues.
Chair OKeefe stated that the Commission has struggled with this property for so long. She stated that Waukegan is developing a vision for its lakefront, and there are some positive things about their vision that they are entertaining. She is hoping that the Commission can assist the WPD and the City of Waukegan in their efforts to reclaim the lakefront and develop this area.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the IDNR has developed a work plan for the cleanup of the asbestos in the Nature Preserve. The plan is currently under internal review within the Department. The plan calls for picking up the pieces of asbestos containing material that make it to the surface with the frost heave.
Randy Heidorn stated the Vegetation Management Guidelines are used to help landowners develop management plans for various problems that they have on their properties and give guidance to staff as to what the INPC will approve in management schedules. Updated Vegetation Management Guidelines for the control of autumn olive and Siberian elm, and new guidelines for kudzu and tree-of-heaven are being presented for approval.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the habitat for autumn olive is disturbed areas, successional fields, pastures, and roadsides. Autumn olive invades prairies, and it has become a real problem in the southern half of the State. Mr. Heidorn stated that autumn olive was a popular wildlife planting in the past. Control methods in high quality areas include hand pulling if you have a few individual plants. For larger populations, cutting the main stem and applying Roundup herbicide or a mixture of Garlon 4 and a plant-oil base may be used. The use of diesel is not allowed in any of the areas. Control methods in buffer and severely disturbed sites would be to use the same approaches as high quality areas with the addition of thin-line basal bark treatment with mineral oil or plant-based oil and Garlon 4. Another possibility in disturbed areas is a foliar application of dicamba and 2,4-D based herbicides. Failed or ineffective practices include cutting without using herbicides. Mowing or grazing can prevent development of fruiting shrubs, however this is not a suitable practice for natural areas. Prescribed burning has not proven effective in controlling established autumn olive.
Mr. Heidorn stated that Siberian elm is a plant that likes poor soils, high salt concentrations, and low moisture. It is found in dry regions, along roadsides, in pastures, in grasslands, and in moist soils along streams. It invades dry and mesic prairies, including sand prairies. Control methods in high quality areas include pulling seedlings, girdling trees, and cutting the stem with treatment of glyphosate or Garlon 4. Control in buffer and severely disturbed sites is the same with the addition of basal bark treatment. In all cases, follow-up with fire is important. There are no biological controls known for Siberian elm.
Mr. Heidorn stated that kudzu is not found in the nature preserves of Illinois, however, a proactive approach was to include this in the Vegetation Management Guidelines and encourage its eradication before it invades natural areas. Kudzu can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions and soil types, and it is a fast growing plant, growing up to a foot a day. The IDNR has been a leader in trying to keep kudzu out of the State. There are only a small number of populations, and there has been a lot of success in eradicating them. The species is deeply rooted, and total eradication is needed to prevent regrowth. The preferable control method is a chemical control. Foliar treatment with Transline herbicide in late summer or early fall is effective. Use of Garlon with a cut and treat approach is also a method for the large vines. Basal bark and cut stem treatments are also possibilities. Control of patches near water becomes more difficult. Veteran, which is a 2,4-D and dicamba based herbicide, is recommended for use adjacent to water. When there is potential for overspray into water, Rodeo can be used. Rodeo is not as effective in the control of kudzu. Multiple treatments may be necessary to eradicate a well established kudzu plant. Mechanical controls do not generally work well. Fire only top-kills the plant, but it may be used to weaken the plant before the use of another type of treatment. Cutting and removal is difficult as it is impossible to get all the roots which can be several feet into the ground. Grazing has been used in some places in the east.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the tree-of-heaven can grow just about anywhere. This species is rare in healthy natural communities, but it is well adapted to highly disturbed areas. Once it is established, it forms dense stands and prevents other species from coming in. It invades forests, hill prairies, and rocky bluffs and glades. Control methods in high quality natural communities include cutting and treating with Roundup in the late summer, cutting and treating with Garlon 3A in water in the dormant season or in the fall, or the basal bark treatment with Garlon 4 in the dormant season. Follow-up with pulling and treatments to maintain control is recommended. In disturbed areas, the same methods apply. In addition, it is possible to use a seedling foliar treatment with Roundup. Failed methods include mowing, cutting without herbicide treatment, glyphosate treatment, basal bark treatment with Garlon 4 mixed with basal oil. Mr. Heidorn stated that the use of diesel fuel is not allowed in a nature preserve.
Mr. Heidorn stated that Bob Edgin revised Bob Szafonis original autumn olive information. Bob Edgin also revised Jill Kennays and George Fells original Siberian elm. Jody Shimp wrote the kudzu management guidelines, and Debbie Newman wrote the tree-of-heaven management guidelines. Mary Kay Solecki edited them all. The management guidelines were sent out for review to the INPC Consultants and Advisors and to selected natural area land managers, and their suggested changes incorporated.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the revised vegetation management guidelines for autumn olive and Siberian elm and new guidelines for kudzu and tree-of-heaven as presented under Item 23 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that Chair OKeefe appointed a committee to finalize the Strategic Plan. The committee members were Chair OKeefe, Commissioner Allread, Commissioner Nevling, Randy Heidorn, Don McFall, and herself. The group met in late February, 2002, to make the draft plan more organized and easier to read. Once those changes were made, it was sent to the Commissioners for comments. The draft that is included in the Agenda packet reflects some of the comments received. There were other comments that the committee felt needed further discussion at this meeting. One comment asked if the goals as currently numbered are in priority order. If it is decided today that the goals are in priority order, a footnote will be added to indicate that these are in priority order. Ms. Grosboll stated that the Strategic Plan is before the Commission for final approval.
Ms. Grosboll stated that Goal 1 is to preserve and protect more of Illinois high-quality natural areas in perpetuity. Goal 2 is to maintain and improve the condition of resources protected within the Nature Preserve System. Goal 3 is to promote the evaluation of existing INAI sites and the addition of new, qualified natural areas to assure comprehensive representation of Illinois natural communities. Goal 4 is to maintain a leadership role in preserving biodiversity in Illinois. Goal 5 is to provide compatible research opportunities within nature preserves and land and water reserves. Goal 6 is to increase public awareness, support and understanding of the INPC and its purpose. Goal 7 is to defend natural areas, nature preserves and land and water reserves. Goal 8 is to increase agency efficiency and effectiveness.
Commissioner Allread asked if there was a reason to have the goals in a definite priority because they all seem very important. She felt that these are all goals that must be addressed, and they can be incorporated as the resources became available.
Chair OKeefe stated that it is important for the reader of the document to know whether these are in order of importance or not. She would like to see a note defining the decision made by the Commission on whether or not they are in priority order. If the goals are listed in order of priority, the staff would feel compelled to follow through with that in terms of work plans and efforts.
Commissioner Drucker stated that he agrees that all of the goals are important, however, there are limited resources. He suggested that the goals should be listed in some sense of priority to be used as a general guideline.
Commissioner Allread stated that the committee did try to put the goals in a general priority order.
Commissioner Nevling stated that goals 1-4 are in a good priority order, but with goals 5-8, it could be argued as to which one is more important than the other. One could argue that Goal 7 could be a higher priority, however, he stated that he was not suggesting the changing of the order.
Chair OKeefe stated that the consensus of the Commission is that the order of the goals suggests some priority and it should be left as submitted.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the Strategic Plan for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 2002-2007, as presented under Item 24 of the Agenda for the 175th Meeting.
Ken Fiske stated that he would like to thank the Commission staff on behalf of the Illinois Association of Conservation Districts for putting on an exotic plants workshop. It was a fine workshop, and it was well attended.
Mr. Fiske stated that he would like to see a presentation about the Lockport Prairie program and what is going on with that particular project relative to the hydrology and the possible loss of that hydrology which would result in the loss of what Lockport Prairie was dedicated for. He stated that a presentation was made approximately ten days ago for the protection of two federally endangered species, and at that meeting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated that there needs to be more work done before they can determine what action should be taken. He wanted to let the Commission know that the hydrology of sites is more and more important for the areas surrounding nature preserves.
Mr. Fiske stated that there was a bill in the last session of the legislature to eliminate several boards including the Endangered Species Protection Board and the Board of Natural Resources and Conservation. These two Boards were removed from the Bill, but the Conservation Education Advisory Board was not. He stated that the Illinois Association of Conservation Districts, working in conjunction with the State Board of Education and the IDNR, submitted a bill through the Senate and House of Representatives which reconstituted the Conservation Education Advisory Board. The bill cleared the House and the Senate, but on April 20, 2002, the Governor, by Administrative Order, eliminated that Board. There is no more supervision or ideas from the Conservation Education Advisory Board.
Jerry Paulson stated that the George Fell biography project is progressing. The advisory committee has discussed the recommendations that have been made, and it has been decided that the best thing to do would be to do a short monograph of his life and his legacy in hopes that it will be part of the larger 40th Anniversary Celebration for the INPC. Mr. Paulson stated that the NLI is seeking funds to archive George Fells papers at the University of Illinois Library.
Ed Martin stated that he has attended several of the Commissions meeting, and he is very happy to see the work that the Commission is doing. He stated that he lives in DuPage County, and he felt that the priority of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District has gone from garbage dumps to golf courses. He felt that was the wrong focus, and he would like to see the Commission be more active with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. He stated that there will be a separate Forest Preserve Commission next year, and he would like the INPC to be involved with this Commission.
Steven Byers stated that he has been working with Dan Gooch, Executive Director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and other Board Members on proposals for dedication of West Chicago Prairie. He stated that with the creation of the separate board, it is hoped that the Forest Preserve District will be able to move ahead with nature preserve dedications.
Rita Martin thanked the Commission for keeping Illinois Beach State Park open to the public. She and her family recently visited the site.
There was no other business.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.