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Volunteer Newsletter: Thank you, Lee Ramsey!

After 18 years of extraordinary commitment as volunteer coordinator for the Bird Conservation Network, Lee Ramsey is retiring. Spearheading the influential BCN Survey, Lee organized volunteer monitors in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and beyond to make scientific observations and collect nearly two decades of data about trends in Chicago-region bird populations. He has served as record-keeper, problem-solver, ambassador and cheerleader.

Lee was instrumental in setting up the BCN Survey and has been the primary recruiter and trainer of new monitors from its inception until now. During that time, the survey has grown to more than 200 monitors. Lee tirelessly accompanied scores of new monitors to their sites to set up points, taught them how to do point counts, and cheerfully answered their questions and walked them through data entry problems. He has presented training workshops in all corners of our large region. The data from this massive effort resulted in the publication of BCN’s “Breeding Bird Population Trends of the Chicago Region 1999-2012” and the 2014 publication of BCN’s “Birds of Concern” brochure.

Lee initiated and maintained relationships not only among the monitoring community but with land managers, stewards and conservation partners, representing the BCN at events and meetings around the region. He set up the BCN eBird home page and contributed many interesting articles to the web page and other local newsletters. He has consistently served the BCN as a knowledgeable, respected, professional, approachable and friendly voice for local bird monitoring and bird conservation.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County is grateful for the tremendous contributions that Lee has made to the conservation and restoration of natural areas in the Chicago region.

Adapted from a BCN tribute.