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By Charles Hagner, Director, Bird City Wisconsin

Bird City Wisconsin is happy to announce the addition of four new members to its Steering Committee: Jeff Galligan, Richard Staffen, John Walch, and Jerry Ziegler. Each brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program.

Jeff is a co-founder of the BIPOC Birding Club of Wisconsin and an administrator at Madison College, where he runs programming for high-promise students, including two TRIO Student Support Services grants and the Men of Excellence program, a retention-based program for Black and Latino males. He also is a Wisconsin Master Naturalist and serves on the board of directors of both Madison Audubon Society and Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

Rich is a zoologist/conservation biologist for Wisconsin DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, where he helps coordinate and perform inventory and monitoring projects focused on rare vertebrate animals. He is the eagle/Osprey survey coordinator for south-central and southwestern Wisconsin and a species expert for forest raptors and songbirds, plus other rare raptor species. He is well known for his work on the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas and serves on the Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group and the Wisconsin Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Team.

John is a consultant with Sustainable Oceans International and a member of the board of directors of the Reef Ball Foundation and Bird City Algoma. He has taught Solomon Islanders how to culture corals; led a team to restore coral reefs damaged by the 2004 tsunami in Phuket, Thailand; planned and executed the first coral relocation project in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Saudi Arabia; led coral relocation in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and worked in many other countries. He is also an accomplished wildlife photographer.

Jerry retired from the Nature Conservancy at the end of 2020, after serving as land manager for southeast Wisconsin for 13 years. Before that, he was the assistant copy desk chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and an assistant news editor at the Milwaukee Journal. He is a member of the Sierra Club and the Great Lakes Historical Society and former president of the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, and former board member of Wisconsin Lakes.

Jeff, Rich, John, and Jerry will join Dr. Bryan Lenz, Karen Etter Hale, Lucas Olson, Michael Reed, and Andrew Struck on the nine-member volunteer Steering Committee. The new members will attempt to fill the large shoes of Hilary Igl, of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and Bird City Wisconsin organizer Carl Schwartz, who are stepping off the committee.

Schwartz helped launched Bird City Wisconsin in 2010, was the program’s first director, and served as chair of its Steering Committee until March 2019, when he was succeeded in that role by Lenz, Bird City’s second director. Lenz is Glass Collision Program Manager at the American Bird Conservancy and director of Bird City Americas. Bird City’s current director is Charles Hagner.


Read more:

Read about the Steering Committee.

History of Bird City Wisconsin.