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Board Meeting Minutes

Board Minutes – Fall 2020
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary

Since our last newsletter, the Board and members met virtually on June 17, July 27, August 27, and October 8.  The Board a through email communications.  Board meetings are open to the membership, so participation is always welcome! For future call participation info, please contact the new Treasurer for WY-TWS.

Below is a list of some of the topics discussed and decisions made on these Board member calls and via online communications.

Annual Meeting (joint meeting with Central Mountain & Plains Section):

  • To ensure member safety, board voted to move to virtual meeting on November 18
  • Utilize University of Wyoming’s Zoom and use this opportunity to bring diverse speakers (from broad geographic areas on wide range of topics) to WY-TWS/CMPS members
  • Identified four invited speakers and provide each with $200 honorarium (cost split between WY-TWS and CMPS)
  • No charge for participants but would require registration
  • Will not have any auction/quiz bowl due to logistical challenges, however will do include wildlife trivia throughout the event.

Student Chapter:

  • Student chapter receives annual support of $1,000 from WY-TWS, often used to help with spring trip though that was canceled in 2020 due to Covid. Student chapter retained funds.
  • Student chapter volunteers have begun transcribing previous COWCH interviews (learn more about “Celebrating our Wildlife Conservation Heritage” project here)
  • Student chapter to be approached to help design flyer for virtual conference

Graduate Student Scholarships

  • 2020 Budget allotted $1,000 got PhD and $1,000 for MS student, to be used as they would like (unrestricted).
  • Concern over Covid-19 prompted board to discuss and ultimately vote reallocate the following amounts from the 2020 budget to go towards additional student scholarships – $1,500 for travel grants and $2,000 for general scholarships. To use the $1,000 personal donation made executor of Willis Wendt’s estate. In total, that would allow for $4,500 to be use for 6 scholarships, at $750 each.
  • Board also decided to facilitate collection of donations of $20 or more via WY-TWS website, with an explanation that WY-TWS has reallocate funding intended for an in-person conference, recent donation, and those originally meant for graduate students (totaling $4,500) to be distributed to 6 graduate students in need.

WY Game and Fish Blood Raffle:

Policy Discussions

  • Importance of recruiting board members coming from diverse array of employers, thus keeping WY-TWS able to engage on variety of issues and better to avoid potential employee/employer conflicts
  • Importance of having WY-TWS remain credible as a science-based organization and carefully consider implications of signing on to joint statements/letters/comments on specific issues with advocacy-oriented organizations. Discussions with these other organizations are valuable for understanding the current situations and developing strategies but WY-TWS should submit own science-based comments, to the greatest extent possible.

Willis Wendt Estate

  • In late 2018, Willis “Bill” Wendt passed away and bequeathed in his will $10,000 to Wyoming Wildlife Society. Wendt resided in CA but traveled to WY for many years to antelope hunt. WY-TWS members remember engaging with Mr. Wendt at previous WY-TWS annual conference.  Attorneys office for Mr. Wendt sent a copy of the will and amendments to TWS, who reached out to WY-TWS leadership.  The Executor for the estate, following his attorney’s instruction, sent the check to Wyoming Wildlife Federation in May 2019.
  • WY-TWS Treasurer had phone conversations with Executor in May 2020. Came to understanding that this was the best use of Mr. Wendt’s intention given that he wanted to support hunting and fishing in WY by habitat protection – more “boots-on-the-ground.”
  • In July 2020, Executor personally gave $1,000 to WY-TWS noting that this is to “offer a small thanks to Nyssa for the professional and personal way she helped navigate the situation to a good conclusion.” Thank you was provided to Executor by the board.

Daly Edmunds is the Director of Policy and Outreach for Audubon Rockies, covering both Wyoming and Colorado. Prior to joining Audubon, she worked for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the National Wildlife Federation/Wyoming Wildlife Federation.