CONPS Board Meeting – March, 2013

Final Minutes respectfully submitted by Denise Wilson

Attending: Crystal Strouse (CS), Megan Bowes (MB), Jenny Neale (JN), Charlie Turner (CT), Jan Loechell Turner (JLT), Denise Wilson (DW), Jeanne Willson (JW), Connie Gray, (CG), Steve Popovich (SP), Linda Smith (LS), Jim Tolstrup (JT), Pam Smith (PS), Linda Hellow (LH), Danielle Levine (DL).

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 via e-mail.

Note: There will be 5 DOODLE POLL VOTES- 1) Creation of paid position for newsletter editor (CS will write); 2) Cancellation policy for workshops (written by LH); 3) Ethics of Plant Collecting Document for all Workshop Presenters and Fieldtrip Leaders (LH); 4) Twice per year funding requests (written by CS); 5) Vote on Awards for Annual Meeting (bios written by various Board members).

Meeting called to order at 9:02am
Old Business:

a) BOULDER Chapter: Megan delivered a framed plant photo gift to Ann Henson, an informal presentation, but feels there should be a formal thank you, and recognition from the Board. JN will assist with organizing an event for this. Upcoming Boulder Programs: “Effects of Precipitation on a Colorado Grassland” by Janet Prevey on March 14th at 6:30pm, and April 11th Jennifer Ackerfield; Mar 16th Ecosystem Symposium with joint BCNA sponsorship, 8:30am – 2:30pm; Spurge Purge Apr 21st.

b) DENVER Chapter: Brainstorming meeting at Jeannette’s. Mo Ewing’s Mt Evans Talk is at the March 26th CoNPS meeting.

c) NORTHERN Chapter: Full attendance at events. Stacey Anderson is doing newsletter, which members appreciate, and PS reached out and got more members to get involved. Transfer of presidency in April to CG. Full schedule of hikes offered for spring and summer in Aquilegia and website.

d) PLATEAU Chapter: no report

e) SE chapter: no report

f) GORE RANGE: no report

g) Please get Chapter meetings & Announcements to Linda so that they can be put on website.

h) CONSERVATION, MB for Mo Ewing: On the Mt Evans Project, Mo is struggling for volunteers to get critical mass. Funding is coming into place for Mt Evans. There is potential funding through CDOT to initiate a larger wetlands study in 2014. SP – The road to the summit will be shut down; road construction has been tabled because of funding, and the road is out of compliance.

i) EDUCATION: JT is the new Chair, and his role at High Plains Environmental Center is synergistically linked to native plants, water use, growing foods, and his goal is to get more visibility. Jim’s particular interest is great with CONPS: gardens at schools have become a focus. This is shifting to native plant gardens to get kids to interact on a daily basis. High Plains Environmental Academy is getting kids on board with habitat creation and statistics show that involving them as children ensures they will become advocates as adults. Working with Capstone MBS; they’re writing a plan taking it to a higher level – going out to HOA’s to promote the ecological benefits of effective water use, and creating a model for this.

j) FIELD STUDIES, SP: the possibilities include: 1) Fen study near Boulder, 2) Inventories with Steve Olson on grasslands or forests near Colorado Springs or Pueblo, 3) Coral Bluff Inventories. All field studies should have a tangible result, a species list and short report, but SP has never rec’d anything, but would like data as a product.

k) HORTICULTURE/CONSERVATION, MB: Updated vendor list if people could review this, it would be helpful. Quantify amount or quality; Lady Bird gives native plants; broke into regions- could one person per chapter could help with that? CG has a model of sensibility about collecting, and not seeding invasives.

l) MEDIA: JT will be new MEDIA CHAIR; losing Bob Henry. Spring issue will be coming out soon, done by Linda Smith – it will contain events and Carol English’s research report. Special issue of founders William Weber and John Marr plus a book review of Colorado Flora, 4th ed, which will include a brief biography of Ron Wittmann. Yongli Zhou is a new mom, and Aaron Davenport is helping out while she’s on maternity leave.

m) MEMBERSHIP, LS: sent out membership renewals, Eric Lane has helped with sending by bulk mail in the past, but this time we got an objection to us using government bulk mail stamp. We are paying for the postage anyway. Discussion about the appropriateness of our arrangement. Two ways to handle this complaint: 1) polite response explaining our agreement; 2) change this policy because it is not appropriate to use govt funds. Do our privileges extend to changing the text on the stamp? We think not. Comments made were, “It’s not official mail from the State of CO.” LS will look into getting our own bulk membership, but this may double the price of the mailing. Requests again for membership cards; this is an old discussion. A suggestion was made to add a box into the lower corner of the thank you letter, and folks can cut out the card. We don’t have numbers; name and date of expiration is enough; tracking # would be too much work. DW will help with creating card box in thank you letter, and it should have their expiration date in it.

n) RESEARCH GRANTS, JLT: Deadline Feb 15th rec’d 12 grant applications, 4 out state, 8 in state, $4350 to work with. What has been done in the past is proposals submitted for Marr may get Steinkamp, depending on number of grants awarded and funding. We have flexibility with it, although Steinkamp says it’s limited to rare plants.

o) SALES, LS: status quo; like to stock Denise Culver’s wetland book. When will it be done? PS says end of month maybe, but she still needs a publisher. J Ackerfield still working on Poaceae for her field guide.

p) WORKSHOP, LH: Aquatic Plants Sunday was snowed out; Sat Apr 6th rescheduled, attendees have not yet been contacted. Native Plant & Insects full, Mosses full, Pollinators filling; Drabas full; Sagebrush needs more, has 7. She has written a cancellation policy. Will set-up poll to vote on this wording. DW  feedback cancel soon enough to communicate before people leave their homes. Pricing proposed for member $25 and non-member fee $45, and a requirement of being a member to attend. LS said we get about 1 new member every workshop. MB pointed out this is our biggest benefit to members. Seniors $12 extra to become a member.

q) FINANCIAL: Mo Ewing was not present.

a) Bernadette not present.

b) PAID EDITOR: Create position, DOODLE POLL to vote on this. Need to go through a formal hiring process because JLT is a Board member. Mo sent a message in regard for advertising and other editor positions researched – 6 ¼ pages to fund it to a level to pay an editor. Need outline for acceptable advertisements to be determined by media committee. Crystal & Mo will be interviewing for position.

c) Conservation advocacy – need wording edited – MB will work with Brain Kurzel on this.

d) Money requests – We regularly receive requests from writers to fund their books. CS is writing a proposal for this. Put this to Doodle Poll. Entertain spring and a fall requests. Treasurer must determine amount based upon CoNPS finances. Deadlines- CS will pick 2 dates around Jan 1 & July 1 for proposals with dates of around Apr 30th and Dec 31st for payments made out.

e) SP & MB working on changes to Ethics of Plant Collections. MB said this is more of a Conservation issue. CS asked JT as Education to take this on. All will contribute to this document.

f) Collection Violations a violation of CoNPS Policy?

1) How to handle these broadly,
2) As an example, a specific instance was discussed: does CoNPS become involved? There was a general feeling that CoNPS is not here to pass judgment, unless the person was acting as a representative of CoNPS. Our policies are guidelines, not laws. Grant applications, workshops and fieldtrip leaders will have formal ethics documents to sign. Wording re “ethics should not include “legal infractions”.” Instead, CoNPS can focus toward education and ethics training – collecting certification – for our members. LH suggests blanket letter of agreement from presenters/leaders; she will draft the letter; extends to fieldtrips within chapters. DOODLE VOTE on this. LS will send to editing spring issue on WED, so send comments to SP by tomorrow. Must have website article, “Collecting Ethics” up by the time this issue is out.

g) DIGITAL REPOSITORY, JLT: new person, Alison Verplaetse, at Regis putting up 1976 – current Aquilegias. Minutes on-line too. Images – what does CoNPS want? Jpgs are fine. Feedback from Board – make fields for what is useful information. Adopt a Plant started concept of trail, picture, and climate. Database of wildflowers pictures. CS and JLT volunteered. Legal issue is that photographer needs to retain copyright. Regis Univ attorney looking into it. CoNPS must have a legal doc to deal with rights, as to in what capacity the pics can be used –educational vs. commercial. Grant recipients reports Yongli has these. Abstracts should be up for 5 yrs of grant recipients. Another project is getting these reports into Aquilegia; many are missing. Information useful of what is being funded.

h) Letters requesting Mt Evans Funding-Table it.

i) Adopt a Rare Plant Database Entry – table it – should be part of 2 times per year funding requests. 3 people are registered for plant ID class with CS. JN had RPM training class. Add “Ethics of Collecting” to packet; well attended; SP came.

j) ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE – Sept 28th Fri 9/27 – 9/29. No title yet; the theme is climate change. Federal employees will come at their own expense. Humanities Bldg will be secured in May. Three fieldtrips are lined up: Claire DeLeo fire, Lynn Reidel and David Buckner Geology of plant communities, Tim Seastedt/grad student Novel ecosystem; Jeanne Willson offered to lead a trip on gymnosperms. Possible speakers are: Mark Paschke, Bill Bowman, Mo Ewing, and Susan Spackman on how rare plants react to climate change. Annual meeting the call to action after each talk, or several times per day works to activate members (booth outside with sign-ups.) Photo contest? CS has a website ready for this. For inclusion in the Aquilegia Spring issue: Annual Mtg, photo contest, and memorial for Joyce Gellhorn.

k) Ann Henson proposes to give a lifetime achievement award to David Buckner. Sometimes prize comes with lifetime membership; board should come to consensus. In the past couple yrs, we gave the responsibility of recognition to the local chapters. Board nominated for state level award: David Buckner, Ann Henson, Jill Handwerk, Ron Wittmann, and Carolyn Crawford. CS will ask Mo for funds available, and we will do a DOODLE VOTE on which people. David & Ron are retired or retiring and deserve lifetime memberships, all others get framed pictures. We may limit the number. DW will write a couple of sentences on Jill Handwerk’s contribution. MB will write about Ann & David. SP will write about Ron. Who will write on Carolyn?

l) Janet Wingate book proposal request for funding falls into the category of twice per year funding requests.

m) Nan Daniels and Bill Jennings get-well flowers were delivered.

n) CONPS AS AN ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION: Is there a need for the advocacy letter (SP) in regards to Brian Kurzel’s letter? SP can coordinate with Brian and Ed Roland. CS will be sending an announcement email to the rest of the Board reminding them to come because we have not had a quorum for the past two Board meetings

Adjourned at 11:15