Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Board of Commissioner Minutes – Feb. 15

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
BOARD MEETING
District Headquarters
February 15, 2012

PRESENT STAFF
Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Mike Scheurich, Attorney
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Mike Durand, Golf
Audrey Johnson Tom Hartley, Land and Development
Cheryl Maggio – 4:20 Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Lee Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

ABSENT GUESTS Mike Kearney Jim McFarlane
Gloria Lind Doug Dufford John Betker
Bob Nieman Edward Ruef Dave Taylor
Keri Butt Mike Eickman Paul Shelton
Chad Miller Lynda Johnson
Brendan Walsh Richard Chudoba Lisa Weckerly
Ron Schneider Tom Beissel Dave Wiehle
Adam Guarise Genese Wichle B. Walsh
Gloria Maloney Virginia Schmidt Bob Beebe
Mark Heckman Lenae Weichel

ROLL CALL
The meeting was called to order at 4:08 PM. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Randy Olson led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for January 18, February 7 and February 8 were approved.

SELECTION OF NEW COMMISSIONER and SWEARING IN

A motion was made to accept Lee Johnson to fill the vacant Commissioner position left by Jay Ferraro. Motion passed unanimously. Attorney Mike Scheurich swore in Lee Johnson. Randy Olson welcomed Lee as the new Commissioner.

PRESENTATIONS

Wetland Banking – John Betker – Tom Hartley introduced John Betker from the Army Corps of Engineers. He explained wetland mitigation banking and gave a history of the Northern Illinois Wetland bank from 2000 to the present. He presented a slide show of a wetland bank in DeKalb County that is approximately 60 acres and explained how it was created, including the building and planting process. He then showed a map of the potential wetland bank for the Deer Run Forest Preserve and stated that this bank is just starting to sell credits. He gave the Commissioners an overview of the process and advised them that in conservation easements there are certain requirements built in, such as no sewer, power, or buildings, and it cannot be sold for commercial use. Tom Hartley relayed a few concerns that the District needs to consider, such as invasive species, and bringing in outside assistance in the event that occurs. John Betker closed his presentation thanking the Commissioners for their time and that he believes the District is a perfect match for wetland preservation.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Bob Nieman – He introduced himself and mentioned the article in the Rockford Register Star on Sunday February 12. He gave some statistics on the deer population decrease, not because of CWD, but because of other changes, such as windmills, etc. He thinks the Board made the right decision for the year. He would like the Board to look at what the state does and have a similar type of program.

Chad Miller – He believes there is very little evidence that CWD is more than just a couple percent. He doesn’t think this disease will wipe out a deer herd. DNR has excluded the one group that funds this research, which is licensed paying hunters. Hunters need to be allowed the opportunity to go into forest preserves and private property.

Keri Butt – She introduced herself as a writer for Illinois Outdoor News to help get women and kids in the outdoors and hunting. She thanked the Commissioners for putting a halt on sharpshooting. She is a diehard bow hunter, so she is well aware of the proper management that is needed in all aspects throughout Illinois. Hunters need to manage the deer herd. The DNR has a history of misleading the public for eradicating the deer herd. CWD is used as a crutch when in fact it is about population and herd control. This year hunters harvested 19,798 fewer deer than in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. For every doe they shoot they are also taking out fawns, and by the end of March, does are 5 months pregnant.

Brendan Walsh – He introduced himself and is from the United Sportsmen’s Youth Foundation. He hopes that someday the DNR can work together with various organizations so there aren’t just sharpshooter programs. There are so many volunteers he believes they can get together and help the DNR.

Ron Schneider – He appreciates the fact that the Board has stopped this hunt and that they are willing to listen. He would like the District to consider letting hunters work this county. There are organizations with sportsmen that would be willing to provide hours of service to provide assistance to help harvest and control the population. It is all about an equal and stable ecosystem. He hopes the Board considers this course of action and let hunters take care of the problems. The DNR believes the only way to stop the disease is to kill every dear. Their solution is worse than the disease.

ACTION ITEMS

IDNR – CWD report and request – Vaughn Stamm reported that the sharpshooting program is completed. Tom Beissel, Doug Dufford and Dr. Paul Shelton made a presentation to the Board. They were asked by District personnel to provide a concrete number of deer to be taken from the District. They focused on four specific properties and are recommending taking ten from Kilbuck Bluffs, five from County Line, five from Stone Bridge and ten from Deer Run. All have been previously used sites. They said that sharpshooting serves multiple purposes. Herd reduction is the only method to combat the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. Rates of infection have remained so low that it is evidenced that the outbreak is inconsequential, however the reason disease rates are so low is because they have taken action. If the District waits until rates are high enough, CWD will be a bigger problem. Approximately ten percent of all CWD positive deer found in Illinois between 2002 and 2011 came from District properties. The IDNR is asking for continued support from the District. Randy Olson asked for a motion that IDNR be granted a permit for the removal of no more than 30 deer from selected preserves for the purpose of collecting samples of Chronic Wasting Disease. No motion was made.

Bids – fertilizers and chemicals – Judy Barnard made a motion to approve the purchase of fertilizers and chemicals for a total cost of $35,346.09. Motion passed unanimously.

Policy – political signage – Attorney Mike Scheurich provided a letter to the Commissioners with his recommendations and clarifications of signage on District property. He also included highlights from a court case regarding free speech. He further went on to explain that unless you have a reason to prevent signs (interfering with particular use of a particular space), you cannot have a blanket prohibition of political signs. You can regulate size and they should be reasonable. Mary McNamara-Bernsten made a motion to set the policy for political signs in the preserves. After some discussion Cheryl modified the motion to include the signs cannot be larger than 24×48 inches. Motion passed unanimously.

Agreement – LESO – Randy Olson proposed that the District enter into an agreement with the Department of Defense which would allow the District to obtain surplus equipment from the federal government for use in law enforcement activities. It will cost the District approximately $80 per year. Cheryl Maggio made a motion to approve the LESO agreement with the Department of Defense. Motion passed unanimously.

BOARD DISCUSSION

Paperless technology – At the IACFPD meeting, Byron Forest Preserve District related that they went “green” at the board meetings by purchasing 13 iPads for their commissioners and department heads. Their goals were to go paperless, improve efficiency, and improve timeliness of information in making decisions. Randy Olson asked the staff to investigate the cost and requirements for various options, in the event the District wishes to pursue the idea. Tom Kalousek has spoken with Todd Tucker from the Byron Forest Preserve and he said it has worked well for their five commissioners. Tom has asked Todd Tucker to come to the March meeting to show how it is used and its benefits. This would be something to budget for next year, as opposed to right now.

Executive Director search process – Pam Clark Reidenbach developed a sample application for the Executive Director search. It will be available March 1 and will also be available online. All applications are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, April 2. The screening committee will consist of Pam as the facilitator, Randy Olson, Judy Barnard and Tom Kalousek. The committee will do a preliminary review of the applications and recommend the applicants that are qualified. The full board will perform interviews of the top candidates by April 13. The employee interview team will then interview the top candidates by April 20. The Partners group will then interview the candidates by May 4, and the final interviews will take place by May 11. The Board decision will be made at the May 16 board meeting.

Strategic planning – Judy Barnard encouraged everybody to attend the Strategic Planning meeting on Saturday, February 18. She emphasized that this will help determine the overriding mission and goals of the District. The meeting will be from 11:00 to 3:00.

STAFF REPORTS

Clubhouse food service concessionaire – Mike Durand advised that the District has used private concessionaires to provide food and beverage services at the golf courses for many decades. In January 2012 a Request for Proposal for these services were published, and three responses were received from interested vendors. Mike presented the proposals, and indicated that Crystal Catering (Macktown) and Vivian Management Group (Ledges) will stay at their locations as they have been there for several years. The P’s Restaurant will be providing concessions for Atwood. The P’s is a new vendor and comes highly recommended.

PGA initiative – Mike Durand presented some statistics from The PGA, USGA, and NGF regarding the declining number of golfers in the United States. The PGA, USGA and NGF are launching an initiative, GOLF 2.0, which is designed to promote and market the game of golf to children, “lapsed” or former golfers and aspiring golfers. Mike Durand and Steve Hare are participating in GOLF 2.0 as PGA Golf Professionals/Instructors. This initiative will provide programs designed to attract lapsed golfers and introduce new golfers to the sport and bring more people to the District golf courses. The programs will be offered at Ledges and Atwood golf courses.

Guide to Birding – Jamie Johannsen distributed a new Guide to Birding brochure. The brochure won Best of Show at the Illinois Association of Park Districts 2012 Agency Showcase in January. The Guide will be distributed at a public bird watching special event in June, as well as distributed throughout the County at all District facilities and through the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Wood duck nest summary – Vaughn Stamm distributed the 2011 Wood Duck Nest Box Summary. He gave an overview of the boxes and their uses and acknowledged the two resource technicians, Eric Bednar and John Peterson, who did the data collection and monitoring throughout the year.

ANNOUNCEMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS

Pheasants Forever Banquet, Thursday February 16, Giovanni’s

Letter from Craig Peterson regarding the Commissioner vacancy.

Letter from the Blackhawk Sierra Club regarding the resources of the District, requesting the Board to reconsider the purchase of the Gasparini property, and extending the Executive Director search until after the November 2012 election.

Press Release from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County announcing its first Science and Research Symposium to be held on April 19 at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Café Brauer.

Election timeline for the November 6, 2012 general election.

ADJOURN
Meeting adjourned at 6:16 PM.
Strategic Planning Committee, 11:00 Saturday, February 18, District Headquarters
Next board meeting 5:30 Wednesday, March 21, District Headquarters

Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secretary