Board Meeting Minutes

Board Minutes – Winter 2018
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary

Since our fall newsletter, the Board and Committee Chairs met three times – October 18, December 4, and January 26. 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 preceded the annual convention in Jackson.

New Board Members: Per member election results, we welcome Ben Wise as President (formerly President-Elect), Embere Hall as President-elect, and Anika Mahoney as Board Member-at-large (formerly Janet Marschner). Holly Copeland assumes Past-President, Corinna Riginos (Board Member-at-large), Nyssa Whitford (Treasurer) and Daly Edmunds (Secretary) remain in their previous leadership positions.

Annual Awards for Excellence:

Voting occurred online and recipients were recognized at our annual meeting.

  • Professional of the Year – Dr. Matthew J. Kauffman
  • Citizen of the Year – Steve Sharkey
  • Roger Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Rudd
  • Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Merav Ben-David
  • Best Newsletter Article – Lindsey Sanders

Professional Development: The Board continues to seek professional development opportunities for our members, not only at the annual meeting but throughout the year. On this latter piece, the board is looking into a potential 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.

Treasurer/Finances: As Treasurer, Nyssa has led the Board in trying to streamline and provide stability in our fiscal position.

  • Transition from UniWyo to US Bank has been completed and a high interest savings account has been opened
  • Budget for 2018 has been finalized
  • WY-TWS member Eric Maichak presented to the Board in January 2018, asking for WY-TWS support for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s hunter surveillance blood kits. Each year the WGFD monitors the distribution of brucellosis within the state’s elk populations by requesting hunters to collect blood samples from their harvested animal. Specifically, Eric has asked for WY-TWS’s help in increasing awareness about this program by offering money that could go into raffle that could incentivize participating by hunters. WY-TWS has reached out to Maven Outdoor Equipment Company, a Lander-based company that produces high quality binoculars and spotting scopes, to partner in this effort.

Science Committee: 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. Dan Thompson is the Chair.

  • In response to the need to increase awareness and participation in the Science Committee, Dan distributed an email request to members and provided a motivating presentation at the annual meeting. Both resulted in increased engagement.
  • Ranked applications for the Memorial Bear Fund, set up in 1992 to honor the memory of biologists Kirk Inberg and Kevin Roy and pilot Ray Austin. All three were lost while conducting a grizzly bear flight in northwest Wyoming in 1991. Pilot Fred Reed was also lost in a plane crash in northwest Wyoming in 1995 and the MBF is intended to honor their memory. This fund supports research, habitat protection, education, and other projects for all species of bears. The Science committee evaluated projects based on likelihood of success, project readiness, availability of matching funds, significance at local/state/regional level, duration of benefits, and adequacy of monitoring.

Legislative Affairs/Conservation Affairs Network: Ben Wise is chair of LA and Tony Mong is contact for CAN.

  • The WY State Legislature is in session February 12 through March 10, with this year being a Budget Session. Ben and Committee members are staying informed through colleagues that are engaged at the State Legislature.
  • Tony continues to engage with staff in DC.

Student Chapter:  Ian Abernethy continues to be liaison between our chapter and that at the University of Wyoming. A new slate of officers have been elected for 2018, with the President being Trevor Thorvaldson. Ian and President-elect, Embere Hall, visited with their advisory, Dr. Merav Ben-David, in hopes of engaging greater undergraduate student participation at the 2018 annual conference.

Celebrating Our Wildlife Heritage (COWCH): Frank Blomquist and Stan Harter are co-chairs of this reinvigorated subcommittee. The sub-committee had their first meeting in November 2017 and have since been working on transferring interviews into digital format. They are also reviewing the interviews done (approximately 40!) to figure out what we have and help put together presentations on different topics. A topic for consideration is the potential need for future funding to hire a third party professional production company to assist in these endeavors. To find out more about The Wildlife Society’s program contact There is also a specific WY Handbook.

Central Mountains & Plains Section of The Wildlife Society: The President is our own Andrea Orabona, based out of Lander. CMPS encompasses CO, KS, NE, ND, SD, UT, and WY. To find out more, visit the CMPS website. The Nebraska Chapter of The Wildlife Society (NETWS) will host the annual meeting of the Central Mountains and Plains Section in Kearney, NE at the Holiday Inn, February 28-March 2, 2018. The theme for the meeting is “Grassland Ecology: Conservation in an Altered Landscape.” Note that everyone in the state chapter is automatically a CMPS member.

2018 Annual Conference: Our next conference will likely be in November in Laramie. As in 2015, we will again be doing a joint-meeting with the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Partnership. The Board saw this as a mutually beneficial opportunity. Stay tuned for more details and please let Embere know if you can help in any way (!

Formally submitted by:
Daly Edmunds
WY-TWS Secretary

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.