New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
July 26, 2008

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on July 26, 2008.  The meeting was called to order by President Bill Ostrander at 9:35 a.m.

Present were Bob Adamo, Tim Baird, Jane Graves, Andy Mason, Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves, and Kathy Schneider.  Berna Lincoln and Bob Mauceli attended via teleconference. 


  1. Approved April 5, 2008 Board Meeting minutes.  (Item 1)
  2. Approved contribution to Montezuma Muckrace.  (Item 4f)
  3. Agreed to change NYSOA membership to a calendar year basis. (Item 6)
  4. Approved nominees for Audit Committee (Item 7)
  5. Approved use of NYSOA mailing list by Barataria-Terrebone National Estuary Program (Item 7)

1.  MINUTES –Motion to accept the minutes with changes from the April 5, 2008 meeting was made by Bill Reeves and seconded by Carena Pooth.  Approved unanimously.

2.  PRESIDENT’S REPORT –Bill Ostrander

Bill received an email via NYSOA website asking for information on birding activities for disabled persons.  Berna Lincoln reported that Saw Mill River Audubon Soc., has a handicapped accessible trail.  Carena Pooth reported that the Waterman Bird Club also has walks at handicapped accessible locales.  Bob Adamo mentioned the Quogue Wildlife Refuge as having a handicapped accessible boardwalk.

The possibility was raised of listing handicapped accessible birding sites on the website.

The Cornell Lab. of Ornithology trail has informational signs in Braille.  A handicapped accessible trail is planned for the Audubon Center at the Northern Montezuma Complex.

Bill Ostrander will write up an item on this topic for NY Birders.


Treasurer’s Report dated June 30, 2008 was presented.  Assets had increased from January to June, 2008.  There was a small expenditure for the NY State Young Birders Club.  The main expenses were for two issues of The Kingbird


    a.  Membership –Brenda Best – A written report from Brenda Best was read.  A discussion was held regarding member organizations with outstanding dues.  Bill Ostrander will check with Brenda Best on her contacts with these clubs, and follow up with a reminder that they cannot send delegates to the Annual Meeting if the club is not in good standing.

    b.  Nominating –Kathy Schneider – Joan Collins has accepted nomination for Recording Secretary.  A discussion was held regarding John Confer’s resignation as Director.  His name will appear on the nominating committee report at the Annual Meeting, since the committee was not aware of his resignation until after the report had been published, and will be put forth to the delegates at the meeting.  Options for dealing with this situation include nominating a replacement from the floor at the meeting, or electing the nominated slate, with John resigning again, and the Board of Directors appointing a replacement.  It was agreed that the Nominating Committee will seek a replacement candidate to put in nomination at the Annual Meeting.

    c.  NYSARC – No report.

    d.  Publications

    NY Birders—Noted that there was good publicity for the Annual Meeting.

    Atlas Book—A written report was received from Valerie Freer.  It is hoped that a written announcement of publication of the book will be available for the Annual Meeting.

    The Kingbird—Minutes of the 2007 Annual Meeting will appear in the issue presently in the mail (Vol. 57 No.4).  The next issue will be out shortly according to Shai Mitra via Berna Lincoln.

    e.  Website  –Carena Pooth – The American Birding Assoc. Code of Ethics has been added.  The NY State Young Birders Club website ( is now live.

    f.  Finance –Berna Lincoln – A discussion was held on the request by organizers for a $500 contribution to the Montezuma Muckrace.  Berna suggested NYSOA needed a discussion and policy on donations to other organizations and causes.  A motion was made by Bill Reeves and seconded by Kathy Schneider to contribute $500 to the Montezuma Muckrace, with the provision that no further donations of this type be made until a policy is in place governing the same.  Approved unanimously.

    g.  Archives – No report.

    h.  Awards – Andy Mason

    Review of recommendations for Certificates of Appreciation, including:  John Haas for publicizing gull and winter finches in Sullivan Co; Curt McDermott for hosting a Hoary Redpoll in Montgomery, Orange Co.; American Printing of Cortland for services to NYSOA; Deep Hollow Ranch for hosting a Pink-footed Goose and Barnacle Goose in Montauk; Larry Wilson for hosting a Rufous Hummingbird in Houghton, Wayne Co.

    Lillian Stoner Award—solicitation mailing will go to colleges with ornithology courses, and to member organizations.

    A discussion of possible Meade Award recipients was held.

    i.  Bylaws –Berna Lincoln – Discussions were held by the committee of term limits for some officers, and the issue of resignations during a term of office.  Berna asked the board to review the bylaws and let the committee know of any needed changes.  She recommended consideration of eliminating the life membership category. 

    j.  Conservation – Andy Mason – Mention made of NYSOA’s membership in the EPCAL coalition to protect the former Grumman property in Suffolk Co.  A discussion was held regarding possible NYSOA involvement in the issue of a zoning variance request in the Town of Vestal that would allow development near Nuthatch Hollow.  No action taken.

    NY State Young Birders Club (YBC) – Carena Pooth – The NYSYBC website is now online.  A number of volunteers have offered to present the YBC road show in their regions.  The possibility was raised of publicizing YBC at the Annual Meeting.  Bob Mauceli suggested a presentation at the poster session on Friday night, and also asked for a YBC presentation at the Council of Delegates meeting on Saturday.  The suggestion was made to contact non-NYSOA Audubon Chapters and nature centers to consider becoming partner organizations in YBC.

    Carena asked for approval of the fee schedule, which was granted.  It was agreed to put a cap of $100 annually for YBC partner organizations.

A discussion was held regarding the YBC adult coordinator position.  A description of the position has been sent to several interested persons.  Kathy Schneider and Bob Mauceli offered to assist Carena with interviews and inquiries regarding candidates.  A discussion was held on vetting applicant(s).  The YBC's first field trip will be held August 16, 2008 at Jamaica Bay with Carena and Shai Mitra as leaders. Efforts to vet and place an adult coordinator will continue following the field trip, with the goal of filling the position as soon as possible.

5.  DEC – John Ozard –A written report was distributed


Circulation Manager -- Kathy Schneider suggested the description for this job is too intimidating, with many duties involved.  A discussion was held regarding separation of job duties.  A discussion was held regarding creation of a secure online membership database, available to a few key individuals.  Suggestion was made to separate circulation and membership duties.  Bob Mauceli agreed to write job descriptions for separate circulation and membership positions.  A suggestion was made to return to a single renewal date.  The possibility of assigning a portion of the job to the Corresponding Secretary was made.  A suggestion was made to include a renewal form in NYSOA publications.  It was agreed to change NYSOA membership to a calendar year basis starting in 2009, with notice and explanation of this change to appear in the Oct. NY Birders.

Scanning The Kingbird – Andy Mason – Andy has contacted the firm that scanned the NYSARC records regarding doing the same for The Kingbird, and requested an estimate for this work.  The figure will be circulated to the board by email when available.  The possibility of applying for grants to partially fund this project was discussed.

Policies concerning requests for advocacy support for conservation issues – The Conservation Committee will propose a policy for consideration by the board. 


Save the Pine Bush/Standing for environmental standing in court – Member organization Audubon Society of the Capital Region has asked NYSOA for a resolution supporting the effort of Save the Pine Bush to broaden the definition of standing in environmental law suits in NY State.  Andy Mason will advise ASOCR of the process for bringing a resolution to the Annual Meeting, stressing the need for clarity and for educating delegates on the issue.

Nominating Committee II – Berna Lincoln, Kathy Schneider and Bill Ostrander will seek a committee member from the western part of the state.

Auditing Committee – Andy Mason made a motion to nominate Irving Cantor, Peter Capainolo and Isaac Grant to the Auditing Committee, seconded by Carena Pooth, approved unanimously.

A request was received from the Barataria-Terrebone National Estuary Program for use of the NYSOA mailing list to send a calendar to members.  Motion made by Andy Mason and seconded by Bill Reeves to do so, approved unanimously.

Annual Meetings – Bob Mauceli suggested a change in Annual Meeting organization to involve NYSOA more in planning and financial responsibility for the event.  He argued that member organizations are limited in financial and personnel resources and will be unable to host meetings in the future.  It was suggested that this matter be placed on the agenda for discussion at the Council of Delegates at this year’s meeting.  Bob Adamo will bring a request for consideration of hosting the 2009 meeting to the Eastern Long Island Audubon Soc.  Bob asked for additional information on the responsibilities of hosting the Annual Meeting.  Bob Mauceli and Andy Mason will provide Bob with materials.

Bob Mauceli reported on the 2008 Annual Meeting in Rochester:  three workshops are planned, including sessions on digiscoping and taking field notes; the papers session has seven or eight presentations at present; spuds will be provided to participants; there are 67 registrants at present.


The next Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2008, possibly in Albany.

Motion to adjourn was made by Bill Reeves and seconded by Andy Mason.  Approved unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 2:28 p.m.

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