2014_11_01 Board minutes
Colorado Native Plant Society
Board Meeting Minutes
Location: Denver, CO
Regis University Library, Tracy Center, Room 201
3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221
Date: Nov 1, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. –11:00 a.m.
Called to Order
Charlie Turner, President, 9:17 a.m.
Attending – Charlie Turner, Jan Turner, Steve Popovich, Lenore Mitchell, Jeanne Willson, Jessica Smith, MoEwing, Jenny Neale, Steve Olson, Irene Shonle, and Denise Wilson. Those attending by phone: Ed Roland,Erica Cooper, Nan Kuich, Bob Powell, Erin Tripp, Stephen Stern, and Betsy Bultema.
Guests attending were Nan Daniels representing the Northern Chapter and Jennifer Ackerfield, Collections Manager, Colorado State University Herbarium.
1.Welcome to new Board members (Charlie Turner): Vice President, Irene Shonle, Boulder Chapter President, Erica Cooper, Workshops Coordinator, Ronda Koski, and Webmaster, Sally Dunphy.
2. Jan Turner announced Jack & Martha Carter’s offer of free books for K-12 schools and colleges (see
handout); written up in Aquilegia Fall 2014 on Page 5. Jeanne Willson stressed the importance of teacher awareness and training.
3. Status report on Black Forest Logging and plant survey inventory request (Jessica Smith). Charlie Turner, after approval by an email vote by the Board, wrote a letter on behalf of the Board to El Paso County regarding the Pineries Open Space Forest Management Plan Draft offering the services of our members to assist in the location and identification of State rare species, and requesting further notification on the opportunity to comment. Jill Handwerk of Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) and Jennifer Neale of Denver Botanic Garden (DBG) sent similar letters. Elaine Kleckner, Planning Manager of El Paso County, wrote back and asked for a proposal to collaborate on rare plant surveys from Judy von Ahlefeldt and CoNPS. Jessica Smith asked how to proceed and for guidance from CoNPS; the conclusion was that our role is limited to surveying where the plants are, but not Best Management Practices. We can provide a proposal to do the work, but there is no budget for it. Jessica Smith will contact CHNP for maps and rare plant lists for existing Element Occurrence Records. It was suggested that Tass Kelso might be willing to do surveys with students from Colorado College; Steve Popovich said it fit in as a Field Studies Committee project. Ed Roland and the Southeast Chapter could be involved.
4. There will be a celebration of William Weber’s life and accomplishments at Norlin Library, 5th Floor, University of Colorado, Boulder on November 12 at 4:30 p.m. that will include talks and light refreshments. The celebration is associated with an exhibit in the library about Weber, “The Naturalist,” on the 2nd floor; information is in the Fall 2014 Aquilegia on page 4. Jan will send out a group email to the members.
5. A searchable PDF of Aquilegia issues from 1976 to 2012 is available but the file is 260.5 MB . Jan is going to put it in Dropbox. If you would like a copy, please contact her at JLTurner@regis.edu. There is complete set of Aquilegia in the Regis Digital Repository.
6. $250 donation to CoNPS from a new member, Greg Penkowsky, Wheat Ridge complimenting the excellent recent Aquilegia– Irene Shonle. This is a tribute to Jan Turner’s quality work on the newsletter.
7. Carex Workshops with Tony Reznicek of University of Michigan will be held on August 22-23, 2015 (Charlie Turner for Ronda Koski).
8. Ethics and Protocol of Plant Collecting Workshops to be scheduled by Melissa Islam and Steve Popovich.
1. Condolence Card -Those attending signed a condolence card for Clarence “Clair” Postmus to his wife, Bev. The card was sent with a CoNPS 2015 calendar. Clair’s photo, Beehive Cactus, is the photo for July.
2. Location of 2015 Annual Meeting – Charlie Turner; Denver is in line as the next Chapter to host, however, in order to assure the meeting is a statewide meeting, there was discussion of having the meeting move to the West slope for 2015. Stephen Stern, chapter president, will assess the possibility of the Plateau chapter hosting and will get back to the board.
3. Co-President (Vote)– Charlie Turner made a motion for Jan to act as co-president because Charlie’s workload for his paying job has increased dramatically; Irene seconded; motion passed unanimously.
4. Advocacy Position–Ed Roland
a. Mo Ewing, the Conservation Chair, with his committee submitted five responses this year on behalf of rare plants; 1) Eriogonum pelinophilum, Clay loving buckwheat; 2) Penstemon grahamii, Graham beardtongue; 3) wrote letter on behalf of SE chapter, commenting on State Recreation Plan for Lake Pueblo State Park; 4) commenting on the State Wildlife Plan.
b. The Advocacy position-Mo said doing what is done now wouldn’t be much of a position. Mo says what he does is minimal; to do it right would take at least a half -time position. He spent maybe 50 hours. The responsibilities include developing contacts within chapters for alerting him/her to what is in the pipeline for what issues are coming up, and getting local help for writing comments and letters. So it would require 100 -200 hours per year so at $20/hr the cost would be $2,000 for 100 hours. Some other comments were made, and these follow. Coming up Roan Plateau Oil & Gas; looking at protocols for monitoring Oil &Gas. There are 6,000 wells in Weld Co. already, some on BLM and USFS lands. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is spending $1mil/yr. In the past, some Physaria was destroyed in the Piceance Basin. Steve Popovich commented that, in regard to rare plants, USFWS and other regulatory agencies won’t take our comments seriously unless we report exactly what’s there. A main goal is getting chapters involved in their local issues because that’s where successful interventions occur. Ed Roland feels that the perception is that CoNPS has not been active in conservation efforts.
c. The next steps to be taken are derive a budget and the direction for implementing the basic plan that was discussed in previous meetings, i.e., essentially establishing goals and procedures, developing a job description based on those specifications, then hiring someone to implement the process and take responsibility for results. Mo we could commit $2000/yr, but noted the troubling drop in membership over the past few years. Steve Popovich suggests we team up with an advocacy organization to provide us with what to comment on, and make suggestions. Remember that members said they would pay more. Ed Roland mentioned that a big advantage is having members are on the ground locally to get things done. Stephen Stern commented on Clay Loving Buckwheat; he heard about it a couple days before the comments were due, so ended up writing a personal letter; chapters could have more of an impact if they had a heads -up. Ed Roland said to look to the Wetlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) model. Denise Wilson answered that WRV just lost their staff person who was interested in these issues, John Giordanengo. Jenny Neale could use Research Coordinator at Denver Botanic Gardens for some of this work, especially if funding came with it. Steve Popovich sees 3 levels;
1) public comments -no effect on large, federal issues; 2) influence public official involved in the buffering decisions for development; 3) monitoring – using coordinator working with other local botanist members. Suggestion was made to write a job description, identify the needed qualifications and the responsibilities. Back to the survey – 85% said would pay $10 – $25 more in membership, plus a one -time payment to start up the advocacy position. What about grant(s) to help start up? But grants are not good for sustainable position. Mo argued for an advocacy position which is elastic. Committee help is offered from Jessica Smith, Jenny Neale, Ed Roland, and Erin Tripp to write up a job description. Steve Popovich suggested talking to the 5 to 6 botanists in the state working with Oil &Gas companies; Jenny Neale agreed. Ed Roland opportunity to function as collaborator. Steve Popovich sees the role involving a decision tree to see which projects take priority because we can’t do them all. Bob Powell commented that this effort needs to be very local; immense travel expense; usually, a very small area is being protected; it took monthly meetings for 2 years to get something done in Southwest Colorado. Charlie Turner stated that the advocacy coordinator will needs a lot of volunteer throughout the state to help. Ed Roland gave the example of no one following up on Lake Pueblo Recreation Area Plan. Steve Popovich and Steve Olson, as federal representatives argue that small local comments can be very effective. Steve Popovich stated that on national issues such as Piceance Basin, we cannot influence the outcome, and we should wait and comment during the next comment phase when it gets to the level of what plants and where; example there: are plans for disturbance on 300 surface acres on federal land in Pawnee National Grassland. Steve Popovich said we should decide today as a group, “Are we collaborative?” and all present said yes we are.
5. Mission Grant, Ad hoc Funding, Advocacy Position – Charlie Turner and Mo Ewing
a. See the attached Mission Grant policy that Mo drafted. We put the Mission Grant funding on hold to see how the Advocacy position developed, and so CoNPS has not acted upon the Advocacy position. Charlie Turner said we could take the Mission Grant funding model and use it for ad hoc. Mo Ewing said that’s already been happening and this year we have spent the $2,000 giving it to CNHP for their intern database clerk position to enter data that was collected by CoNPS members. Jan Turner said having a committee to evaluate proposals twice a year would make things more fair because then it wouldn’t just be people who apply at the beginning of the year who get funding. Charlie Turner commented that the committee sounds okay but he does not like the idea of limiting applications to twice per yr. Ed Roland said that the Mission Grant provides structure of when, who, and how with standing procedures and announcements like the research grant process.
b. Charlie Turner said that the Mission Grant funding would require a committee to monitor it. Rather than have two funding avenues, he would like to consider taking the funding method for the Mission Grant and put in the ad hoc budget slot. Therefore, we can use the moneyeffortlessly when needed instead of having to wait twice a year for committee decisions.
c. Charlie Turner said we will table the Mission Grant because of the Advocacy position. Mo Ewing was concerned because we have already given $2,000 to CNHP, and the budget shows $2,188 for this year. He is also uncomfortable with breaking the existing bylaws. Charlie Turner suggested the Board deal with the 2 funding requests before us today and come back to the formalization of policy and process; Steve Popovich agreed. Bob Powell suggested looking at the procedure used by the Native Plant Society of New Mexico (NPSNM).
6. Requests for book funding (Vote) – Charlie Turner
a. Jennifer Ackerfield requested funding to help with the printing of her Flora of Colorado book –
has ~ $10,000 so far. She will contribute ½ her royalties as an endowment for CSU Herbarium. BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas), the publisher offered to set -up an account for contributors. Estimate sales 1000 copies the 1st yr; teaches 200 students per/yr who have to buy the book; with $45 gross profit, approximately $27/book comes back to author and contributors. Bob Powell stated that their chapter (the San Juan Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico) with 20 members has donated $1,000 already. In Aquilegia, there is an announcement to pre-register online and get a 10% discount; the publisher already has 100 pre-orders. Jan Turner will send an email about this and include a color PDF attachment, emphasizing that pre-orders and donations will make this publication happen. Jennifer’s book is ready to go March 2015 if we have funding – see quotes based on number of copies printed. Bob Powell moved that the state donates $1,000 to promote this book, and that each chapter donates $1,000. Denise Wilson seconded it. After a discussion, it was concluded that the state should contribute $1,000 but state chapters cannot commit to that amount; some chapters need funds just to purchase digital projectors. Bob Powell amended his motion to say that the state should donate $1,000; Irene Shonle seconded the motion. In a continuing discussion of the book, it was suggested that the CoNPS Bookstore should commit to pre-ordering a certain number of books. Mo Ewing said we should have a fundraiser and members should send their donations to CoNPS (to Linda Smith), so that they get a tax deduction rather than sending donations directly to Jennifer Ackerfield. Jennifer Ackerfield agreed. She is considering a “Kick – starter” also. Erica Cooper had to get off the phone and named Erin Tripp as her proxy. Stephen Stern also had to leave the conference call and named Charlie Turner as his proxy. Jennifer answered questions; the book is 6 ½ x 9 ½ and 2 ½ in; plus 6 point font. The Board voted on Bob Powell’s motion to donate $1,000 and the motion passed. Tabled more discussion to next meeting for further discussions of fundraising.
b. Janet Wingate requested funding to purchase illustrations for her Carex book. Request is for $1,245. The illustrations are from Flora of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist, and she is requesting reimbursement of illustration purchases. Bob Powell said this is an important publication and moved to donate $1,000 to Janet Wingate’s request. Jan Turner seconded. Discussion. The general feeling is that Jennifer Ackerfield’s effort greatly surpasses this book and we should be giving more to Jennifer, but it is not in this year’s budget. Voted. Nay carried. Irene Shonle moved to donate $500, Mo Ewing seconded; voted; unanimously carried.
c. Erin Tripp had to get off the phone at this time.
7. Native Plant Selection Garden Guides
a. Native Plant Selection/Garden Guides for regions in Colorado (Vote) – due to time constraints, Jan Turner suggested we table this except for the Letter of Intent from CoNPS.
b. Letter of intent to Collaborate for National Science Foundation application from CoNPS (Vote) – Irene Shonle
i. NPM Program asks that CoNPS write letter supporting their NSF grant application saying that CoNPS would be interested in collaborating with the Native Plant Master Program (CSU Ext.) on landscape designs (pre-planned gardens). The grant is for $5,000 to cover printing costs. Irene Shonle said a group of us did meet about this and there are volunteers to help with the garden designs; no cost is involved; all efforts are being donated. Bob Powell moved that CoNPS collaborate. Mo Ewing seconded. Discussion.
Irene said there are 5 pre-planned garden designs for different ecosystems. Irene Shonle stated we should make it as easy as possible for lay people to plant native gardens. Voted. Irene Shonle abstained. Motion passed.
8. 2014 Annual Meeting Financial Report – Mo Ewing presented the Balance Sheet, Budget to Actual figures, and the Annual meeting finance report. Reported a $3,216 net income year -to-date, largely due to the Annual Meeting, but declining membership is a critical issue. This is a trend. Is it based upon changing times? Discussion summarized as CoNPS needs more outreach to young people, students, other organizations. Jan Turner wants to send Aquilegia to university botany professors, high school biology teachers, nature centers, and organizations such as the Audubon Society to try to increase our membership and bring younger people into the Society. She asked if we could give continuing education credits for workshops.
9. Board Meeting Schedule – Charlie Turner
a. Doodle poll for future meeting dates – Are infrequent meetings ok or do you want more frequent meetings? Several said more meetings would be better. Jenny Neale suggested we bring back the Friday night Board meeting at the CoNPS Annual Meeting. For the doodle poll on meeting dates, clarify that members can attend by phone. It was decided to hold 4 Board meetings a year to keep the meetings shorter and try for a 2 hour limit, and clarify that phone attendance is acceptable. Charlie and Jan will send Doodle Poll for 4 meetings and include that the Board has a need due to the Mission Grant and Jennifer Ackerfield’s book and Advocacy.
10. Publicity & Fund Raising – Jan Turner will postpone discussion until next Board meeting.
11. New – Nan said that the Northern Chapter needs a new election of officers, and requested advice on the procedure. Reorganize next meeting and perform due diligence with announcements, and then have a vote at the meeting.
12. Minutes should be out as quickly as possible, preferably with in two weeks and the agenda should be sent out 10 days before the Board meeting. Jan and Charlie Turner said they would be responsible for requesting agenda items and sending out the agenda so Denise won’t have to serve as the middle man.
13. Moved to adjourn by Charlie Turner; Bob Powell seconded; passed at 12 noon