Lodge and Conference Center
Route 100, P.O. Box 429
Grafton, IL 62037
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:00 a.m.
188-1) Call to Order, Roll Call and Introduction of Attendees
At 10:00 a.m., pursuant to the Call to Order of Chairman Drucker, the meeting began.
Randy Heidorn read the roll call.
Members present: Jill Allread, Harry Drucker, Ronald Flemal, Dr. Richard Keating, Jill Riddell, Lauren Rosenthal and Bruce Ross-Shannon.
Kristi DeLaurentiis and John Schwegman.
Others present: Steven Byers, Judy Faulkner Dempsey, Bob Edgin, Randy Heidorn, Tom Lerczak, Tammie McKay, Angella Moorehouse, Kelly Neal, John Nelson, Deb Newman, Kim Roman, and Mary Kay Solecki, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC); Jody Shimp and Diane Tecic, Office of Resource Conservation (ORC), Don McFall and Todd Rettig, Office of Realty and Environmental Planning (OREP), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR); Greg Larson and Mike McLuckie, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT); Fran Harty, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Hurston Allen Nicholas, U.S. Forest Service; Clyde Trexler, Columbia Quarry Company; Henry Eilers, Shoal Creek Valley; Eberhard and Anita Pfitzner and Tina Chandler, Two Branch Peace Prairie Land and Water Reserve; Ken and Dawn Kedzior, Kedzior Woods Addition to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve; Gillette Ransom and Leslie Knight, North Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve; John H. Lloyd, Sinking Creek Nature Preserve; John Steffen, DuPage County, Jerry Robinson, Christopher B. Burke Engineering (CBBE), Chris Merenowicz, Cook County Forest Preserve District, Bill Stoll, Applied Ecological Services; Bill Gonterman, French Valley Initiatives, and Mike Fries, volunteer steward.
Chairman Drucker introduced Tammie McKay, who formerly worked with INPC as Executive Assistant. Chairman Drucker reported that INPC has contracted with Tammie to help with INPC’s quarterly meetings and also with the preparation of the Biennial Report. Chairman Drucker thanked IDNR’s Director Brunsvold for signing this contract.
Chairman Drucker reported that INPC’s Deputy Director for Protection (and Acting Director) Don McFall, recently accepted a position with IDNR’s Office of Realty and Environmental Planning as their Natural Areas Acquisition Program Manager. He stated that at INPC’s 189th Meeting on February 7, 2006, the Commission will present a resolution to Don for his many years of hard work and dedication with INPC.
Chairman Drucker stated that with Don leaving the Commission, INPC staff are working very hard to fill the gap. At Chairman Drucker’s request, Randy Heidorn has agreed to serve as Acting Director until the position is filled.
Chairman Drucker reported that at the 187th Meeting of the INPC, held at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle on August 2, 2005, legal protection for three tracts of land totaling 151.25 acres was approved by the Commission. All three of the areas are owned by private individuals or not-for-profit corporations who donated the value of the protection agreement to the public. The dollar value of the tracts of private land is $450,000, 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 protected without state acquisition at INPC’s 187th Meeting were: Barnhart Prairie Restoration Nature Preserve, Champaign County, 80 acres; Pembrook Savanna Nature Preserve, Kankakee County, 65.78 acres, and an addition to Gladstone Fen Nature Preserve, McHenry County, 5.47 acres. Protection of this land came about because the Commission has eight staff in the field working with private landowners. There are now 327 dedicated nature preserves in 80 counties totaling 44,090.25 acres and 120 land and water reserves in 55 counties totaling 35,614.5 acres.
188-2) Adoption of Agenda
recommended that items 19 and 22 be deferred to a later meeting.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Keating, and carried that the Agenda be adopted as amended.
188-3) Approval of the Minutes of the 187th Meeting, August 2, 2005
One correction was made to the Minutes of the 187th Meeting. Under IDNR Staff Report, on page 11, second full paragraph, Todd Strole announced a "Midwest Birding Symposium"...., not "Midwest Burning Symposium".
It was moved by
Ross-Shannon, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the Minutes of the 187th
Meeting, August 2, 2005, be approved as amended.
188-4) Next Meeting
Meeting Date Location
189 7 February, 10:00 a.m. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield
190 2 May, 10:00 a.m. Ballard Nature Center, Altamont
191 1 August, 10:00 a.m. McHenry County Conservation District, Woodstock
192 24 October, 10:00 a.m. Nature Center, Bourbonnais Park District, Bourbonnais
188-5) INPC Staff Report
Randy Heidorn reported to the Commission on the following topics:
1. Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan-Strategy - also known as the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP)
The IWAP was completed and submitted to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in July. The plan was approved in September as one of only 10 that received such an approval. This broad-based plan will guide the IDNR’s efforts to manage all living resources in the state. This plan was required by the USFWS for the state to qualify for federal funds associated with the State Wildlife Grant Program. Federal funding has the potential to grow from $2 million to over $14 million if the "Teaming with Wildlife Initiative" can be revitalized. This plan and program both target "species in greatest need of conservation" including those rare resources found in natural areas. Although, currently focusing on animal species, the plan emphasizes the protection and stewardship of habitats for those species in need. The IDNR is now funding an addition to the plan that includes plant species. It is IDNR’s intention to use this plan to help guide both federally funded and state funded wildlife management efforts. The INPC can play a significant role in implementing the IWAP. INPC protection tools, landowner contact skills and stewardship expertise will be needed to help target management to the resources most in need of conservation. Our involvement with this project is consistent with the INPC’s current strategic plan. Copies of the plan were made available to commissioners at the meeting.
i. Don McFall has accepted a position within the Office of Realty and Environmental Planning and will no longer function as the Deputy Director for Protection or the Acting Director of the INPC. Randy Heidorn has agreed to fill in on the duties for both of these vacant positions until they are refilled. Also, all field staff, but especially Tom Lerczak, Mary Kay Solecki and Kelly Neal are playing expanded roles in agenda preparation and document review for dedications, registrations and management approvals.
ii. Michelle Klintworth remains on medical leave and it is uncertain when she will return. Deb Reider, who had been temporarily assigned to fill in for the INPC secretary position, received a call back notice from Central Management Service (CMS). Deb served as INPC’s secretary prior to being bumped by Michelle Klintworth during IDNR layoffs last year. Ms. Reider’s call back notice required her to accept a position within the Department of Human Services or lose her rights to the job title she previously held with the INPC. So currently, the INPC has no one functioning as INPC Secretary. To address the gap, Tammie McKay has been hired on a temporary contract to coordinate INPC’s quarterly meetings including set up, taking and transcribing minutes, travel, caterer, and other arrangements. She also will be assisting in the preparation of the biennial report which has been on hold while the INPC secretary, who does the data entry for this report, is on leave. Additionally, Nancy Rogers and Kathy Groesch of IDNR’s Office of Resource Conservation, have been helping with timekeeping and processing vouchers. Kelly Neal has also agreed to take over the administration of the INPC’s petty cash fund.
iii. INPC Areas have been realigned to address vacancies and work load. John Nelson, who serves as the Northeastern Illinois Threats Coordinator, will be taking on Natural Areas Protection Specialist (NAPS) duties in most of Area 1 (John Alesandrini’s old Area) and in parts of McHenry County. Angella Moorehouse will continue to cover counties of Area 1 associated with the Mississippi River in addition to her existing Area 4.
b. Service Awards
Service pins were distributed to the following staff for completing milestones in their career of state government. Kelly Neal - 5 years; Kim Roman, Angella Moorehouse, and Bob Edgin - 10 Years; Steve Byers and John Nelson - 15 years, and Mary Kay Solecki - 20 years.
3. Protection Program
a. Natural Heritage Landmarks
Caterpillar Hill Prairie Natural Heritage Landmark was enrolled by its owner Caterpillar, Inc. This 3.8-acre site in Woodford County protects very high quality examples of hill prairie typical of the Illinois River bluffs.
b. Land Acquisitions
Judy Faulkner Dempsey has been involved with TNC in the negotiation on an option to acquire Edelman-Cave Speleological Cave. This parcel has been an Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark for several years. This option will help the parcel to be acquired and eventually become a part of the Shawnee National Forest.
c. Ceremonies and recognitions
i. A ceremony, organized by Deb Newman, was held for the new Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve near Valmeyer. Approximately 80 people, including representatives of the Clean Energy Foundation, Illinois Audubon Society, Village of Valmeyer and Commissioner John Schwegman participated.
ii. Angella Moorehouse provided a guided tour and information talk on the ecological significance of Diers Seep Spring Natural Heritage Landmark in Fulton County as part of a Field Day held by the Wild Turkey Federation on August 13th.
d. Other Protection Activities
i. Deb Newman held an information meeting for landowners in the Stemler Cave recharge area on August 25. There were approximately 22 people in attendance, plus an additional six that weren’t able to attend but called for more information. A new group, Friends of Stemler Cave Nature Preserve also announced its formation at the meeting.
ii. Judy Faulkner Dempsey met with several owners to discuss participation in programs including the following natural areas: Circle B Ranch, Degonia Canyon and Soward Limestone Glade.
4. Stewardship Program
a. MANAGE-MATS, a new management tracking system to be used to track land management on lands in INPC programs is a pilot project for a larger system that will be used by the IDNR. It will specifically help us modernize the INPC management schedule planning, annual reporting and biennial reporting processes. GIS Solutions of Springfield was awarded the contract to begin the development of this new system. This project is funded as a part of the implementation of the Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Plan.
b. Involvement with other organizations
Judy Faulkner Dempsey reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Trails Designation Project (Phase 1) for the Shawnee National Forest. This EIS will regulate equestrian and other trail uses, establish a monitoring plan, and designate trail locations.
c. Class III Special Resource Groundwater
The groundwater supporting Stemler Cave Nature Preserve and Pautler Nature Preserve has been designated a Class III Special Resource Groundwater by the IEPA. These designations ensure that water quality is protected. Currently, Class I (drinking water) standards would apply to the area, until such a time as site specific water quality standards could be determined and brought to the Pollution Control Board for approval. The INPC has hired the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey to help in the delineations of additional Class III groundwater areas.
d. Stewardship Planning
i. Deb Newman met with the newly formed Valmeyer/Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve Stewardship Committee to discuss management issues on this reserve.
ii. Bob Edgin worked on the Illinois flood plain forest restoration plan for the Lawrenceville Refinery NRDA site that adjoins Shellbark Bottoms NHL.
iii. Angella Moorehouse completed an update of the 3-year management schedule for the Black Hawk Forest Nature Preserve in Rock Island County owned the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
e. Stewardship Project Implementation
i. Judy Faulkner Dempsey worked to implement stewardship projects at Halesia Nature Preserve and Ren-Dill Shale Glade Nature Preserve.
ii. Tom Lerczak collaborated with a Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) representative (Vern LaGesse) to discuss new management plans for natural areas in Sangamon, Menard, Cass, and Mason counties.
iii. Tom Lerczak assisted Fondulac Park District in Tazewell County with carrying out a C2000 project that involves woodland restoration on the Illinois River Bluffs.
f. Land Management Activities conducted by Staff
Angella Moorehouse assisted with plant transect surveys at Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve in Jo Daviess County and Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve in Carroll County as part of the ongoing Hanover Bluff Restoration C2000 Project.
5. Training and Meetings Attended
a. Angella Moorehouse attended the Midwest Birding Symposium in the Quad Cities, October 13-15, and gave 2 presentations on land protection programs for waterfowl habitat and assisted with field trips at Black Hawk Forest Nature Preserve in Rock Island.
b. Randy Heidorn attended the 32nd Natural Areas Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. As treasurer of the Natural Areas Association, Heidorn also attended the semi-annual board meeting and presided over the annual membership meeting.
c. INPC staff have attended or will be attending meetings and providing input for the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan implementation.
d. Tom Lerczak attended the Governor's Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System in Peoria October 5-6, and made a presentation entitled "Volunteer Activities of the Emiquon Audubon Society and Other Audubon Chapters Along the Illinois River." He submitted a manuscript with the same title for the conference proceedings.
Several of the INPC staff worked at the Habitat Resources tent during the Illinois State Fair.
John Nelson briefly reported on two threats issues:
1. Update on Bluff Springs Fen (BSF) and adjacent mining activities. Mr. Nelson reported that on September 6, 2005, INPC staff met with representatives of Bluff City Materials and Vulcan Materials to inspect the mine portal located to the south of BSF. Portal pumping data indicated that the portal is intercepting approximately 600 gpm. Additional groundwater monitoring wells were installed along the north side of the portal. Vulcan representatives agreed to provide the INPC with all available data related to pumping and groundwater. Vulcan representatives further agreed to provide the INPC with a portal grouting plan and timetable for implementation. Staff observed that Vulcan and Bluff City Materials were apparently having a much more difficult time reducing groundwater inflows to the portal than originally planned. Mr. Nelson reported that the short-term mitigation strategy to pump groundwater from the portal to a recharge lake east of the fen never took place this past summer due to lack of proper permits. Plans are now under review by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago that will allow pumping to proceed as planned in 2006.
2. Update on development plans adjacent to Middle Fork Savanna Nature Preserve in Lake County. The Costco Corporation withdrew its proposal to the City of Lake Forest to construct and operate a "big box" commercial development and gas station adjacent to Middle Fork Savanna. The 40-acre property is now being considered for acquisition by the City of Lake Forest with the potential sale of 20 acres to the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
Steve Byers presented to the Commissioners a brief overview of a potential threat to the natural resource values at the 100-acre Wagner Fen Nature Preserve, Lake County, a wetland mosaic that includes a high-quality graminoid fen. The site also supports ten state-listed endangered or threatened plants and animals. Steve provided visual images that showed the wetland basin and the location of the proposed Honeybee Hills Subdivision. Commission staff have appeared or presented written testimony three times before the Village of Lake Barrington regarding the proposed subdivision. The proposed development consists of 71 lots on 109.3 acres. Concerns expressed by the Commission staff include the placement and proximity of the stormwater retention basin, potential for erosion/sedimentation on the steep slopes overlooking the nature preserve, and the effects of the proposed development on the groundwater resource (in terms of both quantity and quality). Jim Miner with the Illinois State Geological Survey has also raised concerns regarding the number and placement of septic fields within the proposed development and the impact of those effluents and chlorides on groundwater quality.
Currently, both the Planning Commission and the Village of Lake Barrington Board of Trustees have granted preliminary approval for the project with the caveat that the developer is proceeding "at his own risk" and that final plat/engineering remains subject to modification as the Village Board "may determine" to respond to "...comments provided by agencies which have standing." Steve relayed that because of the concerns expressed by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, Citizens for Conservation, and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, the Village of Lake Barrington has hired Huff and Huff Consultants and Bruce Hensel to evaluate the impact this proposed subdivision may have upon both the surface and groundwater hydrology upon which Wagner Fen Nature Preserve is dependent.
Commissioner Keating asked whether any earth had been moved. Steve responded that that could not occur until final approval for the project had been granted by the Village of Lake Barrington and that staff would monitor and keep Commissioners appraised as the process continues.
188-6) IDNR Staff Report
Diane Tecic reported to the Commission on the following topics:
1. Wildlife Action Plan Approved
The Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, formerly known as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan/Strategy, has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Illinois is among the first 10 states to have their plans approved.
The Wildlife Action Plan outlines objectives for fish and wildlife resources in Illinois and describes strategies to meet those objectives in identified areas of the state. Development of the plan was a requirement of federal legislation through which State Wildlife Grant funds are allocated to the states. Plan approval maintains Illinois’ eligibility for those federal funds, which may reach a total of $11-13 million annually if efforts to increase current funding are successful.
Dr. Jeff Walk coordinated development of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan. Jeff was recognized for his successful completion of the plan at a brief ceremony at IDNR headquarters on October 14.
Todd Strole left IDNR on September 30 to accept a position with The Nature Conservancy. Todd will be working on TNC’s Upper Mississippi River Program out of the Missouri Chapter office in St. Louis. Todd had been serving as chief of the Division of Habitat Resources. With his departure, Mike Mason has assumed administrative duties for the Forestry Section and Glen Kruse is supervising the operations of the Restoration Ecology Section. These two sections will function independently until decisions are made on possible realignment of responsibilities and staff.
3. Natural Areas Evaluation Committee
The Natural Areas Evaluation Committee met on October 4, 2005, in Springfield. Actions approved by the committee included:
• Kyte River, Ogle County - addition as a Category VI natural area because of the presence of significant mussel resources and the presence of the listed mussell.
• Miller-Anderson Woods INAI site, Bureau and Putnam counties - deletion of the Category II significant feature - abandoned bald eagle nest has fallen from nest tree.
• Lower Fox River - Blake’s Landing INAI site, LaSalle County - expansion of boundary to match Nature Preserve boundary.
• Otter Creek INAI site, LaSalle County - addition of Category VI for significant mussel resources.
• Milan South Geological Area INAI site, Rock Island County - addition of Category I for grade B loess hill prairie, change in boundary to include hill prairies.
• Wheelock Railroad Prairie INAI site, Whiteside County - deleted from inventory because of severe degradation (lack of management, mowing, spraying, woody encroachment, exotic invasives).
• Singing Woods INAI site, Peoria County - addition of Category I for one acre of grade B loess hill prairie and Category VI for forest supporting forest sensitive birds.
• Marietta Geological Area INAI site, Fulton County - addition of Category II for presence of two listed plants and boundary change to include savanna ridge.
• METRA Prairie, Cook County - addition to inventory as Category INAI site for the presence and specific suitable habitat for a listed plant.
• Montrose Beach Dune, Cook County - addition to inventory as Category II INAI site for presence and specific suitable for five listed plant species (Ammophila breviligulata, Cakile edentula, Chamaesyce polygonifolia, Carex viridula, Juncus alpinus). The site is also used for a resting and foraging area by several state-listed birds.
• Middle Fork of the Vermilion River INAI site, Vermilion County - expansion of boundary to reflect merger with Higginsville Geological Area.
• Cecil White Prairie INAI site, Hancock County - change in boundary to correct error
• Emma Brown Hill Prairie INAI site, Pike County - change in name to Brown Branch Hill Prairie.
• Housen Hill Prairie INAI site, Pike County - change boundary to delete heavily-grazed portion and add hill prairie on east ridge.
• Old Refuge Island Bed, Pike County - addition to inventory as Category VI INAI site for large numbers and high diversity of mussels.
• H.L. Sprague Hill Prairie INAI site, Pike County - change name to Sprague Hill Prairie, alter boundary to correct error, and add Category II for presence of a listed plant.
• Kincaid Cemetery Prairie, Scott County - addition to inventory as Category I (best of kind mesic prairie) INAI site.
• Richwood Hill Prairies, Jersey County - addition to inventory as Category I INAI site for grade A and B loess hill prairies.
• Degognia Canyon, Jackson and Randolph counties - addition to inventory as Category II and VI INAI site for presence of a listed reptile.
• Southwest Kincaid Route 3, Jackson County - addition to inventory as Category II and VI INAI site for presence of a listed reptile.
• LaRue - Pine Hills Research Natural Area (INAI #1079, Cat. I, II, III) - added Category VI for a listed reptile rookery and expanded the boundary to include this feature.
4. Habitat Conservation Plan Grant Approved
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved an award of $370,163 to IDNR to support the preparation of a Habitat Conservation Plan for the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly in the area including Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve in Will County. The federal funds will be combined with $838,100 in cash and in-kind services from corporations (Material Service Corporation; Midwest Generation EME, LLC; ComEd) who own land in the area. The Habitat Conservation Plan is required as part of an application for incidental take of dragonflies that will be submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service by the corporations. The objective of the plan is to assure long-term survival of the species while allowing limited take that will result from industrial activities.
5. Land Acquisition
Approximately 1,385 acres were acquired since we last reported to the INPC. This included the following parcels:
• 119 acres were added to the Witkowsky Wildlife Area in Jo Daviess County
• 56 acres were added to Redwing Slough State Natural Area in Lake County
• A 1-acre addition was acquired at Alorton Heron Rookery in St. Clair County.
• 5 tracts totaling 1,200 acres were acquired from TNC (McMaster Woods was a gift, the others were acquired at TNCs cost).
• 40-acre McMaster Woods in Greene County
• 888-acre Cedar Glen Kibbe in Hancock County
• 173-acre Gibbons Creek Barrens in Pope County
• 105-acre Collier Limestone Glade in Hardin County
• 2 small lots at Wolf Road Prairie in Cook County.
188-7) Endangered Species Protection Board Staff Report
Endangered Species Protection Board Manager was unable to attend the INPC Meeting,
therefore, this item was deferred.
188-8) Report on the Shawnee National Forest Plan
Chairman Drucker introduced Hurston (Allen) Nicholas, Forest Supervisor for the Shawnee National Forest, of the U.S. Forest Service. Chairman Drucker stated that the Commission was honored to have Mr. Nicholas come to the INPC meeting to give an update on some important issues.
Mr. Nicholas thanked the Commission for the opportunity to speak. He told the audience that there were three issues of concern that he would address and would also entertain questions.
The first issue is the Forest Plan, which was completed in the Fall of 2004. Public comments were received in January, 2005. Each comment was addressed by the Shawnee staff and a revised draft is being written for the Regional Forester’s review. Getting the plan completed and in place is a priority of the Forest. This includes addressing any appeals and lawsuits that may follow.
The second item is the Draft EIS on Trails Designation, which is out for public review. Comments must be received by November 7th, 2005. Each comment will be addressed and a revised document written and released to the public as the Final EIS on Trails Designation. Appeals and lawsuits may follow.
The third concern is the EIS on Natural Areas Management. This document is being revised for the third time. The Forest plans to release the document to the public early enough to ensure that burning could proceed in the Spring, 2006. A related issue is the management of the federally endangered Meade’s Milkweed, that occurs on the forest and is declining due to the absence of prescribed fire. The Forest wants to be able to burn the plant’s habitat in the Spring of 2006.
Commissioner Riddell asked for clarification on the date that the Shawnee hopes to release the EIS on Natural Areas Management.
Mr. Nicholas stated that he wanted the document to be provided to the public in time to burn in Spring of 2006.
Commissioner Riddell asked if the Forest could burn as soon as the document was released.
Mr. Nicholas answered, "No, the public must respond." He further stated that a revision of the draft or a decision notice based on the draft sent out must be complete. If there are no appeals, burning could proceed at this point.
Commissioner Keating asked if getting more volunteers to help on the Forest would help move the process along.
Mr. Nicholas answered that the Shawnee can use all the volunteers it can get, but that is not the problem with this EIS. The Shawnee has a limited number of highly skilled workers who can do the analysis necessary to complete this EIS. They are the same people working on the revised plan and litigation. This is the bottleneck.
The Commission offered assistance in finishing the EIS.
Randy Heidorn stated that all registration agreements for today’s land and water reserve presentations have been signed and executed by the landowner as required by administrative rule.
188-9) Calhoun Co. – Two Branch Peace Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Debbie Newman presented a proposal to register Two Branch Peace Prairie as a land and water reserve. Two Branch Peace Prairie is owned by the Pfitzner family, Eberhard and Anita, and their children Kurt, Ron, and Tina. The site is located in the Driftless Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division. The proposed land and water reserve is an 11-acre parcel that includes all of the 8-acre Two Branch Hollow Hill Prairie INAI site. The proposed reserve contains approximately 0.5 acres of Grade A loess hill prairie, Grade A limestone cliff community, 10 acres of dry-mesic upland forest, and part of a perennial stream. The site overlooks the Mississippi River. The prairie is small but diverse, with an abundance of forbs. Some examples include whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea), and pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida). The site contains nearly 70 species of forbs and grasses within the ½ acre prairie.
Ms. Newman stated that while the prairie is small, we know historically it was larger. The current size should be changing since management work has already commenced on the site and doubled the amount of open area. Two brushcutting workdays have occurred. Ms. Newman acknowledged the help of Henry Eilers, who was sitting in the audience, as a longtime friend of the Pfitzner family and who assisted with some of the stewardship on the prairie.
Ms. Newman stated that the Pfitzner family loves the farm that includes the proposed land and water reserve and they have owned the site for 35 years. Newman stated she was thrilled with their commitment to preserving this rare prairie and thanked them for their efforts.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Two Branch Peace Prairie as a land and water reserve in Calhoun County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 9 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
Chairman Drucker asked the Pfitzner family for comments which they declined and Chairman Drucker then thanked the family for their role in permanently preserving this prairie.
188-10) Jersey Co. – McAdams Peak Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Judy Faulkner Dempsey presented a proposal on behalf of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to register McAdams Peak Hill Prairie as a land and water reserve.
The approximately 250-acre (101.2 hectare) site is situated within Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County, Illinois. The proposed McAdams Peak Hill Prairie Land and Water Reserve is significant due to the presence of a complex of high quality loess hill prairies, totaling nine acres. The proposed reserve is located within the Driftless Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division. Several of the hill prairies are located along the main park road at overlooks. Two larger hill prairies are along Hickory Trail. These include Twin Mounds Hill Prairie and McAdams Peak Hill Prairie. Management work to control woody invasives and exotic species is being conducted on an ongoing basis. The area, which overlooks the Illinois River, contains an exceptional limestone cliff community and adjoins a forested hollow (Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Habitat, INAI #602) that is utilized heavily by wintering bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if this was the only land and water reserve at Pere Marquette State Park.
Randy Heidorn stated that there is a cave land and water reserve at the park.
Judy Faulkner stated
that there was also a nature preserve at the park.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Keating, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
grants approval for the registration of McAdams Peak Hill Prairie as a land
and water reserve in Jersey County, as described in the proposal presented under
Item 10 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-11) Logan Co. – North Elkhart Hill Grove Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Tom Lerczak presented a proposal to register North Elkhart Hill Grove as a land and water reserve. The 36.04-acre North Elkhart Hill Grove, owned by Gillette M. Ransom and James C. Ransom, contains approximately 15 acres of mesic old-growth forest and approximately 21 acres of forest that have been managed for a continuing, but limited, timber harvest. The forests at North Elkhart Hill Grove are representative of the Springfield Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division and are recognized as part of the Elkhart Hill Natural Area (INAI #0178), which is the only prairie grove in Illinois located on a glacial kame (from the Illinoisan glacial period). Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) are important canopy species. Other common species in smaller diameter classes include slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), American elm (Ulmus americana) and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) is a dominant herbaceous species. The 15-acre old-growth area forms the core of the proposed land and water reserve and will remain protected from timber harvest as a "no-cut" area. Timber harvest, following an INPC-approved management plan, will be allowed on remaining acres. Hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing will be restricted to established trails. Hunting and mushroom collecting will be allowed with landowner permission.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of North Elkhart Hill Grove as a land and water reserve in Logan County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 11 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-12) McHenry Co. – Maunk-Sook Sedge Meadow and Savanna Land and Water Reserve
Steve Byers presented a proposal to register a 55-acre tract of land, owned by John and Timmie Clemetsen, for registration as the Maunk-Sook Sedge Meadow and Savanna Land and Water Reserve. Mr. Byers provided a brief overview of the origin of the name "Maunk-Sook" and its derivation from a Pottawatomi Native American word meaning "big foot" and the legend of a Pottawatomi Chief taking this name from the large prints left while snow shoeing.
The proposed Land and Water Reserve is located in the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division in McHenry County, Illinois. This 66-acre site was recently added to the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) as a Category V site. Mr. Byers explained to the Commissioners that this INAI category consisted of restored natural communities or relocated populations of state-listed endangered or threatened species of animals or plants. This INAI site consists primarily of restored sedge meadow and dry-mesic forest natural communities. Collectively, 319 native plant species have been recorded from the site, including one state-endangered and two state-threatened plants. Mr. Byers provided visual images of these three species and a map for each species showing its current distribution in Illinois. Of these three state-listed species, a population of the Queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) lies within the boundary of the proposed Maunk-Sook Sedge Meadow and Savanna Land and Water Reserve. The Clemetsen’s have been committed to restoration of the site. Copies of both the IDNR Wildlife Management Plan and Forest Stewardship Program were provided in the proposal for registration of this site as a Land and Water Reserve. The priorities for management have included controlled burning, control of invasive species, and reseeding efforts.
With regard to reserved rights, the Clemetsen’s wish to reserve all the standard rights afforded through this land protection tool. In addition, the Clemetsen’s will:
1. Retain a trail system on the property to facilitate continued restoration and management;
2. Retain the right to influence surface hydrology and maintain a small pond as provided in the proposal;
3. Retain the right to monitor the state-listed species, and
4. Continue with an aggressive management effort at the site.
Mr. Byers provided a series of visual images that showed the routing and recent construction of a pipeline ROW through the proposed Land and Water Reserve but around the restored sedge meadow community. The pipeline owner retains the right, as necessary, to maintain this ROW.
Finally, Mr. Byers acknowledged the leadership that Mr. and Mrs. Clemetsen have provided in the protection and restoration/management of the region’s natural heritage. Mr. Byers then summarized the significant features of this proposed Land and Water Reserve:
1. 4.58 acres of restored natural communities, and
2. Habitat for 319 native plant species (including one of the three state-listed species recorded from the INAI).
Mr. Byers asked the Commission to confer approval for Registration of the Maunk-Sook Sedge Meadow and Savanna as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve as described in Item 12 of the Agenda of the 188th Meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
Chairman Drucker then asked that Mr. Byers personally thank the Clemetsen’s on behalf of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission for their commitment to our State’s natural heritage.
It was moved by Rosenthal, seconded by Keating, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Maunk-Sook Sedge Meadow and Savanna as a land and water reserve in McHenry County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 12 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-13) Monroe Co. – Columbia Quarry-White Rock Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Debbie Newman presented a proposal to register Columbia Quarry-White Rock as a land and water reserve. The proposed reserve is owned by Columbia Quarry Company and is located in the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The proposed 475-acre reserve is within a complex of protected lands, and is preserving part of two INAI sites: approximately 47 acres of the 90-acre Monroe City INAI site, and 50 acres of the 724-acre Potato Hill INAI site. Ms. Newman illustrated and described other lands preserved in the vicinity of the proposed reserve. These included the 134-acre Luella Schaefer Land and Water Reserve adjacent to part of the Columbia Quarry-White Rock properties; the proposed Martha and Michelle Prairies Land and Water Reserve adjacent to the Schaefer reserve, (next on the agenda); the 4.5-acre Potato Hill Natural Heritage Landmark; and the 449-acre Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve (3/4 mile north of the proposed reserve). Ms. Newman stated that additionally there is a 110-acre Natural Heritage Landmark and a 532-acre Nature Preserve approximately 4 miles and 6 miles respectively, south of the Columbia Quarry-White Rock site. She also stated this was another important piece in preserving the 35-mile bluff corridor that stretches from Dupo to Prairie du Rocher, which contains 4,000 acres of INAI sites.
Ms. Newman stated that the proposed reserve is bluffland comprised of forest, hill prairie, limestone glade, and cliffs, which provides habitat for threatened and endangered species. There is approximately 7 acres of Grade A loess hill prairie, both cliff edge and in the forest interior. The site contains a variety of forbs such as leadplant (Amorpha canescens), grey-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), hill prairie conservative species like green milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora), and western plains species such as Drummond’s goldenrod (Solidago drummondii). There is at least one state-listed species in the prairies which is the state-threatened Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis). In addition to the hill prairie, there is approximately 5 acres of Grade B limestone glade. The glades and open woods contain another listed species, the state-endangered woolly buckthorn (Bumelia lanuginosa ). There is also extensive Grade A limestone cliff community on the proposed reserve that harbors species such as the woolly lip fern (Cheilanthes feei). There is approximately 463 acres of Grade C dry and dry-mesic upland forest on the proposed reserve. One state-threatened reptile was documented on the proposed reserve by Ms. Newman. Ms. Newman said the site was also important for forest breeding birds because of the large block of forest in the proposed reserve. Stewardship work has already commenced on the site this year and included extensive brush and cedar cutting, and a prescribed burn on one of the prairies. She also stated the company is retaining some allowed uses including hunting, mushroom picking, and a selective timber harvest under the advice of the IDNR district forester.
Ms. Newman stated that Columbia Quarry has had a commendable history of working with the INPC and IDNR on conservation of their INAI sites, and has previously registered the 6-acre Columbia Quarry-Dupo Prairie LWR and the 63-acre Columbia Quarry-Sugar Loaf Prairie LWR, and also sold a piece of land to IDNR that was an inholding within the Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve. Ms. Newman said she wanted to explain the agreement negotiated with Columbia Quarry for the White Rock property because it was different than normal registrations. She stated that the proposed registration would be for 5 years or the duration of the company’s ownership of the property, and at the time the company decided to sell the property and terminate the agreement, they would provide a Right of First Refusal to the IDNR for acquisition of the property. Ms. Newman stated that she really appreciated Columbia Quarry Company’s efforts and particularly the efforts and commitment of CEO and President, Clyde Trexler, (who was in the audience) to work with INPC on preserving and stewarding their important natural areas.
Commissioner Ross-Shannon asked if there would be any problem with a Right of First Refusal being offered to the IDNR on a short time frame and the IDNR not being able to respond quick enough.
Don McFall, IDNR Office of Realty, stated that there was not a time frame stated in the agreement and that he did not see the potential for a time frame problem.
Ms. Newman stated
that in her language she included that the Right of First Refusal was to "the
IDNR or their designee" providing an option for another group to purchase
or pre-acquire the property in the event the IDNR couldn’t move to acquire
it at the specific time Columbia Quarry Company would offer it.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Columbia Quarry-White Rock as a land and water reserve in Monroe County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 13 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
stated that the Commission was greatly appreciative of Columbia Quarry’s
preservation efforts. He stated that the INPC doesn’t often have the opportunity
to work with corporations and that this was a really big and important occasion.
He asked Clyde Trexler if he would like to say anything.
Mr. Trexler stated that he wasn’t going to say anything, but had decided he really wanted to say something. He stated that he wanted to thank Debbie Newman for her efforts and stated that it was her persistence and efforts that not only helped them preserve their property, but (referring to the map of preserved lands) was leading to the preservation of a lot of this significant bluff land. He stated that Ms. Newman’s enthusiasm not only convinced him but has resulted in several of the Company’s employees now having an interest in the prairies. He stated that she helped make the company realize they had something important and he said they weren’t going to do anything with any of these lands and he thought they should help preserve the prairies.
Ms. Newman thanked Mr. Trexler.
Chairman Drucker again thanked Mr. Trexler and Ms. Newman and stated that he couldn’t overemphasize the importance of Columbia Quarry’s efforts.
Vice-Chair Ross-Shannon thanked Ms. Gladstone for her efforts to protect this natural area.
188-14) Monroe Co. – Martha and Michelle Prairie Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Debbie Newman presented a proposal to register the Martha and Michelle Prairies as a land and water reserve. The site is owned by Tim and Jennifer Schmidt and is located in the Northern Section of the Ozark Natural Division. The site is located in the same complex of preserved land shown in the previous presentation for the Columbia Quarry-White Rock Land and Water Reserve, and is located within the Potato Hill INAI site. Martha and Michelle Prairies is a 20-acre site that includes 3 acres of Grade A loess hill prairie. The prairies are small and large pockets within the forest. The site contains a variety of forbs, including the pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), scurf-pea (Psoralea tenuifolia), and the rare bluehearts (Buchnera americana). The remainder of the site is Grade C mature dry and dry-mesic upland forest, some of which might qualify for upgrading to a B in the next few years. There are two listed species known to inhabit the proposed reserve, the woolly buckthorn (Bumelia lanuginosa), and a reptile.
Ms. Newman stated that a pipeline easement runs through the northern edge of the proposed reserve. The pipeline used to carry natural gas and has now been converted to hold fiberoptic cables for MCI/Worldcom. Ms. Newman stated that the easement doesn’t pose a threat to the land and water reserve and that it is actually a benefit because the maintenance is brush trimming and mowing and this provides a good firebreak for prescribed burning. She also stated that the proposed reserve contains 2 wildlife food plots, ½ acre each, that the landowners want to keep, and she worked with the owners to insure they weren’t planting invasive species in the plots. The landowners also wish to retain the right to mow the old logging roads for trails, maintain permanent deer hunting stands, collect firewood, and use an ATV on the trails to retrieve deer and conduct maintenance.
Ms. Newman stated that the site was previously a Natural Heritage Landmark with the former owners, and that significant brushcutting and 2 prescribed burns had occurred on the site.
Ms. Newman thanked the Schmidt’s for their efforts to preserve their prairies, (they were not in attendance at the meeting) and stated that she wanted to explain that the proposed land and water reserve name was chosen as a tribute and memorial to Jennifer’s mother, Martha, and Tim’s sister, Michelle, who have recently passed away.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Keating, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Martha and Michelle Prairie as a land and water reserve in Monroe County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 14 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-15) Piatt Co. – Monticello’s Sangamon River Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Mary Kay Solecki presented a proposal to register Monticello’s Sangamon River as a Land and Water Reserve. Monticello's Sangamon River is a 153-acre natural area located along the Sangamon River in the City of Monticello, in Piatt County. This natural area is owned by the City of Monticello and protects an approximately 0.7-mile segment of the Sangamon River. This river is recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as a biologically significant stream (INAI #1449) with outstanding aquatic resources, especially fresh-water mussels, for the river's entire length in Piatt and Champaign counties. The Sangamon River provides important habitat for a relatively high diversity of mussels including the state-threatened slippershell, (Alasmidonta viridis). There are over a dozen species of mussels recorded from this stretch of river. Freshwater mussels are considered to be the most endangered group of species in North America. Monticello's Sangamon River also protects bottomland forest and upland forest that contributes to the high natural quality of the river by reducing runoff and sediments entering the river and by functioning as a buffer for the river. This site is within 5 miles of 5 protected natural areas along the river. The Clean Energy Community Foundation made protection of this site possible by providing a grant to the City of Monticello to acquire this site. Fran Harty of The Nature Conservancy was instrumental in working with the City of Monticello and the Clean Energy Foundation to secure acquisition and protection of this site by the City of Monticello.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of Monticello’s Sangamon River as a land and water reserve in Piatt County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 15 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-16) Will Co. – Addition to Rock Run Land and Water Reserve, Registration
Kim Roman made
a presentation on a proposed addition to the Rock Run Land and Water Reserve.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County registered 125 acres of its Rock
Run wetland in 2003, and now wishes to add another 42 acres to this site. Located
in the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division of Illinois,
Rock Run is comprised of numerous natural communities, including marsh, sedge
meadow, and wet prairie. It provides habitat for the state-threatened Blanding's
turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), and is also
known for its wetland bird habitat. The addition is located immediately south
of the existing LWR and is an extension of the natural communities found there.
The 42 acres provides habitat for the state-endangered northern corn salad (Valerianella
umbilicata) and also buffers the higher quality LWR.
It was moved by Allread, seconded by Riddell, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants approval for the registration of an addition to Rock Run Land and Water Reserve in Will County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 16 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-17) Rock Island Co. – Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve, Dedication
Angella Moorehouse presented a proposal for preliminary dedication of Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve in Rock Island County. This property is 25 acres in size and is owned by Augustana College.
Jill Riddell asked the question as to whether this dedication by Augustana College could serve as a model for other colleges and universities to seek protection of their properties.
Ms. Moorehouse replied that yes indeed, Augustana is interested in publicity and that she is working with other colleges to protect more land.
Chairman Drucker stated that he would like to see Principia College protect some of their land.
Ms. Moorehouse replied that she has contacted Principia College and plans to work with them.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Rosenthal, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants preliminary approval for the dedication of Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve in Rock Island County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 17 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-18) Fulton Co. – Kedzior Woods Addition to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication
Tom Lerczak presented an update and staff recommendations for the final dedication of the 69.3-acre Kedzior Woodlands addition to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve. The proposed nature preserve addition is owned by Ken and Dawn Kedzior, and consists of three separate tracts in Fulton County in the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. Tract #1 is 33.7 acres, Tract #2 is 13.7 acres, and Tract #3 is 21.94 acres.
It was noted that the 37.2-acre Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve was dedicated in 1989 to protect INAI #125, a Grade B upland forest. The proposed Kedzior Woodlands addition was given preliminary approval at the 183rd INPC meeting (Resolution #1785) on August 3, 2004. Final dedication was pursued at the 184th INPC meeting on October 26, 2004. Because of concerns raised by representatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation, final approval was not conferred at the 184th INPC meeting, but was deferred to a future meeting to provide time to gather further information about the site.
Mr. Lerczak listed the following activities which have taken place since the 183rd INPC meeting in order to gather more information about the proposed Kedzior Woodlands Nature Preserve Addition:
1. Brush removal was conducted in the savanna remnant on Tract #3 in the Fall of 2004;
2. A prescribed burn was conducted on Tract #2 and Tract #3 in the Spring of 2005;
3. Botanical studies were conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey and were summarized in Technical Report 2005(3);
4. Plant surveys were conducted by INPC and IDNR staff on June 15, 2005 and September 6, 2005, and
5. Based on the INPC/IDNR plant surveys, a portion of Tract #3 (10.2 acres) was added to the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory on July 12, 2005 and named Seville Savanna.
An updated staff assessment of the three tracts in the proposed Kedzior Woodlands Nature Preserve Addition was then outlined: Tract #1 is adjacent to the dedicated nature preserve and supports young to mature woods (Grade C) which are not INAI quality, but which will improve over time with proper management. Tract #2 consists mostly of degraded woods dominated by non-native species. Small areas in the western third of Tract #2, however, may be low Grade C at best. Tract #3 contains a 2.2-acre remnant savanna now included within Seville Savanna Natural Area, which was recognized by the Natural Areas Evaluation Committee as a Grade C best-of-its-kind mesic savanna. Ten acres of Tract #3 was also included within the Sevelle Savanna Natural Area as Grade C mesic and dry-mesic upland forest. The rest of Tract #3 is similar to Tract #2, except for a small prairie of marginal quality.
Mr. Lerczak stated that after the INPC staff carefully considered this recent information and the concerns raised by the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding the Illinois 336 Project Corridor and the proposed expansion of Illinois Route 95, they developed four recommendations which he summarized as follows:
1. Tract #1 should continue to be considered as a nature preserve addition;
2. Seville Savanna Natural Area on Tract #3 qualifies as a stand-alone nature preserve;
3. The boundaries of the proposed Kedzior Woodlands nature preserve addition could be re-designed to provide adequate buffering for Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve and Seville Savanna Natural Area, thereby avoiding a conflict with the IDOT road project. If the road project is, indeed, constructed, suggestions to minimize impacts to the natural areas include constructing a wildlife culvert and seeding roadsides with a prairie-savanna mix, and
4. Do not grant final approval of the dedication instrument as originally presented at the 184th INPC meeting.
Following Mr. Lerczak’s presentation, the Commissioners discussed the issues involving this proposed nature preserve addition. Mr. Kedzior was given an opportunity to comment, at which time he stated that he was not aware of the staff recommendations and that he did not agree with the recommendations, especially recommendation number 4.
It was moved by Ross-Shannon, seconded by Rosenthal, and carried by all, except Jill Allread who voted no, that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission does not grant final approval for the dedication of the Kedzior Woods Addition to Harper-Rector Woods Nature Preserve in Fulton County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 18 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
Chairman Drucker expressed his wish that Mr. and Mrs. Kedzior would continue to work with INPC field staff toward the further preservation of their property.
188-19) Lake Co. – Old Mill Flatwoods Addition of Nature Preserve Buffer to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve, Dedication
The dedication proposal for final approval of the Old Mill Flatwoods addition to Florsheim Park Nature Preserve was deferred to the February 7, 2006 meeting. Steve Byers noted that since the agenda item had been prepared to be presented at this INPC meeting, the ownership of this parcel had passed hands from Mr. Carl James to the Village of Lincolnshire. Steve stated that he would prepare the Instruments of Dedication for the Village’s approval and bring this property to the Commission for final approval at the next INPC meeting.
188-20) St. Clair Co. – Sinking Creek Nature Preserve, Dedication
Debbie Newman presented Sinking Creek for final approval as an Illinois nature preserve. The site is owned by John and Sarah Lloyd. Ms. Newman stated the site was given preliminary approval in February, 2004, and since it had been 1 ½ years since the preliminary approval, she was going to briefly revisit the proposal with a few slides. The site is a 4.5-acre forested tract containing karst features that are part of the Stemler Karst INAI site. The Stemler Karst includes Stemler Cave, which is listed for its Grade A terrestrial and aquatic cave communities. The cave system also contains the state-endangered Ozark cave snail (Fontigens antroecetes) and was a collection site for the state and federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod, (Gammarus acherondytes). The proposed preserve doesn’t contain any of the passages of Stemler Cave but is within its recharge area boundaries. The site has a "sinking creek" which basically flows through a ravine on the property and then "sinks" or disappears into sinkholes. The proposed preserve contains about 30-40 feet of cave passage which is hydrologically but not physically connected to the main Stemler Cave passage. Ms. Newman also stated that less than 2/3 mile to the north is a complex of INPC-protected lands, including IDNR’s Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve, and privately-owned Stemler Cave Nature Preserve, which contains a main cave entrance; Pruitt Sinkholes Nature Preserve, Harry’s Hideaway Natural Heritage Landmark, and Four Our Future NHL.
Ms. Newman thanked the Lloyds for their commitment to preserving their part of the Stemler Cave recharge area, and she stated that she believed the Lloyds efforts are important in influencing other landowners in the area to also preserve their land.
It was moved by Rosenthal, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission grants final approval for the dedication of Sinking Creek Nature Preserve in St. Clair County, as described in the proposal presented under Item 20 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
Chairman Drucker thanked John Lloyd and asked him if he would like to comment. Mr. Lloyd stated that he didn’t have anything further to add than what Ms. Newman presented.
188-21) Cook Co. – Busse Woods Nature Preserve - Spillway Modification at Busse Woods Reservoir
John Nelson reported that staff had reviewed the operation plan or "decision matrix" for the proposed Busse Reservoir spillway modification. The updated operational plan is detailed in a memorandum from DuPage County dated October 7, 2005. Jerry Robinson of Christopher B. Burke Engineering gave a power point presentation detailing the results of the updated operational plan. Among the many points covered, the following highlight the main points of the presentation and staff review.
AES Recommendation #1. Do not have a storm event that exceeds elevation 688.0 for more than 48 hours during the early growing season of March 15 - June 30. The updated operational plan would violate AES recommendation #1 during three events over the 40-year period of record. The additional hours of flooding for each of these events are 10.4, 8.8, and 12 hours. Two of these events violate the AES recommendation in the baseline (no inflatable weir).
AES Recommendation #2. Do not exceed a duration of 120 hours above elevation 688.0 from July 1 - October 31. One event over the 40-year period of record exceeded the 120-hour criteria by 2.7 hours.
AES Recommendation #3. Do not exceed the existing period of record flood limit of 691.8. The updated operational plan maintains the existing flood impact zone (691.8) consistent with the INPC resolution in 1973 which approved the construction of the Busse Reservoir.
Commissioners expressed continued concern over potential impacts to Busse Woods Nature Preserve and asked what compensation DuPage County would provide if the proposed spillway modification and operation plan resulted in violation of any of the AES recommendations.
Jon Steffen of DuPage County asked the Commission to be more specific.
Chairman Drucker stated the maximum fine allowed under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act is $10,000 per day....this would be the fine, the compensation to mitigate for impacts.
Commissioners Ross-Shannon and Riddell agreed that if DuPage County wanted to accept the risk of a $10,000 per day fine, then they could see going forward with a motion to approve the project.
Staff commented that an agreed fine as condition of approval for the project would further encourage the county to upgrade the real-time river stage data and modeling efforts to further improve the dam operational matrix.
Chris Merenowicz of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County asked if the fine money would go to restoration work within the preserve.
John Nelson stated according to the INAPA, that fine monies are to be directed to the preserve.
Commissioner Riddell asked if the Forest Preserve District was comfortable with the project.
Mr. Merenowicz stated his superiors generally approve of the project and are trying to be good neighbors, to assist with reducing flood damages downstream, but that they rely on the INPC to help them make the right decision to ensure protection of the preserve. Mr. Merenowicz stated the project has improved considerably since the INPC became involved.
Chairman Drucker expressed his appreciation to DuPage County for revising the dam operational procedures, for contracting with AES for an ecological study, and for working closely with INPC staff to find a common ground to balance the needs of protecting our last remaining natural areas and the needs for protecting people and property from flood damages.
Chairman Drucker asked if there was a motion to approve the Busse Spillway modification.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
approves the spillway modifications at Busse Woods Reservoir provided the spillway
is operated in accordance with recommendations contained in the report prepared
by Applied Ecological Services (AES) dated July 19, 2005 and pursuant to the
Proposed Decision Matrix for the Busse Woods Dam Modification described in the
DuPage County Stormwater Management Division's memorandum dated October 7, 2005,
and further contingent upon; (1) approval of the proposed spillway modifications
and operating plan by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and (2), written
acknowledgment by the DuPage County Board that a fine of $10,000 per day will
be assessed by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission for each day a rain
event results in a violation of the recommendations contained in the AES report."
188-22) Hancock Co. – Cecil White Prairie Land and Water Reserve - Proposal to use a Portion of the Land and Water Reserve for Road Purposes
The proposal to use a portion of Cecil White Prairie Land and Water Reserve for road purposes was deferred.
188-23) Deer Management Guidelines
Mr. Bob Edgin stated the Animal Control Guidelines give landowners and managers guidance on how to handle animal management issues in a nature preserve or land and water reserve. Once approved by the Commission, they become part of the policy guidance used by staff to review and approve management plans.
Mr. Edgin presented an updated Animal Control Guideline for the management of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for approval. The updated guideline was developed by a committee that included Tom Micetich and Marty Jones from IDNR Wildlife Division, Terry Esker from IDNR Restoration Ecology Section and Bob Edgin, (primary author). The updated guideline was submitted to INPC Consultants and Advisors and to selected natural area land managers for review. Recommended changes were incorporated into the document. Mr. Edgin stated that the previous white-tailed deer guideline was developed in 1988, required documentation of overbrowsing at each nature preserve, offered a limited number of programs and often lacked consistency with programs on adjacent properties even if owned by the same landowner. The updated guideline would streamline the process for implementing deer management, allow landowners to be proactive in deer management, provide more options to managers, allow for consistency between programs and ultimately lead to more effective deer management programs. In the updated guideline, approved methods for managing deer include habitat modification and herd management. Herd management methods may include firearm, archery, sharpshooting and/or trap and euthanize. Approved removal options may include antlerless-only, where only deer without antlers may be removed, an antlerless requirement prior to allowing either sex removal, or either sex programs. Monitoring provisions to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and a requirement for submission of a quantitative annual report were also included in the update.
Commissioner Keating asked if harvest data from programs on nature preserves could be collected through existing methods. Mr. Edgin stated they could and would most likely be accomplished through the use of hunter survey cards.
It was moved by Rosenthal, seconded by Allread, and carried that the following resolution be adopted:
The Commission approves the revised animal control guideline for white-tailed deer as presented under Item 23 of the Agenda for the 188th Meeting.
188-24) Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
There was no public comment period.
188-25) Other Business
Chairman Drucker stated that a set of minutes from the August 2, 2005 closed meeting of the Commission was included in the Commissioners’ packets. This meeting was 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." Chairman Drucker asked for a motion to determine whether or not the minutes from this meeting should be kept closed.
It was moved by
Ross-Shannon, seconded by Flemal, and carried that the following resolution
In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the closed session minutes from the August 2, 2005 meeting will remain confidential but will be reviewed semi-annually to ascertain the need to be kept confidential.
It was moved by Riddell, seconded by Ross-Shannon, and unanimously approved to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:46 p.m.
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702