|The new Forest Preserve plan (above) shows Somme Prairie outlined in red, Somme Prairie Grove in orange, Somme Woods in yellow and green, and Chipilly Woods in blue.|
The planning session on bird conservation was assembled by Becky Collings and Laurel Ross. The full roster for that field meeting included:
Steward Laurel Ross has also long been a conservation leader as staff of The Nature Conservancy and the Field Museum. She is also on the Conservation and Policy Council that helps guide the implementing of the Next Century Plan. Thus, many contributions make a difference.
In case "model of collaboration" sounds Pollyanna to anyone, let me hasten to assure you that "collaboration" does not mean an absence of problems. It means we all pitch in, respect each other, and work problems out, as best we can.
|Step one, as seen from Dundee Road, looking north, with the small brush clearing just completed. The existing prairie is that pale horizontal line behind the trees. |
Photo by Forest Preserve resource project manager Troy Showerman.
Does this post make too much of a fuss over birds, compared to the rest of the ecosystem? Yes, but. Birds often rightly get extra attention because the data for them is especially clear and strong. We know better how big preserves need to be (and what vegetation structure needs to be) for bird conservation than we do for most other species. Part of the reason for that, is that people have done more research on birds, in part because they have more constituency and support. Birds bring more supporters to conservation efforts than do rare walking sticks or snakes.
For an introduction to Somme Prairie Nature Preserve, check out captions and photos of Somme Prairie from a walk in late May - and a set of very different photos and comments from July.