Council Proposed Bylaws
for TWS Membership Approval – 2021
UPDATE: These proposed bylaws were approved by a vote of the membership in June 2021. The below information is for historical reference only.
In March 2021, The Wildlife Society Council approved a motion to submit revised bylaws to TWS members for their consideration and vote. This motion comes after two years of comprehensive bylaws review and discussion led by the Bylaws Subcommittee of Council. The review was completed at the charge of then-President Gary White and continued by current President Carol Chambers and was needed to clarify use of terminology, address critical governance issues, ensure legal compliance, and enhance TWS operations.
As part of the Bylaws Subcommittee process, both TWS Council and TWS legal counsel had several opportunities to review iterations of the bylaws revisions and provide feedback and recommendations. Further, the Subcommittee solicited review and comment from TWS Section and Chapter Presidents, Working Group Chairs, TWS Past Presidents, and Aldo Leopold Memorial Award winners. The Subcommittee reviewed each comment received in detail, responded to each comment, and modified the draft based on the input received. This included hosting two follow-up webinars to ensure that the draft bylaws adequately reflected suggested changes or addressed any concerns raised during the review process.
See below for a link to the proposed bylaws recommended by Council. The proposed bylaws must be approved by a majority vote of TWS members to take effect.
Council Proposed Bylaws: Please use this link to view the full set of the proposed bylaws
Note: Electronic voting for adoption of this document begins June 1, 2021. All TWS Voting Members will receive an email with a link to submit their ballot. Ballots must be submitted by June 30, 2021.
Supplemental Information to Proposed Bylaws
Current TWS Bylaws
The proposed bylaws include significant improvements and a fairly extensive reorganization relative to the current bylaws. These include everything from minor text changes to major corrective revisions. Much of the major revisions focus on ensuring TWS alignment with the nonprofit laws for D.C. and other legal requirements, though much care was taken by Council to preserve or enhance TWS’ voice and ability to advance our science-based wildlife conservation mission. Below you will find a copy of the current TWS Bylaws with line-by-line color coding and explanations for all proposed changes. This document is intended to provide an at-a-glance display of what was done to language in current Bylaws during the revision process.
Current TWS Bylaws – Color Coded Reference: Please use this link for an at-a-glance view of revisions in the context of the current TWS Bylaws Note: This is a Reference document only and not part of the 2021 ballot.
General Operating Procedures
The proposed bylaws exclude many operational aspects that are in current bylaws. Council proposes moving these elements to a Council-controlled “General Operating Procedures” manual. Moving procedural items out of Bylaws would allow Council to more nimbly address the administrative needs of TWS. Bylaws would retain foundational language that can be changed only through a vote of the members. Language related to this proposed change can be found in Article X of the proposed Bylaws. For additional context on what proposed procedural items would be moved to the General Operating Procedures manual, please refer to the yellow highlighted text in the color-coded reference document above.
TWS Articles of Incorporation
The Wildlife Society was incorporated in Washington, D.C. in 1948. Three core documents form the foundation for TWS governance: our Articles of Incorporation, the Nonprofit Corporation Act of 2010 in the Code of the District of Columbia, and our Bylaws. In addition to establishing a legal identity for the organization and providing a formal name, the TWS Articles of Incorporation also identify the purposes for which our nonprofit corporation exists. A copy of the TWS Articles of Incorporation is linked below.
The Wildlife Society – Articles of Incorporation: Please use this link to view the purposes and objectives of The Wildlife Society Note: This is a Reference document only and not part of the 2021 ballot.
Article Discussing the Proposed Bylaws in The Wildlife Professional Vol. 15.3 May/June 2021
Additional discussion on the proposed bylaws changes can be found in the May/June issue of The Wildlife Professional. Members of the Bylaws Subcommittee drafted a short article that features information on the importance of TWS Bylaws, includes a brief history of TWS Bylaws revisions, elaborates on the need for action, and discusses examples of some of the types of actions taken by the Subcommittee to address issues with the current Bylaws. A copy of the article is linked below.
TWS Bylaws – May/June TWP: Please use this link for a narrative on TWS Bylaws and the most recent revisions Note: This is a Reference document only and not part of the 2021 ballot.
Still have questions? For more information or clarification contact Cameron Kovach, TWS Director of Operations
The Wildlife Society Council Bylaws Subcommittee Members
- Bob Lanka, Chair (former Central Mountains and Plains Representative to Council)
- Harriet Allen (former Northwest Section Representative to Council)
- Gordon Batcheller (TWS President-elect)
- Cameron Kovach (TWS Director of Operations)
- Evelyn Merrill (Canadian Representative to Council)
- Andrea Orabona (Central Mountains and Plains Representative to Council)
- Kelley Stewart (Western Representative to Council)
- Don Yasuda (TWS Vice-President)