New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
November 12, 2005

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at the Nuthatch Hollow Nature Preserve in Vestal, NY on November 12, 2005. The meeting was called to order at 9:39 a.m.

Present were Tim Baird, Brenda Best, Valerie Freer, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves, and Bob Spahn.

Summary of Action Items:

1. Approved 2005 Annual Meeting minutes and minutes of previous board meeting. (Item 1)
2. Approved officers serving as members of the Executive Committee. (Item 2)
3. Approved 2006 General Operating Budget (Item 4)
4. Approved investing in short-term U.S. Treasuries. (Item 4)
5. Approved accepting nominations for the Stoner Award from individual members. (Item 6c)
6. Approved provisional membership for Audubon New York. (New Business)

1. Minutes– Brenda Best

July 2005 Board Meeting Minutes: Bob Mauceli made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the July 16, 2005 Board Meeting with changes. Bill Reeves seconded. Approved unanimously.

2005 Annual Meeting Minutes: Bob Spahn made a motion to approve the minutes with changes. Seconded by Gail Kirch. Motion was approved unanimously. These are to be printed in the March 2006 issue of The Kingbird.

2. President’s Report – Andy Mason – Although Andy has asked committee chairs to continue, there are changes, some of which need to be reflected on the inside cover of The Kingbird. The Conservation Committee will be co-chaired by Gail Kirch, John Confer, and John Fritz. Manny thought there should be a new chair of the Publications Committee, but Andy will re-approach him about continuing. As Vice-president, Bill Ostrander will chair the Awards Committee. Berna Lincoln chairs the By-laws Committee, which needs to be added to the cover of The Kingbird. Previously, the Executive Committee has consisted of the current officers. Bill Reeves made a motion to accept the current officers as the Executive Committee, and Bob Mauceli seconded. Passed unanimously.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves – Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club must repay the $1,000 loan made for the Annual meeting. One Atlas artist is returning the $300 start-up that was given because the artist cannot do the work. The cost of typesetting for the last Kingbird was excessive and Shai is looking for a new typesetter.

4. Budget – Berna Lincoln – The General Operating Fund Budget, generally based on the previous year’s expenses, was presented. A new ongoing expense included in the budget is half the cost of maintenance of NY eBird. The bottom line shows a deficit of $2,260, which is a smaller deficit than last year’s budget. Tim Baird made a motion to approve the budget as presented and Bob Spahn seconded. Motion was passed unanimously.

Bill Reeves stated our auditor suggested we invest in Treasury Bills. After some discussion of the amount to invest ($80,000 vs. $100,000) and the term (1 year vs. 2 year), Bob Mauceli made a motion to authorize the Treasurer to invest up to $100,000 in short-term U.S. Treasuries. This was seconded by Tim Baird and approved unanimously.

5. DEC Report – John Ozard – No report. Bryan Swift continues to head the Winter Waterfowl Count.

6. Committee Reports

a. Archives – Phyllis Jones – No report.

b. Atlas – Valerie Freer – Data is all entered and corrections from 2004 are being made. We are ahead of the first Atlas in every category. Effort forms from the first Atlas have been entered. Change maps have been started and are time consuming. Kevin is writing more about the changes that have occurred and not the natural history of each species. Some accounts will be peer reviewed. Idea was raised to use the published Atlas as a membership premium. Valerie suggests promoting Return A Gift To Wildlife in New York Birders.

c. Awards – Bill Ostrander – Andy is wrapping up his work on this committee and turning it over to Bill. We briefly discussed the Elliott Award and the existing procedure for choosing the recipient (Kingbird editor, Highlights editor, Regional Reports editor, and the Chair of the Publications Committee). This award is to be removed from inside the Kingbird cover. Regarding the Stoner Award, Berna suggests we accept nominations from individuals and not just from clubs. Gail Kirch made a motion to allow individual members to make nominations for the Stoner Award. Seconded by Carena Pooth. Passed unanimously. We discussed the student grade level requirement of the Stoner recipient, but no decision was made to change this. Tim Baird asked that a Certificate of Appreciation be given to two Nuthatch Hollow people for allowing us to meet here, and Bill Reeves asked that one be given to the Empire State Building for adjusting lighting at night during migration. Bill will get the names and advise Bill Ostrander.

d. Conservation – Andy Mason – Gail is taking over this committee. John Fritz expressed concern to Andy about new cat shelters in state parks. Andy will write to follow up on the parks’ procedure. Nothing final has been presented regarding exploration for gas in state forests. Also nothing has been finalized regarding ATV use on state lands.

e. Field Trips – Tim will continue to take these from club newsletters.

f. Finance Committee – Berna Lincoln – See above.

g. Membership – Brenda Best – A chart showing the number of members for November 2003, 2004, and 2005 indicates a declining trend in our membership. Bob Mauceli suggested we develop a questionnaire for non-paying members to find out why they did not renew. Brenda suggested sending an “invitation to join” to Kingbird contributors. Brochures should be sent to member clubs and perhaps a poster could be developed to place in Wild Bird Stores. Other ideas included a membership roster exchange with the Lab of Ornithology and American Birding Association. Perhaps we should ask for member club rosters. A committee consisting of Bob Mauceli, Bill Ostrander, Brenda Best, and Andy Mason was established to develop ways to boost our membership. The BNA Online flyer will be mailed with dues notices.

h. Nominating Committee – Bob Mauceli – No activity.

i. NYSARC – Andy Mason for Angus Wilson – Changes to NYSARC guidelines are still pending. Because some of these changes required changed to NYSOA By-laws, we still would like someone from NYSARC to attend a board meeting. Andy needs a list of members and their terms; Berna and Andy will develop this.

j. Publications – Tim Baird – Tim would like to improve the quality of the printing in New York Birders and wonders if we should investigate alternate print shops or move just New York Birders to a different printer. Since Shai is also looking into Kingbird production, it is felt the Publication Committee should put together a printing proposal. Andy will talk to Manny about this. Andy has a request for an advertisement in New York Birders and he will follow up to get a sample of the ad; Tim will follow up on cost. Tim advises he needs the registration form for this year’s Annual Meeting for the April issue. We discussed back issues of the Kingbird and ways to provide searchable web-based versions.

k. Web site – Carena Pooth – Three domain names (fnysbc, nybirds, and nysbirds) will be purchased with .org and .com suffixes at a cost of $9.20 each. A new membership application, which includes the BNA Online offer, is now online. The application also asks to which bird club or nature-related organizations in New York State new applicants belong. Brenda will also include this question on the dues notices and will set up a separate database with this information. Board minutes as far back as April 2004 are now available online. Email links have been changed to prevent spam, the CBC calendar has been updated, and usual maintenance has been performed.

7. Old Business

eBird – Kevin McGowan reports the NY portal will be set up, but eBird folks need a plan from us on how we will manage and promote eBird. Bob Spahn will contact Brian Sullivan to check the status of this. Kevin will continue as our liaison with Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Governance –Andy will write a letter to club presidents to explain the pros and cons and request feedback on this issue. Discussions will continue.

Annual Meetings – Delaware-Otsego Audubon will host the 2006 meeting from September 29 to October 1. The 2007 and 2008 meetings have no hosts as of yet.

8. New Business

New Member Club – Audubon New York has applied for membership. Motion to accept Audubon New York as a provisional member club until the official delegates’ vote at the Annual Meeting was made by Gail Kirch. Seconded by Tim Baird. Approved unanimously.

Future Board meetings are scheduled for February 4, April 22, July 5, and November 18. Locations are pending due to possible attendance by Angus or Shai.

Bob Spahn made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Gail Kirch. Approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

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