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New York State Ornithological Association, Inc.

61st Annual Meeting
Batavia, NY
September 20, 2008

The 61st Annual Meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. (NYSOA), hosted by Rochester Birding Association and Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, was called to order at 9:36 a.m.  Roll call of member clubs revealed there were 43 delegates from 25 clubs, and a quorum was present.

President's Report by Andy Mason:
Bill advised the delegates that a new Circulation Manager was needed and read a brief list of the duties involved.  He also spoke of NYSOA’s newest project, the Young Birders Club.

Reports and Elections:
Phyllis Jones continues the duties of the Archivist.  Andy Mason explained the proposed archiving of past issues of The Kingbird and stated we are looking for a source of funding for the approximate $15,000 cost for scanning all the issues in preparation for creating a searchable online database.

Brenda Best reported that we currently have 537 annual members and 53 life members.  We also have 44 member clubs.  We continue to see a decline in annual and club membership.  There is currently a membership committee in place to work on this issue.

The Treasurer’s Report dated December 31, 2007, was issued.  Bill Reeves reviewed the Balance Sheet and explained the General Operating Fund.  Bill stated that 85% of our income is from dues.  Brenda Best pointed out that the declining membership is reflected in the Treasurer’s Report, since we did not meet our budgeted Dues Income.  The Auditing Committee Report was in the process of being prepared.

The delegates heard the last Atlas report from Valerie Freer.  The Atlas will be available in December 2008.  Valerie, on behalf of NYSOA, New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC), and Milo Richmond (Cornell Univ. Cooperative Research Unit), all signed a paper that sets out the rights to the Atlas materials.  The rights go jointly to NYSOA and NYSDEC.  The Atlas exhibit at the State Museum opens October 3 and runs until next May.  A pre-order sheet with a 20% discount was in delegates’ packets, and Cornell University Press plans a mailing to Atlas participants with a possible 30-35% discount.

Shai Mitra, editor of The Kingbird, advises that issue 58:1 is in the mail.  He also explained the changes that he has incorporated into the publication, including a new cover.  He continues to work on the backlog.  The need for plastic wrappers was questioned, and Shai will advise if there was a cost increase and if the wrappers are recyclable.

Tim Baird, editor of New York Birders, advises this publication is about birders more so than birds.  A new Conservation column was initiated to publicize what NYSOA does in that area.
Carena Pooth reported the Conservation page of our web site has been re-designed and updated with back information.  Adding the scanned Kingbirds will be a major update.  She will soon be adding the latest NYSARC report and the CBC calendar for the upcoming season.

Andy Mason reported on various conservation issues that we have commented on, including jet skis in Jamaica Bay and our support of the Kittatinny-Shawangunk Migration Corridor.  We joined the coalition opposed to the development of the Calverton grasslands on Long Island.  We await the final NYSDEC report on wind power.  The Conservation Committee was asked if NYSOA was involved in the issue of natural gas drilling, and the committee is aware of the problems.  Another issue presented was a proposed ethanol plant in Ogdensburg that also calls for 6 “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” (CAFOs) with 84,000 cows that would result in the conversion of thousands of acres of grassland, shrubland, and forest habitat into corn fields in St. Lawrence County.

Shai Mitra reports that the 2004 NYSARC report is included in the latest issue of The Kingbird.  The committee met in September, and the 2005 report is written and being finalized.

John Ozard, the NYSDEC representative, presented a handout showing the status of projects for the last year.  John also explained the lack of personnel and the financial constraints being placed on NYSDEC at this time.

Andy Mason described the certificates of appreciation given out this year, and said the Stoner award, the Elliott award, and the Meade award will also be given.

Carena Pooth gave a brief presentation on the New York State Young Birders Club (NYSYBC) and advised that Annette Lehner had been appointed as Adult Coordinator.

The Nominating Committee presented the slate.  Officers nominated are President – William Ostrander; Vice President – Carena Pooth; Corresponding Secretary – Timothy H. Baird; Recording Secretary – Joan Collins; and Treasurer – William B. Reeves.  Nominated for two-year terms as Directors for the 2010 class are John Confer, Jane Graves, and Kathy Schneider.  Because John Confer has subsequently withdrawn his name, Kathy Schneider nominated Victor Lamoureux for a two-year Director term.  Valerie Freer made a motion that the secretary cast one vote for the entire slate of officers as read. Motion was seconded and approved unanimously.  A motion was then made and seconded to vote for each of the directors individually.  John Confer received two votes and all others were elected.

The Nominating Committee for 2009 consisting of Berna Lincoln, Jerry Lazarczyk, and Kathy Schneider was elected unanimously. The Auditing Committee for 2009 consisting of Irving Cantor, Peter Capainolo, and Isaac Grant was elected unanimously.

Old Business
We have no host for next year’s Annual Meeting or any future Annual Meeting.  Some clubs have been asked, but have declined due to their finances and lack of volunteers.  Various options were discussed because we are legally required to hold an annual delegates meeting.  Suggestions included holding a small one-day meeting with no banquet and no speaker (vote and bird); holding the meeting in a venue other than a hotel; hiring a meeting planner; having a large meeting every other year and a small meeting in the off years; have NYSOA’s Board plan the meeting; shorten the business meeting to essentials only.

New Business

Motion to adjourn was made by Andy Mason, seconded by Bob Mauceli, and approved unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 12:13 p.m.

Awards presented during the Saturday evening banquet:

            Certificates of Appreciation were presented to:

  • Deep Hollow Ranch for hosting a Pink-footed Goose and a Barnacle Goose in Montauk, NY, and for their cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders.
  • Bill and Loretta Groell for hosting a Rufous Hummingbird in West Walworth, NY, and for their cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders.
  • John Haas for his efforts in locating and publicizing gulls, winter finches and other avian rarities in Sullivan Co., NY, and for his cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders.
  • Curt McDermott for hosting a Hoary Redpoll in Montgomery, NY, and for his cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders.
  • Brian Wheeler of American Printing & Typesetting Co., Cortland, NY, for his long and exemplary service to NYSOA in production and printing of the organization’s publications.
  • Larry Wilson for hosting Rufous Hummingbirds in Houghton, NY, and for his cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders.

            John J. Elliott Award, selected by the editorial staff and given for the best article contributed to The Kingbird each year, was awarded to Alex Wilson for “Western Reef-Heron (Egretta gularis gularis) at Calvert Vaux Park, Brooklyn” in The Kingbird, Vol. 57, No. 4, December 2007.
            The Lillian Stoner Award was given to Shawn Billerman, nominated by the Cayuga Bird Club; Tom Johnson; nominated by the Cayuga Bird Club; and Jeb McConnell, nominated by Professor Kevin Berner, SUNY Cobleskill.

            Two Gordon M. Meade Distinguished Service Awards were presented.  First, to Valerie Freer for her outstanding leadership, commitment and effort in guiding the Atlas 2000 Project to further documenting the ornithology of New York State; and second, to Brenda Best for her outstanding service to NYSOA as Recording Secretary and Circulation Manager, and for her contributions to the purposes of the organization and to the birds and birders of New York State.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Best
Recording Secretary