Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Lake View Conference Rooms B and C
One Natural Resources Way
Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - 10:00 a.m.
181-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:15 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chair Allread, the meeting began.
Carolyn Grosboll gave the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Harry Drucker, Dr. Ronald Flemal, Dr. Richard Keating, Jill Riddell, Bruce Ross-Shannon, John Schwegman, and John Sommerhof.
Members absent: Kristi DeLaurentiis.
Chair Allread welcomed Dr. Richard Keating to the Commission.
Carolyn Grosboll stated that Dr. Keating is from Edwardsville, Illinois, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Botany from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He has a Master of Arts and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Keating taught botany at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) from 1966 to 1992. While at SIUE, he served as the manager for John M. Olin Nature Preserve. Dr. Keating remains a Professor Emeritus at SIUE, and he is currently active in research through the Missouri Botanical Garden. Dr. Keating co-founded several conservation organizations, including the Sierra Club chapter in Alton, the Nature Institute in Alton, and the Nature Foundation in Edwardsville. Ms. Grosboll stated that she is pleased to welcome Dr. Keating.
Chair Allread stated that Dr. Keating is filling a position that was vacated by Barbara Whitney Carr. Ms. Carr served on the Commission for a year, but she resigned due to a conflict of interest as a registered lobbyist. She stated that the Commission would like to recognize Ms. Carr’s service during that year and her contributions that continue.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission wishes to recognize the contributions of Barbara Whitney Carr during her tenure as a Commissioner from December 2002 to December 2003. Barbara served with distinction as a member of the Commission. Among her accomplishments, Barbara will be most remembered for her keen insight into the conservation community and her unswerving commitment to the protection of Illinois high quality natural areas. Her year of service with the Commission will be warmly remembered, and her continuing commitment to and advocacy for the Commission’s programs will always be greatly appreciated.
Others present: Loretta Arient, Steven Byers, Bob Edgin, Carolyn Grosboll, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Don McFall, Angella Moorehouse, John Nelson, Kelly Neal, Debbie Newman, Debbie Reider, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Leslie Sgro, Deputy Director, Illinois Department of Nature Resources (IDNR); former INPC Director Brian Anderson, Linda Balek, Jeannie Barnes, Ben Dolbeare, Tara Kieninger, Glen Kruse, Laura Perna, Brian Reilly, Patti Reilly, Scott Simpson, Diane Tecic, and John Wilker, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), IDNR; Kathi Davis and Tom Flattery, Office of Realty and Environmental Planning, IDNR; Randall Collins, Systems and Licensing, IDNR; Michael Miller, Illinois State Geological Society, IDNR; Randy Nyboer, Illinois Natural History Survey and Endangered Species Protection Board, IDNR; Janel Correa and Sue Dees, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Tanner Girard, Illinois Pollution Control Board and former INPC Chair; Dr. Sean Jenkins, Western Illinois University; Carl Becker and Fran Harty, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Roger Beadles, representing Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve; Richard Bjorklund, representing Walden West Land and Water Reserve; Ken Kedzior, representing Kedzior Woodlands Land and Water Reserve; Bill McClain, George Rose, Virginia Scott, and Wayne Wildy.
181-2) Adoption of Agenda
Carolyn Grosboll stated that Item 14 will be presented after Item 7.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the Agenda be adopted as amended.
181-3) Approval of the Minutes of the 180th Meeting, September 16, 2003
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the Minutes of the 180th Meeting, be approved.
Chair Allread reported that at the 180th Meeting of the INPC, held at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield on September 16, 2003, legal protection for 14 tracts of land totaling 4,070 acres was approved by the Commission. One of the 14 areas is owned by a private individual who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. The dollar value of this tract of private land is $34,000, 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 land protected without State acquisition at the 180th Meeting of the INPC was King Forest, Macoupin County, 17 acres. A total of 17 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 319 dedicated nature preserves in 79 counties totaling 43,211 acres and 100 land and water reserves in 47 counties totaling 31,257 acres.
181-4) Next Meeting Schedule
Meeting Date Location
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
Chair Allread thanked Deputy Director Leslie Sgro for attending the 181st Meeting of the INPC.
181-5) INPC Staff Report
Carolyn Grosboll stated that the Natural Land Institute, in cooperation with the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership, has developed the "Landowners Guide to Conservation in the Sugar and Pecatonica River Valleys." The Guide was funded through the INDR’s Conservation 2000 (C2000) program and is designed to help landowners find ways to protect their land and to restore plant and animal habitat.
She stated that the INPC’s 40th Anniversary event, held at the Henry Barkhausen Visitor’s Center in southern Illinois on September 20, 2003, was a great success. Approximately 75 people attended the event. She stated that she, Chair Allread, Commissioner Schwegman, and Judy Faulkner Dempsey participated in that program. Commissioner Schwegman gave a wonderful slide show of the nature preserves in southern Illinois. After the program, eight different field trips to various nature preserves throughout southern Illinois were offered.
Even though 2003 was the INPC’s 40th anniversary year, it has been decided to continue moving the INPC Photo Exhibit throughout the State. Dr. Michael Jeffords did a wonderful job putting this display together, and the staff felt it was important to keep it in circulation.
Ms. Grosboll stated that she continues to co-chair the IDNR’s Prescribed Burn Task Force. The Task Force is charged with rewriting the IDNR’s prescribed burn policy. The policy has been reviewed by ORC Office Director, Brian Anderson. Once the final draft is completed, it will begin the review within the other offices within the IDNR. The goal is to have a policy in place by the fall of 2004.
In December, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a rule in a case that involved the Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act. This is the Act that the IDNR and the Commission has cited to landowners regarding liability when allowing someone to use their property to hunt, fish, hike, or otherwise recreate on the private property. This case involved a landowner who built a luge-type sled run in their backyard. Others could use the sled run with permission of the landowner. The Plaintiff was a friend of the Defendant’s neighbor who had asked permission to sled in the Defendant’s backyard. The Plaintiff slipped on some ice and was injured. The lawsuit was filed after that injury.
The Defendant claimed as a defense, the Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act. The Court interpreted the Act to mean that landowners are immune from negligence liability with respect to any person who enters their property for recreational purposes, provided that such property is open to the public. The Court went on to hold that the Act’s protections are not available to landowners who restrict the use of their property to invited guests only. She stated that this is contrary to what the IDNR and the Commission has told many of the landowners throughout the years. She stated that it was her understanding that there is an effort to go into the legislation and make some changes to coincide with what the Supreme Court said to allow a lot of these activities to continue on private property.
Ms. Grosboll stated that it was with great pleasure that she presented Debbie Reider with an IDNR five-year service pin. She stated that Debbie Reider has been with the Commission for five years and has proven herself to be a dedicated, talented, and very important member of the Commission’s staff.
John Nelson stated that he has three noteworthy threat issues to report.
The first threat involves Julia M. & Royce L. Parker Fen
Nature Preserve in McHenry County. The zoning board of appeals voted 7-0 to
recommend denial of a petition for rezoning that would allow the construction
of ten homes on the recharge zone for Julia M. & Royce L. Parker Fen Nature
Preserve. This recharge zone has been classified as Class III groundwater.
If the rezoning had been approved, it would have seriously jeopardized the
groundwater feeding the Nature Preserve. Since the 180th Meeting of the INPC,
the developer has declined his option to purchase the property, and he has
not moved forward to the full County Board. Another owner purchased the property,
and he is not interested in developing the 40 acres. It is felt that this
a success for the Nature Preserve, but more importantly it is a success for
protecting Class III groundwater. The efforts of the Boone Creek Watershed
Alliance were instrumental in educating the County Board.
The second threat involves Grand Bear Lodge in LaSalle County. Construction is underway on a 180-room lodge, cabins, and indoor water park on 25 acres near the entrance to Starved Rock State Park and adjacent to Starved Rock Nature Preserve. INPC staff have conveyed
the Commission’s concerns to the developer and the Village of Utica, and they have been advised of the legal requirement for the Village to consult with the IDNR. The concerns include fencing, vegetative buffering, erosion control, and storm water management. Waste water treatment was an
initial concern, but the developer has decided to tap into Utica’s waste water treatment plant. INPC staff will continue to work closely with the IDNR consultation staff on this issue and report to the Commission at its next meeting.
The third threat involves Santa Fe Prairie Nature Preserve in Cook County. In early October, 2003, the INPC staff were notified of illegal dumping activity at the Nature Preserve. Volunteers witnessed three cement truck operators discharge cement-laden wash into the Nature Preserve. The volunteers approached the drivers and informed them that the area was a nature preserve, however, the drivers proceeded to discharge the material into the Nature Preserve. The volunteers took pictures of the incident. The pictures captured the truck identification numbers. The IDNR Conservation Police were notified of the incident. On November 19, 2003, after an onsite meeting and investigation, Conservation Police Officer Ron O’Neal arrested and charged the three truck drivers with violation of the Natural Areas Preservation Act which is a Class A misdemeanor and criminal penalties apply. The company, Prairie Materials, was also charged with violations of the Natural Areas Preservation Act. The office of the State’s Attorney is preparing its case, and two court appearances have occurred in the criminal case against the truck drivers. It is hoped that a satisfactory outcome can be reported at the next meeting of the INPC.
Commissioner Drucker stated that the volunteers played an important role in this case, and he wanted to give credit to those volunteers who are doing restoration and management work on the nature preserves. He stated that this was an example of having concerned and caring citizens who are knowledgeable about the areas willing to protect these areas.
Mr. Nelson stated that it is key in this case to have the eyewitness testimony and pictures provided by the volunteers. He also stated that the IDNR Conservation Police were quick to respond, and their investigation was prompt and very detailed.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Nelson, on behalf of the Commission, for his work to protect these areas from many different types of encroachments.
Don McFall submitted the following written report to the Commission:
In the area of public education and outreach, Kim Roman gave a talk to the
Homewood Izaac Walton League on sand prairies in the Illinois Nature Preserves
system. Angella Moorehouse assisted with the 20th Annual Keokuk Bald Eagle
Appreciation Days. Tom Lerczak and Mary Kay Solecki used the INPC’s
traveling display and represented the INPC at the Sugar Grove Chatauqua at
Funks Grove. Mr. Lerczak also presented a talk, "Audubon’s Birds,
What He Actually Saw," at the Illinois State Museum in January. Debbie
Newman spoke at the Kaskaskia Watershed Association’s Kaskaskia River
Showcase Tour and prepared a fact sheet for the event. Judy Faulkner Dempsey
hosted the Commission’s 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Barkhausen
Wetlands and Education Center on September 20, 2003. Ms. Faulkner Dempsey
is also in the process of organizing the LaRue Pine Hills Appreciation Day
scheduled for April 17, 2004. Mary Kay Solecki organized and hosted the Commission’s
40th Anniversary Celebration held on September 20, 2003 in conjunction with
the Central Illinois Prairie Conference at Parkland College.
In the area of grants and partnerships, Angella Moorehouse continued to work on C2000 projects for Camp Benson and Hanover Bluff in northwestern Illinois. Bob Edgin administered a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant for a 20-acre canebrake restoration at Shellbark Bottoms Natural Heritage Landmark in Lawrence County and a C2000 grant for the Allison Gravel Prairie Restoration in Lawrence County. Judy Faulkner Dempsey advanced the Commission’s partnership with the U.S. Forest Service by leading the project to prepare the Environmental Analysis necessary to apply land management practices to 28 Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) sites in the Shawnee National Forest.
In the area of updating the INAI natural area surveillance and science, Steve Byers, Angella Moorehouse, and Kim Roman worked with IDNR staff to nominate new INAI sites for the January 22, 2004 meeting of the Natural Areas Evaluation Committee in Springfield. Staff reviewed the proposed changes to the Illinois endangered and threatened species list and provided comments to the Endangered Species Protection Board. Four Commission staff made presentations at the 30th Natural Areas Conference in Madison, Wisconsin September 24-27, 2003. Carolyn Grosboll presented "Making the Case for Prescribed Burning Legislation" in the Fire Forum. Randy Heidorn moderated the Fire Forum. Don McFall presented "Privately Owned Lands in the Illinois Nature Preserves System" in the Private Lands Symposium, and Tom Lerczak presented a poster, "Breeding Bird Community Responses to a Small Shrubland to Prairie Restoration," summarizing research completed at Revis Hill Prairie Nature Preserve.
In the area of staff development and training, most staff renewed their herbicide license by retesting. Staff are licensed for general standards and right of way application. Some staff are also licenced for aquatic application.
And finally, each of the field staff completed setting up a natural area landowners database. This was a goal of the INPC’s Strategic Plan for 2002-2007.
Randy Heidorn submitted the following written report to the Commission: The 31st Natural Areas Conference will be held October 13-16, 2004, at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza and is hosted by the INPC, the IDNR, and the Natural Areas Association. Other key contributors include the Natural Land Institute, University of Illinois Conferences and Institutes, The Nature Conservancy, and Chicago Wilderness. Program development is underway. Dr. Eric T. Freyfogle, from the University of Illinois, will give the keynote address. The theme for the conference is Emerging Issues [in natural areas conservation]: Possibilities and Perils. Sessions and symposia that are being planned include:
1. impacts of emerging disease and the response to those diseases
on natural areas,
2. the potential of partnership,
3. preserve system design and implementation,
4. maintaining wild areas in expanding urban areas,
5. how we communicate with and educate the public about our issues, and
6. the volunteer stewardship experience.
In addition, the Illinois Artisans program will be having an exhibit as part of the conference activities. The annual banquet event will be held at the Shedd Aquarium. A call for papers and conference announcement has been printed and is being mailed this week. A fund raising committee has been formed to offset some of the costs of the conference, making it more affordable for attendees. A target of $75,000 has been set. Funding has already been committed from the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, U.S. Forest Service, Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, and Illinois Audubon. Dr. Christopher Burke is leading the fund raising effort. The total budget for the conference is approximately $260,000, assuming 600 paid participants. It is estimated that there may be as many as 1000-1200 participants.
Public Lands Stewardship Initiative: A State Wildlife Incentive grant application and agreement have been prepared by the INPC, with the assistance of the IDNR staff, to fund large stewardship projects on sites owned by the IDNR. The project sites include: Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area and Manito Prairie Nature Preserve, Tazewell County; Mineral Marsh Nature Preserve, Henry County; Wilmington Shrub Prairie Nature Preserve, Will County; Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, Vermillion County; Upper Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve, Piatt County; Henry Allan Gleason Nature Preserve, Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason County; Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (including both nature preserves and land and water reserves), Marion and Jasper counties; and Cache River Land and Water Reserve, Johnson County. When funded, this project will bring $250,000 in federal funds to these projects. Start dates are projected to be as early as February, 2004.
Signs: With funds allocated under the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) stewardship fund an order for approximately 100 site specific entrance signs for nature preserves is being prepared with the help of INPC and IDNR staff. Additionally, boundary signs of various types will be purchased with the order. Delivery is expected in the spring of 2004.
Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN): The VSN steering committee met on Wednesday, January 28, 2004.
Illinois Beach Asbestos: The Attorney General’s Task Force on asbestos contamination at Illinois Beach has completed its first phase of evaluation of the situation. The consultant from the University of Illinois has prepared an interim report reviewing the State’s efforts to ensure the safety of users visiting Illinois Beach. They have indicated that there is no evidence that shows there is a threat to public safety but have also suggested some additional sampling and application of test protocols that were not available during the 1999 investigations. The IDNR is reviewing the recommendations and developing plans to implement the recommendations. The review of other aspects, including the use of beach sand nourishment, continues under guidance from the Task Force.
Busse Forest Nature Preserve, Cook County: DuPage County is proposing modifications to the dam on the reservoir within Ned Brown Forest Preserve to control flooding that impacts lands in DuPage County. This reservoir is adjacent to Busse Forest Nature Preserve, owned by Cook County Forest Preserve District. The modification of the dam would result in some temporary flooding of portions of Busse Forest Nature Preserve. Over the past couple of decades, studies have been conducted to assess the possible impact. A new design has been developed to minimize the impact. Funding for this project will be coming from the IDNR. It is the intention of DuPage County to bring this proposal to the May meeting of the INPC for approval. Prior to that time, this project will be going through the IDNR’s Comprehensive Environmental Review Program process and work will be done to obtain permits and approvals from the Cook County Forest Preserve District and other regulatory agencies.
Staff assisted with prescribed burns this fall at Green River State Fish and Wildlife Area and Starved Rock State Park.
Exotic species control efforts were conducted at Rocky Branch Nature Preserve, Miller’s Rocky Branch Land and Water Reserve, and Sargent’s Woods Land and Water Reserve with the help of INPC staff.
1. Deer management was successfully conducted at Beall Woods Nature Preserve, Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve, John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Franklin Creek Nature Preserve, George B. Fell Nature Preserve, Starved Rock Nature Preserve, Matthiessen Dells Nature Preserve, and Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve.
2. The IDNR continued sampling for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during the firearm deer hunting season. CWD has now been documented in Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, and DeKalb counties. Winter sampling is ongoing. This includes sampling at Kinnikinnick Creek Nature Preserve and Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve.
The INPC staff participated in an interview with a contractor for the IDNR who is developing a comprehensive data management system for the Office of Resource Conservation. The IDNR is considering the use of the redevelopment/upgrading of the INPC’s MANAGE data system as a pilot project in this effort. This is a feasibility study and needs analysis for the project.
1. The INPC staff, working with the Natural Heritage field staff, sponsored fire training for its staff. Training included: Introduction to the Incident Command System (I100), Advanced Wildland Firefighter training (S131), and Intermediate Fire Behavior (S290). INPC staff participating in the training: Angella Moorehouse, Steven Byers, Tom Lerczak, Bob Edgin, Debbie Newman, and Randy Heidorn.
2. The INPC staff participated in basic fire training courses taught by Jack Pizzo and Associates. Courses taken included: Introduction to the Incident Command System (I100), Basic Widland Firefighter training (S130), and Introduction to Fire Behavior (S190). INPC staff participating in the training: Kelly Neal, Kim Roman, and John Nelson.
Herbicide Licensing: INPC staff have been working to renew/retest for their Herbicide Licenses. Field staff are asked to maintain Applicator Licenses in the rights of way and aquatic categories as needed.
181-6) IDNR Staff Report
Glen Kruse provided a handout to the Commissioners. He stated that 2003 was a good year for the Wildlife Preservation Fund. The total checkoff donations through the Illinois tax return was $267,594.42. This is the most that the Wildlife Preservation Fund has received from this checkoff program. As of January 23, 2004, the Wildlife Preservation Fund has received $1,685. Mr. Kruse stated that the IDNR has not done any promotion of the fund for the last several years, and donations have stayed steady or increased over those years.
The Natural Areas Evaluation Committee has met twice since the 180th Meeting of the INPC. As a result of those two meetings, 18 new sites were added to the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI), and three were deleted. There are a total of 1,266 sites on the INAI. A handout summarizing the actions taken at each of those two meetings was given to the Commissioners.
Mr. Kruse stated that on December 16, 2003, Governor Blagojevich
announced the 2004 C2000 grants. A copy of that press release was provided
to the Commissioners outlining those projects. Mr. Kruse stated that there
are a few projects that may be of particular interest to the Commission. The
Conservation Foundation, through the DuPage River Coalition Partnership, received
$26,520 to continue their work on habitat restoration at Lake Renwick which
will benefit the many listed species that occur there. The Kane County Forest
Preserve District received $50,000
to complete wetland and fen enhancement at Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve. The Illinois Audubon Society received $316,855 to work at Jasmine Hollow Natural Area in Piatt County. That site will be registered as an Illinois land and water reserve as part of that overall project.
He stated that two new staff members have joined the Office of Resource Protection and Stewardship. Ben Dolbeare is the Exotic Species Coordinator. Mr. Dolbeare was a long-time instructor of botany at Lincoln Land Community College. In Region V, through the work of Jody Shimp and the U.S. Forest Service, the IDNR was able to obtain funding to hire two natural heritage residents to work primarily in the Shawnee National Forest. Keri Foster, from Southern Illinois University, and Daniel Cox, from Eastern Illinois University, will be working for a year and are working out of the Natural Heritage office at Ferne Clyffe State Park. It is hoped that the funding will continue longer than that to enable the IDNR to cycle more residents through the program.
Mr. Kruse updated the Commission on the whooping crane reintroduction
to the eastern United States. There was one whooping crane that spent the
entire summer in Illinois last year. The whooping crane migrated back to central
Illinois, then moved to northwest Illinois and stayed there into the late
fall with the sandhill cranes. This was the last whooping crane to start migrating
back to Florida. It left and migrated with the sandhill cranes. The whooping
crane did successfully
migrate back to Florida, and it continues to associate with the sandhill cranes in Florida. The 2003 class of whooping cranes had 16 cranes that were successfully led from Wisconsin to Florida with the ultralights.
Randy Nyboer, Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB), stated that since ESPB lost its funding, the Board members have been carrying on the activities of the Board. He stated that Glen Kruse and Joe Kath have also been dealing with ESPB issues. He stated that he started November 1, 2003 as a half-time employee, and he will continue on through the end of the fiscal year. The ESPB is mandated to list endangered and threatened species in Illinois. The five-year update of the endangered and threatened species list has just been completed, and it should be finalized in the next few months. There is a Board meeting in Springfield scheduled for February 20, 2004. The updated list will be discussed at that meeting. The Board is also mandated to assist the IDNR in dealing with management protection issues with endangered and threatened plants in Illinois. There are currently 510 species on the list. With the updated list, there will be 514 species. The ESPB is working on additional protection measures, and the Board is working with INPC staff to devise ways of protecting plants and animals without going through the listing process. He stated that he will also be working with Brian Anderson and some of the other IDNR staff to develop a plan to work with the rare resources of Illinois throughout the entire ORC staff.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Nyboer for updating the Commission on the activities of the ESPB.
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.
181-7) Fulton Co. – Kedzior Woodlands Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal to register Kedzior Woodlands Land and Water Reserve. Kedzior Woodlands, owned by Mr. Ken Kedzior, is approximately 120 acres in size and is located about 700 yards east of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)-owned Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve. The intervening lands, a mixture of CRP-protected areas and wooded ravines, are also owned by Mr. Kedzior. Mr. Kedzior’s properties have a buffering function with respect to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve. Most of the proposed land and water reserve is covered with second-growth forest, which supports a breeding bird community that contains no less than 15 area-sensitive species known to suffer from forest fragmentation (as defined by IDNR Natural Heritage Technical Publication #1). The woodlands, which are representative of the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division, are dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.) and hickories (Carya spp.) in most upland areas. Small rock outcrops and a low-order stream system enhance the ecological importance of this site. Mr. Kedzior wishes to permanently register Kedzior Woodlands to ensure the protection of its natural features and to improve natural resource management.
Mr. Lerczak stated that this area, with the exception of Mr. Kedzior’s home site, qualifies as an addition to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve, however, Mr. Kedzior wishes to register this area as a land and water reserve because he wants to continue a variety of activities, including hunting and camping.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Kedzior Woodlands in Fulton County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 7 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Mr. Kedzior, and she stated that the Commission appreciates his efforts to protect his land.
Commissioner Drucker stated that 120 acres is not a small amount
of land to be protecting. He stated that Mr. Kedzior’s efforts are benefitting
the citizens of Illinois, and he wanted Mr. Kedzior to know how important
this is. Commissioner Drucker also wanted to thank him for what he has done.
181-8) Iroquois Co. – Addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register an addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) proposes to register 300 acres as an addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve. In 2001, the IDNR registered 1,613 acres of the 1,920-acre Iroquois County State Wildlife Area which is a site of statewide significance. This site is recognized on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI #763 and 577) for its high-quality sedge meadow, marsh, dry-mesic sand prairie, shrub prairie, dry and dry-mesic sand savanna, and sand flatwoods natural communities representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. This site also provides habitat for more than 15 state-endangered and threatened species, includes large grasslands and woods which support area-sensitive species, and supports unusual concentrations of flora and fauna. The 300-acre addition will complete preserve design and will be used and managed in the same manner as the existing Land and Water Reserve.
It was moved by Flemal, seconded by Riddell, and carried that
the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Iroquois County State Wildlife Area Land and Water Reserve in Iroquois County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 8 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-9) Jasper Co. – Addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Scott Simpson presented a proposal to register an addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposes to register a 363-acre addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA) Land and Water Reserve located within the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The proposed addition is within the Prairie Ridge INAI site (#601). The grassland/wetland complex at PRSNA provides habitat for 37 species of special concern. Among these species are Illinois’ only breeding population of greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) and the State’s largest breeding populations of northern harriers (Circus cyaneus), short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) and barn owls (Tyto alba). Registration of this addition will increase the permanently protected acreage at PRSNA located in Jasper County to 2,173.72 acres.
Mr. Simpson thanked Bob Edgin for his assistance in putting the proposal together.
Mr. Simpson stated that tracts one and two in Jasper County are currently in row crops and were purchased in mid 2003. The tracts will be converted to grassland habitat in the form of cool and warm season grasses over the next three years. Tract three was planted to cool season grasses in 2000. Tract four was planted to cool season grasses in 2002. Tract five is mostly cool season grasses with approximately 15 acres of warm season grasses.
Commissioner Flemal asked where the seed for the replanting comes from.
Mr. Simpson stated that the warm season prairie grass is harvested from the site. In the past there was some seed that was purchased. The cool season grass seed is purchased locally from a vendor.
Commissioner Keating asked about he population figures of the greater prairie-chicken.
Mr. Simpson stated that the population has been relatively stable for the last four or five years. In 1998 the genetic management was finishing up, and the IDNR had been releasing some birds from other states. This is the reason for the spike in the population at that time. In the spring of 2003, a researcher with the Wisconsin Prairie-Chicken Society trapped 25 male prairie-chickens the first week of March, prior to the hens arriving for mating. Blood samples were taken, and those samples are being analyzed to determine where the population is genetically in regards to the prairie-chicken population. Early information from this study indicates that the genetic levels for the prairie-chickens are similar to those from other large stable populations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The genetic management was started in 1992. There is a lot of interest in what Illinois has done as far as the genetic management of the greater-prairie chickens.
Commissioner Riddell asked why this is proposed for land and water registration rather than a nature preserve dedication.
Mr. Simpson stated this area requires intense management. A lot of the cool season grasses have a tendency to die out after 10-20 years. The areas then have to be tilled and seeded back to grass. There is also a lot of mowing of the areas. Even though this could be done on a nature preserve, the IDNR requested to have this area registered as a land and water reserve.
It was moved by Keating, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve in Jasper County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-10) Jo Daviess Co. – Hanover Forest Land and Water
(Actually presented after Item 13)
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal to register Hanover Forest as an Illinois land and water reserve. Hanover Forest consists of 34.643 acres and is owned by the Natural Land Institute. This site lies within the Wisconsin Driftless Natural Division of Illinois and is located in the western portion of Jo Daviess County within the upland bluffs overlooking the former Savanna Army Depot, now Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awarded a Conservation 2000 grant to purchase Hanover Forest. Hanover Forest consists primarily of mesic upland forest and is located within the north central portion of the Hanover Bluff INAI site (#1058). Currently, Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve (361.7 acres), owned by IDNR, is the only protected tract within the INAI site. Hanover Bluff is recognized by the INAI as a Category I for high-quality dry dolomite prairie and dry sand prairie communities and as a Category II for the presence of 11 state-endangered and threatened species including: shadbush (Amelanchier interior), meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense), hairy white violet (Viola incognita), hairy umbrella-wort (Mirabilis hirsuta), wooly milkweed (Asclepias lanuginosa), kittentails (Besseya bullii), cliff goldenrod (Solidago sciaphila), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), prairie dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata), plains sedge (Carex heliphilia) and timber rattlesnake (Crotalis horridus horridus).
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Drucker, and carried,
with Ross-Shannon abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Hanover Forest in Jo Daviess County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 10 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-11) Kankakee Co. – Mskoda Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Mskoda Land and Water Reserve. The Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy proposes to register in perpetuity as a land and water reserve 649 acres of its property known as Mskoda Preserve. This site is comprised primarily of four natural community types representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division: dry sand savanna, dry-mesic sand savanna, sand forest, and a former agricultural field. A portion of its dry-mesic sand savanna is recognized on the INAI (#54) for its high biological quality. This site provides habitat for at least two state-endangered species: Carey’s heartsease (Polygonum careyi) and primrose violet (Viola primulifolia), and two species proposed for state listing: old plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus) and Carolina whipgrass (Scleria pauciflora). The proposed land and water reserve qualifies because of its inclusion on the INAI and because of its concentration of unusual plant and animal species. Mskoda Preserve is one of the many notable natural areas found in the Pembroke Savannas, a large-scale ecosystem of national significance.
Ms. Roman stated that camping, hunting, firewood collecting, and maintenance of trails and fire lanes will be allowed on the property.
Commissioner Riddell asked what the word "Mskoda" means.
Ms. Roman stated that "Mskoda" translates to prairie.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Mskoda Land and Water Reserve in Kankakee County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-12) Kankakee Co. – Tallmadge Sand Forest Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman presented a proposal to register Tallmadge Sand Forest as an Illinois land and water reserve. The Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy proposes to register in perpetuity as a land and water reserve 157 acres of its property known as Tallmadge Sand Forest. This site is comprised primarily of three natural community types representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division: sand forest, dry-mesic sand savanna, and sand flatwoods and provides habitat for at least three state-endangered species: Carey’s heartsease (Polygonum careyi), primrose violet (Viola primulifolia), bristly blackberry (Rubus setosus) and one species proposed for state listing: crowded oval sedge (Carex cumulata). Tallmadge Sand Forest qualifies as a land and water reserve because of the habitat it provides for Illinois endangered species and because of its concentration of unusual plant and animal species. Tallmadge Forest is one of the many notable natural areas found in the Pembroke Savannas, a large-scale ecosystem of national significance.
Ms. Roman stated that some of the allowable uses of the land are primitive camping, hunting, firewood collecting, and creation of fire breaks and trails.
It was moved by Flemal, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Tallmadge Sand Forest in Kankakee County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Fran Harty and Carl Becker for their efforts to protect these areas, and she stated that the Commission looks forward to the continued partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Fran Harty stated that, on behalf of The Nature Conservancy, he wanted to thank Ms. Roman for her hard work on these projects. He also thanked the Commission for providing the land protection tools to further their mission.
A lunch break was taken from 12:05 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.
181-13) Marion Co. – Addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural
Area Land and Water Reserve, Registration
(Actually presented after Item 9)
Scott Simpson presented a proposal to register an addition
to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve. The Illinois Department
of Natural Resources (IDNR) proposes to register a 120-acre addition to Prairie
Ridge State Natural Area (PRSNA) Land and Water Reserve located in the Mt.
Vernon Hill Country Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. The
proposed addition is within Prairie Ridge INAI site (#754). The grassland/wetland
complex at PRSNA provides habitat for 37 species of special concern. Among
these species are Illinois’ only breeding population of greater prairie-chickens
(Tympanuchus cupido) and the State’s largest breeding populations of
northern harriers (Circus cyaneus), short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) and barn
owls (Tyto alba). Registration of this addition will increase the permanently
protected acreage at PRSNA located in Marion County to 1207.5 acres.
Mr. Simpson stated that the Marion County tract was planted to cool season grasses in 2002 and 2003. In the spring of 2003, there was a nice booming ground with prairie chickens on this tract.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Prairie Ridge State Natural Area Land and Water Reserve in Marion County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-14) Mason Co. – Walden West Land and Water Reserve,
(Actually presented after Item 7)
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal to register Walden West as
an Illinois land and water reserve. Walden West, owned by Dr. Richard G. Bjorklund,
is approximately 42.7 acres in size and is located just east of Sand Ridge
State Forest, across County Road 2600E. Walden West supports a population
of the state-threatened regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia) and sand prairie
habitat (approximately 12 acres) that includes a population of bird’s
foot violet (Viola pedata), which is a larval host plant for the regal fritillary,
plus a variety of plant species that are important as sources of nectar (e.g.,
butterfly milkweed [Asclepias tuberosa]). Approximately 30 acres of Walden
West is sand forest with characteristic species such as black oak (Quercus
velutina), blackjack oak (Q. marilandica), black hickory (Carya texana), and
mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa). Habitats at Walden West are representative
of the Illinois River Section of the Illinois River and Mississippi River
Sand Areas Natural Division. Dr. Bjorklund wishes to permanently register
Walden West to ensure the protection and proper management of its natural
It was moved by Schewegman, seconded by Drucker, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Walden West in Mason County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Dr. Bjorklund for protecting his property.
Dr. Bjorklund stated that he owes a lot of thanks to some of the people here today who have advised him over the years. He stated that it is a mutual benefit.
181-15) McHenry Co. – Addition to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve, Registration
(Actually presented after Item 12)
Steven Byers presented a proposal to register an addition to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve. The proposed 3.92-acre Wheeler Park Fen Addition is located adjacent to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve and is owned by the City of McHenry. Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve is a 28.98-acre mosaic of graminoid fen, sedge meadow, and uplands located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois. Two floral surveys of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve reported 58 native species with two plant species previously listed as threatened, the common yellow lake sedge (Carex rostrata var. utriculata) and early fen sedge (Carex crawei). The proposed Wheeler Park Fen Addition includes a small ground water discharge zone dominated by calciphitic plants. Registration of this addition will increase the size of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve from 28.98 acres to 32.90 acres, facilitate continued restoration and management, and protect ground water recharge and discharge zones that are important to the long-term viability of Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve.
Mr. Byers stated that there is some infrastructure that exists within this particular tract. Some of the easements are recognized in the survey and the legal description provided in the registration proposal.
Commissioner Keating asked if Mr. Byers was defining the fen as a calciphitic-type of habitat.
Mr. Byers stated that he is referring to it specifically with regard to the groundwater chemistry that supports specific assemblages of plants that are referred to in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as graminoid fen wetland.
Chair Allread stated that the slides shown by Mr. Byers show this property coming up to the back of some of the homes, and Mr. Byers mentioned that this complicates the management plan. She asked what precautions have to be taken in order to accommodate the close proximity.
Mr. Byers stated that the staff are primarily concerned with the drift of smoke associated with a prescribed burn. As part of that process, staff will be working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The necessary permits will be secured, and the staff will work with the City of McHenry so they make the necessary notifications that are called for as part of that permit process. Mr. Byers stated that he would act as an assistant to the City of McHenry at the controlled burn at this site.
Chair Allread stated that it is important that these neighbors know that it is an advantage to live so close to a protected area rather than a disadvantage. She asked if there was some other outreach that could be done to advise those homeowners of the significance of the area that they are close to and let the homeowners know why the controlled burn is an important management tool.
Mr. Byers stated that Pete Merkel is the Director with the
City of McHenry Parks and Recreation. He and his staff personally go out and
talk with the people who live in this particular area.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Sommerhof, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Wheeler Fen Land and Water Reserve in McHenry County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-16) St. Clair Co. – New Athens Woods Land and Water
Diane Tecic presented a proposal to register New Athens Woods as an Illinois land and water reserve. The proposed New Athens Woods Land and Water Reserve is a 266.9-acre tract owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It is located in southwestern Illinois along the Kaskaskia River within the in Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area. The proposed land and water reserve is included on the INAI (#833) for 117 acres of grade A and B floodplain forest and contains backwater sloughs and a one-acre marsh as well. The forest and wetland communities at New Athens Woods are representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. 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.
Ms. Tecic thanked Bob Edgin for his work on this proposal.
Ms. Tecic stated that allowable uses for this site include hunting, fishing, bird watching, hiking, and nature study. Boating is also permitted, however, there will be no boat access sites developed. There is some problem with user developed ATV trails at the site. Conservation Police Officers have addressed this issue, and the problem is relatively under control.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of New Athens Woods in St. Clair County as an Illinois land and water reserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-17) Ford Co. - Sibley Grove Nature Preserve, Dedication
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Sibley Grove as an Illinois nature preserve. Sibley Grove is a 50.48-acre mesic savanna and wetland owned by the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) located 34 miles east of Bloomington-Normal. TNC proposes to dedicate 49.85 acres as a nature preserve and .63 acre in the northwest corner of the tract as buffer and for use as a picnic area. This grove of 185-390 year-old oak trees is one of the best mesic savannas in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is the best remaining example of a mesic savanna, pond, marsh, and prairie complex in east-central Illinois. Since 1995, TNC has been restoring the savanna and has recreated a wetland that formerly existed prior to cultivation. TNC intends to transfer ownership of this area to the Land Conservation Foundation, a private non-profit conservation organization based in Champaign. TNC, with the full support of the Land Conservation Foundation, proposes to dedicate Sibley Grove Nature Preserve to permanently protect the imperiled natural community found here and to honor the intentions of Hiram Sibley and other family members who donated this grove to TNC to permanently safeguard the natural features of the grove.
Ms. Solecki stated that TNC received a C-2000 grant to establish a parking area in the central part of Sibley Grove. They also received funding to create a 3/4-mile educational trail. This is designed to allow public access to the area and allow it to be used as an educational resource. Sibley Grove has been an outstanding resource for the local community. When TNC began actively restoring the site, they were successful in recruiting a wide variety of volunteers from the town of Sibley. The buffer area is an open grassy area and has been historically used as a picnic area. It will continue to be used as a picnic area with picnic tables.
Ms. Solecki stated that TNC is planning on transferring ownership of this land to the Land Conservation Foundation, which is a private, nonprofit conservation organization recently formed in the Champaign/Urbana area.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Riddell, and carried, with Drucker abstaining, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Sibley Grove in Ford County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Fran Harty and Carl Becker for their support.
181-18) McDonough Co. - Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Short Fork Seep as an Illinois nature preserve. Short Fork Seep is a 41.81-acre site owned by Dr. Robert and Alice Henry of Macomb, Illinois. The site lies within the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division of Illinois. Short Fork Seep contains approximately 10 acres of the 16.18-acre Short Fork Seep INAI site (#144). The remaining 6 acres of the INAI site are located on the east side of the county road under separate ownership. The portion of Short Fork Seep which lies within the INAI site is proposed for dedication as nature preserve, with the remaining 31.81 acres to be dedicated as nature preserve buffer. This site was previously granted preliminary approval for dedication as a nature preserve by the Commission in 2000 at the 167th INPC Meeting (Resolution #1532), under the name Short Fork Marsh. The plant communities within the site have since been re-evaluated and reclassified for the INAI (Category I) as high-quality seep (1.7 acres grade B) and sedge meadow (.3 acres grade B), hence the name change to Short Fork Seep.
Ms. Moorehouse stated that the landowners want to continue an ongoing research project that is being conducted by Jim Wiker. He has been working on documenting the moth and butterfly species at this site with the emphasis on habitat dependent species.
It was moved by Schwegman, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Short Fork Seep in McDonough County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread asked that the Commission’s gratitude be extended to Dr. and Mrs. Henry, along with an invitation to attend the 182nd Meeting of the INPC.
181-19) St. Clair Co. – Sinking Creek Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Newman presented a proposal for preliminary approval for dedication of Sinking Creek as an Illinois nature preserve. John and Sarah Lloyd propose to dedicate 4.5 acres known as the Sinking Creek Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve is part of the Stemler Karst INAI site (#835) and is important because it protects numerous sinkholes within the Stemler Cave recharge area, an intermittent disappearing or "sinking" stream, and a small passage of cave disconnected from the main cave. The mostly forested site is located upstream of the main cave stream, adding to its importance in buffering the cave’s aquatic and terrestrial communities. Stemler Cave was recognized by the INAI for its high-quality terrestrial and aquatic cave communities representative of the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The cave has particular importance because it was a collection site for the state and federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes). The Stemler Karst, including the proposed nature preserve, is located in the unique "Sinkhole Plain" of southwestern Illinois and was cited by the INAI as being an "outstanding example of karst topography."
Commissioner Keating stated there is a waterfall in this area,
and he asked if it was close to this site.
Ms. Newman stated that he may be referring to Falling Springs. Falling Springs is approximately five miles to the north of this site, and it is not currently protected.
Chair Allread asked if most of the land in the Stemler Karst area is privately owned.
Ms. Newman stated that approximately 95% of the land in the Stemler Karst area is privately owned.
It was moved by Flemal, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Sinking Creek in St. Clair County as an Illinois nature preserve, as described in the proposal presented under Item 19 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-20) Kane Co. – Littlejohn Woods Addition of Buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Steven Byers presented a proposal for final dedication of the Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed 70.336-acre Littlejohn Woods addition of buffer to Helm Woods Nature Preserve is owned by Dundee Township. It is located within the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois and consists of 13 acres of high-quality woodlands identified on the INAI for Helm Woods (#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. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 180th Meeting (Resolution #1738) in September, 2003.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final 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 20 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-21) Madison Co. – Great Rivers Addition to John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Newman presented a proposal for final dedication of Great Rivers addition to John M. Olin Nature Preserve. The Village of Godfrey proposes to dedicate 7.32 acres known as the Great Rivers addition of nature preserve to the John M. Olin Nature Preserve. The proposed addition also partly borders the Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve. The Great Rivers addition is located in the Glaciated Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division and contains a small hill prairie, dry and dry-mesic upland forest, and limestone cliff. The proposed addition also provides habitat for the state-threatened timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Dedication of the site will complete protection of a mile-long section of bluffline along the Mississippi River. The complex of adjoining lands in the area, including John M. Olin Nature Preserve, Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary Nature Preserve buffer, Mississippi Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Poole Farm Nature Preserve addition, Bachman Farm Nature Preserve buffer addition, and Oblate Fathers’ Woods Nature Preserve comprise a total 411 acres. This addition will increase the amount of contiguous preserved land to 418 acres. The Commission granted preliminary approval for dedication of this site at its 176th Meeting (Resolution #1667) in August, 2002.
Ms. Newman stated that the Nature Institute will be doing the management of this site, per an agreement with the Village of Godfrey.
It was moved by Keating, seconded by Schwegman, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Great Rivers addition to John M. Olin Nature Preserve in Madison County as described in the proposal presented under Item 21 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
181-22) Hancock Co. – Cedar Glen Nature Preserve, Waterline
Dr. Sean Jenkins, Western Illinois University (WIU) Field Station Director, stated that WIU is requesting approval to install a four-inch waterline through nature preserve buffer within Cedar Glen Nature Preserve. The waterline will provide water to the new dormitory/dining/meeting facility at WIU’s Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Station. The proposed location of the waterline is along an existing trail within buffer and will not threaten resources within the Nature Preserve. The Nature Conservancy owns Cedar Glen Nature Preserve and supports this proposed project.
Dr. Jenkins provided background information on this site. Classes have been held at this Science Station continuously since 1966. There are two, four-week summer sessions each year. They usually offer two courses each session. The first session begins around May 13, and the second session begin around June 10. They have also expanded their program. They have a conservation day where they have 400-500 grade school children at the site to learn about conservation and natural resource management. In the last three years they have started a program with the Student Challenge Award Program of Earth Watch Institute where they send eight gifted high school students in the humanities from all over the country, and they do research with several of WIU’s faculty members for a two-week period. Dr. Jenkins also stated that WIU will host its first Eco Camp for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.
Dr. Jenkins stated that the new building will be 42,000 square feet in size and will house approximately 48 students in two dormitory wings. There will be a large central dining and meeting area. The building uses insulated concrete form construction. There will be modern bathroom facilities, along with a mud room. The building will also have a large modern kitchen and a 600 square foot basement. The building will have radiant floor heating.
Once the grant was obtained, McClure Engineering Associates was hired to do a feasibility study to see what their water options were. The present well on the site is 400 feet deep and puts out approximately four gallons per minute. He stated that it is not unusual to run out of water when they have a large class. The water is also very high in minerals, and it is of poor quality. The engineering firm submitted four options: connect to the Warsaw Water District, which is the least destructive option because the waterline would be placed through the buffer area of the Nature Preserve, and it is the most cost-efficient; use the current well, which is not really an option because of the low output and poor water quality; dig new wells which may result in the same low output and mandatory water testing and treatment of the water would be required; or connect to the Hamilton Water District, which is to the north of the field station. The waterline would have to be run through the high-quality forested area, and the use of dynamite may be necessary to get through the bedrock.
Commissioner Riddell asked what area will be dug up for the waterline installation.
Dr. Jenkins stated that the waterline trench will run right along the trail. The trail is wide and is used for prescribed burning, restoration, and management work. A small trencher is used to dig a four foot deep trench for the four inch water pipe. There will be minimal impact to the prairie restoration or even to the trail. He stated that he has shown the crew where the trench will be placed.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if the proposal also provides for maintenance of this line.
Randy Heidorn stated that the Commission does not have a document for this proposal. The Commission does not have the authority to issue an easement, and the landowner cannot given an easement for this. This will be in the form of a management agreement wherein the Commission will allow WIU to place the waterline, and if sometime in the future the Commission feels there is a problem with it, the Commission can rescind its approval. If the waterline requires maintenance, WIU would not need to bring the issue back to the Commission for approval.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Flemal, and carried
that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the waterline installation at Cedar Glen Nature Preserve in Hancock County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 22 of the Agenda for the 181st Meeting.
Chair Allread thanked Dr. Jenkins for his presentation.
Dr. Jenkins invited the Commission to hold a Commission meeting at the new facility and tour the12 miles of hiking trails at the site.
181-23) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
There was no public comment.
181 -24) Other Business
There was no other business.
It was moved by Drucker, seconded by Schwegman, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702