New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
April 16, 2005

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow Nature Preserve in Vestal on April 16, 2005. The meeting was called to order at 9:43 a.m. Present were Tim Baird, Brenda Best, Valerie Freer, Phyllis Jones, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Kevin McGowan, Bill Ostrander, and Carena Pooth.

Summary of Action Items:

1. Approved minutes with changes of previous board meeting. (Item 1)
2. Approved providing one-year memberships to Stoner Award nominees. (Item 5c)
3. Approved appointment of Andy Guthrie to NYSARC. (Item 5i)
4. Elected Phyllis Jones to fill the remainder of Bob Miller’s Director term (Item 7)
5. Requested label be placed inside Derby Hill Checklist. (Item 7)

1. Minutes of Previous Board Meeting – Brenda Best – In the February minutes in the final paragraph under eBird, after “...$900 annual maintenance cost”, add “should New York Audubon fail to pay their half.” Andy Mason made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the February 19, 2005 Board Meeting with changes. Tim Baird seconded. Approved unanimously.

2. President’s Report – Kevin McGowan – Kevin reports that he attended discussions with New York Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology regarding eBird. He also represented NYSOA at two lectures.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves not present. Bill has advised Kevin there are no problems.

4. DEC Report – John Ozard not present. John’s time is currently being spent on chronic wasting disease that has been found in deer in Oneida County.

5. Committee Reports

a. Archives – Phyllis Jones – Items are still being collected. The new brochure has been added.

b. Atlas – Valerie Freer – At the end of March, 116 blocks remained unsurveyed and blockbusters are working where needed. There will be a new mini-survey this year for the statistician. Manny feels funds remaining from Bull’s Birds of New York State should be used for the Atlas. Valerie will pursue this. Editors are working and some artwork has been finished.

c. Awards – Andy Mason – Two certificates have been presented (Rothman and LeTendre). Andy will provide a list to Carena for the website. At the Annual Meeting, all certificates of appreciation that were presented during the last year will be mentioned. An article was placed in the April New York Birders regarding our awards. Andy contacted Charlie Rouse regarding the Eaton award to get the word out earlier. A list of schools and universities will be developed (possibly the Biology Departments) for contact regarding the Stoner Award. Bill Ostrander sent a letter to member clubs. Bill also asked if there was a better use of “student scholarship” money. Suggestion was made to give a one-year free membership to nominees, especially if they don’t win or can’t attend. Tim Baird made a motion to provide a one-year membership in NYSOA for all nominees for the Stoner Award. Andy Mason seconded. Approved unanimously.

d. Conservation – Andy Mason – We reviewed Andy’s draft letter regarding deer management and made suggestions to include a stronger statement that population management (reduction) is needed. Andy will revise and circulate his letter.

e. Field Trips – Bill Lee not present. Tim reports there has been no response to our request for a new chair for this committee. Tim feels that since he gets the club newsletters, he could publish some of their field trips in New York Birders. Tim will contact the clubs regarding this.

f. Finance Committee – Berna Lincoln – No activity.

g. Membership – Brenda Best – We currently have 653 annual plus 53 life members. Seven clubs remain unpaid, and Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary has paid their dues for 2005 (did not pay in 2004).

h. Nominating Committee – Bill Ostrander – The slate of officers and three Directors will be up for election at the Annual Meeting. Slate is to be published in the July New York Birders.

i. NYSARC – Kevin McGowan – To replace Willie D’Anna, Kevin proposes to appoint Andy Guthrie to NYSARC with a term ending in 2009. Andy Mason so moved with Phyllis Jones seconding. Approved unanimously. Kevin feels that appointees should be in place before the expiration of a term so that we do not operate without a full complement of members on NYSARC. Gerard Phillips is resigning his NYSARC position, and in July we will vote on someone to serve out the remainder of Gerard’s term. Proposed changes to NYSARC guidelines have not been finalized. Someone from NYSARC needs to meet with the board to discuss these changes. It is now too late to change NYSOA by-laws this year.

j. Publications – Tim Baird – The Board feels New York Birders gets greater readership and is getting better all the time, but Tim would like the graphics to improve. It was felt the Annual Meeting insert in the April issue was not detailed enough. The March Kingbird is almost ready for publication. The June issue containing the CBC results is in fine shape and will be back on track. Geoff LeBaron has advised we may publish CBC results. This issue will not be larger due to including CBC results.

k. Web site – Carena Pooth – Carena presented a chart showing website usage for the past two years and the number of visits has steadily grown, with March 2005 showing almost 8,000 visits. Jeanne Skelly is working on a list of NYSARC reports submitted by species.

6. Old Business

Change in Governance – Andy reports that the Ad Hoc Committee was disappointed in our reaction and that they thought we said no to a change in governance. The Board does feel that individual member voting without club voting is not acceptable. We also realize we would need proxy voting and that quorum size would increase. The question remains, “How do we accomplish individual and club voting?” Should we research other 501(c)3 organizations? There currently is no overwhelming need to change governance and we should proceed carefully so as not to destroy the good things already in place. This issue will be discussed with the delegates at the Annual Meeting. Our thanks go to the Ad Hoc Committee for their hard work.

New York eBird – No agreement is in place yet. Kevin has talked with New York Audubon and they have committed to pay half of the $900 annual maintenance fee and agreed to participate in the web content of the front page. Brian Sullivan advises a new version of eBird is due out in June with new tools. We are looking at a probable summer opening of New York eBird. Regional filters need to be developed with Bob Spahn, and Kevin is working on regional maps. We will ask New York eBird to be present at the Annual Meeting (paper session or poster or both).

7. New Business

Resignation of Director – Kevin announced that Bob Miller has resigned his Director position due to health reasons. His term would have expired at the Annual Meeting in September 2005. Andy Mason made a motion to nominate Phyllis Jones to fill this vacancy until the election at the Annual Meeting. Berna Lincoln seconded. Approved unanimously.

Birds of North America – This publication is now online with slight enhancements, and is available for a $40 annual subscription fee. It is regularly updated and includes sounds, images, and new publications. Cornell Lab of Ornithology is offering this to NYSOA as a fund-raiser. For each NYSOA member who subscribes at the $40 level, we would get 25% ($10). An agreement is required and we would promote BNA with materials the Lab provides (flyers, mailings, on our website, at the Annual Meeting). This agreement would be renewed each year. It was asked if the $10 would apply to renewals after the first year. Kevin advises we would be paid quarterly based on use of an access code. Carena asked if we could offer BNA at a discounted price of $30 to anyone who joins NYSOA. Kevin will discuss this further with the Lab and hopes to have this ready by our July meeting.

Copyright Infringement – Brenda was contacted and presented with a Derby Hill Checklist that copied our Checklist of the Birds of New York State verbatim with the exception of the hawk section. The Derby Hill Board of Directors is asking for permission to use our checklist “after the fact.” We decided that a stamp or label is to be placed on Page 3 stating, “Checklist of the Birds of New York State © 2003 as approved by the New York State Avian Records Committee, is provided by New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. (formerly Federation of New York State Bird Clubs, Inc.), PO Box 95, Durhamville, NY 13054,” Derby Hill will also be advised this does not grant permission for future printings.

Phyllis Jones made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Gail Kirch. Approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

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