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Board Meeting Minutes

Board Minutes – Spring/Summer 2019
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary

Since our last newsletter, the Board met in-person in Lander on May 15 and through email communications. Board meetings are open to the membership, so participation is always welcome! For future call participation info, please contact Daly Edmunds at dedmunds@audubon.org.

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

Planning for the 2019 Annual Meeting:

  • Our next annual meeting is set for historic Sheridan, November 19-21
  • As traditionally occurs within WY-TWS, the President-Elect takes the lead in organizing the annual meeting. Eric Maichak is off and running, providing updates and seeking feedback and assistance from board members. Included in the discussions have been co-hosting it with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, setting a rough agenda outline, working out logistics with the venue and local caterers, and pursuing workshop instructors. Partnering with other organizations has been a helpful way to build relationships and increase awareness about what WY-TWS members are doing.

Leadership Structure:

  • There are continued good discussions around increasing the number of Board Members-at-large (current By-Laws permit 2) to help engage more members in leadership positions and to help spread out the workload. Board is reaching out to Parent to get feedback on what new By-Laws language would be best (two ideas are being considered). A formal vote by members will be needed to change By-Laws and more discussion to be had by Board to decide duties of these new positions.
  • The Board continues to recognize the important role of committee chairs and that they need to be responsive to members who volunteer to serve on committees.

Diversifying Engagement

  • Parent organization has a National Native American Working Group, which board will be reaching out to for ideas on how to increase engagement here in Wyoming.
  • WY-TWS would like to get more undergraduate student engagement at the state level. Discussion is on-going about how to achieve that and what services are we currently providing/should we provide in the future. Scholarships continue to be offered to advance research projects and facilitate attendance at meetings.
    • Student Chapter Liaison, graduate student Kristina Harkins, approached the Board with creative ideas – including hosting a UW Student Chapter officer sit on our board as non-voting member, developing a mentor program between undergraduate and graduate students, and creating an early career professional working group. Kristina will be reaching out to the Student Chapter at the University of Wyoming to get some ideas and Board is interested in what she hears back.
    • Graduate students, Rhiannon Jakopak and Tayler LaSharr, also approached the board with the idea of having WY-TWS host a wildlife field techniques workshop for undergraduates. More discussion is on-going about what this might look like (e.g., should it go beyond field techniques?).

Engaging on Wildlife Management Policies:

  • WY-TWS board continues to be approached by other organizations to sign-on to letters to decision-makers regarding wildlife management policy decisions in Wyoming. WY-TWS is somewhat unique from some of the other non-profits in Wyoming in that our board is all voluntary (thus providing time constraints and potential conflicts of interest). In addition, our membership provides important scientific expertise in wildlife management issues and is not a traditional advocacy organization.
  • The Board continues to approach these requests on a case-by-case situation, to determine if it is the best interest of WY-TWS to sign-on and if there is capacity/need for WY-TWS to submit our own letter. The Board takes its responsibility to maintain WY-TWS’s credibility very seriously, where sound management through the use of the best available science is a cornerstone. WY-TWS has previously engaged on the State Legislators’ efforts to breed sage-grouse in captivity and most recently wrote a letter to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on migration corridors.

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.