2014 Sep 14 Board Minutes

FEDERATION OF NOVA SCOTIA NATURALISTS
MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 MEETING
Present: Bob Bancroft (BB–President), Larry Bogan (LB–Past-President), Joan Czapalay (JC–Nova Scotia
Wild Flora Society(alternate)), Heather Drope (HD–Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society), Jean
Gibson (JG-Treasurer), (Patrick Kelly (PK–Secretary), Doug Linzey (DL–Blomidon Naturalist
Society), Minga O’Brien (MO–Vice President), Jim Wolford (JW–Members-at-large).
Regrets: Sue Abbott, Maureen Cameron-MacMillan (MC-M—Cape Breton Naturalists), Robin
Musselman (RM–Vice-President), Burkhard Plache (BP–Halifax Field Naturalists)
Vistors: None.
The meeting convened at 10h10 at the home of Doug Linzey, 2340 Gospel Woods Road, Arlington.
1) Approval of the Agenda
MOTION: Moved by JC/PK that the agenda be approved with the addition of the following
item: 6 e) Nova Scotia Environment Network (Jean Gibson). ................................ Motion CARRIED.
2) Approval of the Minutes of the April 13, 2014 Meeting
MOTION: Moved by JG/LB that the minutes of the April 13, 2014 meeting be approved
. ......................................................................................................................................... Motion CARRIED.
3) Business Arising from the Minutes of the April 13, 2014 Meeting
a) BNS & HFN e-mail addresses (Doug Linzey)
PK reported that he forwards relevant FNSN material to the BNS members list which
is currently old, but is being updated. DL manages the list for the HFN but that group’s
board determines who can use it. DL noted that Randy Lauff and Bob McDonald are both
still on the FNSN board e-mail list.
b) Skype Access at Acadia (Patrick Kelly)
PK had checked with Acadia and their open internet access should allow Skype to
work but they suggested testing it first. This could not be done today as the meeting was
moved from Acadia.
4) Reports
a) Financial (Jean Gibson)
JG circulated copies of her financial report. She noted that the GIC had been reinvested. Postage next year will be higher due to this year’s significant increase in rates.
MOTION: Moved by JG/DL that the financial report be approved. ................... Motion CARRIED.
There was a cancellation at the 2014 AGM due to a family emergency that came in
past the stated cut-off date.
MOTION: Moved by JG/JC that David Patriquin’s 2014 AGM registration be reimbursed in the
amount of $365. ............................................................................................................. Motion CARRIED.
b) Canadian Nature Network
BB and CZ both reported that the network is currently in a state of flux.
c) NNS Web Site (Larry Bogan)
The BNS did a recent field trip to measure some big trees in the Kentville Ravine. The
YNC might want to look for big trees as an activity. There was a discussion on how to
publicly recognise big trees, possibly with a plaque. It was noted that many species do
not have a listing at the moment.
d) On-line Business (Patrick Kelly)
There was none.
e) Correspondence (Patrick Kelly)
While it had been previously circulated electronically, PK circulated the letter from
the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary group who had wanted to join the FNSN.
PK gave DL a copy of the minutes of the first FNSN AGM which had been sent for
our records by a past secretary who discovered it while housecleaning.
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f) Forest Issues (BB)
BB circulated a copy of a special edition of NatureNB’s newsletter which was
dedicated to the topic of “Our Forests”. He noted that the industry there is still driving
policies. Much of the problem stems from a change to the wording of cutting methods
that allows what looks visually like a clearcut, but technically isn’t. There was a
discussion on the lack of public interest in forestry issues in Nova Scotia. MO noted that
where a clearcut affected mainland moose, one approach would be to file a freedom-ofinformation request to find out how this happened. BB will check the details of the case.
MOTION: Moved by LB/JG requesting BB to obtain more details on the issue of mainland
moose habitat and to submit a freedom-of-information request. .......................... Motion CARRIED.
Another group is filing a similar request relating to a study that was done on the
state of forest soils in western Nova Scotia as it has not been released by the province.
g) Coastal Policy
LB reported that a new person is leading the group and there has been little activity
except on the issue of salmon farming.
h) Important Bird Areas
Sue Abbott had circulated the following report before the meeting.
1. NS Important Bird Area Program Update
• Received funding from NS Habitat Conservation Fund for habitat enhancement activities at IBAs.
• Activities are broad and are being coordinated with conservation partners, for example: removal of hazards
from nesting or roosting habitat (e.g., fishing gear, oil containers, predator perches); reducing human
disturbance in habitats using signage, fencing sensitive areas, and outreach; documenting/reporting
violations at IBAs to enforcement agencies.
• Focus on getting community members involved as much as possible in these activities.
• List below is an update on progress at targeted IBA sites. Ideas are welcome, particularly for Cobequid and
Chignecto IBAs (designated for fal ?spring migrant shorebirds).
Update on activities within targeted IBA sites
Pomquet Beach (la Soc. Acadienne Sainte Croix) – complete
Country Island (Can. Wildlife Service) – on-going; will target outreach to community fal ?winter
Bon Portage (NS Nature Trust) – big habitat clean-up rescheduled by NSNT
The Brothers (Ted d’Eon) – Ted led this work; may have opportunity to assist spring 2015
Brier Island (Nature Conservancy of Can.) – complete; will target outreach to community fal ?winter
Minas Basin (Blomidon Nat. Soc.) – on-going with BNS
Cobequid – not complete – IDEAS WELCOME!
Chignecto – not complete – IDEAS WELCOME!
E. Cape Sable Island (Bird Studies Can) – complete
Baccaro-Roseway (BSC) – complete
Port Joli (NCC/NSNT) – complete; another event planned with NCC Nov 2014
East Queens (BSC) - complete
Musquodoboit (NCC) – complete; another event planned with NCC Oct 2014
Glace Bay (ACAP-Cape Breton) – Habitat clean-up planned spring 2015
2. NS Piping Plover Conservation Program Update
• We had a very active team of staff, partners and volunteers on NS beaches this year. Assisted Can. Wildlife
Service with new banding study to understand population declines, looking at survival of adults and
juveniles.
• Population breeding pairs was 46 in 2014, which marks a decrease compared to 2013 (52 pairs). This was
not a great surprise given past two years of poor breeding success in NS. Since BSC initiated this program
in 2006, there has been a steady increase in pairs toward our provincial recovery target of 60 pairs.
• In 2014, plovers had a more productive breeding season than past two. Productivity target of 1.65
fledglings/pair was surpassed.
• We had a great deal of assistance from local landowners on several privately owned beaches, which yielded
positive results for plovers, e.g., White Point Beach (pair produced 4 fledglings), Durham Lane (pair
produced 3 fledglings – first historical record of breeding here!), Sandy Bay (pair produced 3 fledglings),
and Louis Head (pair produced 4 fledglings).
• This spring, summer and fall we’ve been working closely with municipalities of Shelburne County to
improve beach stewardship practices in this county, which supports ~50% breeding plover pairs in NS.
BB thanked JW for his work on the Habitat Conservation Fund that is mentioned in
the report. JW noted that this year’s grants are now on the DNR web site.
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5) Club Reports (New Material or Updates)
a) Blomidon Naturalists Society (Doug Linzey)
BNS Award: BNS has a revised application form for what is now called the Blomidon
Naturalists Society Award. It was decided to change from a bursary to an award so that
the society can manage the candidate selection and monies, not the university. A
candidate has been selected and should be announced at the September BNS meeting.
BNS 40th anniversary: The picnic went well. There were approximately 70 people
registered. Founding members Larry Bogan and Roy Bishop made the first cut of the
anniversary cake.
Finance & Membership: The picnic invitation went to all members from 2013 and 2014.
This added three membership renewals. The 2014 membership is approximately 140,
about 15 short of previous years.
Our financial position is good, with all bills to date having been paid
AGM: The annual general meeting is scheduled for the November monthly meeting.
The main challenge for the nomination committee is to find new board members for
2015, as many of the present members have been in place for some time. It is time for
BNS to find some new blood, as the expression goes, to carry BNS for the next 40 years.
Two key positions, secretary and newsletter editor, will require replacements.
Current newsletter editor, Jean Timpa, would like to work with a new volunteer to “learn
the ropes” and to take over as editor after one year.
b) Cape Breton Naturalists Society (Maureen Cameron-MacMillan)
MC-M had circulated the following report before the meeting.
The Cape Breton Naturalists have had a quiet summer since June, when the NNS Annual General
Meeting was held in Baddeck. They are working on a line-up of speakers for the 2014-2015 season, and are
looking forward to their first meeting of the season on October 8th.
c) Halifax Field Naturalists (Burkhard Plache)
BP had circulated the following report before the meeting.
The Halifax Field Naturalists maintain a stable membership, and their program activities (walks and
talks) are well attended. The newsletter is published on a quarterly basis, and is much appreciated by the
members. Currently, a few dedicated volunteers are busy preparing for the 40th anniversary in the fall of
2015. The key event will be a presentation by Harry Thurston, well known naturalist and writer from Nova
Scotia. Special contributions to the newsletter and website will look back over the history of the HFN, while
some other ideas are in the early planning stages.
HD noted that the HFN had started a book club several years ago.
d) Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society (Heather Drope)
Membership is still under 50. The indoor program is set through to next summer except
for the meeting this September. The group is looking at donating magnifiers to the YNC at
next year’s AGM.
e) Nova Scotia Bird Society (Helene Van Doninck)
JC reported that membership is at 382 and may break 400 this year. There are far
more people using the Facebook page. Most of the new members are coming from either
the Facebook group or the New Birder walks. The society is working on the Allied Cats
program. Bird Life International and Bird Studies Canada are both promoting indoor
cats. The society is also getting more active in habitat protection.
f) Young Naturalists Clubs (Robin Musselman)
DL reported that the BNS had a joint field trip with the valley YNC group to install
nest boxes at Miners Marsh in Kentville. The children all had a great time.
6) New Business
a) Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (Jean Gibson)
The new legislation applies only to electronic communication. One needs agreement
from the person to whom you wish to send electronic correspondence. Adding a request
for this permission to membership application forms would be one method. The
correspondence requires a clear indication of who is sending the message along with
instructions on how to opt out of receiving future messages. The legislation will be
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implemented over a three-year period. MailChimp is a popular on-line tool for managing
this type of communication.
b) Mail (Bob Bancroft)
BB noted that the secretary should be able to open mail addressed to him so that it
can be dealt with in a timely fashion.
c) Nature Canada Update (Joan Czapalay)
The strategic plan has a number of initiatives including various “watches” to involve
more people in citizen science, especially new Canadians who typically move directly to
urban areas and don’t often get the chance to see the natural areas of the country.
The website now has a dedicated person to manage it and new things are being
added all the time.
There have been changes to the committee structure so that key committees have
most of their membership from the board.
The current conference format is not as it was in the past. It is purely a business
meeting without speakers and field trips.
Nature Canada will be celebrating its 75th anniversary starting this fall. Our group
should consider some event next year to help celebrate.
Stephen Hazell has been our acting director at Nature Canada since March when our
former executive directer, Ian Davidson, went to Washington as director of wildlife.
Eleanor Fast is the new executive director and she will start is early October. Stephen will
become our Director of Conservation and General Cousel effective October 6th. He will
oversee Nature Canada’s conservation programs (including science, stewardship, and
protection) and manage the conservation staff. He will set up conservation program and
policy direction according to the strategic plan. As General Counsel he will ensure we are
compliant with applicable laws and enable us to use the courts and other tribunals to
advance the interests of nature conservation.
I am beginning my final 2-year term on the Nature Canada board and am currently
the secretary to the board and chair the awards, AGM, and resolutions committees.
d) Friends of the Pugwash Estuary (Bob Bancroft)
MOTION: Moved by HB/MO that we accept the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary as a member
organization. .................................................................................................................. Motion CARRIED.
BB and JG will contact Betty Hodgson to let her know and to discuss the details.
e) Nova Scotia Environment Network (Jean Gibson)
Each year we have sent our dues to the N. S. Environmental Network. It seems as
though it has been replaced by a Canada-wide body to which we would have to apply
for membership. It was decided that is the new body’s goals are not related to ours and
that we should not apply for membership.
e) AGM 2015 (Bob Bancroft)
NatureNB had about 130 people at their AGM last year. They are hoping to have
about 15 people on each field trip. They have their AGM on Friday with a potluck and
also hold a silent auction as a fundraiser. HD noted that either she or Charlie Cron could
to a wild flora walk at Amherst Point. As NatureNB would like to publish the schedule in
the fall it was agreed that we would pursue a joint AGM and give a priority to
confirming field trip leaders.
MOTION: Moved byDL /HD that NatureNS have its 2015 AGM in conjunction with NatureNB
in Sackville, N.B. from June 5–7, 2015. ....................................................................... Motion CARRIED.
7) News and Announcements
a) Cosby’s Garden Centre (Doug Linzey)
The centre is near Liverpool and the new owner has placed concrete sculptures that
he makes himself throughout the woods at the back.
b) Invasive Species (Minga O’Brien)
Does the province have a policy on this issue? There is a large initiative by the
province of Ontario, which takes the matter very seriously, but there seems to be no

initiative here outside of the national parks. There have been places where natural
controls have acted as a counter. JC noted that NatureNS produced a policy paper on
invasive species about 15 years ago.
8) Time and Location of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM at the Sobeys on Robie
Street, Truro.
The meeting adjourned at 13h55 on a motion by LB.
Patrick Kelly
Secretary