2012 Apr 15 Board Minutes

Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists (Nature Nova Scotia)
Board of Directors
Minutes 15 April 2012
Truro, NS

In attendance: Sue Abbott (vp), Bob Bancroft (president), Larry Bogan (past pres.), Joan Czapalay (NSWFS alt), Jean Gibson Collins (treas), Patrick Kelly (BNS), Doug Linzey (secretary), Bob McDonald (HFN), Robin Musselman (YNC), Helene Van Doninck (NSBS), Jim Wolford (memb-at-large)

Regrets: Heather Drope (NSWFS)

1.   Call to order

Bob B. called the meeting to order at 10:20 am. The minutes of the last board meeting were circulated.

Moved by Larry, seconded by Heather, that minutes of the 15 January 2012 board meeting be accepted as circulated. CARRIED.

2.   Business arising from the minutes

Bob B. will continue to work on the forest policy (Item 7)

Bob B. wrote to Francis Anderson about the demise of the South Shore Naturalists (Item13)

All other items are covered in the agenda.

Reports
3.   Financial

Jean presented the financial report for the year to date (see attached).

Moved by Jean, seconded by Bob McD, that the financial report be accepted as presented. CARRIED.

4.   Canadian Nature Network (CNN)

Bob B. reported that there is still little action on the CNN front, but he is in contact with Alex MacDonald at Nature Canada. A conference call is coming up, at which time Ian Davidson will explain the situation at Nature Canada and the situation vis-à-vis Environment Canada (funding, etc.).

5.   NNS website

The meeting discussed the web-based calendar. Bob McDonald reiterated concern about being able to update club information and events. Larry is working on finding a solution. Is it possible to use Google calendar?

Action: Larry to talk to the HFN webmaster.

Bob McD. noted that some editing is required on the AGM page and that the registration information has not yet been posted.

Doug and Jean reported that registration info is nearly complete and forms will be mailed to members as well as being posted to the website.

6.   Online business and correspondence

Doug reported on activities of the board e-mail list since our last meeting. There were two discussions that have resulted in the following motions:

Moved by Bob McDonald, seconded by Sue, that Jill Comolli be appointed Nature Nova Scotia representative to the Atlantic Whitefish Conservation and Recovery Team. CARRIED.

Moved by Joan, seconded by Robin, that the $500 private donation to Nature Nova Scotia, received earlier in the year, be given to the Young Naturalists Club. These funds can be used to defray YNC expenses for the May 25–27 conference over and above the $1500 grant from TD Friends of the Environment. CARRIED.

Doug distributed the accumulated mail. In response to acknowledgement by DNR of the Nature Nova Scotia submission to the sustainable parks consultation, Sue noted that the method for consultation was flawed.

7.   Forestry

Bob B. reported that the forestry situation is dire in that the government has once again consulted Peter Woodbridge (forestry consultants) in an attempt to justify clearcutting to feed pulp mills and to “unlock the supply” of cheap wood. Woodbridge blatantly refutes the conclusions reached by the Bancroft/Crossland report to the DNR forest resources strategic planning exercise.

Doug is no longer the NNS representative to the Nova Forest Alliance. There is still an opportunity to fill an “environmental” position in the alliance, although a change in direction (and lower funding) of NFA means that it has much less influence on forest policy than it previously did as a participant in the model forest program.

8.   Coastal policy
Larry reported that Anne Smith (South West Nova Environmental Protection Group) is once again active in coastal environment protection from industry, this time in Jordan Bay.

9.   IBA

Sue reported that Blomidon Naturalists will take on stewardship of Grand Pre / Evangeline Beach. The committee comprises Rick Whitman, Richard Stern, Jim Wolford, and Sue. The committee will be looking for opportunities to place as many as 30 signs.

Bird Studies Canada does not have as much money as in previous years and is paring back.

Piping Plovers have arrived – lots of them so far on the South Shore.

10. AGM 2012

Bob B. brought the meeting up to date on the program.

Robin reported on the youth agenda. The theme is “Becoming a naturalist.” Presenters and guides include Sue Abbott, Sherman Williams, Graham Carter. There was some discussion of promotion of the youth program, and Robin will coordinate with Jean to ensure that sufficient rooms at Tatamagouche Centre are available.

11. Club reports

BNS (Pat): Situation normal (see written report).

CBNS: No report.

HFN (Bob McD): The conservation committee has two focuses: regional planning (5 years on) and preservation of green spaces in HRM & regional parks. The Halifax Northwest Trail is having a public meeting regarding the Bayers Lake expansion. HFN is a member of the HRM Alliance –  business, naturalists, environmentalists, trails – which holds public meetings. HFN submitted ideas for the 12% by 2015 initiative. Peter Duinker is leading the Urban Forest Master Plan, which HFN has an interest in.

HFN requested a donation from NNS to support printing colour covers on the newsletter. After some discussion, the board declined.

NSBS (Helene): The Birds of Nova Scotia checklist is on the website. The Facebook page is very popular. NS Birds is looking for editors (both technical and seasonal). Field trips were held in Cape Breton and the Digby/Annapolis area. NSBS continues to hold some meetings outside HRM. NSBS is supporting Helene’s “stop using lead” initiative.

NSWFS (Joan): All is well with the club: the website is up to date, members get e-mail notifications of events, and field trips are happening.

YNC (Robin Musselman): Halifax YN are predicting 800 kid-days this year.

YNC continues to make funding applications. The Annapolis Valley group got a Healthy Active Kids grant (George Weston). Chapters are becoming self-sufficient and coordinators are staying on. Robin will run the Halifax chapter for a year.

The Irving Centre / Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens will do a pilot project with junior naturalists (the next age group up from YNC).

Old Business

12. NNS outreach & communication

Bob B. continued his outreach by giving a talk to the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organizational (Rich Campbell & David Patriquin) – on bears/moose/coyotes/advantages of being allied with NNS.

13. Mink farming

Jim reported that circumstantial evidence is high that farms are pollution sources. It’s time to identify point sources of excess nutrients and continue the ongoing strategy for monitoring. The draft regulation must move beyond the draft stage.

14. Seal cull

Jim reported on the Sable Island meeting, where the question was asked: “Now that SI is in the hands of Environment Canada, what is the status of protection?” (Note: SI is still a protected status reserve.)

15. Fund

Joan reported that this year the Fund had $130,000 to distribute. Of the 29 applications, only one related directly to habitat conservation [very disappointing].

16. Allied Cats

Sue and Helene reported the progress of this initiative of the Bird Conservation Committee of the NS Bird Society to “keep cats indoors” in HRM. They were unable to get funding this year – the topic is “too controversial.” The committee will reconvene and figure out a new approach.

News & Announcements

17. North Mountain wind farms

Doug showed the meeting a notice about requesting the Kings County council to reconsider the current bylaw on permitting wind turbines within 700 m of residences. One source of information is www.windvigilance.com. This case may be of interest to all areas of Nova Scotia.

Action: Doug to post notice to board.

18. Paradise rail trail

Jim noted a report in the Chronicle-Herald on the Nova Scotia Supreme Court’s decision to allow ATV use to continue on the government-owned trail in Annapolis County.

New Business

19. “No Lead” initiative

Helene introduced her “no lead” initiative aimed at hunters and anglers – to eliminate lead poisoning of wildlife by stopping the use of lead in bird shot and fishing weights. She will be available to take the message to the media and any interested groups in the province. Helene asked for the support of the NNS board.

Moved by Larry, seconded by Sue, that Nature Nova Scotia give $500 to the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre for educational materials related to the “no lead” campaign to stop lead usage in angling and hunting. CARRIED.

20. Chignecto Provincial Park

Bob McD noted that there are problems with ongoing funding for the park, prompting the question: Will it open this year? CREDA (Cumberland Regional Development Authority) is supposed to be managing it.

Next meeting
10 am, Sunday, 30 September 2012, in Wolfville (Jim to confirm location).

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm.