Bird Conservation Network




July 20, 2002




In attendance:: Jeanette Bider (acting Secretary), Barb Burns (DBC), Suzanne Checchia (ENSBC), Dennis DeCourcey (CBO), Bob Fisher (DBC), Walter Marcisz (COS), Ruth Najacht (DBC), and Judy Pollock (CAS).  5 member groups were in attendance; there was no quorum.  The meeting began around 13:15.

Administrative Business
1.   Appointment of Nominating Committee for 2003 BCN officers -Bob Fisher

Walter M. agreed to serve as a member of the nominating committee. Bob F. will recruit someone else to serve as chair of the committee.

2. Treasurerís report - Mary Anne Harrison
 The current total in the BCN account is $8551.65

CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES (abstracts included with minutes of this meeting)

1.  Lake Calumet marina permit - Walter Marcisz
The Army Corps of Engineers did change their minds regarding the proposed Letter of Permission and is now requiring the marina project to undergo the permitting process.  The Corps is now waiting on the IDNR decision before making a final ruling on the permit.  It may be in BCNís interest to write to IDNR.  Walter will follow up on who to contact.  BCN will be asking for an e-mail vote for Walter to serve as BCN representative on the Vision Committee for Lake Calumet.

2.  The Lights Out program, and building collisions - Judy Pollock
Chicago Audubon took over the program unofficially.  Compliance this spring was good once reminders had been sent to building managers and owners.  CAS is trying to figure out a way to monitor compliance.  CAS got a small grant to hire a PR firm to work on a recognition ceremony for the participating building managers (Randi  Doeker is on the committee for BCN)

3.  Dogs on Montrose Beach - Chris Williamson
Bob F. gave a synopsis in Chrisís absence.  Lincoln Park Advisory Council voted in favor of making Montrose a dog beach, but itís not a done deal.  BCNís ability to influence the project is probably minimal at this point.

4.  McCormick Place - Judy Pollock
Construction of the prairie on top of the parking garage is under way.  A fenced 7 acre prairie will sit atop the garage surrounded by some shrubs and trees, another 4-5 acre prairie will be built outside the fence along with a water feature.  The trees will be planted as part of a firemenís memorial and it was suggested that a list of bird-friendly trees be sent to the Firemanís Fund in the hopes that they would chose trees from that list  as memorial trees.

5.  Gypsy moth spraying in DuPage county - Bob Fisher
Despite any evidence of Gypsy Moth infestation, Waterfall Glen and Camp Sagawau were sprayed with BT.  This may have caused a serious decline in Great Spangled Fritillary and Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies.  The effects on breeding birds are as yet unknown.

6.  Wolf Lake initiative - Terry Schilling and Walter Marcisz (tabled)

7.  Bartel and Orland Grasslands, Judy Pollock
Hedgerows have been removed from Bartel and it is ready for planting.  Neither the Bartel nor Orland plan has been approved by the Cook County Forest Preserve District yet.  The end of July is the deadline to give their decision to Open Lands.  Judy is optimistic that the FPD wouldnít turn down all that money (est. $1 million) for the prairie restoration.

b. American Bird Conservancy - Donald Dann
Bob Fisher presented a brief synopsis of recent ABC activities on behalf of Donald.    

1.  Bird monitoring - Status of web site and database - Judy Pollock

BCN Bird Monitoring is trying to get matching funds for a grant that will pay for the work on the database.  They will also hold an award ceremony for the monitors.

2.  2002 Grassland audit -  Karen Glennemeier
Judy spoke about this item.  The idea behind the audit is to create a 25 year vision, with 5 year target goals. The 2002 audit will give baseline numbers on grassland area.  The idea is to create several 8000 acre complexes, Midewin being the first.  Bob felt Will County should be targeted for getting involved because development there is so rapid.  Bob will talk to Karen G. and has volunteered to speak to Will County Audubon about the project.

3.  Expanding member organization outings schedule on BCN website (tabled)

4.  Chicagoland birding trail (tabled)

5.  Important Bird Areas, Judy Pollock
A technical committee is putting together criteria and identifying the important locations.  What is needed now is a conservation committee to look into long-term protection and conservation of these IBA.  Any volunteers?


1.  Conservation through birding program - Donald Dann (tabled)

2.  Tree removal and herbicide spraying by ComEd on the Prairie Path Ė Ruth Najacht
As a result of intense public pressure, ComEd has decided to return to its usual method of tree pruning along the Prairie Path and will not use herbicides or remove trees.

3.  Attendance/representation at Illinois Conservation Congress in 2002 (BCN is a member organization).
The registration deadline has passed for this yearís Congress.

4.  Should BCN intervene in an attempt to persuade the Metropolitan sanitary District to allow birder access to the 131st St. Sewage treatment facility - Bob Fisher
It was the opinion of most of the group that BCN should intervene in support of the birding community.  Walter M. stated that Ken Wysocki has been in contact with the District and may be trying to work something out.  At this point it is extremely difficult to gain access to the site for birding.  Judy agreed to follow up with a contact she had made in the District; Bob will talk to Ken.

5.  Location for October meeting
Possible locations are Garfield Park Conservatory, Metropolitan Sanitary District, or Donald Dannís home.

6.  BCN participation in the Nov. 20, 2002 Chicago Wilderness Congress (tabled until Oct. meeting when delegates will be appointed)

7. Announcement from Libby Hill conveyed by Suzanne C.
The Botanic Garden will draw down the southeast pond, just north of Dundee Rd for migrating shorebirds as soon as construction in the area is complete.
8. Summer BCN meeting, Bob Fisher
Bob asked for suggestions on how to increase the summer meeting attendance.  Proposed ideas were: moving the meeting to an evening, moving the meeting to later in the summer, having a barbecue or some other form of pleasant gathering.  Any other suggestions?

The meeting was adjourned at 15:30 by unanimous consensus.

Minutes by Jeanette Bider