Natural Areas Evaluation Committee

The Natural Areas Evaluation Committee, or NAEC, is a committee dedicated to updating and maintaining the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. Triannual meetings of the NAEC are conducted to assess the addition, modification, or removal of an INAI site based on the presence or absence of qualifying features.


Qualifying features can fall into the following categories: 

I. High-quality natural communities

II.  Specific suitable habitat occupied by endangered and/or threatened species

III.  Illinois Nature Preserves, Land & Water Reserves, Natural Heritage Landmarks

IV.  Outstanding geologic features

V.   (currently unused)

VI.  Unusual concentration of flora and/or fauna

Nomination Procedure for INAI Sites

  1. Any person or organization may inform the IDNR's Natural Areas Program of a potential natural area by following the INAI Nomination Checklist and filling out an INAI Nomination and Approval Form.
  2. The Natural Areas Program notifies the Natural Heritage Biologist (NHB) from the district where the site occurs if they are not the nominator.
  3. The NHB determines whether the site warrants evaluation.
  4. If action is warranted the NHB or a person approved by the NHB will evaluate the site. This process will be completed within two years from the time of nomination.
  5. Complete nominations must be approved by the IDNR NHB for the county in which the site is located, in consultation with the INPC Natural Areas Preservation Specialist (NAPS).
  6. The Natural Areas Evaluation Committee will consider all nomination requests with complete documentation and notify the nominator of the action taken.


 INAI Standards and Guidelines (coming soon... currently under review)


Upcoming meetings:

82nd NAEC Meeting Nomination Packets are due ​Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Meeting Date is Tuesday, December 14, 2021


NAEC nomination forms:

INAI Checklist for Site Nomination

INAI Nomination and Approval Form

Grading Form

Site Evaluation Form

Specific Suitable Habitat Form

Category ll Feature Deletion Form