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Board Meeting Minutes

Location: Salmon Arm Art Gallery

Date: Friday May 29. 2009 at 7:30 pm

1. Words from the President:

thanking the fifty plus attendees for coming to the AGM and also all the volunteers who have worked so well.

2. Treasurer’s Report:

Copies were circulated and one is attached to the official minutes.

3. Memberships:

There is an increase in rates of membership $15 individual, $25 for family. Corporate members rates are unchanged.

4.Report on Interpretive Centre:

Our application for a summer student federal grant has not been successful. The board recommended and the meeting accepted that a staff member be hired for twelve week for five days per week, using the building reserve funds. It is hoped volunteers will staff the other two days of the week.

5.Maintenance Report:

Attention was drawn to the new gate and signs funded by the Monday Lunchtime Rotary Club. Trail improvement are awaiting a long Environment and Fisheries approval process. Volunteer groups are again working on keeping the trails and vegetation in good trim..

6.Gull Report:

Tom Brighouse reported that the gull nest count this year is seven hundred as of May 17. (For comparison, highest count three years ago was 1070 nests) Once again the preferred nesting knoll on Christmas Island has changed.

7.Special Birding notes:

Ted Hillary reported that good numbers of Yellow-headed Blackbirds are back in spite of leaving in mid breeding season on the day after the fireworks on July 1, 2008.

8. The secretary was asked to write a letter of appreciation to the Daybreak Rotary                 Club for discontinuing the fireworks on Canada Day this year.

9.Grebe Report:

Dr. Ed Dahl reported on an unusually good season for western Grebes in 2008 with 104 young being produced (normally around fifty to sixty).

10. Buoys:

On behalf of the Salmar Community Association Dr John Henderson presented the treasurer with a cheque for $1200 to refurbish the exclusion buoys along the sensitive area of the bay.

11.Election of Officers:

RESOLUTION ONE: that the present elected board members have their time in office extended by six months (Nov to May). Carried.

RESOLUTION TWO: that an appointed position which remains vacant be filled by adding an elected board member. Carried

Before the annual General Meeting the secretary will remind the delinquent agencies to fill the vacancies.

The president asked for question and suggestions and there was some discussion.

Date of next meeting of the board:

Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm at the Interpretive Centre.


Introduction of Speaker

Dick Cannings

"The World Needs More Birders"

Dick described important amateur birders are. For example, starting with the chance sighting of the rare Flammulated Owl by an amateur, the mapping of the owl’s distribution across Canada has resulted in quite comprehensive knowledge of this tiny owl. Such studies are designed by the paid biologists but depend on passionate amateurs to do much of the leg work.

Similarly with the five sites in BC where drift nets catch migrating birds in order to monitor numbers and health there is usually one paid professional in charge while the rest of the team are volunteers.

The kind of continuing census carried on by our local birders is important since, without producing figures indicating there are problems, it is impossible to get funding for professional studies. Without professional studies governments are loathe to act in protecting habitat.

While discussing individual species he noted that the recent Barn Swallow decline is hard to explain. Equally puzzling is the contrast between the amazing decline in Christmas Count numbers of Western Grebe at the coast and the relative healthy figures in our nesting season in Salmon Arm Bay.

He fully supported the society’s efforts to maintain a Wildlife Sanctuary free from disturbance by pets.

After starting his bird watching day at 4:15 am Saturday morning with a few locals, he was on hand for a more intimate talk to birders at the Interpretive Centre in Marine Park, congratulating the Board on putting together such an excellent Nature exhibition. He was particularly pleased to hear that seventy students from neighboring schoolshad already visited in the month of May.

His talk was peppered with anecdotes from his growing up in a family of avid birders, a tradition now carried on into the next generation by his son Russell. His stories drew from a long career as a professional biologist.

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