Board Meeting Minutes
Board Minutes – Autumn 2017
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary
Since our summer newsletter, the Board met two times via conference calls – July 19 and September 12. Board meetings are open to the membership, so participation is always welcome! For future call participation info, please contact Daly Edmunds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of some of the topics discussed and decisions made on these Board member calls and via communications.
Objective 1 of The Wildlife Society’s Strategic Plan (2015-2020) – “Identify, support, and promote the Chapter’s role as the scientific voice concerning conservation of wildlife and their habitats in Wyoming.” The Board discussed the important role that the Science Committee serves in Wyoming’s wildlife management, providing a neutral platform where we can ensure science has a voice.
- Committee has previously addressed issues as members/board flagged them, where input by WY-TWS was believed to be valuable/necessary. The Board must specifically direct the Committee to pursue the issue and can help prioritize, if multiple issues arise. The Committee is made up of WY-TWS members who volunteer and that have expertise on the subject matter, led by the Science Committee Chair – Dan Thompson.
- Board strategized ways to increase awareness of this committee amongst members, so that the committee could be more fully utilized.
Annual Meeting: Dec 5-7 in Jackson
- As President-elect, Ben Wise continues to take the lead in organizing the many details required for a successful annual meeting. This year’s meeting will take place in Jackson.
- Board is considering various options to diversify attendance to our annual meeting, as originally brought up at the Board meeting at 2016 annual conference. Among the ideas being considered is a management-related panel discussion that looks at the intersection of science and policy. Board is carefully considering options to ensure we’re strategic about the goals and outcomes, so it is worthwhile to all participants and relevant to WY-TWS.
- Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s Strategic Plan (2015-2020) places emphasis on professional development.
- Opportunities will be offered at the annual meeting in Jackson, to include an Advanced R Workshop.
- The board is looking into offering a Resource Selection/Geospatial Analysis Workshop in Laramie in 2018. The potential instructor would be brought in from the University of Idaho and class size would be restricted to 20-25 people. Details are continuing to be investigated.
Game Bird Farms – Greater Sage-grouse
On August 23, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) convened a public meeting in Casper. This came as a result of the Wyoming State Legislature passing Enrolled Act 91 and thus now requiring the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) to promulgate rules to regulate this commercial activity by September 1, 2017. The Commissioners discussed proposed rules presented by WGFD and voted on Chapter 60 – Regulation Governing Greater Sage-Grouse Raised on Private Game Bird Farms.
- On July 24, WY-TWS submitted formal comments to WGFD (see comments).
- Former WY-TWS President and grouse researcher, Matt Holloran was in attendance at the Casper meeting and spoke on behalf of WY-TWS.
- Primary Outcomes – (1) Accountability: Commissioners added language in the Regulations that every game bird licensee raising Greater Sage-grouse must report to the regional wildlife supervisor by April 15 annually. Report should include the number of grouse successfully raised in the preceding 12 months. WGFD should then report annually to the WGFC. And (2) Fiscal: Commissioners added language in the Regulations that expenditures incurred by WGFD must be reported annually to the WGFC.
- At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Pat Crank stated, “If I was a legislator, I would have done everything I could to vote this thing down.” But noted that the WGFC had fiduciary responsibility to decide on regulations surrounding this.
- Given that “captive breeding” is being considered in the Department of Interior’s review of federal Sage-grouse management plans, and Wyoming is the first state where this is being attempted at this scale, WY-TWS will continue to work with staff at the policy office of The Wildlife Society.
Formally submitted by:
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.