February 16, 2021

NOTE: Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present: Doug Miller, Allison Vaughn, Jim Gast, Nancy Bedan, Greg Leonard, Brooke Widmar, Bill Mees, Lottie Bushmann, Eric Seaman, Shelby Thomas, John Besser, Jean Neely

Time called to order: 6:06pm

Approve Minutes of the January 19, 2021 Meeting

Nancy moves, Lottie seconds, motion approved.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Eric Seaman reports new income from the Boone Electric Community Trust grant and the National Audubon local chapter support.

Bill moves to approve the Treasurer’s report; Nancy seconds; the motion is approved.

Committee Reports


  • Nancy Bedan reports that Tim Barksdale will be presenting tomorrow at 7pm. Invitations have gone out to the Friends of Eagle Bluffs photo club, Booneslick Master Naturalists and the River Bluffs Audubon chapter.
  • On March 17, Sarah Kendrick will present a spring birding webinar, co-sponsored by CAS and the Columbia Public Library. River Bluffs and Master Naturalists have been notified. Allison Vaughn will forward the information to state park interpreters and naturalists.

Outreach and Education

  • Bill Mees proposes another educator program nearer than Hog Island, tailored more towards beginning birders. It might be in the form of a continuing education component we could make available to teachers. The Education committee will look into possibilities, talking to the Missouri River Bird Observatory MRBO and Mike Szydlowski of Columbia Public Schools.
  • Lottie Bushmann reports that all teachers scheduled to attend Hog Island last summer, who could not attend due to COVID, were given the option to either attend this year or receive a refund. Two of last year’s scholarship recipients will attend; the third would like to attend the following year; since one of this year’s recipients would like to attend this year, these two teachers can swap positions. Until Hog Island sorts out the status of people slated to attend last year, we don’t know if there will be room for this year’s scholarship recipients.
  • A Fairview Elementary student is running a webcam blog on owls and sharing it with his 5th grade class; the student’s father contacted Jim Gast who put him in touch with Raptor Rehab, who will present a March 5 owl webinar to that class.
  • Bill Mees attended a Pumpkin Walk in Kansas City that attracted a lot of kids out to the woods; nature education was a part of the event. We could possibly partner with Fairview Elementary and Raptor Rehab to put on something similar; or help support the city putting on such a program.


  • Brooke Widmar reports there was a state legislative hearing on February 11 about a proposed bill regarding prescribed fire; Brooke submitted a statement in support; the vote has not happened yet but we’re nearing the point where citizens might want to lobby their local representatives.
  • A Clean Water Day event at the state capital is in the works.


  • Friday 2/25 chat deadline
  • Allison Vaughn reports difficulty using the WordPress software to set up the newsletter and events. Doug Miller will work to improve the documentation. Nancy Bedan will try to enter the events herself.


  • The Membership Committee has come up with proposals to revise the membership levels. These proposals will be sent out in the newsletter and available for discussion at the next membership meeting. Then the board could take action if desired.
  • We’re discussing making membership cards available, or some acknowledgement of dues payment.

Nature Areas

  • The suggestion was made to have a contest to name the Wild Haven shed. This will go into the next Natural Area column in the newsletter.
  • Bill Mees is working with the city to arrange a prescribed fire on the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary prairie reconstruction unit. Bill, Allison Vaughn, John Besser and Roxie Campbell will meet with city forester Dave Dittmer.

Nominating Committee

  • Brooke Widmar reports that Greg Leonard is willing to continue in his position as Director. There have been no new nominations for this position.

Memorial for Garland Russell

  • Jim Gast reports that Garland Russell’s son reiterated that Garland wished for his conservation efforts to remain anonymous, so CAS will not be undertaking any kind of memorial.

Motus Tower

  • For logistic reasons, the Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus tower will be installed on the Moss Waters radio tower, not at Bradford Farm.

CFM 85th Convention (virtual) March 1–6

  • Bill Mees reminded us that the Conservation Federation of Missouri convention is coming up, in which Mike Szydlowski has been nominated for Educator of the Year. The Award Ceremony will be held March 5 from 6 to 7:30pm.

March Board Meeting

  • The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 16, 6pm.


Bill Mees moves the meeting be adjourned; John Besser seconds; the meeting is adjourned at 7:35pm