NCAS January Board Retreat Minutes

North Cascades Audubon Society
Board of Directors Meeting and Retreat Minutes 1/4/2016

Members Present: Ken Salzman, Carol Roberts, Paul Woodcock, Pam Borso, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Owen Bamford, Steve Irving, Rae Edwards, Kelley Palmer-McGee.  Absent: Twink Coffman, Judy Krieger. Guests: Chris Brewer

1)    Approval of December Minutes – The board approved the minutes as written.

2)    Treasurer’s Report –
Sue explained the highlights of the 2015 budget. Donations were much higher than usual so our reserve increased. Membership contributions and expenditures were down slightly. Report was approved as presented.

3)    Communications & Input
Cherry Point Survey Class – Class was very successful. Good turnout and 8 people were qualified to train as spotters or counters.
Christmas Bird Count – The number of species sighted was down slightly but it was successful considering the weather. Potluck was fun but the number of people staying is decreasing possibly because people are getting older and are more tired at the end of a long day of birding. Paul is considering structuring it differently next year, especially because we will be honoring a long time participant for his 50 years of participation.  Being the 50th anniversary of the Bellingham CBC, a celebration is in order. January 2017 was suggested as a good time.  Paul is also considering a special training for new people as expectations for the count need to be laid out clearly. The San Juan Ferry count had 12 people and we currently pay for 8.  Paul would like us to approve 10 people for the count next year and the budget has been adjusted to allow for this. There may be an educational rate on the Ferry.
Syre Museum – The Syre exhibit will be open from Jan. 7  through early Feb.  Paul, Pam and Ken are doing presentations. Owen and Steve will also be present during open hours for 2 of the days.
Ken is presenting at the Parkway Chateau and Adult Day Health in January.

4)    New Business
Domain Renewal – Renewal of our Domain address and a new provider is required this spring and Pam presented different scenarios for accomplishing the renewal.  The board decided to have Ann (Web Consultant) process the renewal.

5)    Retreat
Board Accomplishments – Pam presented the accomplishments and the board added to the list of the accomplishments for the year. It was also decided to post these on the web page.  Sue and Steven will format the list for the newsletter.
Membership programs – The board would like to continue to have a diversity of programs for the membership meetings as we have had the last year.  Membership seems to appreciate the diversity.  The board decided to increase PR for the January meeting because of the topic of Climate Change and its Effects on Birds (see Conservation below).
Conservation – Pam made suggestions that the chapter continue to increase our focus on conservation. Climate Change is a large part of that but we need more volunteers to help us increase our efforts.  The board decided to ask for volunteers at the Jan. membership meeting after the presentation.  A committee was formed consisting of Pam, Sue, Owen and Steve to work on this initiative.  In response to a question, Pam noted that as Chapter President she is more than willing to be the person that signs the letters and makes contact with WA State Audubon on conservation issues.
Education – Chris Brewer shared information on three upcoming Museum activities appropriate for Audubon involvement.  One, an exhibition called Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity scheduled for Fall of 2018.  Two, plans to move some of the Syre collection of birds to the Old City Hall with specific themes around threats to birds, success stories and other possible themes related to the Pacific Flyway.  Three, in April 4-10 the Museum will conduct a spring break mini bird camp for kids and families. The board discussed setting up field trips or advance Museum field trips for kids. Background checks are probably needed for any people running field trips with kids. Wild Whatcom was noted as an organization we should tie in with as they already have an extensive education program with hundreds of kids.  Rae can be a contact to Wild Whatcom as she works closely with them. Ken and Pam will also follow up with Jamie and Nicole Huson to explore their interests in working in this area.
Membership – Membership and revenue have been stable over the last 6 years. The board discussed ways to make new and current members feel more welcome. The board will continue to send thank you letters to people renewing at the 75 dollar level, send postcards to new members thanking and welcoming them, and redesign the renewal postcards.  Annual accomplishment lists will be added to the web page and we will explore a survey of members requesting feedback on current activities and perhaps adding a suggestion box at membership meetings.
Budget for 2016- The board adjusted and approved the proposed 2016 budget in accordance with retreat objectives.

Adjourn and Next Meeting; February 1, 2016, 7 PM WECU Ed Ctr, 311 Holly St, Bellingham, WA

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