Brookfield Zoo Discovery Center
3300 Golf Road
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 9:00 a.m.
180 -1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 9:10 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair Allread, the meeting began.
Carolyn Grosboll gave the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Kristi DeLaurentiis, Harry Drucker, Dr. Ronald Flemal, Jill Riddell, Bruce Ross-Shannon, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.
Members absent: Barbara Carr.
Chair Allread thanked Valerie Spale, Executive Director, and Phil Cihlar, Board President, of Save the Prairie Society, for leading a tour through Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve on Monday, September 15, 2003. She encouraged everyone to visit this site.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that in addition to the tour of Wolf
Road Prairie Nature Preserve on Monday, September 15, 2003, the Commission
also had a rare opportunity to attend a reception and tour hosted by Chair
Allread, at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Peter A. Beachy House in Oak Park.
The home is owned by Drs. Gabriela and Uwe Freese. Ms. Grosboll thanked Chair
Allread for organizing this event.
Others present: Steven Byers, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Bob Edgin, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Tammie McKay, Angella Moorehouse, John Nelson, Kelly Neal, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); former INPC Director Brian Anderson, Todd Bittner, Tim Kelley, Glen Kruse, Anne Mankowski, Brian Reilly, Patti Reilly, Paul Shelton, Eric Smith, Todd Strole, Bob Szafoni, Diane Tecic, and John Wilker, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), IDNR; Laura Perna, Chicago Liaison, IDNR; Lynn Boerman and Nancy Williamson, C2000, IDNR; Michael Miller, Illinois State Geological Society, IDNR; Carl Becker and Fran Harty, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); George Rabb, Chicago Zoological Society; Phil Cihlar and INPC Consultant and former INPC Chair Valerie Spale, Save the Prairie Society; David Miller and INPC Consultant Marilyn Campbell, Illinois Audubon Society (IAS); Ken Fiske, INPC Consultant and former INPC Chair; David Monk, Educational Resources in Environmental Sciences (ERES); Sherry Meyer, Calumet Heritage Partnership; Bob Blackwell, Pekin Park District, representing Dirksen-McNaughton Land and Water Reserve; Marcy DeMauro, Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC), representing Lake Renwick East Land and Water Reserve, Rock Run Land and Water Reserve, and Theodore Marsh Land and Water Reserve; Linda Masters and Joe Roth, CorLands, representing Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve; John Elliott, Cathy Geraughty, Dave Kircher, Mike Konrath, Chris Merenowicz, and Richard Newhand, Forest Preserve of Cook County (FPDCC), representing Orland Grassland Land and Water Reserve and Bartel Grassland Land and Water Reserve; Stu Barg and Betty-Ann Moore, Libertyville Township, representing Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve; Sue Harney, Dundee Township, representing Littlejohn addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve; Kevin Hunt and Mitch King, representing King Forest Nature Preserve; Roger Beadles, representing Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve; Cassandr Blackwell, Laurel Bowen, Ed and Rita Martin, Lucille Nelson, Margie Prechota, Al Wilson, and Betty Youngblood.
Chair Allread extended a special welcome and thank you to the FPDCC representatives. She stated that there are a number of properties on the Agenda which are owned by the FPDCC.
Chair Allread also thanked Dr. George Rabb and the Brookfield Zoo for hosting the meeting. She stated that she describes herself as a student of George Rabb’s. She stated that Dr. Rabb has imprinted many lives and has taught them how to better communicate, educate, and advocate on behalf of our natural world. Dr. Rabb has been the Director of the Brookfield Zoo for 27 years, as well as one of the founders of Chicago Wilderness, breathing life into this phenomenal organization. Dr. Rabb has also had an impact internationally serving on the World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission. She stated that the Brookfield Zoo, under Dr. Rabb’s leadership, has become one of the recognized international institutions showing how zoos and aquariums can become conservation centers and influence the next generation. On behalf of the Commission, Chair Allread presented a certificate of recognition to Dr. Rabb which stated:
This certificate of appreciation is presented to Dr. George B. Rabb in recognition of his outstanding leadership during his 27 years as Director of Brookfield Zoo and his unparalleled commitment to conservation, public education and research at the local, state, national and international levels.
Dr. Rabb thanked the Commission for this recognition. he stated
that there is much more to be done to communicate with the world to stimulate
awareness of our natural surroundings. He stated that he appreciates what
the INPC has done over the years, and it is very gratifying to have Jill Allread
as Chair of the INPC. Dr. Rabb encouraged the Commission to do more to protect
the remaining natural areas of Illinois.
180 -2) Adoption of Agenda
Carolyn Grosboll stated that there were two items to add under Other Business. The first item will be an update on chronic wasting disease (CWD) efforts which will include a request for deer management at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve in Boone County and the Babcock addition to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County. She stated that Dr. Paul Shelton, IDNR, will be making the presentation.
Ms. Grosboll stated that the second item, in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, will be to vote on whether or not to keep the two sets of previously closed meeting minutes closed.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the Agenda be adopted as amended.
180 -3) Approval of the Minutes of the 180th Meeting, September 16, 2003
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried
that the Minutes of the 180th Meeting, be approved.
Chair allread reported that at the 179th Meeting of the INPC, held at the Burpee Museum in Rockford on May 6, 2003, legal protection for 11 tracts of land totaling 3,353 acres was approved by the Commission. Three of the 11 areas are owned by private individuals or not-for-profit conservation organizations who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. The dollar value of the three tracts of private land is $2,900,000, based on conservative estimates of the fair market value of the land. This private land was permanently preserved without acquisition of the land by the State. Private lands projected without State acquisition at the 179th Meeting of the INPC include Grassy Slough in Johnson County, 2,672 acres; Stony Hills in Hancock County, 54.4 acres; and Fel-Pro Triple R Fen in McHenry County, 96.6 acres. A total of 2,823 acres of private land was protected. Protection of this land came about because the INPC has eight staff in the field working with private landowners. There are now 318 dedicated nature preserves in 79 counties totaling 42,939 acres and 90 land and water reserves in 46 counties totaling 27,391 acres.
180 -4) Next Meeting Schedule
Meeting Date Location
181 3 February, 10:00 a.m. - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield
182 4 May, 10:00 a.m. - Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
183 3 August, 9:00 a.m. - University of Illinois, Urbana
184 26 October, 10:00 a.m. - Pere Marquette State Park Lodge, Grafton
Commissioner Schwegman proposed that the 184th Meeting of the INPC be held in deep Southern Illinois near the Cache River State Natural Area.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Schwegman, and carried
that the following 2004 meeting schedule be approved:
Meeting Date Location
181 3 February, 10:00 a.m. - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield
182 4 May, 10:00 a.m. - Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
183 3 August, 9:00 a.m. - University of Illinois, Urbana
184 26 October, 10:00 a.m. - Giant City Lodge, Makanda
180-5) Election of Officers - INPC Nominating Committee Report
Commissioner Sommerhof stated that the Nominating Committee was comprised of Commissioner Carr, Commissioner Ross-Shannon, and himself. he stated that the Committee wishes to place the following nominations for officers before the Commission for consideration: for Chair, Commissioner Jill Allread; for Vice-Chair, Commissioner Harry Drucker; and for Secretary, Commissioner John Schwegman. All have agreed to serve if elected.
Chair Allread asked for any nominations from the floor, and none were offered.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following Commissioners be elected as Officers of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Jill Allread as Chair, Harry Drucker as Vice-Chair, and John Schwegman as Secretary.
180-6) Election of Advisors and Consultants
Commissioner Sommerhof stated that a list of nominated advisors and consultants is on the Agenda under Item 6. The nominated advisors include: Dr. William Shilts, Chief of the Illinois State Geological Survey; Dr. George Vander Velde, Director of the Waste Management Research Center; and Dr. Derek Winstanley, Chief of the Illinois State Water Survey. There are three other advisors provided for in statute. They are the Director of the IDNR, currently Joel Brunsvold; the Chief of the Natural History Survey, currently Dr. David Thomas; and the Director of the Illinois State Museum, currently Dr. Bruce McMillan. There are a total of ten nominated consultants. All of the nominated consultants served last year and have agreed to serve another term.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following be elected as advisors to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; Dr. William Shilts, Dr. George Vander Velde, and Dr. Derek Winstanley, and the following be elected as consultants to the Illinois Naturae Preserves Commission; Gerald Adelmann, Dr. Robert Betz, Dr. Bruce Boyd, Marilyn Campbell, John Comerio, Kenneth Fiske, Jerry Paulson, Dr. Kenneth Robertson, Valerie Spale, and John White.
180 -7) INPC Staff Report
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Governor signed the Commission’s budget as introduced as a lump sum line item within the IDNR’s budget. The General Assembly appropriated the full amount requested, $1,216,400. This was a $35,000 increase over last year’s budget. However, since there will be no merit compensation increases for nonunion employees this year, this money was taken from the Commission’s budget. Also, the 4% that merit compensation employees now have to pick up for their retirement was also taken from the INPC’s budget. Central Management Services (CMS) set aside money for procurement purposes since they are now the central agency for procurement for State government. Ms. Grosboll also stated that, pursuant to Governor’s order, 2% was put into reserve. This left the Commission with a deficit of approximately $100,000. She stated that she was pleased to report that the Office of Resource Conservation has agreed to help the Commission through this fiscal year. They will be moving some of the personal services onto other division budgets that are also paid out of the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF).
Ms. Grosboll stated that Debbie Reider recently discovered an error in the numbering of the Commission resolutions. The error began with the 176th Meeting. Apparently the resolution numbers skipped from resolution 1669 to 1700. She stated that Ms. Reider has gone back and corrected the Meeting Minutes and Agendas for the 176th - 179th meetings. Ms Grosboll stated that Ms. Reider has contacted the State Archives and State Library and will be updating those records that are housed within those agencies. If any of the Commissioners would like copies of the corrected minutes and Agendas, please contact Ms. Reider or myself and those will be provided to you.
Ms. Grosboll updated the Commission on Commission appointments. She stated that there are currently three terms that expired June 30, 2003. They are the terms for Harry Drucker, Kristi DeLaurentiis, and John Sommerhof, however, they continue to serve until they are replaced. Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Bruce McMillan, pursuant to statute, have provided recommendations to the Governor for reappointments. The recommendations are pending at this point. She stated that she will advise the Commission as soon as she is notified of the status.
Ms. Grosboll stated that it is with sadness that she reports the passing of Waid Vanderpoel who died unexpectedly on August 25, 2003. Mr. Vanderpoel was a long-time board member of Citizens for Conservation, a nonprofit conservation group based in Barrington, Illinois, and a tireless supporter of natural areas and open space in the Barrington region. He was also a supporter of the INPC. He was an advocate for the dedication of Baker’s Lake Nature Preserve, Barrington Bog Nature Preserve, Farm Trails North Nature Preserve, and Wagner Fen Nature Preserve. Most recently, he had been supporting the efforts to dedicate Grigsby Prairie and Flint Creek Savanna. Mr. Vanderpoel will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know him.
Ms. Grosboll reported on one personnel issue. She stated that Tammie McKay, the Commission and Endangered Species Protection Board’s Executive Assistant, recently advised her that she was going to be leaving to spend more time with her family. Ms. McKay has a three-year old daughter and a 13-year old son. Her last day with the Commission and Board will be September 30, 2003. Ms. Grosboll stated that there are not enough words to express everything that Ms. McKay has done for the Commission. She stated that Ms. McKay has been a true asset to the Commission, and she will be truly missed.
John Nelson updated the Commission on four threat issues. He stated that the topics he will be discussing involve: Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve in Cook County involving the deep underground mining operation along with the Fen Protection Plan; Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve in Lake County and the intrusions from neighboring landowners; Long Run Seep Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) site in Will County and the fill activity related to a horse farm operation; and a new threat involving Julia M. & Royce L. Parker Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County.
Mr. Nelson stated that much has happened since the 179th Meeting
of the INPC regarding Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve and the Fen Protection
Plan. The Fen Protection Plan has been signed, and a copy was provided in
the Agenda packet. The Bluff City Materials Mining site has been annexed to
the Village of Bartlett, and the facility’s construction for that mining
operation is underway. The groundwater model is a main feature of the Fen
Protection Plan. A groundwater model was completed by Bluff City Materials,
but it was not done to the satisfaction of the Illinois Survey scientists.
He stated that the model is being updated with new data from additional well
logs and new perimeters. The model is expected to be completed in the near
future. The mine portal will be 600 feet below surface, and it will be grouted
to prevent groundwater from leaking into the mine. There will be a maximum
discharge of groundwater into that portal of 50 gallons per minute. It is
felt that this is a relatively small amount of water, especially when the
amount of groundwater that is obtained from municipalities is considered.
The Fen Protection Plan also calls for long-term monitoring of groundwater
and surface water for the life of the mine. Bluff City Materials has committed
to help the Commission do restoration within the Nature Preserve. Mr. Nelson
showed a slide which shows former small gravel pits which will be filled with
native sand and gravel to restore fen hydrology. He stated that another element
of the Fen Protection Plan involves piping storm water discharge which will
be discussed further in this meeting when a request for approval of this activity
is sought from the Commission. There is also a monetary commitment by Bluff
City Materials in the amount of $70,000 to help acquire the Metropolitan Water
Reclamation District property just to the east of the Nature Preserve. It
is felt that this is a critical buffer area to insure the long-term protection
of Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. The Fen Protection Plan also covers surface
land use, design, and monitoring on the Bluff City Materials parcel. Mr. Nelson
showed a slide of the mining site with the Bartlett Balefill site in the background.
There is a large storm water detention basin being created, and all the water
from this 186-acre parcel will be collected by the storm water detention basin.
The water will ultimately be discharged into the Nature Preserve as it historically
has been for the last several decades. The Fen Protection Plan was developed
so if anything unexpected happens as a result of this mining, the Commission
will be able to detect it. The Fen Protection Plan forces Bluff City Materials
to come back to the table and deal with those issues as they arise. It is
felt that the Fen Protection Plan covers all of the Commission’s concerns,
and it ensures that Bluff City Materials will be actively engaged with the
Commission in the event anything surprising happens in the future.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Fen Protection Plan is a culmination of over a year’s worth of negotiation with Bluff City Materials, and it consumed a great deal of her time and the time of John Nelson, Randy Heidorn, Steve Byers, Jim Miner, and Randy Locke. She wanted to express her appreciation to these people for their efforts on this protect.
Mr. Nelson stated that this project underscores the importance of the Survey scientists to help the Commission deal with these complex issues of groundwater and geology. He stated that it was very good to have Randy Locke and Jim Miner helping with these issues.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Commission has some means of legal recourse to stop the process if the monitoring shows adverse affects or does it have to go back through the court system.
Mr. Nelson stated that the Fen Protection Plan references mitigation in the event that the Commission can show a direct link between the mining activity and damage that is occurring within the Nature Preserve. There is also recourse to seek fines for damages in court. If anything does happen, it should be detected. With a network of wells in this area, a cause and effect relationship will be shown.
Ms. Grosboll stated that the Fen Protection Plan is also incorporated as part of the annexation agreement with the Village of Bartlett, so the Commission has the Village there to help in the efforts to enforce the Fen Protection Plan.
Mr. Nelson stated that the next threat issue is related to Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve in Lake County. There were intrusions onto State property by neighboring landowners. A settlement has been reached with the landowners that mowed these properties as an extension of their backyards. The settlement includes securing the property line and compensation for prairie restoration efforts. The combined area of impact of these extension of yards was five acres of buffer of IDNR property. The area that was impacted was Eurasian meadow, which is not a high-quality natural community. Boulders, weighing approximately 600 pounds each, were placed approximately 75 feet apart along the property lines, and it was done at the expense of each landowner. Restrictive covenants on this property precludes the IDNR from ever erecting a permanent structure, like a fence, on the property. It was felt that the boulders would be a good alternative that would work for the homeowners and the IDNR. Signs have also been posed to remind homeowners of the protected status of Redwing Slough and the land that they live next to. There is an 80-acre parcel, owned by the IDNR, near Redwing Slough which was restored to native prairie two years ago. This was done using a seed mix of approximately 40 species. Compensation has been obtained from each of the landowners in a total amount of $3,325, which was deposited in a special account with the Wildlife Preservation Fund. This money will be used to purchase a similar seed mix to restore the buffer areas behind the homes to this type of native prairie. The prairie restoration is underway. He stated he and District Heritage Biologist Brad Semel put in firebreaks in anticipation of a fall burn in this area of Redwing Slough. A tractor was used to make some of the firebreaks, and the tractor was provided by one of the homeowners. Next spring herbicide will be applied to the Hungarian brome that is growing in this area now, and it will be followed up with seeding of the area with a no-till seeder. A stewardship arrangement has been entered into with the homeowners. There will be a couple of work days where some of the homeowners will help remove brush and trees from the buffer area.
Mr. Nelson updated the Commission on an intrusion that was discovered at Long Run Seep INAI site in Will County. The intrusion occurred from an adjacent horse farm operation that was being expanded by Mrs. Ingrid Lang. The fill was part of the development of the horse farm operation. A storm water drain was placed at the base of the fill, and this discharges storm water from her property directly into the head of a ravine that goes into the INAI site. A second intrusion involved using IDNR property as horse pasture. The horse pasture involved 1.2 acres of land, and the fill area involved 2.2 acres. On a positive note, Mrs. Lang’s activity did not directly involve wetland impacts, and it did not directly impact the INAI site. The pasture area intrusion was easily dealt with. Mrs. Lang put up an electric fence to quickly address the Commission’s concerns. She plans to put up a wooden fence in the future. The fill intrusion has been a more complex issue. There is no storm water management plan for the storm water than runs off from the horse arenas, stables, and the parking areas. Mrs. Lang’s property is part of a special use designation under agricultural zoning in Will County, so the property is not subject to any strict ordinances. All the water from this development ultimately drains into the INAI site. There is point discharge from this area where once we had sheet flow into the natural area, and there is a higher rate of discharge. There are no water quality considerations for this development.
Mr. Nelson stated that the Commission offered Mrs. Lang two options. One was to remove the fill completely and to restore the area to its original pre-disturbance condition. It was felt that this option was shortsighted because we would not be able to deal with the storm water management issue if she was to take that option. The second option would address the water quality concerns and would force Mrs. Lang to develop a storm water management plan while allowing the fill material to stay. Option two was called "site remediation option." Under this option, Mrs. Lang would have to hire an environmental consultant of the Commission’s choice; document existing conditions via topographic survey; design a storm water management system with design grading, soil erosion, and sediment control plans; design a re-vegetation plan; undergo an IDNR review; and finally implement the plan. Mrs. Lang chose option two, and she hired Randy Stowe of Biotechnical Erosion Control to do the work. An estimate cost for the planning was $21,570. At the very least, this project will cost Mrs. Lang approximately $22,000 to implement. Some of the work has been completed by Randy Stowe, and he will develop a storm water management plan which will include a storm water basin in two locations with vegetative swales that will convey the storm water to restore the discharge into the INAI site to a sheet flow. Mr. Stowe will investigate the nature of the fill material which is mostly native soils from the surrounding areas. Also, there are pieces of concrete and clay with a small amount of asphalt in the fill material. There was nothing on site that would indicate any materials that would be of concern. Mr. Stowe will do some soil boring that will address the content of the fill material in more detail.
Commissioner Sommerhof asked if there was a deadline for completing
Mr. Nelson stated that it is hoped to have this entire project completed by the first of the year. He stated that Mrs. Lang is being very cooperative, and she was unaware that she was doing this on State land. She was working with her contractor who thought he knew where the property line was. When she was advised what had happened, she was alarmed, and she is doing everything that she can to address the Commission’s concerns. The storm water management plan is a key part of this project to protect the INAI site.
Mr. Nelson reported on a new threat involving Julia M. & roger L. Parker Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County. This Nature Preserve is also a special Class III groundwater resource designated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Pollution Control Board. It is the only Class III groundwater designated area in Illinois. This groundwater recharge area is critical to sustaining Julia M. & Royce L. Parker Fen Nature Preserve and the ecological communities that reside there. There is a proposed residential development by Stephen Greenberg of Custom Canyon Homes near the Nature Preserve. Mr. Greenberg is petitioning McHenry County to rezone this property from A1 to E3 zoning. This would allow him to put at least ten very large homes that would all rely on septic systems on this site. The main concern with septic systems are chlorides from water softeners. This development would be in close proximity to the Nature Preserve and within the special Class III groundwater area. The INPC staff and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have provided written testimony to the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals regarding the sensitive nature of the Nature Preserve, its protection status, and the Class III groundwater designation. On June 24, 2003, the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 7-0 to deny the petition for rezoning. This is an important milestone regarding Class III groundwater. This issue now goes before the full McHenry County Board for a vote, but they will need a super majority to override the decision to deny the rezoning.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked when will the McHenry County Board meet to discuss this issue.
Mr. Nelson stated that the McHenry County Board meets monthly, and he has been watching their agenda since June, 2003. Mr. Greenberg has not yet requested that this issue be brought before the Board. Mr. Nelson stated that he did not know if there was a time limit on this issue.
Don McFall submitted the following written report to the Commission: A new Natural Heritage Landmark was enrolled since the 179th Meeting of the INPC. Steven Byers signed up Boloria Meadow Natural Heritage Landmark, a a36-acre site in McHenry County owned by the Boone Creek Watershed Alliance in Woodstock. The new landmark protects wetlands associated with the Boone Creek Fen natural area. There are now 127 Natural Heritage Landmarks totaling more than 5, 800 acres.
In the area of public education and outreach, Mary Kay Solecki coordinated production of a new INPC display created by Michael Jeffords and Loren Kirkwood of the Illinois Natural History Survey with funding from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Found and INPC. This project created two educational displays on the INPC to be used as traveling exhibits at nature centers, museums and other public forums. Debbie Newman wrote the first draft of a "neighbors brochure" that the INPC will produce and hand out to people living next to nature preserves and land and water reserves to educate them about the significance of the neighboring land. Tom Lerczak gave newspaper interviews resulting in articles about McCoy Woods Nature Preserve in the Peoria Journal Star and Elkhart Hill Nature Preserve in the Lincoln Courier. Mark Kay wrote an article on the Grand Prairie Friends, a non-profit prairie conservation and education group, for the Illinois Steward magazine. Bob Edgin made a presentation at Beall Woods Nature Preserve illustrating how a nature preserve can protect the archaeological, geological and cultural aspects of a site. Debbie Newman conducted a successful 40th anniversary event on May 31, 1003. Eighteen landowners attended a Landowner Appreciation Reception and 70 people attended afternoon field trips to nature preserves and land and water reserves in the bluffs of Monroe County. Judy Faulkner Dempsey has been making preparations for the 40th anniversary celebration of the INPC to be held September 20, 2003, at the Barkhausen Visitors Center at Cache River State Natural Area. Mary Kay Solecki has also been making preparations for the Commission’s 40th anniversary celebration to be held September 20, 2003, in conjunction with the Central Illinois Prairie Conference at Parkland College.
In the area of grants and partnerships, Kim Roman coordinated a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for management of the prairie white fringed orchid, an endangered species, and another USFWS grant to purchase a conservation easement in the form of a nature preserve dedication from an owner of a white fringed orchid site in Grundy County. Angella Moorehouse worked on C2000 projects at Camp Benson and Hanover Bluff in northwestern Illinois. Debbie Newman worked on a C2000 grant to manage and restore hill prairies in southwestern Illinois nature preserves. Judy Dempsey advanced the Commission’s partnership with the US Forest Service by leading the project to prepare an environmental analysis necessary to apply land management practices to 28 INAI sites on the Shawnee National Forest.
In the area of updating the INAI, natural area surveillance and science information, Angella Moorehouse conducted plant transects for new nominations and updates of natural areas in northwestern Illinois and conducted surveys and census of endangered and threatened plant species locations in west central Illinois. Bob Edgin published two manuscripts: a paper on Eversgerd Post Oak Flatwoods in the Northeastern Naturalist and a paper on Vascular Flora of Big Creek Memorial Woods Nature Preserve in the Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science.
In the area of staff development and training, staff received training on the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) units to locate endangered and threatened species in the field and map out management unit boundaries and burn units.
Randy Heidorn submitted the following written report to the
Commission: Mr. Heidorn reported that a total of 470 special use permits were
processed for 177 persons at 188 sites as of September 3, 2003. Special use
permits are required for the research projects and groups larger than 24 persons.
Special use permits are reviewed and approved by the IDNR and INPC staff and
the landowners of the nature preserves.
Mr. Heidorn reported on nature preserve deer management:
1. A deer management plan has been submitted an approved for John M. Olin Nature Preserve and Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve in Madison County. The Nature Institute presented evidence that deer were causing significant damage to the resources of the nature preserves. The Plan includes continued monitoring and an archery hunting program allowing only antlerless deer removal during the normal archery deer season. Volunteer hunters have been selected by The Nature Institute to participate in the hunt.
2. Deer management programs will continue to be implemented at Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve, Beall Woods Nature Preserve, George B. Fell Nature Preserve, Starved Rock Nature Preserve, Matthiessen Dells Nature Preserve and Franklin Creek Nature Preserve.
3. Preliminary discussions have begun with Boone County Conservation District about implementing deer management for vegetation impacts at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve. Before and during the chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling program at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve it was recognized that deer have created a browse line at the site suggesting the need to implement a herd reduction program. This would also be consistent with the CWD strategy that is being implemented in the region. This will be discussed under Other Business later on the Agenda.
4. The IDNR is considering expanding the deer management plan at Starved Rock State Park to include Margery C. Carlson Nature Preserve. This site has been showing evidence of deer damage and may be acting as a refuge for deer during the IDNR deer management activities within Starved Rock State Park. A proposal is currently circulating within the IDNR.
Mr. Heidorn reported that the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) Steering Committee met on September 10, 2003. He stated that in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and utilizing INPC operational funds, VSN groups who requested it, were provided hand tools and safety equipment to facilitate their efforts. Herbicide will also be provided to these groups with funds available through the Stewardship portion of the NAAF once those funds are released by the Bureau of the Budget.
Mr. Heidorn updated the Commission on the 2004 Natural Areas
Conference to be held in Chicago. He stated that a written agreement has been
signed by the IDNR, the INPC, and the Natural Areas Association laying out
the responsibilities of each of these hosting agencies. He stated that he
will be Chairing the Conference; John Wilker, IDNR District Natural Heritage
Biologist, will serve as Program Chair, and Brian Reilly, IDNR, will serve
as Field Trip Chair. Jill Kennay, Natural Land Institute, has agreed to serve
as the Events Chair in charge of the banquets and other events outside of
the normal program. Also, a contract between the University of Illinois (U
of I), Conferences and
Institutes, and the Natural Areas Association has been signed to hire the U of I as the Conference Organizer. A preliminary Conference budget has been developed. A targeted registration cost of $200 has been set with a break even point of 500 participants. it is hoped to attract 1,000 participants to the October, 2004 Conference. He stated that the Wildlife Preservation Fund has authorized $10,000 over two years to support the Natural Areas Conference. Additional support was sought from the Illinois Conservation Foundation but was denied.
Mr. Heidorn stated that contracts are being developed and implemented for exotic species projects funded with the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Grant (CARA Lite) at five State sites. Projects are being implemented at Green River Conservation Area, Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve, Iroquois County Conservation Area, Pere Marquette State Park, and Pyramid State Park.
In May, the Illinois Environmental Projection Agency (IEPA) reviewed the INPC’s submission for Class III Special Resource Groundwater designation for Fogelpole Cave Nature Preserve. The IEPA determined the documents were technically correct and sent the request to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) for publication which occurred in the May, 2003 Environmental Register. Comments were accepted until July 25, 2003. The IEPA sent the final listing to the IPCB for publication in the Environmental Register. The final listing was published in the August, 2003 Environmental Register. A request has been developed for Armin Kruger Speleological Nature Preserve and will now need coordination with the private landowner. The cave delineations were done using dye tracing. Delineations for six other sites are completed but can not be submitted until the delineation methodology report from the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey is received.
Mr. Heidorn reported on significant planning and review efforts for sites. The IDNR, in accordance with their agreement with the INPC and the Mississippi Palisades Climbing Coalition, began a review of rock climbing activities within Mississippi Palisades State Park. The most well known rock face that is climbed is in Sentinel Nature Preserve. In 1995 and 1996 the IDNR implemented an INPC-approved plan that included upgrading the trails and restricting access to portions of the cliff. Mr. Heidorn stated that he visited the sites with IDNR staff and found that the trail upgrades had worked well at controlling access. It was also noted that impacts of climbing had been localized to those sites that had been approved. Cliffs, were climbing has been eliminated, are recovering. The cliffs, where climbing is continuing, have not changed significantly. in all, the plan seems to be working as designed. The next step in the review will be to meet with the climbers.
Mr. Heidorn stated that Bob Edgin conducted exotic species control projects at five sites in his Area. He stated that Angella Moorehouse conducted several surveys and censuses of endangered and threatened plant species in her Area, and Mary Kay Solecki monitored the prairie white-fringed orchid at Loda Prairie Nature Preserve.
180-8) IDNR Staff Report
Dr. Brian Anderson stated that he had the pleasure of attending the meeting last week of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA). There was a lot of excitement and discussion about a process to general State wildlife conservation money. He stated that many years ago an initiative called Teaming with Wildlife was put forward in Congress with the intent of bringing together a broad spectrum of constituencies to ultimately secure approximately $350 million a year to help protect and manage species of conservation concern. This initiative was ultimately pared down and over the years, the IAFWA, working wit its partners, was successful in getting approximately $50 million a year available to the states. It was announced at the meeting held in September, 2003, that the federal government is committing another quarter of a million dollars to the stewardship activities this year from the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). He stated that the IAFWA is embarking on preparation of state wildlife conservation planning. He stated that Director Brunsvold approved a process for the plan, and Carolyn Grosboll will be invited to sit on the Steering Committee to develop that plan. That plan will be done in 2005. He stated that there is great hope that those 50 plans coming forward from the states will set the stage and make the case for moving that funding from what will be somewhere between $50 and $75 million. He encouraged people to participate in this process. This plan could have tremendous impact in terms of preserving Illinois’ native biodiversity. he stated that there was a tremendous display of solidarity at the IAFWA meeting this year. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has sent out a draft update of the Migratory Bird Management Plan. The new president of the IAFWA is Tom Bennett, Director from the State of Kentucky. Dr. Anderson stated that the goal has been set by Mr. Bennett for potentially achieving all species conservation.
Dr. Anderson introduced Patti Reilly, acting Natural Areas Program Manager.
Ms. Reilly submitted the following written report to the Commission:
Donations to the Wildlife Preservation Fund through the income tax check-off were $248,633 as of August 22, 2003. This is approximately $6,300 more than was received in 2002. Funding of 43 small projects and 19 large projects in fiscal year 2004 has been approved, and most of the contracts are in place to allow those projects to begin.
Ms. Reilly updated the Commission on the migration of the whooping crane. She reported that one whooping crane is still in Illinois. The female crane was one of 16 led by ultra-light aircraft from Wisconsin to Florida in 2002. She has been in Illinois all summer and most recently was known to be in backwaters of the Mississippi River in Jo Daviess County.
Ms. Reilly reported that the Exotic Species Project position under the Biodiversity Program within the Division of Resource Protection and Stewardship has been posted to hire a part-time, temporary person. Interviews should be held soon. This position deals with invasive and exotic species issues.
Ms. Reilly reported that the 29th meeting of the Natural Areas
Evaluation Committee (NAEC) was held in Springfield on July 15, 2003. Three
new INAI sites in Carroll, Lee, and Lake counties were added to the INAI.
Boundary modifications were made to seven other sites, and two sites issues
were tabled until the next meeting of the NAEC which will be held on October
7, 2003, in Springfield.
Carolyn Grosboll stated for the record that the registration documents have been signed by the landowner prior to coming before the Commission as required by the administrative rules.
180 -9) Adams and Brown Co. – Robert A. Evers Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal to register Robert A. Evers Land and Water Reserve. The proposed 363.87-acre Robert A. Evers Land and Water Reserve lies within the southeastern portion of Siloam Springs State Park and is owned and managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Located within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division, the site includes approximately 345 acres which are recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) as McKee Creek Barrens and Sedge Seep (#1088). The site is recognized as a Category I site, containing 8 acres of high-quality dry-mesic barrens and as a Category II site, for the presence of 5 state-endangered and threatened plants: savanna blazingstar (Liatris scariosa var. nieuwlandii, ST), buffalo clover (Trifolium reflexum, SE), drooping sedge (Carex prasina, ST), Wolf’s bluegrass (Poa wolfii, SE) and leafy bulrush (Scirpus polyphyllus, ST). The decision to name the reserve in honor of Dr. Robert A. Evers came from a recommendation posed by the Musselman Audubon Society of Quincy in 1974, which originally sought to name a nature preserve within Siloam Springs State Park in honor of this local botanist who contributed much to the botanical knowledge of western Illinois. Dr. Evers also contributed much to the initial efforts of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC). During the 1960s, he served as a consultant and was called upon to inspect natural areas and report back to the Commission. In 1963, Dr. Evers published an article entitled "Some unusual natural areas in Illinois and a few of their plants" in the Illinois Natural History Survey Biological Notes. This publication served as the first "inventory" used by the Commission prior to the establishment of the INAI.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is very familiar with this area and recommended its registration.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Robert A. Evers Land and Water Reserve in Adams and Brown counties as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 180st Meeting.
180-10) Cook Co. – Bartel Grossland Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman and John Elliott, Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), presented a proposal to register Bartel Grassland as an Illinois land and water Reserve. Bartel Grassland, located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois in southern Cook County, is owned by the FPDCC and is proposed to be registered as an Illinois land and water reserve. Approximately 585 acres of Bartel Grassland, also known as Vollmer Road INAI site (#1358), is proposed for registry. This INAI site currently provides habitat for a number of grassland dependent bird species including the state endangered Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii). The FPDCC recently initiated a large scale natural community restoration at Bartel Grassland, by removing five miles of tree rows, disabling its drainage tile system, and replacing exotic grasses with a matrix of native grasses and forbs. One of the main restoration components of Bartel Grassland is the re-establishment of its wetlands, creating a mosaic of mesic to wet prairie with patches of sedge meadow and marsh communities. This site is not only significant on a statewide basis because of its habitat for grassland birds, but also for its large-scale hydrological restoration.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that in the past there has been a proposal for a living history farm in the vicinity of this site, and she wanted to know if this is still a possibility.
Mr. Elliott stated that as far as he knew this was not on the agenda, and he believed that the designation of the land and water reserve would preclude the farm from being placed on this site or the Orland Grassland site.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that this is one of five items on the Agenda that are before the Commission because of support from the Material Services Settlement Fund. This fund was created following a settlement reached between the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the northern district of Illinois and Material Services Corporation following the destruction of a wetland by Material Services near Romeoville. The settlement involved a $7 million fine assessed against Material Services. The purpose of the Material Services Settlement Fund is to provide mitigation within the lower Des Plaines River Valley. Three projects have already been funded on Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve, Long Run Seep Nature Preserve, and Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve. Ms. Grosboll stated that Ken Fiske, Joe Roth, and Linda Masters from CorLands have been very instrumental in working to see that these projects occur and helping to identify the various needs that are out there. She stated that the Commission appreciates their support and their efforts in seeing that these areas are registered as long and water reserves or dedicated as nature preserves so that their long-term management is assured. Ms. Grosboll asked that the Commission’s gratitude also be extended to Jean Sellers, Mitch Isoe, and Keith Wozniak of the U.S. Army corps of Engineers.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Bartel Grassland in Cook County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 180st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Elliott for his presentation.
180-11) Jasper Co. – Orland Grassland Land and Water Reserve,
Kim Roman and Mike Konrath, Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), presented a proposal to register Orland Grassland as an Illinois land and water reserve. Orland Grassland is a 960-acre site owned by the FPDCC, and approximately 898 acres are proposed to be registered as an Illinois land and water reserve. It is found within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois, and in southern Cook County in Orland Township. Orland Grassland qualifies as a land and water reserve because it provides habitat for the state-endangered Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) and numerous other grassland-dependent bird species. The FPDCC, in conjunction with the US Army Corps of Engineers, CorLands, and Audubon-Chicago Region, has recently initiated a large-scale restoration project by removing woody plants from 506 acres and has begun wetland, savanna, and woodland restoration on the remaining 392 acres. Seeds and other propagules of prairie, wetland, savanna, and woodland plants are being restored to the appropriate areas. Beginning in 2004, drain tiles will be disabled. Large areas are being selectively treated with herbicide to control invasive plants including teasel, reed canary grass, giant reed grass and others. The FPDCC’s restoration plan for Orland Grassland is to expand and improve upon the grassland bird habitat, protect and restore the existing remnant natural communities, and restore non-native or highly disturbed natural communities to prairie, savanna, woodland, and wetland communities.
Mr. Konrath stated that the FPDCC would like to develop a master plan for a large natural landscape inside the proposed land and water reserve and a trail system going through the buffer allowing trail access to existing trails or trails that will be built at the corners of the property and major highways into the eastern side of the property. There will also be a small parking lot on the south side for access. The parking lot will be used for volunteer activities in the future.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Orland Grassland in Cook County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Konrath for his presentation.
Commissioner Drucker stated that it is gratifying to see the cooperation and collaboration between the INPC and the FPDCC. He asked if anyone has asked if the name, Forest Preserve District, should be changed to represent a more broad picture of what is being protected. The FPDCC is protecting so much more than just forests.
Mr. Konrath stated that there have been some inquires from the technical community about this issue, however, he is unaware of any discussion about changing the name. Education is part of the process to teach people to appreciate natural landscapes.
180-12) Piatt Co. – Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Eric Smith presented a proposal to register Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve. The proposed Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve is a 640.27-acre area, owned by the IDNR, along the Sangamon River east of Allerton Park and southwest of Monticello in Piatt County. The site is in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. This area protects a 2.3 mile segment of the Sangamon River, a river recognized by the INAI as a biologically significant stream (#449). The Sangamon River provides important habitat for a relatively high diversity of mussels including the state threatened slippershell (Alasmidonta viridis). The proposed land and water reserve primarily includes the south half of the river and land on the south side of the river. Three state-threatened birds, and two state-listed snakes occur in or near the proposed Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve. These are: brown creeper (Certhia americana), red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Kirtland’s water snake (Clonophis kirtlandi), and the eastern massasaugua (Sistrurus catenatus). In addition, this area contains forest habitat that is over 100 acres in size and has the ability to support forest bird species that require large blocks of forest to thrive. This site adjoins the east boundary of Allerton Park, an extensive park that preserves nearly 1,000 acres of forest including high-quality upland and floodplain forest recognized by the INAI (#1043). The proposed land and water reserve and Allerton Park together comprise one of the largest remaining forests in central Illinois.
Mr. Smith stated that the management schedule calls for creating a single loop trail which will go around the perimeter of the site and hook up with Allerton Park.
Mr. Smith thanked Mary Kay Solecki for her work on this project.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve in Piatt County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-13) St. Clair Co. – Jackson Slough Woods Land and
Water Reserve, Registration
Diane Tecic presented a proposal to register Jackson Slough Woods as an Illinois land and water reserve. The proposed Jackson Slough Woods Land and Water Reserve is a 79-acre forest owned by the IDNR. The site is located approximately 5 miles south of Mascoutah in the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division and is bordered on the east by the Kaskaskia River. The proposed land and water reserve is part of the 180-acre Jackson Slough Woods INAI site (#242) which was designated for its grade A and B wet to wet-mesic floodplain forest, grade B southern flatwoods, and a population of the state-endangered buffalo clover (Trifolium reflexum). The proposed land and water reserve will protect approximately 56 acres of grade A and B wet to wet-mesic floodplain forest and 23 acres of grade C young to mature second growth floodplain forest. The site is also part of a 7,300-acre forest along the unchannelized portion of the Kaskaskia River. This is the largest unbroken block of forest in Illinois, and as such, is especially significant for forest interior birds such as the Cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea) and American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla). The Kaskaskia Corridor has been receiving increased conservation and protection effort because of its state-wide significance. Jackson Slough Land and Water Reserve is another addition to these protection efforts.
Ms. Tecic thanked Bob Edgin for his work in this project. She stated that he prepared the proposal, along with some of the maps.
Ms. Tecic stated that the camping and picnic site that is currently in place will be removed in the near future. There has also been ATV traffic on this site, and law enforcement has been contacted to monitor this area to stop the ATV use. She stated that oil, coal, and gas rights were not included when the IDNR purchased the property. The management activities for this area will focus on the maintenance of the natural community. Managemeant will include control of exotic or invasive species and the removal of the unauthorized camping and picnic site. The allowed uses of the proposed land and water reserve include hiking, mushroom collecting, bird watching, fishing, and hunting.
Commissioner Riddell asked if the IDNR could acquire the mineral rights to this property.
Ms. Tecic stated that she does not know the answer, but she will ask that the IDNR look into the possibility of acquiring the mineral rights.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if the mineral rights allow for surface access.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that it depends on the type of activity. If oil extraction is proposed, directional drilling can be done from an off-site location in order to reach the deposit. Commissioner Riddell offered that she has heard of a dormant minerals act in Illinois which provides that if a mineral lease has been held for either 20 years or 30 years the mineral rights revert to the surface owner if there is no activity.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Jackson Slough Woods in St. Clair County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-14) Tazewell Co. – Dirksen-McNaughton Woods Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal to register Dirksen-McNaughton Woods as an Illinois land and water reserve. Dirksen-McNaughton Woods, owned by the Pekin Park District, is approximately 828 acres. The proposed land and water reserve contains approximately 690 acres of second growth forest, 50 acres of secondary grasslands in four fields, one of which is scheduled for prairie-savanna restoration, and 90 acres of agricultural fields in ten fields, all of which are scheduled for forest restoration. The proposed reserve consists of three separate units (Dirksen Unit [340 acres], McNaughton North Unit [117 acres], and McNaughton South Unit [371 acres]), which together support a breeding bird community that contains no less than 17 area-sensitive species known to suffer from forest fragmentation (as defined by IDNR Natural Heritage Technical Publication #1). The forests, which are representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, are dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.), hickories, (Carya spp.), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) in mature areas and a variety of other species in early successional areas. Lick Creek and its major tributaries flow through Dirksen-McNaughton Woods, which enhances the overall ecological importance of the site. The Pekin Park District plans to maintain public activities in the proposed registered area as previously established, but wishes to permanently register this site to ensure protection of natural features and improve natural resource management and forest habitat restoration.
Commissioner Riddell asked how the power line that cuts across the proposed land and water reserve is managed.
Mr. Lerczak stated that both the north unit and the south unit are primarily forested. The power line corridor is not heavily mowed. It is mainly a shrub-type habitat with grassland. It does cause a break between the north unit and the south unit. He stated that he has not seen any negative effects along the edges due to the management activities of this corridor.
Commissioner Riddell asked about the nearby golf course and the possibility of managing the area with native species to mitigate the effects of the herbicides used on golf courses. She stated that this may be a way to expand habitat into an area that is not part of the natural area.
Mr. Lerczak stated that the management of the golf course has not been discussed with the Pekin Park District.
Bob Blackwell, Director of the Pekin Park District, stated
that the Park District would be open to those types of management activities.
He stated that there are some natural areas between the golf course and the
Marilyn Campbell stated that there is a program for golf courses that is administered by the Audubon Society of New York State. The program involves less water usage and less herbicide usage, and it creates more wildlife habitat.
Mr. Lerczak stated he would like to get more information on that program. He stated that while he was doing the bird counts on the proposed land and water reserve, he continued on part of the trail that leads out around the golf course. One of the birds that was not showing up in the woods was the red-headed woodpecker, and he found this bird in the golf course area.
Commissioner Riddell stated that, since her affiliation with the Commission, this is the first park district that has brought a site forward. She felt it was interesting to look at the partnership opportunities that the Commission has with the park districts in the State. She commended the foresight of the Pekin Park District for securing a land and water reserve for their holdings.
Commissioner Drucker stated that he would also like to commend the Pekin Park District for bringing this site to the Commission for registration as a land and water reserve.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Dirksen-McNaughton Woods in Tazewell County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Blackwell for attending the 180 th Meeting of the INPC, and she asked that he convey the regards of the Commission to the Pekin Park District. She stated that the Commission looks forward to continuing its relationship and cooperation with the District.
180-15) Will Co. – Lake Renwick East Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Lake Renwick East
as an Illinois land and water reserve. The Forest Preserve District of Will
County (FPDWC) owns the 815-acre Lake Renwick Preserve, a land and water complex
which provides habitat for one of Illinois’ largest heron rookeries.
It lies within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division
of Illinois, in northern Will County. The 320-acre Lake Renwick Heron Rookery
Nature Preserve, co-owned by the FPDWC and the IDNR, was dedicated in 1992
to protect in perpetuity nesting habitat of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias),
double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), great egret (Ardea alba),
and the state-endangered black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).
The FPDWC wishes to add to the permanently protected acreage of this site
by registering 138 acres of "Lake Renwick East" as a land and water
reserve. This wetland and prairie restoration site will buffer the existing
Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve and provide nearby foraging habitat
for its nesting birds.
Commissioner Drucker asked if this site was ever a wetland.
Ms. Roman stated that the site was originally a wetland, and there are hydric soils on the property, however, the site had been farmed for decades. There are seeps on the property, and the wetter areas are vegetated with reed canary grass and other wetland plants. Wetland plants were placed in the other areas.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Lake Renwick East in Will County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-16) Will Co. – Rock Run Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Rock Run as an Illinois
land and water reserve.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) owns or holds easements on several large tracts of land totaling over 974 acres within the Rock Run Greenway which lies in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, on the west end of Joliet. The FPDWC is proposing to register 125 acres of the 231.5-acre tract located north of Black Road, known as the Rock Run Preserve which is the largest, high-quality natural area within the larger greenway and has recently received funds for natural community restoration. Rock Run Preserve is significant on a statewide basis because of its sizable high-quality sedge meadow/wet prairie natural communities and the presence of the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii).
Ms. Roman stated that there is a trail on the north and the
west end of the proposed land and water reserve boundaries. The FPDWC will
likely expand the trail to create a loop around the land and water reserve
to accommodate its users and to create a firebreak. The site is used by the
public for recreation and education. The interpretive signage showcases the
high-quality wetland complex.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Rock Run in Will County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-17) Will Co. – Theodore Marsh Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Theodore Marsh as an Illinois land and water reserve. The Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) proposes to register 140.35 acres of the 174-acre Theodore Marsh as an Illinois land and water reserve. Located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division and the Rock Run greenway (974 acres of Forest Preserve managed properties), the site contains good quality remnant marsh and sedge meadow communities, with degraded wet to wet-mesic prairie around the margins of the riparian zone. This site is also part of Theodore Street Marsh INAI site for breeding wetland birds (#1486). The FPDWC has recently been awarded a management grant and is implementing large scale restoration and management activities at this site. Theodore Marsh Preserve is significant because of its sizable sedge meadow/marsh natural communities and the foraging and potential breeding habitat it provides for several state-listed bird species.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that, according to the proposal, there has been an exclusion of approximately 35 acres from this tract, and she asked why this tract was excluded.
Ms. Roman stated that this area was excluded because it contains
a parking lot and a storm water basin.
It was moved by Sommerhof, seconded by DeLaurentiis, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Theodore Marsh in Will County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked the FPDWC for their efforts in protecting the three pieces of significant property brought before the Commission for registration.
A lunch break was taken from 11:55 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.
180-18) Kane Co. – Littlejohn Woods Addition of Buffer
to Helm Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
(Actually presented after Item 25)
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed 70.3-acre Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve is owned by Dundee Township. The proposed buffer addition is located in Kane County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer consists of 13 acres of high-quality woodlands identified on the INAI for Helm Woods (INAI #623) and approximately 57 acres of an old field community. Helm Woods Nature Preserve, owned by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County (FPDKC), was granted final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 135th Meeting in May, 1992 (Resolution #1123). Dedication of the proposed Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve will increase the total acreage protected by the FPDKC (149.8 acres), Dundee Township Park District (13 acres), and Dundee Township (70.3 acres) to 233.1 acres.
Mr. Byers stated that the proposal allows Dundee Township the opportunity to provide a small parking lot to accommodate passive visitation to this site. He stated that Dundee Township reserves the right to route and construct recreational trails to connect to a trail system which already exists within a portion of the woodland complex that is owned by the FPDKC.
Sue Harney, Dundee Township Supervisor, stated that this has been a long journey for herself and June Keibler. On behalf of the Dundee Township Board, she wanted to thank the Commission for its consideration of this parcel. She stated that Dundee Township owns approximately 900 acres, and the Board is committed to protecting each parcel with permanent easements and controls so they will not be viewed as vacant land in need of use by future Boards.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve in Kane County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-19) Kane Co. - Nitch Addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of the Nitch addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve. Mr. Joe Nitch proposes to dedicate approximately 1-acre as an addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve. Both the proposed addition and Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve are located in Kane County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Sleepy Hollow Ravine was included on the INAI (#624) in recognition of the high-quality seep and mesic upland forest communities surviving within the ravine and a barrens community located atop the south side of the ravine. Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve is owned in part by Mr. Glen Spiegler who owns 7.4 acres of the lower portion of the ravine and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County which owns 4.3 acres of the ravine and adjacent upland. Dedication of this tract will increase the size of Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve from 11.7 to 12.7 acres.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of the Nitch addition to Sleepy Hollow Ravine Nature Preserve in Kane County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-20) McHenry Co. - Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands addition of nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Mr. Warren Kuetemeyer wishes to dedicate approximately 6.95acres as nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. The proposed Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands buffer addition honors the memory of Mr. Kuetemeyer’s late wife, Dolly. The Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands buffer addition is a dry-mesic upland forest community dominated by mature oaks (Quercus spp.). The proposed addition is located adjacent to Boone Creek Fen and Seep (INAI #1015) and serves as an important ground water recharge zone. The proposed buffer addition and Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve are located in McHenry County, within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve was conferred final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 156th Meeting, August, 1997 (Resolution #1376). Dedication of the Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands as nature preserve buffer will increase the acreage of land protected within or adjacent to the Boone Creek Fen and Seep INAI site from 88.15 to 95.1 acres.
Mr. Byers stated that the balance of Mr. Kuetemeyer’s property is slated for development, and Mr. Kuetemeyer will be working with the Village of Bull Valley for approval to put in a series of home sites. Mr. Byers stated that he, John Nelson, and others have met with Mr. Kuetemeyer. It is hoped that Mr. Kuetemeyer will participate in the endangered species consultation process and make provisions in his plan to protect the groundwater resource.
Commissioner Riddell stated that she has been impressed by the commitment of the private individuals in the Boone Creek area. She asked if there were more tracts that could be pursued.
Mr. Byers stated that there are more tracts in this area, and he will bring more sites before the Commission for approval to protect and preserve Boone Creek Valley. He stated that McHenry County Conservation Foundation has made a significant commitment to this site, as well as the IDNR and McHenry County Conservation District.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon stated that it is exciting to him to see the work that the field staff have done in this area. He stated that the commitment of the private landowners is inspiring.
Mr. Byers stated that with the commitment of the individuals in this area, the Commission has been able to protect approximately 95 acres of land in this area.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Dolly Kuetemeyer Woodlands addition of nature preserve buffer to Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 20 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-21) Cook Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for final approval for dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) proposes to dedicate 150.6 acres as nature preserve buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve. Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve is a 12-acre canyon with a high-quality dolomite cliff natural community (INAI #256) that is owned by the FPDCC. Final approval for dedication of Sagawau Canyon was granted at the Commission’s 99th Meeting in May, 1984 (Resolution #799). Both Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve and the proposed nature preserve buffer addition are located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The proposed buffer addition includes dolomite prairie and graminoid fen that are being restored as part of a settlement agreement reached between the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Material Service Corporation and administered by Corporation for Open Lands (CorLands). One element of that settlement agreement calls for the FPDCC to submit areas being restored to the INPC for formal protection. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 179th Meeting (Resolution #1716) in May, 2003.
Mr. Byers stated this is a project that stems from the Material Services Settlement Fund and the partnership with CorLands. He acknowledged Joe Roth, Linda Masters, and Ken Fiske, along with staff from the US Army Corps of Engineers. He also acknowledged the commitment of the FPDCC.
Mike Konrath, FPDCC, stated that he would like to thank CorLands and the US Army Corps of Engineers for their ability to bring the money to the FPDCC for the restoration project. He stated that within one year of clearing the buckthorn stems and other non-native woody plants, sandhill cranes have once again nested in the valley. They have found numerous plants that were previously undocumented on this site, some of which are on the state-endangered species list. He also thanked Mr. Byers for his efforts in protecting this site.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve in Cook County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread asked that Mr. Konrath pass on to the FPDCC administration and board that the Commission appreciates the partnership, collaboration, and dedication of the property. The Commission looks forward to working with the FPDCC in the future.
180-22) Iroquois Co. – Addition to Hooper Branch Savanna
Nature Preserve, Dedication
(Actually presented after Item 17)
Eric Smith presented a proposal for final dedication of an addition to Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve. The IDNR wishes to dedicate 77 acres as an addition to Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve. Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve, located in the northeastern corner of Iroquois County in the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division, is a 483-acre site owned by the IDNR. It is managed as part of IDNR’s Iroquois County State Wildlife Area and is a critical piece of the much larger Kankakee Sands macrosite. This INAI site (#577) is comprised of five natural communities: dry sand savanna, dry-mesic sand savanna, sand flatwoods, mesic sand prairie, and successional field. All but the latter community are of high biological quality. Three state-endangered plants are found on site: bristly blackberry (Rubus setosus), eastern blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium atlanticum), and primrose violet (Viola primulifolia). The proposed addition is on the eastern boundary of the existing Nature Preserve, and was formerly used to support dove hunting. With the recent acquisition of a 200-acre agricultural field, the IDNR has moved its dove hunting program from the proposed addition to the recently acquired property. While most of the 77 acres have been planted in winter wheat and sunflower crops to support dove hunting, approximately 25 acres of the proposed addition is recognized on the INAI (#577). This acreage is critical in helping complete preserve design. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 179th Meeting (Resolution #1717) in May, 2003.
Mr. Smith thanked Kim Roman for her work on this project.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition to Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve in Iroquois County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 22 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-23) Lake Co. – Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for final dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve. Libertyville Township proposes to dedicate 18.97 acres as addition of buffer to Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve. Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve is a 47-acre parcel located in central Lake County within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. The site was recognized by the INAI (#1252) for its high-quality prairie and fen plant communities that include: mesic, wet-mesic and wet prairie; graminoid fen, sedge meadow, and marsh. In addition, the site provides habitat for the state-threatened slender bog arrow-grass (Triglochin palustris). Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve was conferred final approval for dedication at the Commission’s 129th Meeting in November, 1990 (Resolution #1047). The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 176th Meeting (Resolution #1666) in August, 2002. Dedication of this 18.97-acre buffer addition will provide additional land protection and increase the size of the Nature Preserve from 47 to 66.97 acres.
Betty-Ann Moore, Libertyville Township Supervisor, stated that she was honored to represent Libertyville Township and the Open Space District which began in 1985. She stated that every aspect of the restoration of this site is a special addition to the environment, the quality of life in the area, and to the general level of preservation that is a concern of the INPC. Libertyville Township is proud of its work, and they expect to move ahead.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition of nature preserve buffer to Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve in Lake County as described in the proposal presented under Item 23 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Ms. Moore and the staff of Libertyville Township for their work to preserve natural areas.
180-24) Lee Co. – Addition to Franklin Creek Nature Preserve,
(Actually presented after Item 21)
Todd Bittner presented a proposal for final dedication of an addition to Franklin Creek Nature Preserve. The IDNR proposes to dedicate 8.5 acres as an addition to Franklin Creek Nature Preserve. Franklin Creek Nature Preserve is a 189.41-acre nature preserve owned by the IDNR and dedicated as a nature preserve in July, 1970 with additions in October, 1970 and May, 1996. Franklin Creek Nature Preserve is located in the central portion of Franklin Creek State Park and is included on the INAI (#1068). The Nature Preserve contains upland and floodplain forest, sandstone cliff, and hill prairie natural communities representative of the Oregon Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division. The proposed addition contains dry mesic and mesic upland forest. With dedication of this addition, the Nature Preserve will total 197.91 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 179th Meeting (Resolution #1718) in May, 2003.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of an addition to Franklin Creek Nature Preserve in Lee County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 24 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-25) Macoupin Co. – King Forest Nature Preserve, Dedication
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal for final dedication of King Forest as an Illinois nature preserve. King Forest, owned by Mr. Mitch King, is a 17.5-acre site included within the 40-acre Chaney Woods Natural Area (INAI #30), recognized on the INAI for a 37-acre, grade B, dry-mesic upland forest. The proposed nature preserve supports approximately 15 acres of the grade B forest plus 2.5 acres of grade C, dry-mesic upland forest, both of which are natural communities representative of the Carlinville Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. The dry-mesic forest supports large canopy individuals such as white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. velutina), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), and mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa). The owner wishes to ensure the continued protection and proper restoration management of King Forest by having it dedicated in perpetuity as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The Commission conferred preliminary approval for dedication of this site at the 179th Meeting (Resolution #1719) in May, 2003.
Commissioner Drucker thanked Mr. King for protecting rare natural resources of Illinois.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of King Forest in Macoupin County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 25 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
Chair Allread also thanked Mr. King for dedicating this property.
She stated that the Commission understands that this is a significant sacrifice
on the part of a private landowner, and this is a significant contribution
for generations to come.
180-26) Cook Co. – Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve Restoration Project
John Nelson stated that approval is being requested for a management action that goes beyond the normal management guidelines for a nature preserve. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve contains several high-quality natural communities, including calcareous seeps, graminoid fen, mesic prairie, gravel hill prairies, and oak savannas. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve also provides protected habitat for 12 state-listed plant species. One of the most notable natural features within Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is the calcareous seeps. The seeps and the surrounding graminoid fen communities are completely dependent upon an uninterrupted supply of mineralized groundwater. This makes these communities most susceptible to off site impacts.
Mr. Nelson stated that Bluff City Materials is developing 186 acres south of Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. Currently, all the storm water that runs off of the Bluff City Materials property discharges into the Nature Preserve through an artificial drainage ditch to Poplar Creek. A large storm water detention pond is currently being constructed on the 186-acre site. Mr. Nelson stated that staff would like to restore the groundwater hydrology in the vicinity of the culvert that enters into the Nature Preserve, as well as the drainage ditch. The Illinois State Geological Survey and Illinois State Water Survey scientists recommend piping the storm water underground through the existing ditch all the way to Poplar Creek. The ditch would then be backfilled around the pipe with native sand and gravel. This effort would be a partnership with Bluff City Materials. Bluff City Materials would provide the engineering, pipes, and construction equipment. Grant money has been obtained to purchase the sand and gravel.
Attachment A of the Fen Protection Plan shows the location of the artificial drainage ditches. The one to the east is active and is where the discharge currently occurs from the Bluff City Materials property. There is an abandoned drainage ditch to the west that is no longer active, but it does intercept groundwater. There are small former gravel pits that are now shallow lakes that will be filled in as part of the management and restoration plan for Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve.
Mr. Nelson stated that the artificial ditch intercepts groundwater and channels it directly to Poplar Creek. Groundwater is being intercepted along both banks of this ditch. It is proposed that two pipes would be laid through the bottom of the artificial ditch to convey the storm water. The peat soils that were excavated from this area originally and side cast on the adjacent land would be used to cover up the native sand and gravel that would be brought in to backfill around the pipes. The trees in this area, primarily cottonwood, black locust, and box elder, would be removed. The tree removal will help restore groundwater hydrology because those trees are tapping into the groundwater and releasing it to the atmosphere.
Mr. Nelson stated that Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is subservient to Bluff City Materials property, and it has to accept the storm water discharge from their property. Bluff City Materials has an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) permit to do discharge into the Nature Preserve. The current artificial drainage system that is in place within the Nature Preserve now intercepts groundwater, and this limits the Commission’s ability to restore and manage the site for fen communities. The storm water discharge through this location is likely to increase with future development within the watershed. The most important reason to do this is the high potential for fen restoration.
Mr. Nelson stated that the staff recommends approval from the Commission to allow placement of underground storm water pipes through a portion of Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Riddell asked what kind of impact this project will have on Poplar Creek.
Mr. Nelson stated that sediment is being picked up as the water currently flows into the Nature Preserve. It is being discharged through that culvert. If the volume discharge is high enough, it will pick up sediment and carry it to Poplar Creek. With this project, the storm water will not be able to pick up any sediment. When water comes out of the wet detention basin on Bluff City’s property, it will be clean, sediment free water because it has to flow through a wetland plant community. When it hits the pipe, it will continue all the way to Poplar Creek without being allowed to pick up any sediment like it does now.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if there is a design to minimize the velocity when it comes out into Poplar Creek.
Mr. Nelson stated that the details of the engineering have not been finalized, but ways to dissipate the energy from that flow have been discussed as part of the piping project. There will be some type of structure that would spread that flow out in a desirable manner.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that photographs were shown at the 179th Meeting of the INPC where Bluff City Materials had dug a ditch on their property and allowed water to drain from some of the open gravel pits directly into the pipe which caused terrible erosion across the surface of the Nature Preserve. Bluff City Materials knew that they were going to increase the velocity of the discharge, and they also have to pick up the water of two subdivisions adjacent to the property. Since it was known that there was going to be an increase in the volume of water, the Commission staff wanted to make sure that it was handled in ways that would be less detrimental to the Nature Preserve.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked who reviews the engineering plans.
Mr. Nelson stated that the INPC staff and the survey scientists will review the engineering plans. The survey scientists, Jim Miner and Randy Locke, are licensed professionals.
Ms. Grosboll stated that Bluff City Materials will hire an engineer to design the system, and the Department’s hydrogeologists will review the potential impacts to the groundwater by this activity.
Dr. Brian Anderson stated that the survey scientists have available to them hydrologic engineers within the Illinois State Water Survey, and the engineers could review the proposal.
Mike Miller, Illinois State Geological Survey, stated that the plan would be circulated to a variety of professional scientists and other needed professionals to review the plans.
Commissioner Riddell asked if staff were seeking not only approval of the placement of the pipes but also some resolution of the sediment impact into the Creek.
Ms. Grosboll stated that staff are asking for approval of the placement of the pipes underground as described to reroute the drainage from a surface situation which could result in increased sediments to an underground situation with little chance for sediments to reach Poplar Creek.
Commissioner Sommerhof asked who will be responsible for monitoring the result of this and has there been any discussions with Bluff City Materials about any type of mitigation if the Nature Preserve is adversely affected.
Mr. Nelson stated that the responsibility of the long-term monitoring falls on Bluff City Materials. They have installed well nests at locations identified by the survey scientists, and they are assigning job duties to specific personnel in their organization who will carry out the long-term monitoring program on a monthly basis. There is also monitoring occurring within the Nature Preserve that is being conducted by the survey scientists.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the placement of underground storm
water pipes through a portion of Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve as described
in the proposal presented under Item 26 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-27) Lake Co. – Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve - Update on Asbestos Investigations and Remediation
Randy Heidorn provided the Commissioners with a written update of the events pertaining to asbestos investigations and remediation activities at Illinois Beach Nature Preserve and North Dunes Nature Preserve.
Mr. Heidorn stated a wildfire went through Illinois Beach Nature Preserve in April, 2003. The wildfire removed some vegetation that had not been disturbed for several years. The end result was that a small amount of asbestos containing material was uncovered. The bulk of the material contained non-asbestos containing material. An opinion was sought from the US Department of Human Services’ Agency Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, and they reported that there was no public health risk.
Mr. Heidorn stated that on July 3, 2003, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Senator Susan Garrett called for a task force of State agencies to investigate whether asbestos along the lakeshore at Illinois Beach State Park is a public health threat. The consensus of the group was that there was little new information that had been recently generated, however, it was agreed that the Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago should independently review all of the previous data and some new sampling data that was being collected in the region of the fishing pier. The task force was scheduled to meet again on September 5, 2003.
Commissioner Flemal asked if only surface sampling was done in the Nature Preserve.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the original sampling effort included a combination of locating, using GPS, surface samples, and bore samples down to 12 inches into the beach. Water sampling and aggressive air sampling was also done. There are no legal standards for levels of asbestos in an open environment. Johns Manville has been asked to present a plan to hand bore and take subsurface samples at the sites where the asbestos containing material has been found to determine if there is asbestos containing material underneath.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if this subject needs to be addressed at each Commission meeting, or is it something that can be done annually.
Mr. Heidorn stated that an annual update or including it in the regular staff report would be sufficient unless there is a major incident at the site.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon suggested that this subject be brought
to the Commission on an as needed basis as are other topics.
180-28) Natural Areas Acquisition Fund Fiscal Year 2004 Land Acquisition and Stewardship Proposals
Brian Reilly stated that the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund
(NAAF) is administered by the IDNR, with review and recommendation of land
purchases by the INPC. The recommendations for fiscal year 2004 include 41
tracts of land within 31 natural areas. All of the proposed parcels are identified
on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) or buffer current nature preserves
or land and water reserves owned by the IDNR. Many of these tracts provide
habitat or buffer for endangered and threatened species of plants and animals.
The proposed acquisitions total 4,264 acres and will cost approximately $13,016,294.
With incidental and relocation costs, the total expenditure for the NAAF is
approximated to be $14,578,249. This amount exceeds the $3,985,000 allocated
from the NAAF for land acquisition in fiscal year 2004. Acquisitions will
be prioritized by the IDNR based on need, threat, location of the property,
and willing seller.
Mr. Reilly stated that an agreement was reached within the Department that the NAAF would be divided 90-10. He stated that 90% of the funds brought in on the capital side would be used for the acquisition of high-quality natural areas, and 10% would be used for the stewardship of those high-quality natural areas. There is $442,000 for natural areas stewardship this year.
The proposed acquisition sites are as follows:
1) Property bordering Beall Woods Nature Preserve in Wabash County. The property contains forest habitat similar to the forest in the Nature Preserve.
2) Property at Black-Crown Marsh Land and Water Reserve, near Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry County. Acquiring additional land will benefit the birds nesting at the site and protect the marsh’s drainage basin.
3) Property at the Lower Fox River near Lower Fox River - Blake’s Landing Nature Preserve in LaSalle County. The proposed acquisition will expand the Nature Preserve and preserve habitat for the state-endangered snowberry.
4) Property at the Cache River State Natural Area in Johnson and Pulaski counties. This natural area provides habitat for numerous endangered animals and plants.
5) An addition to Carl Fliermans’ Nature Preserve in Vermilion County. The property owner passed away, and the heirs want to sell the property to the State. Only a narrow corridor along the Little Vermilion River is dedicated. The Department would like to acquire the corridor along with the neighboring farmland and the wooded ravines that run into the river to expand the dedicated nature preserve and to expand the buffer to that river system.
6) Property at Carlyle Lake South Shore in Clinton County. The proposed acquisition will allow the IDNR to close the park boundary road, reducing the number of fatalities for the state-endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnake.
7) Property near Chauncey Marsh Nature Preserve in Lawrence and Crawford counties. Acquisition of this site will expand the wetland and protect it from drainage threats.
8) Collier Limestone Glade in Hardin County. Acquisition of this site will provide the needed management to protect the high-quality natural condition.
9) Property at Cypress Pond in Johnson and Union counties. The site contains one of the largest cypress-tupelo stands in the State.
10) Property at East Glen Shoals Prairies in Montgomery County. The site is a large prairie complex with a population of the state-threatened savanna blazing star.
11) Property at Grigsby Marsh in McDonough County. This high-quality marsh and swamp is the largest of its kind in west central Illinois and provides habitat for the state-threatened prairie spiderwort.
12) Property above Guthrie Cave in Union County. The proposed acquisition will protect the cave from above.
13) Hanover Bluff in Jo Daviess County. This site provides habitat for 22 state-endangered and threatened species. Expanding this site will provide additional habitat for the rare species occurring here while implementing the area’s nature preserve design.
14) Property to expand the State-owned Illinois caverns in Monroe County. The acquisition of additional land will protect an area that contributes water to Armin Krueger Speleological Nature Preserve.
15) Lake Mildred in Monroe County. This site is at the base of Demint Prairie, Prairie Du Rocher Herpetological Area, and Renault Herpetological Area. These sites form a mosaic habitat vital to the bluff ecosystem.
16) Property near Long Branch Sand Prairie Nature Preserve in Mason County. Acquisition of additional land will provide an opportunity to expand the Nature Preserve while buffering the natural area.
17) Lovett’s Pond in Jackson County. This site provides habitat to a high number of waterfowl, wetland dependant birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
18) Property near Massasauga Prairie Nature Preserve in Warren County. This site provides habitat to the state-endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnake.
19) Property near Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve in Putnam and Bureau counties. The tracts available for acquisition will connect the upland forest with the floodplain and provide habitat for the federally threatened decurrent false aster.
20) Property near Mitchell’s Grove Nature Preserve in LaSalle County. Expanding Mitchell’s Grove Nature Preserve along Tomahawk Creek will provide additional habitat for the state-threatened four-toed salamander and arbor vitae currently found in the Nature Preserve.
21) Pelican Pouch in Clinton County. This site has mature woods, deep ravines, and several seep/springs.
22) Property near Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve in Randolph and Jackson counties. The area is where the shortleaf pine naturally occurs.
23) Potato Hill Prairie and Monroe City Hill Prairie in Monroe County. These sites contain high-quality hill prairies and limestone glades.
24) Property at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Marion and Jasper counties. This area supports breeding populations of seven species of declining state-listed grassland birds.
25) Property near Redwing Slough Land and Water Reserve and State Natural Area in Lake County. This will provide additional habitat, buffer, and access to one of the largest wetlands remaining in the six county Chicago metropolitan area.
26) Richwood Hill Prairie in Jersey County. The prairie provides habitat to two state-threatened species.
27) Property near Sandy Ford Land and Water Reserve in LaSalle County. This area will provide additional protection for the Land and Water Reserve while providing clearly defined boundaries to simplify management of the site.
28) Property near Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve in St. Clair County. This site will protect the forest and cave from encroaching development.
29) Valmeyer Hill Prairie in Monroe County. This site is 200 acres of forest and prairie habitat supporting four threatened and endangered species.
30) Yorkville Seep in Kendall County. This area provides habitat
for the state-endangered false bugbane.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that he is interested in Chestnut Hills Nature Preserve in Pulaski County. He stated that the completion tract for this site has been on the land acquisition list in the past, and the problem has been an unwilling seller. He asked how does the IDNR pursue this property.
Mr. Reilly stated that he is familiar with this site. If an offer is made to purchase property, and the owner declines, it is taken off the acquisition list. In order to put the property back on the list, staff would have to recommend that the site be put back on the list. Both the INPC staff and the IDNR staff have been asked to make contacts on property that the State may be interested in acquiring.
Commissioner Schwegman stated that the company that owns this property recently hired a new plant manager, and he is hopeful that the property could now be acquired.
Mr. Reilly stated that he has talked with Jody Shimp about this property, and Mr. Reilly stated that he will be talking with the new plant manager to see if he would be willing to place some form of protection on the property. It is hoped that the plant manager will accept some type of voluntary protection, possibly in the form of a land and water reserve registration or nature preserve dedication.
Commissioner Drucker asked if there is any way the amount of money that is available for land acquisition could be leveraged or earmarked to challenge people to raise funds to purchase land.
Mr. Reilly stated that the IDNR was awarded over $3 million in grants. The vast majority of this money was for land acquisition. A portion of the money that the State currently has for land acquisition is matched with grant opportunities. The IDNR has money from the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the State Wildlife Grant, Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program, and National Park Service under the Land and Water Conservation Act. Mr. Reilly stated that $800,000 of the Land and Water Conservation Act money is earmarked for acquisition of property at Redwing Slough. He stated that $760,000 is earmarked for projects at Black-Crown Marsh. Work is also done with several non-profit partners in order to get Illinois Clean Energy Foundation Grants. He stated that the Illinois Audubon Society has money to buy property at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area from an Illinois Clean Energy Foundation Grant. The Nature Conservancy has also received grant money from Illinois Clean Energy Foundation Grants.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis asked if the Commission is given an end of the year report on what property was actually acquired so a sense of how successful the program is can be obtained.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that there was very little opportunity last fiscal year to acquire land on the list because there was no money for the land acquisition program. She said that an end of the year report is a good idea.
Mr. Reilly stated that this information is relayed to the Commission at each meeting during the IDNR staff report. He said he will provide the Commission a list of every tract of property that was acquired since the beginning of the NAAF in 1991 at the 180st Meeting of the INPC. Mr. Reilly stated that the first piece of property acquired through the NAAF was down in the Cache River area. Since that time, $31 million worth of property has been acquired for a total of approximately 14,000 acres. The list for fiscal year 2004 covers a wide area. There are 23 landowners at Black-Crown Marsh, and the goal is to secure protection of that entire area. This is being done through voluntary land registration, acquiring property directly by the State, and working with partners to acquire property.
Chair Allread stated that the Commission can request more details about how the areas on the fiscal year 2004 list will be prioritized. In order to do that, the Commission would need to go into Executive Session which is within the scope of the Open Meetings Act.
After some discussion, it was decided that an Executive Session was not needed.
Patti Reilly reported that the stewardship program is getting $442,000 this year. The list of projects that staff from the INPC and the IDNR submitted last year is the master list that is being used this year. A request is sent to the field staff as to what stewardship projects they would like to see in their districts. The master list is compiled from their responses. She stated that she and Randy Heidorn prioritize the projects and select a list that may be accomplished with the money that is appropriated for the year. She stated that the master list is before the Commission today for approval. She stated that there are two lists in the Agenda. One list is for the projects that occur on State-owned land, and the other list is for the projects that occur on privately owned land.
Ms. Reilly stated that each Region is given $7,500 discretionary money, and $7,500 goes to the INPC Deputy Director of Protection. She stated that $5,000 goes to the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN). This totals $50,000 of outstanding money that goes out every year. She stated that $100,000 is going to fund a contract with the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey, and another $100,000 is going to the Regions for other projects. This leaves $200,000 to go to projects from the master list at different sites around the State.
Ms. Reilly stated that approximately $147,690 is going to State-owned sites and $53,379 is going to privately owned sites. This is consistent with the percentages that have been done in the past. Nature preserves get priority, land and water reserves get second priority. Natural heritage landmarks and INAI sites fall in after those.
Commissioner Riddell asked what is the planned project for
Illinois Beach Nature Preserve.
Ms. Reilly stated that aside from NAAF dollars for stewardship contracts, the Department also gets outside grant money. This year there is a possibility of receiving money from the Forestry Development Fund, the State Wildlife Habitat Fund, and the Landowner Incentive Program. Debra Nelson, District Heritage Biologist in Region II, received a federal grant to do land restoration at Illinois Beach Nature Preserve. In order to receive this grant, a match was needed. This match will come from the stewardship money.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the fiscal year 2004 Natural Areas Acquisition Fund land acquisition list and stewardship proposals as presented under Item 28 of the Agenda for the 180 th Meeting.
180-29) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
Valerie Spale, Executive Director of Save the Prairie Society, thanked the INPC staff for visiting Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve. Those visitors were given the Concept Plan for the site. She stated that she had extra copies for those Commissioners who were not able to visit the site. Several years ago buffer lands to Wolf Road Prairie were identified by various experts. These experts indicated that Wolf Road Prairie needed to be enlarged to protect the watershed from incompatible upstream development. She stated that she came before the Commission for assistance, and Director Grosboll became involved with some meetings. Letters were written, and they were successful in preventing development on some of the parcels. Those parcels were acquired by the IDNR approximately two and a half years ago. Since that time, restoration has begun, and the initial results of the recovery that are occurring along the stream corridor were evident at the tour on September 15, 2003. She stated that serious development threats on the buffer are an issue now, and she wanted to bring to the attention of the Commission that the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) has received some grants to match the IDNR’s acquisition. The FPDCC is in the process of seeing how they can become involved. She stated that Save the Prairie Society is also working with the FPDCC to lead a legal charge to defend the buffer sites. An unfavorable circuit court decision is being appealed. She asked if the Commission would consider sending a letter of support to the FPDCC in their acquisition of buffer lands to the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve. Save the Prairie Society sees this site as a showplace for partnerships and an incredible resource to bring people to the site to raise conservation awareness.
Chair Allread stated that the Commission would be happy to support that effort, and a letter will be sent to the FPDCC.
Al Wilson stated that he was contacted by Carol O’Donnell,
regarding a gravel hill prairie in Crystal Lake. He stated that he knows gravel
hill prairies are in short supply because most of them have been mined by
gravel mining companies. This gravel hill prairie is approximately 7 acres
in size. He stated that Brad Semel, IDNR, and Wayne Schennum, McHenry County
Conservation District, have done a plant inventory at the site. The plant
inventory showed 84 different species of flowers with an average floristic
value of six. The site floristic value is 54, which is higher than most of
the nature preserves in Kane County. He attended the groundbreaking ceremony
of the railway station being built alongside the prairie by Metra. He met
with the officials from Metra, and they assured him that they have already
donated two acres of that seven to be preserved. The balance is owned by a
local developer who now sees the potential for having the site rezoned from
industrial to commercial because of the proximity of the railroad station.
Mr. Wilson stated that he was invited to address the Crystal Lake City Council,
and he was advised that the City Council, the Crystal Lake Park District,
and the McHenry County Defenders support preservation of this site. It is
an INAI site, and he feels that this area should be saved. He asked the Commissioners
to find a way to negotiate with the owner to protect this site.
Ken Fiske, Consultant to the INPC, stated that the Commission has made an experiment start to work today. When the US Army Corps of Engineers received their Material Service Settlement Fund money, they created a new way to handle the money. The Corps of Engineers decided that they would run this money through CorLands, who would determine how the money would be spent. CorLands decided it was not going to just hand out checks to people. The monies would have to be matched by money or by service. For three years people have been working together on a project that is unique to the Chicago District of the Corps of Engineers. The Settlement Fund project ends next year, but by ensuring the long term protection of sites where the money was used, there will be long term oversight. He would like to say, from a CorLands Board standpoint, because this project is successful, this type of an arrangement will be used by Corps offices all over the United States. He congratulated the Commission, and he thanked the Commission for its work.
180-30) Other Business
Mr. Heidorn stated that in the recent past specific requests have come in which are a continuation of the efforts of the IDNR to manage the chronic wasting disease (CWD) issue in Illinois. He stated that Dr. Paul Shelton is here from the IDNR, and he is going to give the Commission an update on the status of this issue. In addition, there is a specific request from the Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) to implement a hunting program at Kinnikinnick Creek Conservation Area which includes Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve. The BCCD has two reasons for doing this. One is because there is a browse line and other vegetation issues, and the other is CWD. The second issue before the Commission deals with Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Some of the deer in the area near Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve in McHenry County were found to have CWD. The IDNR would like to do additional sampling in that area.
Dr. Paul Shelton stated that at the 178th Meeting of the INPC he discussed the issue of CWD. At that time he asked and received permission for a management action at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve in Boone County to remove deer from that property because the IDNR had identified CWD in that area. It was felt that Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve was a winter concentration area for deer in that vicinity. It turns out that this was the case, and it also appears that Kinnikinnick Conservation Area and the lands immediately around it are the epicenter of where CWD is in the Boone-Winnebago County area. In November, 2002, the IDNR received confirmation of the first CWD wild deer case in Illinois. The IDNR followed up by taking over 4,000 samples during the deer hunting season and identified another six additional animals with CWD. Based upon that, with good sampling coverage particularly in the northern part of the State, the IDNR has identified two areas in which there is CWD. One is right on the Boone-Winnebago County line northeast of Rockford where Kinnikinnick Conservation Area is located. The other is in McHenry County east and southeast of Woodstock. Subsequently, the IDNR went back to those sites from February through March, 2003, to sample additional animals. The IDNR began a sharpshooting program in which areas were targeted that were known to have the disease. A substantial number of samples were taken from those areas, including Kinnikinnick. During the second half of February and into March, 2003, the IDNR took 185 deer from those targeted areas. He stated that 39 of those deer came specifically from Kinnikinnick Conservation Area. Out of those 185 animals, the IDNR identified another five positives, only one of which was not in an area that the IDNR had previously identified having the disease. Based on the samples, it would appear that in the adult deer population there is approximately a 6% prevalence rate of the disease. That is over a relatively confined area, and the IDNR is working hard to keep it that way. Out of the 39 deer taken from Kinnikinnick Conservation Area, only one was positive for CWD. Out of all of the different locations that the IDNR has identified, seven of the positive animals came from the two sections in which Kinnikinnick Conservation Area falls. One is directly north of the other which has four positive cases, and the other immediately south has three. All of the positive animals in those sections are within a stones throw of Kinnikinnick Conservation Area.
Dr. Shelton stated, in the effort of trying to combat and control CWD in Illinois, the IDNR proposes to follow-up with a similar strategy with more manpower and federal funding. It is hoped that it will be more successful than last year. The IDNR will be increasing the deer harvest in Boone, Winnebago, and McHenry counties. A very important component of the plan is coming back to those areas where the disease is known with the sharpshooting programs to take those animals after the season. He stated that the IDNR was pleased with the way this worked out this past year. This not only allows the IDNR to remove animals from the landscape at a high rate of success and take diseased animals, but it also provides the IDNR with much more information on what the disease is doing. He stated that the IDNR would like to continue its sharpshooting program on Kinnikinnick Conservation Area and Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve because there is still a large deer population that uses that area and the adjacent properties. It is felt that this area is key to the success of the program. He stated that Dan Kane, Executive Director of the BCCD, and the BCCD Board have talked about the possibility of implementing a hunt on that site. The IDNR supports having such a hunt for a number of reasons. The sex ratios of what was taken last year were very skewed, with no adult males taken. The IDNR believes that a hunting program will help to take additional females and will likely be more successful in allowing the taking of some males. As a normal course of events on a nature preserve, the IDNR would be strongly backing a hunt in which only antlerless deer were taken. The IDNR has two very deep concerns. One concern is that we need to increase population turnover on these sites by taking a lot of female deer to control these populations, but on the other hand, recent evidence from Wisconsin and Colorado has demonstrated that adult males have by far the highest prevalence of the disease. An adult male is significantly more likely than any other age sex group in the population to have this disease. The IDNR recommends and supports a hunt on the BCCD property in which hunters are required to take antlerless deer first. Once they take antlerless deer, they would be able to subsequently take adult males. This will accomplish both goals set by the IDNR. In addition, in the targeted surveillance program when the IDNR comes in after the seasons and a follow-up is done with the sharpshooting, there is a great deal more success in locating properties and in taking deer in the Boone-Winnebago County area than in McHenry County. Every property that the IDNR can find that will allow access is a very important one. Out of the 185 deer that were taken through this program, only approximately 30 of them were from McHenry County. The IDNR has been working with a number of landowners in that area, and at least one of the landowners that has property holdings in the Boone Creek Fen area is willing to work with the IDNR. The IDNR is seeking permission for those properties whenever landowners are willing to allow that.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if the IDNR is seeking the Commission’s approval for the continuation of the sharpshooting program at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve which was granted in February, 2003. He also asked if there was a time limit specified for this approval.
Dr. Shelton stated that there are two issues pertaining to
Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve. The IDNR would like to continue with the
sharpshooting program during the winter months after the regular deer hunting
season. The BCCD would also like to begin hunting the site, and the IDNR is
asking for permission for this on behalf of the BCCD. He stated that the sharpshooting
approval the IDNR is requesting would apply for a time period after the deer
season beginning in January, 2004 through around the end of March or early
Commissioner Ross-Shannon stated that he is a resident of Winnebago County, and there are proposals before the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County to allow general bow hunting throughout the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County for, in his opinion, some suspicious reasons. He has spoken with some of the Commissioners in Winnebago County, and he has expressed an opinion that they need to be careful because there are nature preserves within their system. He stated that he is in favor of what the IDNR is requesting, but he would like to make clear, if a resolution is made today, that the INPC is basing their approval on biological evidence presented today and not a general policy statement.
Randy Heidorn stated that the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act specifically addresses the issue of taking deer on nature preserves. He stated that there has to be scientific justification for this action.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked, if the Commission approves this request, that a letter be sent to the Director of the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County to remind them that any hunting in a nature preserve would require the Commission’s approval.
Chair Allread stated that she shares Commissioner Ross-Shannon’s concern, and the INPC needs to make sure that this action is seen as a special exception and not as setting a precedent. Scientific evidence shows that it can be beneficial for that region to allow the hunt to document the extensiveness of CWD, as well as the management of the deer population. She felt that a letter validating that decision was based on scientific evidence is needed.
Mr. Heidorn stated that the staff has authority to approve the management related to the browse problems. The reason this issue was brought to the Commission is that it will cause a large number of deer to be taken from the area.
Commissioner Riddell stated that the recommendation is to actually increase the harvest, then do sampling. She asked if the protocol in place was for every animal that was taken during the hunt to be sampled.
Dr. Shelton stated that every animal that was taken during the sharpshooting program was sampled. Every hunter with an adult animal that came through the check station during the regular hunting season was given the opportunity to have the animal sampled.
Commissioner Riddell asked if there was a way to implement a program that would require the hunters to allow testing of each deer taken during the special hunt.
Dr. Shelton stated that, on this specific site, that would be one of the things that they would do as is done at the Rock Cut State Park special hunt. When the hunter brings in a deer, it is sampled. The IDNR has more leverage at special hunt areas than it does in the county as a whole. One of the agreements in participating in the hunt would be to allow the IDNR to take a sampling.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the INPC could put that requirement in the permit.
Commissioner Riddell stated that one of the things that Mr. Heidorn highlighted was that with the cull of the herd from the sharpshooting, it was significant enough to address the browse issue. In order to get the scientific data on CWD, we need to test every animal that comes out of there. She asked if it would be sufficient enough to alleviate the problem without having to go back in with sharpshooting.
Dr. Shelton stated that one of the advantages of a two-pronged approach is that historically in many parts of Illinois, particularly in northern Illinois, a great deal of movement and change of deer patterns is seasonal. The hunting season is earlier than the sharpshooting season. Deer tend not to be congregated on what is considered to be traditional wintering sites. As a result, what hunters hunt on that site during hunting season may very well be completely different deer than what is seen during a sharpshooting program.
Ms. Grosboll asked if the IDNR does any aerial surveillance in between the hunting season and the proposed sharpshooting period to get a sense of what the density is.
Dr. Shelton stated that there was enough snow last winter to enable the IDNR to do that. In that area, and in McHenry County, there was a diversity of deer densities. On a landscape scale, deer densities tend to be what is considered to be very nice for Illinois, but on the other hand, during that late winter, entire sections will be seen where a deer cannot be found and sections where there are densities in the neighborhood of 100 deer or more per square mile. Kinnikinnick, at the time of the aerial surveillance, would not have fallen into that category, but it has significant densities on the site as well as on two adjacent sites to the east and the west. There were sites to the southeast and southwest in which densities were in excess of 60 deer per square mile. These numbers are post-hunt densities. The deer densities in this area are still very significant. Of the deer that were taken, slightly more than a third of them were that year’s crop. Only approximately two-thirds of them were adults. Given the deer reproductive capacity and the quality of habitat in the area, it would be difficult to discern between last year’s population and what is going to be seen this year.
Ken Fiske stated that he lives near the areas being discussed. He stated that some of the nature preserves fall within municipalities that do not allow hunting. He felt that it would take an action by the municipality in order to allow any hunting at all, regardless of what the Commission decides.
Dr. Shelton stated that, other than the hunt on Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve, Kinnikinnick Conservation Area, and Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve, the IDNR is not asking to allow hunting. The IDNR is asking the Commission to allow it to take the sharpshooting program in there. Last winter some of the sharpshooting program was within the bounds of some municipalities, and they agreed to this.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval, based upon the scientific opinion of the IDNR, for the continuation of the sharpshooting program from January 1, 2004 through May 1, 2004, and a special hunt at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve, and a sharpshooting program from January 1, 2004 through May 1, 2004 at Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve. Each hunter participating in the special hunt will be required to allow the IDNR to sample the deer taken from the Nature Preserves for the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease.
Ms. Grosboll stated that a letter will be sent to the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County advising them of the Commission’s position.
Chair Allread stated that two sets of minutes from closed meetings
of the Commission were included in the Commissioners’ packets. The first
meeting was held on August 7, 2001, and the second meeting was held on August
6, 2002. These meetings were closed in accordance with the Open Meetings Act
to discuss the purchase of real property. Section 2.06 of the Open Meetings
Act provides that public bodies, "shall periodically, but no less than
semi-annually, meet to review minutes of all closed sessions. At such meetings,
a determination shall be made and reported in an open session that: 1. the
need for confidentiality still exists as to all or part of those minutes,
or 2. that the minutes or portions thereof no longer require confidential
treatment and are available for public inspection." She asked for a motion
to determine whether or not the minutes from each meeting should be kept closed.
It was moved by DeLaurentiis, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the closed session minutes from the August 7, 2001, and August 6, 2002, meetings will remain confidential but will be reviewed semi-annually to ascertain the need to be kept confidential.
Ms. Grosboll stated that the Open Meetings Act was amended this past legislative session, and the Governor signed the bill. The changes go into effect January 1, 2004. The change requires all closed sessions to be either audio or video taped. She stated that the Commission has audio taped each meeting for some time, so there will not be a change there. The amendment also requires that the recordings be reviewed, along with the minutes of the closed session, no less than semiannually. Ms. Grosboll will determine what level of review is required under this change.
Commissioner DeLaurentiis stated that she would like to wish Tammie McKay good luck, and wished her well.
Chair Allread thanked Commissioner DeLaurentiis for her comment.
She stated that it is like losing a family member when someone steps away
from the Commission because it is such a consistent, close knit group that
is so effective because of the comradery and support of one another. She stated
that the Commission is blessed to have such a wonderful staff. On behalf of
the Commission, she wished Ms. McKay well.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Drucker, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702