New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
March 3, 2007

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on March 3, 2007.  The meeting was called to order at 9:39 a.m.

Present were Brenda Best, John Confer, Valerie Freer, Jane Graves, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves and Kathy Schneider.  Also present was guest Tom Salo, from Delaware-Otsego Audubon.

Summary of Action Items:

  1. Approved 2006 Annual Meeting minutes with changes.  (Item 1)
  2. Approved revised guidelines for NYSARC (Item 4e)
  3. Approved expenditure for digital archiving of NYSARC files and purchase of software  (Item 4e)
  4. Approved re-appointment of Shai Mitra to NYSARC (Item 4e)
  5. Agreed to write letters of support for Golden Eagle and Golden-winged Warbler State Wildlife Grant Requests (New Business)

1.  Minutes – Brenda Best

Minutes from the November 18, 2006 meeting were reviewed and revised.  Brenda will incorporate the changes and re-present the minutes at the next meeting.

Minutes from the 2006 Annual Meeting were reviewed.  Bill Reeves made a motion to accept the minutes with changes; seconded by Jane Graves.  Approved unanimously.  These minutes must be printed in an issue of The Kingbird that will be published before this year’s Annual Meeting.
2.  President’s Report – Andy Mason

Andy reports that he has responded to several “website contacts” and written to members renewing at the Kingbird Club level.

3.  Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves

Treasurer’s Report dated December 31, 2006 was distributed (Attachment A).  Bill pointed out that, although a deficit had been budgeted, we actually had a surplus due to only three issues of The Kingbird being printed in 2006.  Bill also brought to our attention the increase in insurance cost in 2006, and stated that the cost is even higher in 2007.  Our bond that matured on January 31, 2007 has been rolled over to another at $100,000 at 5.03% interest payable every six months.  This bond will mature January 31, 2009.

4.  Committee Reports

    a.  Finance – Berna Lincoln – No activity.

    b.  Archives – No report.

    c.  Membership –Brenda Best – Current individual memberships stand at 585 with 55 life members.  New life member is Shai Mitra.  Dues notices were sent to 432 members in January; 128 remain unpaid to date.  Nine clubs have not yet renewed, and two subscriptions remain unpaid.  Second notices will be sent soon.

    d.  Nominating– Gail Kirch – Suggestions have been made to the committee, chaired by Bill Lee.  Directors whose terms are expiring this year are Phyllis Jones, Berna Lincoln, and Bob Mauceli.  Since Phyllis had served a partial term prior to election to a full term, question was raised whether she is eligible to serve another full term. At this time, we advise the Nominating Committee that Phyllis is not eligible.  This issue will be discussed at a future meeting.

    e.  NYSARC  – Revised guidelines were presented and additional revisions were made.  Motion was made to approve the guidelines with changes was made by Jane Graves and seconded by Kathy Schneider.  Motion was approved unanimously.  The final document will state “Approved by the Board on March 3, 2007” and will be distributed to the members of NYSARC.

Jeanne Skelley has received price quotes for archiving NYSARC records ranging from $1500 to $5600.  She feels the best proposal comes from Integrated Filing Systems in Fairport at a price of $2,150 with work to be completed in two months. Hard copies will be made into pdf documents with photos, which can then be burned to a CD and given to NYSARC members. Andy will obtain a copy of the written quote from Jeanne.  At this time, Jeanne proposes delivering one box for processing as a trial.  This is an unbudgeted expense, but would not come out of the general operating fund.  Instead the General Memorial Fund would be used.  Kathy Schneider made a motion to approve the expense not to exceed $2,500 to hire Integrated Filing Systems to scan and produce pdf files.  Seconded by Bill Ostrander.  Motion passed unanimously.  Future expense will be incurred, probably annually, when new NYSARC files are processed.  Berna Lincoln made a motion that the cost of archiving be charged to the General Memorial Fund and that the cost of purchasing Adobe Acrobat for Jeanne Skelley be charged to NYSARC expense account in the General Operating Fund.  Seconded by Bill Ostrander.  Approved unanimously.

Andy has re-appointed Shai Mitra to another term on NYSARC ending December 31, 2009.  Motion to approve the appointment was made by Berna Lincoln and seconded by Jane Graves.  Approved unanimously.

    f.  Publications – No report from Tim regarding New York Birders.  Shai has advised Andy that the September 2006 issue will be out soon; the December 2006 issue is near going for layout; the March 2007 issue is laid out and will be done on Long Island.  However, covers have been printed at American Printing for 2007. Concern was expressed that we are six months behind on The Kingbird.  Several members have inquired about their lack of issues, new members are receiving “older” publications, and institutional subscribers routinely inquire when they will receive their missing issues.  It is felt that we are not serving our membership very well.  Andy will discuss this with Shai to see what can be done to get The Kingbird back on schedule.

A new Checklist of the Birds of New York State is needed, and Barbara Butler will help out.  Since the checklist is set up and just needs to be revised, the actual file will be obtained and sent to Barbara.  Berna offered to proofread.  Brenda has a backorder of over 130 checklists at this time.

    g.  Atlas – Valerie Freer – Species accounts need to be reviewed and revised which is time-consuming.  This is delaying getting the book to the publisher.  The contract developed by DEC, Cornell University, and Cornell University Press (CUP) is being reviewed by state attorneys, which has been and continues to be a lengthy process.  CUP has advised they can get the publication out next spring if they have the manuscript by the end of May.  Kim Corwin will work another year after submission.  Kathy advises that the intermediary between DEC and the comptroller’s office should start making weekly contact now.  Valerie reported a new chart of expected dates (egg dates, unfledged young, fledglings, etc.) has been developed and will be included in the book.  Initial printing will be 4,000 copies and anticipated price will be $50.

    h.  Website – Carena Pooth – Regular maintenance has taken place.  Carena states she is not the creative writer for the New York eBird front page and that the articles are getting old.  If you have an item of interest, it should be relayed to Carena.

    i.  Awards – Bill Ostrander – Certificates of Appreciation will be sent to Len DeFrancisco for his work on wind power, to Gail Seamans for stepping up to host our next Annual Meeting, and to Norm Klein for hosting a Rufous Hummingbird.  Bill advises a letter regarding the Stoner Award will be issued soon.

    j.  Conservation – John Confer – John advises the Wind Power committee is working.  Andy presented a letter written by Audubon New York regarding a proposed biofuel facility at the former Seneca Army Depot and asked if we should also write a letter.  John Confer will draft a letter and send it out for review.

5.  DEC – John Ozard sent a written report with updates since last September.  DEC is currently soliciting proposals for a total of $2.9 million in State Wildlife Grant funds, and for the first time, non-DEC staff is eligible to apply.  DEC and USDA Wildlife Services have been sampling mostly waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which through all samples to date (810 by USDA and 795 by DEC) has not been detected.  Wintering Short-eared Owls have been monitored, with five radio-tagged to date.  These are being tracked weekly to delineate winter home ranges, activity patterns, and dispersal dates, as well as determine numbers through the winter.  More recommended Bird Conservation Areas are being developed.  At existing sites, monitoring programs, habitat restoration work, and installation of interpretive kiosks is continuing.


New York eBird – Bob Spahn continues to work with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in particular on the Kingbird Regional layer.  He will be meeting with them regarding some problems he sees.

Whip-poor-will Monitoring – Matt Medler will be looking for volunteers.  There should be an article regarding this in the next New York Birders.

Biodiversity Research Institute grant – Kathy Schneider states these grants fall into categories and are scored with points.  They are funded annually, proposals are to be submitted by December of each year, and funding occurs hen the state budget is passed.  The grant would need a writer and an administrator, and funding must be tracked.  Putting issues of The Kingbird online and making them searchable might be worthy of submitting a grant request, and software would be needed to accomplish this.

Annual Meetings – This year’s Annual Meeting will be held October 5-7 in Batavia.  Gail Seamans advises speakers have been lined up and work is progressing.  Information needs to be put into the April New York Birders.

The 2008 Annual Meeting will be held in Rochester, and we have no host yet for 2009.



Golden Eagle Project – Tom Salo, of Delaware-Otsego Audubon and Franklin Mountain Hawkwatch, was introduced.  A grant request entitled Mitigating the Effects of Development of Wind Power on Golden Eagles in New York State is in process to apply for a State Wildlife Grant.  Tom explained the project and asked for NYSOA sponsorship.  He stated we would have no responsibility for accounting or research.  It was felt that since we are not actually participating, we should only write a letter of support.  Jane Graves made a motion to write a letter of support, seconded by Brenda Best.  Motion passed with 9 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 abstention.

Golden-winged Warbler Project – John Confer spoke of the Golden-winged Warbler project and his grant request.  He also requested a letter of support.  Kathy Schneider made a motion to provide this letter, seconded by Carena Pooth.  Motion passed unanimously.


Future board meetings will be held on June 2 and August 4 at Nuthatch Hollow.

Berna Lincoln made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Bill Reeves.  Approved unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m.

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