CONPS Board Meeting – Jan 19, 2013
Minutes respectfully submitted by Jenny Neale

Attending: Bernadette Kuhn (BK), Mo Ewing (ME), Danielle Levine (DL), Megan Bowes (MB), Steve Popovich (SP), Jenny Neale (JN), Charlie Turner (CT), Jan Turner (JT), Denise Wilson (DW), Linda Hellow (LH), Jeanne Willson (JW) (Phone: Nanette Kuich (NK)). We did not have enough voting members present for a quorum so there were no votes. Any votes as a result of today’s discussion will occur either via e-mail or at the March meeting.

Meeting called to order at 9:07am

Old Business:

a) Bernadette Kuhn welcomes Jim Tolstrup as chair of E/O committee (not present)

b)Nominations and elections – After Bernadette called them directly, five people have expressed interest in joining the board:

• Leo Bruederle not interested in president but would come back,
• Betsy Boltema – getting a MS at CSU under David Cooper,
• Andrea Cummins – works for CSU ext in Castle Rock,
• Steve Olson – USFS Pueblo,
• Lynn Rubright – PhD in Geography, lives in Ft Collins, active with Local chapter.

We think there are five slots so all folks would be added. But we need to double check. Bernadette Kuhn has bios for nominees, thinks 1 month timeline to send out ballots for voting.

c) President, Secretary and Editor positions: We still need to fill the empty cabinet spots. Discussion within the group followed regarding the duties and time commitments of the cabinet positions. Andrea Cummins may be interested in the secretary position. Bernadette Kuhn will follow up with her. Denise Wilson also expressed potential interest in the secretary position but will need to consider further. Charlie Turner has expressed a willingness to serve as President.

d) Paid editor position. Mo Ewing has sent an email recently suggesting a paid position for newsletter editor. It is estimated to take about 40-50 hours of time per issue. If we consider paid advertising, it could pay for the time an editor would need to spend on each issue. Newsletter editor would be the one responsible to find the advertisement. Jan Turner expressed interest in the paid position as her term is ending and she is retiring. Discussion followed about how we would need to advertise a paid position and what the IRS rules are on hiring given our non-profit tax status. Discussion followed regarding how  the position would be maintained and what the duties of the editor will entail. Jan has lots of ideas on timing, would like to put together a plan on how she would revamp the newsletter. She will plan to bring it to the next meeting (March 2). We need to vote on it, should be a double vote 1) should we create a paid position, 2) should Jan Turner be appointed? We didn’t vote on Linda Smith but we did on Linda Hellow. Bernadette will follow up with Crystal, on our plan. Suggest double vote. Should we update the bylaws to reflect the fact that we have added paid positions to the organization
Would it be helpful to add in how we hired people and how we have come up with the money etc.?

e) Language for poll on how members feel about conservation and CoNPS role – Brian Kurzel submitted an email with suggestions on verbage and poll questions to be distributed to our membership regarding the society’s role in advocacy. Discussion followed regarding making the text and the questions more advocacy specific and asking for action – we don’t want people to simply vote for the board to do more work. Maybe we need to clarify the question – not about education but how does the membership feel being seen as an advocacy group equivalent to Sierra Club? What we want to know is how the membership feels about that. Discussion followed on how this may impact our standing with the IRS since we are registered as an educational non-profit. If we started taking money for advocacy, how would that work? What we need is feedback from the membership on ramifications of how perception would change if we move towards advocacy. Feedback will change the discussion and may even lead  to a shift in membership. Discussion followed of how we can work with land owners and managers without taking direct political action. So, rather than signing on to lawsuits, we can work with land owners to provide them with data and support. Chapter presidents or the board need to have a dialogue with members at the meetings. We want to separate stewardship and advocacy not have them listed together here. Board needs to flush out the pros and cons prior to chapter discussions Steve Popovich is willing to write up a few paragraphs on ramifications of a shift towards political advocacy. A newsletter article would be another way to put it out there. Denise Wilson will write up IRS regulations on education vs political organization.

f) Language and rules for funding proposals – postponed until March
Chapter reports:
Boulder – DL, Mo Ewing is presenting in Feb about Summit Lake, this summer will try different things in addition to hikes and field trips – a meet up type of thing, no formal leader, get out and about hiking together on an informal basis. Working on recruiting volunteers for normal hikes and field trips – not going well. Having some trouble with attendance – may be a timing slot about 20-25ish have been coming. DL feels like attendance and participation are low and that people don’t want to participate. She does send out a regular monthly email blast – is happy to add more people to the list for informative purposes. Send her an email to be added to the list. What about adding all chapter meetings to the facebook site? Carol English is still running the Facebook site – you can email her details so she can put it on the facebook site. (

Metro Denver – Lots of activities– hikes, including a trip to Crested Butte this year. JW is involved in a canoe club and maybe could do a double activity between the two groups.

Northern – No Report

Plateau – No Report

SE – No Report

Gore Range – Will host a workshop on sagebrush Mar 16 (with Bernadette Kuhn).

Committee Reports:

Conservation – ME no Mt Evans reporting from 2012, but has written a report on mapping the plant communities, sent to Denver Mtn Parks. Successful year of monitoring and mapping with lots of help they cataloged a lot of species. Mo is presenting around the state – CDOT, Boulder chapter, Denver Chapter on the project. Reconvening the committee for 2013 plans.

E/O – No Report

Field studies – Report is – nothing to report but would like to do a few projects – will get them in Aquilegia.

Hort/Rest – MB nothing new to report but trying to line up stewardship stuff. May try to organize state weed pulls or something. If MT Evans does restoration then will try to be involved.

Media – No Report

Membership – Linda Smith by separating out family memberships we have added 90 – up to about 820 members. Mail orders are same for sales. ME – membership dues are down about 10%, how is membership up if dues are down?

Research grants – Deadline is Feb 15. Did advertise to normal places but hasn’t been in Aquilegia since there hasn’t been an issue. Committee is Jan Turner, John Sakulich, Dina Clark, Jenny Neale. Workshops – Thistle workshop last weekend went well- 13, 12 attended. Mary Ann Bonnell has produced Bad Aster bandannas and t-shirts. Grasses full both days at 22. Still a wait list. Aquatic plants Feb 23, 24 – Sat full, Sun 1/2 full. Sagebrush workshop Mar 16 (Edwards), Native Plants and Insects April 27 – 12 already signed up can take 20. Mosses full at 16 (wait list). Wait list on anything that is full. Pollination June – already people signed up. Draba in July (Fairplay) – already 4 signed up. Last two are new additions, not advertised widely yet. Linda was commended for doing a great job. Financial – ME hand out of budget details. It was a good year. Ended with a $5595 surplus. Annual meeting profit margin was less than 2011, dues down but sales and workshops were up. Workshops revenue comes in but coordinator paid out of it – didn’t impact net income. Book inventory is a bit high but lots of new books came out in 2012 so ok. Endowment fund – did well in 2012, restricted fund donations were up in 2012. We gave out $4k in research grants 2012 but funds are up we have interest/dividends/capital gains received to cover it. Budget for 2013 – everyone received what they wanted, still have a surplus. Chapters generally only spend 40% of their budget. Membership – will be less due to no need for brochures. Endowment separated out. $4357 available for research grant awards. Will look into why membership dues are down if membership is up.

New business

a) Postponed until March meeting

b) Adopt a Rare Plant Funding for data entry – no quorum so can’t vote on it. JN and BK gave an overview. We will ask Jill Handwerk to provide an annual budget of what would be needed to get all data entered for a given year. Additional funding sources were discussed. If CONPS provides base funding – of a certain amount, how much would be left over? A vote is suggested for March.

c) 2013 annual meeting update – DL will probably have on Campus, potential dates: Sept 21, Sept 28 or Oct 12th as dates. When there is not a home football game. Participants seemed to be happier with later dates as it is after field season. Aim for Sept 21 but confirm on rare plant symposium date, field trips will be more relevant earlier in the year. Would be great to display photo and art contest. Looking at Eaton Humanities building (can’t officially book until May). May need help with the auction if can’t get  someone to do it. Looking into CU Museum for Friday symposium, most likely field trips on Sunday,  whole day of talks on Sat.

d) Café press – tell your membership about it. So they can order things through Café Press – go to bookstore page and can order directly from there. MB – will send chapters a print screen ppt slide of what you can buy.

e) Discussion of how to handle circumstances where members violate ethics of the Society. There was a broad discussion about how best to handle situations where members have behaved in a way that violates the ethics of the Society, particularly in regards to making illegal or unauthorized collections. There was general agreement that we should update collecting guidelines. When grant funding is awarded, all recipients are notified to acquire appropriate collecting permits and will also be provided with a copy of the collecting guidelines. There was no consensus on additional steps to take when someone has conducted unethical or illegal activity.

Meeting adjourned at 12:03.