Board Meeting Minutes
Board Minutes – Spring/Summer 2017
By Daly Edmunds, Secretary
Since our spring newsletter, the Board met two times via conference calls – March 23 and May 12. Our next planned call is set for July 19 (9 am to noon). 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.
The success of the WY-TWS chapter lies heavily on the level of engagement by its members. In addition to voluntarily serving on the Board, members can also formally advance the chapter’s efforts by serving as chairmen/women to committees.
- According to WY-TWS Bylaws, our chapter has five standing committees: Nominations and Awards (Gary Fralick), Communications (vacant; Jason Carlisle – website, Ian Abernethy – Facebook, Brian Zinke – newsletter), Science (Dan Thompson), Legislative Affairs (Ben Wise), and Audit (vacant). We also have several ad-hoc committees/chairs: COWCH (Frank Blomquist), Student Chapter Liaison (Ian Abernethy). In parentheses after each are the committee chairs, which we sincerely thank for their efforts on behalf of WY-TWS.
- On May 17, after serving the WY-TWS Chapter well for many years as chair of the Communications committee, Eric Maichak formally stepped away from that role. Eric brought exceptional skills sets to this position, where he oversaw coordination of various internal and external communications-related work (including acting as liaison with our colleagues at national) – i.e. Chapter website, Facebook page, and newsletter generation. Prior to this, not only had Eric served in leadership roles within the Board but had also produced high quality and engaging newsletters for the chapter for seven years. The Board is extremely grateful to Eric for his years of commitment to WY-TWS, and for helping to make us a leading voice for wildlife professionals in the states. This isn’t the last we’ve all seen of Eric though, as he will continue to be tapped for his strong journalistic/editing skills going forward.
- WY-TWS has completed transitioning banking institutions from UniWyo to US Bank, which provides more banking locations and improved online banking capacity.
- Board, led by the Treasurer, is reviewing the breakdown of sub-accounts. Efforts are being made to update these to more appropriately align with recent spending streams.
- Request made by National for financial support for the upcoming annual meeting (September 23-24 in Albuquerque, NM). The Board decided to provide $250 in support. In addition, the Board decided to offer two ($500) scholarships to professional or graduate students for travel to attend.
- As in the past, the Board wants to continue to facilitate travel for professionals and students presenting a technical paper or poster and who are planning on attending the WY-TWS 2017 annual meeting. Three professional travel grants and three student grants (all at $250) will be awarded. Application deadlines tentatively set for Oct 2017.
- As of the time of distribution of this newsletter, the WY-TWS account has $40,468.96.
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.
Game Bird Farms – Greater Sage Grouse
Board members worked with partners to monitor the recent state legislative session, with notable engagement on a bill titled “Game Bird Farms – Greater Sage Grouse”.
- Since our last newsletter, this has become law – Enrolled Act 91 and requires the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to promulgate rules to regulate this commercial activity by September 1, 2017. In addition to a public hearing on June 14 in Casper, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will be convening on August 23 in Casper for final decisions (and opportunity for public comment).
- The first official comment period is currently open through July 25. Visit the WGFD website to view the draft regulations and commenting requirements.
- Former WY-TWS President Matt Holloran presented a statement on behalf of WY-TWS at the very heated WY Sage-Grouse Implementation Team meeting on April 28 (Enrolled Act 91, “Game Bird Farms – Greater Sage Grouse”) and President Holly Copeland was interviewed by Wyoming Public Radio on this issue on May 8 and the Powell Tribune on June 9.
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.