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Fisheries Employees Win Conservation Award

Congratulations to Forest Preserve District employees Steve Silic and Jim Phillips on receiving 2012 Grassroots Conservation Leadership Awards from the Audubon Chicago region!

Steve and Jim, employees in our Fisheries section, devised a solution to a problem that was harming our local bird population.

The FPD installed PVC tubes to hold anglers’ used fishing line, to keep birds from becoming tangled in it. Ironically, the original tubes turned out to be hazardous themselves, as cavity nesters explored the tubes and were unable to climb back out along the too-smooth PVC material.

Steve and Jim retrofitted the tubes with covers to keep birds out and worked with Mary Lou Mellon of the Bird Conservation Network to set up a monitoring program to ensure that no bird fatalities were observed during the summer of 2011.

For their efforts, they were rewarded with the Audubon Chicago Region’s 2012 Grassroots Conservation Leadership Awards. Their innovative solution has been looked at as a model for other Forest Preserve Districts in the region. Congratulations, Jim and Steve!