5225 Old Orchard Road - Suite 37     Skokie IL 60077  847-965-1150

 April 2004 Meeting
April 17, 2004
Camp Sagawau - Lemont



Christine Lee



Christine Williamson



Marianne Hahn


Mary Lou Mellon

Collision Monitors


Bob Fisher



Lee Ramsey


Joan Bruckman

Collision Monitors


Eric Secker



Judy Pollock


Glenn Gabanski



Suzanne Checchia



Donna Gonzalez

Save the Dunes

Jeanette Bider



Joe Lukascyk

Ft. Dearborn


Donnie Dann


Miko Kanekawa



Mary Anne Harrison



Dick Riner

Thorn Creek

Randi Doeker



Geoff Williamson





Walter Marcisz



John Hockman







President Donald Dann called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. A quorum was present. The minutes of the January 2004 meeting were accepted without changes.




Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Glenn Gabanski distributed the current financial statement along with a list of BCN member clubs and their payment status.  Delinquent clubs are being followed-up.


A short discussion ensued about the requirements and precedent to waive the fee for a club.  Donald Dann advised that the Excom would discuss the issue for future consideration.


There was a short discussion about the dollar level that it is appropriate for BCN to carry as a balance.  The Excom will discuss for future consideration.


By-Laws Changes

Lee Ramsey reported that the Excom had reviewed the previously-discussed proposed changes to the by-laws and had determined that no action is needed.


Bob Fisher introduced an issue for future discussion: Can one person represent multiple member groups?



Donald Dann advised that the Excom is currently asking each member group to provide its membership numbers for the purpose of identifying the total number of birders that BCN represents.





BCN Position on Dog Friendly Areas – Donald Dann & Bob Fisher

Donnie explained that the task force appointed at the January meeting to draft a statement on dog friendly areas in the Cook County FP had met as requested.  However, since the January meeting, the issue of additional non-nature uses of the FP land has become an equally important issue.  Thus, the DFA task force expanded their work to include all land uses.  It is Donnie’s plan to speak on this topic at the May 5, 2005, meeting of the FP Commissioners.


Bob distributed the task force’s draft statement. (It was distributed by email earlier.)  An extensive debate ensued. Great contributions were made by Christine Williamson and Walter Marcisz. 


Donnie took everyone’s contribution for consideration and inclusion in a final document, which will be distributed to all clubs by email.


Wild Turkeys – Randi Doeker & Donald Dann

The Excom met with Cook County FP Superintendent Steve Bylina in early March.  Bylina explained his interest in reintroducing wild turkeys into the FP if it is the right thing to do.  He requested BCN’s help sourcing expert advice.


Donnie then forwarded to Bylina a statement from Randy Nyboer, a field ecologist with the INHS, which detailed the problems that would likely result from reintroduction.


Bird Monitoring – Lee Ramsey & Judy Pollock

Good news: the breeding bird survey information has now been entered into the Cornell database. Bad news:  some data appears to be missing.  It is recommended that all monitors check for the accuracy of their own data.


Judy said that she is asking for an extension of the Chicago Wilderness grant deadline because of the need to continue checking the eBird work.


It is suggested that everyone use the BCN website to get to eBird.


The monitoring team has been meeting with county officials to discuss coordination and cooperation. A monitoring workshop is being held in conjunction with Lake County FP.  Lee and Judy also met with the Dunes-Calumet group to initiate monitoring there.


It was moved by Bob Fisher and Seconded by Randi Doeker that BCN purchase a filing cabinet for the Monitoring Program.  This was approved by voice vote.


Birding Trail Map – Randi Doeker

Randi explained that the Chicago Dept of the Environment now expects to have maps printed in the spring of 2005.  The creation of the map is a very complex process involving many landowners, all of whom have to be “sold” on the participation. 


Important Birding Areas – Judy Pollock

Judy announced that 53 areas had been designated by the technical committee; more sites are still being sought statewide.  All information about the program is at


All landowners have been contacted and encouraged to recognize the IBA designation in some way. Examples include holding a press conference or recognition ceremony.


BCN clubs are encouraged to also work with the landowners to promote good conservation in the IBA.

Geoff and Chris volunteered to take IBA information to the annual IOS meeting.





Midewin – Marianne Hahn

Marianne announced that significant sections of the east side of Midewin are being opened in early June.


Plum Island – Mary Ann Harrison

Mary Ann explained the process that resulted in the Illinois Audubon Society owning Plum Island.  Restoration is the next task.  IAS has been getting offers of help from many non-traditional sources.


Lights Out – Judy Pollock and Bob Fisher

Bob reported that the meeting with the management at Soldier Field had gone well; they are complying with the Lights Out guidelines.  Judy forwarded information from Doug Stotz at the Field Museum observers:  No dead birds have yet been found at Soldier Field.


Lights Out officially started March 17 and goes until June 7; fall dates are August 20 until October 25.  Judy said that she is dependent on reports from groups like the CBCM for reports on actual participation.  The CBCM reps all said that the number of birds found in the business district is down significantly this year.


The Field Museum staff has asked for help from Judy setting up a meeting with the McCormick Place management to encourage them to be more cooperative.  Judy is hopeful the personal contacts she made during the creation of the McCormick Place sanctuary will be helpful in this situation.


Bob Fisher suggested that “personal radar” would be useful for monitors.  A discussion ensued about scientific research that could be done with such equipment.


Lake Calumet – Walter Marcisz

The Chicago DOE is wrapping up their design competition for the “Ford Environmental Center.”  The winner will be announced on April 22nd


Researchers from the INHS have started to study the effects of environmental toxins in the Lake Calumet area. 


The western shore is soon to be transferred to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Walter conveyed information from the Lake Calumet Vision Committee that indicates a willingness to convert some recently paved areas back to green open space.


Northerly Island – Randi Doeker

BCN is part of a coalition of conservation groups that was formed to influence the redevelopment of Northerly Island.  The Chicago Park District recently advised the group they are using the coalition’s Statement of Principles to filter out requests they receive for the use of Northerly Island.


Public meetings to start the redesign process will soon be organized by the Park District.


Lake Michigan Eco-Partnership – Judy Pollock

Judy announced that an eco partnership has been formed for Lake Michigan. Members will be both government and NGOs.





BCN Phone Number

Randi Doeker followed up an Excom request for information on the options available:


No consensus was formed.  It was agreed that Chris Williamson and Randi Doeker should work together to send out the BCN Contact list to the press.


IDNR Budget Cuts

BCN has joined Partners for Parks and Wildlife, an organization formed to fight the budget cuts.  A professional lobbyist has been hired who reports that legislators are very receptive to our message.  April 22nd will be Lobby Day in Springfield.




The meeting adjourned at 4:54pm.  The location of the July meeting is TBD.


Respectfully submitted,



Randi Doeker