Board Meeting Minutes

Board Minutes – Fall 2018
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary

Since our last newsletter, the Board and Committee Chairs met in-person in Lander on June 14, via phone on October 2, 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

Below is a list of some of the topics discussed and decisions made on these Board member calls and via communications, not included is the extensive planning that occurred in advance of the annual meeting in Laramie.

WY-TWS Objective:  To provide an organization of wildlife management professionals from which statements affecting wildlife can be made exclusive of agency limitations.

  • Recovering America’s Wildlife Act: (see link)
    • Robust bipartisan support is essential to getting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act moving through Congress. As the TWS government relations staff and our partners continue to push this legislation on Capitol Hill, in July, WY-TWS sent letters to all three Wyoming Members of Congress requesting their support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
      • “Wildlife Conservation” Plate:
        • The WY Legislative budget session yielded a positive outcome for this bill, which successfully got 2/3 majority to pass license plate bill. There will be 1 design that will come out January 2019. Need to sell 1,000 by 1/1/2024. In addition to the $100 fee for the conservation plate, motorists would also pay a $30 fee applied to any specialty license plate order. The Legislative Service Office estimates the bill would generate $50,000 for WYDOT wildlife conservation efforts over the next three years along with $15,000 for the highway fund through the specialty plate fee.

WY-TWS Objective:  To promote and provide for intradisciplinary communication and training to keep abreast of modern needs and technological developments.

  • CO/WY/NM/TX Wildlife Movement and Migration Workshop:
    • WY-TWS provided assistance and facilitated registration for a multi-state/multi-agency workshop in Laramie, August 28-29. This workshop was an effort by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to (1) develop a standardized procedure of migration corridor delineation/analysis, (2) train biologists in the use of new analysis packages/tools to improve ability to convert raw movement data into user friendly models (Brownian Bridge), and (3) increase dialog between state agencies on the utilization of these models in management/policy.
  • Resource Selection/Geospatial Analysis Workshop:
    • WY-TWS facilitated a workshop taught by Dr. Ryan Long of the University of Idaho, September 28-30. The course covered RSF analysis, sampling and study design, logistic regression, mixed effects modeling and model selection. The workshop met the strategic goal of WY-TWS of providing professional development opportunities to members, and was well attended by participants from multiple different agencies and states.

WY-TWS Objective:  To promote awareness of and continued improvement in wildlife management.

  • Wyoming Conservation Roundtable:
    • This series has been hosted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, both occurring this year in Casper and having WY-TWS board members representing the Chapter. Daly Edmunds (WY-TWS Secretary) attended the first one on January 16, which provided a unique opportunity to inform a wide range of entities from across the state about what WY-TWS does. WY-TWS President, Ben Wise, attended the second Conservation Roundtable on July 23. Topics discussed in July included long-term WGFD department funding, public outreach, hunter recruitment/retention, and a strategy session to discuss increased non-consumptive user participation in wildlife management funding. There were approximately 40 individuals in attendance, representing over 20 sportsman groups/NGOs/outdoor recreational groups.

Celebrating Our Wildlife Conservation Heritage (COWCH)

Stan Harter (co-chair) is working to move old taped videos to digital. Efforts are also underway to diversify the suite of those that have been interviewed. The sub-committee is also continuing to review the interviews done to take (approximately 40!) to figure out what we have and help put together presentations on different topic. To find out more there is also a specific WY Handbook.

Central Mountains & Plains (CMPS – for more info)

CMPS is made up of 7 State Chapters of TWS:  CO, KS, NE, ND, SD, UT, and WY. WY-TWS member, Andrea Orabona, will retain position of “Past-President” through August 2019. Each year, a different TWS chapter co-hosts a meeting with CMPS. The 2019 meeting will be hosted by the North Dakota TWS Chapter. WY-TWS Board voted to support hosting the 2020 joint meeting. Location to be determined. Note that everyone in the WY-TWS Chapter is automatically a member of CMPS.

Student Chapter Liaison

Ian Abernethy has served in this capacity for years, helping to ensure good communication and partnership between our chapter and that at the University of Wyoming. With a new son, Ian has understandably decided to dedicate more time to his growing family.

We are honored to have Kristina Harkins to step in as Student Chapter Liaison. Kristina came to WY in 2015 to work on her MS under the guidance of Dr. Merav Ben-David. It grew in scope and in 2017, it officially converted to a PhD under Merav Ben-David and Doug Keinath. She is interested in small mammal community dynamics in Wyoming sagebrush and grassland ecosystems with an additional focus on pocket mouse occupancy and habitat associations. You may have met Kristina at previous annual meetings. In 2016 she gave a presentation titled “Trapping protocol for difficult to detect small mammals” and another in 2017 “It’s a trap: approaches for detecting rare small mammals.” She’s also contributed to the 2018 Spring/Summer Newsletter, co-authoring an article with Merav on the 2018 Conclave trip.

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.