Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the January 18, 2021 CAS board meeting:
Audit Committee Report
The Audit Committee (comprised of Boyd Terry and Judy Lincoln) has completed their review of CAS financial accounts for the last fiscal year. They found everything to be in proper order.
Appointments have been made to the Nominating Committee which will draw up a proposed slate of candidates for the board election in the spring. The Nominating Committee is Lori Turner (chair), Laura Hillman and Shelby Thomas.
Background: A consortium of Missouri conservation professionals has drafted proposed, voluntary, project-siting guidelines to minimize the potential negative impacts of energy infrastructure to wildlife and natural communities of our state. CAS has been asked to review and endorse these guidelines. At the completion of this process the guidelines will be presented to all members of the Missouri Senate, House of Representatives, the Missouri Public Service Commission, Conservation Commission, county and municipal officials and other key stakeholders.
Nancy Bedan moves that CAS support the proposed Energy Infrastructure Conservation Siting Voluntary Guidelines for Missouri. Eric Wood seconds the motion. The motion carries.
Nancy Bedan reviewed upcoming programs and presentations.
March program will tentatively be a webinar, featuring Dr. Sarah Morris of Buffalo, NY who teaches the field ornithology program at National Audubon’s Hog Island workshops. This would be a joint program with the Missouri Birding Society, both of whom would contribute half of a $500 honorarium for Dr. Morris.
Nancy Bedan moves that CAS provide $250 towards an honorarium for Dr. Sarah Morris. Bill Mees seconds the motion. The motion carries.
The date for the spring CAS picnic has been set on May 22, and will be held at either the Bonnie View or Fairview Park shelter
Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS)
Bill Mees reports he and John Besser mixed seed last weekend for the prairie restoration expansion. They’re planning to sew the seed in the coming week.
A meeting between CAS representatives (Bill Mees, John Besser and Allison Vaughn) and Columbia Parks and Recreation has been scheduled to discuss the deer population problem in the area of Bonnie View Park — as well as possible remedies. A discussion ensued regarding steps CAS could take to protect habitat from destructive overbrowsing, including allowing a managed deer hunt on Bonnie View to extend onto the neighboring Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary.
Nancy Bedan moved that the board should authorize CAS representatives at the meeting with Columbia Parks and Recreation to allow a trial archery hunt on CANS property, assuming all necessary safety precautions are taken. Eric Wood seconds the motion. The motion carries.
Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary
Jean Neely suggested seeding areas that were recently cleared of invasive autumn olive with native plants.
Eric Seamen led a recent field trip, spotting 20 species during cold, icy weather. Edge Wade will lead a trip to Binder Lake on January 29. John Besser will lead a First Friday trip on February 4. And a trip out to Eagle Bluffs is scheduled for February 19.
Jim Gast reports that CAS had not been listed as a local chapter on the National Audubon website. Allison Vaughn contacted National to have us added. There’s also the possibility of the National website listing our local events; Allison is in contact with someone about that, too.
The deadline for submitting Chat articles to Allison is January 28.
Shelby Thomas reports that dues payments are still trickling in. Doug Miller notes that we’re up to 124 paid local members, which is a little ahead of our usual annual pace.
Education and Outreach
Nancy Bedan noted that National Audubon’s Hog Island workshop schedule for educators has finally been posted. Nancy asks if the cost of the programs has gone up. Eric Seaman says yes, but since the current recipients were pre-paid during earlier years (because of COVID cancellations), we haven’t encountered the higher cost yet.
Boone County Nature School Council House
Jim Gast reports that the Chief Financial Officer of Columbia Public Schools (CPS) responded to our query regarding the status of the Boone County Nature School Council House, to which CAS had previously donated $30,000. After architectural enhancements to the original design drove the estimated building cost well into six figures, CPS has decided to rebid the Council House project together with the main classroom building as a single project.
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) Challenge Grant
Bill Mees, chair of the MoBCI Steering Committee, reports that Ameren has offered MoBCI an unsolicited grant of $2,500 for conservation purposes. In order to make the most of this grant, MoBCI is asking its 76 affiliated member groups — which includes CAS — for matching contributions going towards two conservation projects:
The first project is to replace outdated water control structures at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. This project would have a budget of $300,000 and would be funded by a North American Water Conservation Act grant; this grant requires 1:1 matching donations, which is where the MoBCI and MoBCI partner donations would be applied.
Eric Wood moves that CAS donate $500 to match a $500 MoBCIs donation, both of which would be matching funds going towards a North American Water Conservation Act grant to fund updates to water control structures at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. John Besser seconds this complicated motion. The motion carries.
Bill notes that MoBCI’s second use of the Ameren grant will be a donation to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation to complete the system of Motus migratory bird radio tracking towers in Missouri. Bill asks if CAS would like to make a matching $500 donation to this project as well.
Bill Mees moves that CAS donate $500 to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation to fund Motus tracking towers. Eric Wood seconds the motion. The motion carries.
Jim Gast remarks that there was a delay installing a plaque commemorating Brad Jacobs on a previous Motus tracking station funded by CAS. Sarah Kendrick of the Missouri Department of Conservation has indicated that this station became operational on December 30, and we’ll soon have access to the tracking data.
Any Other Business
CAS received a $500 CoMoGives challenge grant, bringing our total CoMoGives results above $11,000. 115 donors contributed to CAS during the December fundraising drive.