Bird Conservation Network



October 20, 2001

Highland Park


In attendance: Jeanette Bider (CBO), Mary Cannon (guest), Donald Dann (TNC), Dennis DeCourcey (CBO), Bob Fisher (DBC), Luke Harding (guest), Mary Anne Harrison (IAS), Libby Hill (ENSBC), Ruth Najacht (DBC), Carol Nelson (at large), Judy Pollock (CAS), Lee Ramsey (at large), Jeff Sanders (ENSBC), Terry Schilling (at large), Chris Williamson (COS), Geoff Williamson (IOS)


Before the meeting, Nan Buckardt, Environmental Education Manager for the Lake County Forest Preserve District and Superintendent of Ryerson Woods made a presentation describing current conservation and restoration projects of the Lake County Forest Preserve District.



Proposed bylaws changes: Two changes to the bylaws had received initial approval at the April 2001 meeting and, in compliance with the requirements for amendments, had been announced to the BCN membership on September 25.


First proposed amendment: Delete Article VI, Section 3 (establishing provisions for appointing a Nominating Committee). Discussion centered on whether Section 3 is necessary, since Section 2 provides for the appointment of all committees and can be interpreted to include the Nominating Committee. The amendment was defeated.


Second proposed amendment: Amend Article III, Section 5 to read: “At all meetings of the BCN (excluding committee meetings), a minimum of representatives from 50% of the organizational members shall constitute a quorum for conducting the BCN’s business. (The current quorum is at least five members, including one representative each from three different member organizations.) Discussion centered on whether the proposed quorum is too high to be achievable.  The amendment was defeated by a vote of 3 yes, 9 no, 1 abstention.


Bob Fisher moved (second: Terry Schilling) a similar amendment except substituting “40% of the organizational members.” The amendment proposal was rejected by a vote of 4 yes, 3 no, 3 abstentions. (Amendment proposals require a majority vote of members present to be moved forward.) Since there seemed to be general agreement that the current quorum is too low, the issue was referred to the Executive Committee, with the request that the ExComm put forth a new proposal for a quorum increase at the January 2002 general meeting.


Treasurer’s Report: Mary Anne Harrison submitted a preliminary report showing 2001 income of $11,686.40, expenses of $6,878.27, and a balance of $5,608.01.  She also submitted a dues report that appears to show a number of delinquencies in 2001 dues; Lee Ramsey will work with her to check this out. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report passed by voice vote.


The members expressed their appreciation to Terry Schilling for his work as treasurer and for his many other conservation activities.


Campaign Reports and Activities:


Lake Calumet, Walter Marcisz.


Dave Klenosky of Purdue University is looking for birders (and anglers and golfers) to respond to a mail survey concerning the Lake Calumet area, for a project on “Environmental Factors Influencing Recreation Choice in Post-Industrial Landscapes.”  If you are interested, contact Judy Pollock.


Mayor’s Committee of Nature and Wildlife, Judy Pollock. Judy is chairing the newly-created Lights Out Subcommittee of the (Chicago) Mayor’s Committee. Current activities of this subcommittee are getting notices out to businesses, checking to see if buildings are really turning out the lights, and investigating the relationship between time of day and mortality. (Most of the deaths seem to occur between midnight and 3 a.m.) Judy requests that anyone who knows of research on this subject please send it to her. Libby Hill asked that information be sent to Evanston North Shore Bird Club, so this group can begin encouraging high-rise building owners in that town to implement a Lights Out program. Chris Williamson suggested that it would be a good idea to send it to Waukegan also. According to Judy, Draper & Kramer is ready to comply with the Lights Out campaign but wants to know if BCN has other objections to their proposed spotlight. No objections were voiced. Finally, Chicago has published an attractive brochure, “Birds of the Windy City” (written by Judy).


Northerly Island (Meigs Field), Donald Dann: Have plans for a natural area been abandoned? We are waiting for the October 30 meeting. Also, Donald is representing BCN at meetings of the Northern Illinois Planning Committee.


Midewin, Bob Fisher: BCN has registered its comments for the draft environmental impact statement at Midewin.


USX South Works conversion: There is no activity on this.


American Bird Conservancy, Donald Dann.


Montrose Point, Chris Williamson: Leslie Borns has been working with Mary Van Haaften on the Montrose project. Birders have had input into the plantings. According to current plans, the fence will come down on April 13th. Leslie has found seaside spurge (rare) growing on the beach.


Lincoln Park Bird Sanctuary, Terry Schilling: The planting here is done, but in the future there will be additional plantings outside of the fence. Commissioner Mike Quigley came out to the Bird Sanctuary today; Terry suggests that Chicago birders remember his support at election time.


Bartel and Orland Park Grasslands, Judy Pollock: Extensive projects are planned at both sites. The Cook County FPD is working with Audubon at Bartel. The hedgerows are being removed, and hydrology work will be done. Kickoff day is November 3. The Orland Park project is being managed by Conservation Design Forum; Audubon will probably have the contract to do monitoring there. Judy is looking for partner organizations to attract volunteers.




Monitoring: Judy reported that she has been working with Terry Schilling and Lee Ramsey on switching the monitoring database over to BirdSource at Cornell. The next step is to get new instructions up on the Field Museum site. Mary Cannon is working on a press release. Luke Harding and Jeanette Bider have volunteered to join the Monitoring Committee. The major need is money to convert the existing data in the Field database to Oracle. The CD with songs and calls of Chicago area breeding birds has been distributed to monitors. BCN Census workshops will be held again in March. The county coordinators will meet in November.


Steve Bailey is giving a talk about breeding birds on January 19 at Brookfield Zoo. This is the day of the next BCN general meeting. We’ll try to schedule our meeting there so that all who wish can attend Steve’s talk.


BCN website: Bob Fisher reported that Randi Doeker will collect lists of outings by BCN member organizations and post them on our website. It was agreed that this is a good idea but that another suggestion—of posting events as well—is better left until later. Terry pointed out that it would be easy to develop a web entry page so that the organizations themselves could enter their outings.


Chicagoland birding trail: Jerry Garden and Geoff Williamson have passed this project along to Randi Doeker. An organizational meeting is needed.


Great Lakes Migratory Bird Fest: Bob Fisher reported that we are part of this event, which will be held May 17-19 in the Lake County (Indiana) Convention Center, but that we don’t yet know what level of support we will be asked for.




BCN was asked to make a donation to the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative. We decided that this sort of thing is not an appropriate use of BCN funds.


Donald Dann moved (second: Chris Williamson) to join the Alaska Coalition of Illinois (opposing drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge). The motion passed.


Bob Fisher noted that the gas pipeline planned through Pratt’s Wayne Forest Preserve is a done deal. Ruth Najacht reported on the status of the environmental impact study for new roads and of deer culling in DuPage County.