May 19, 2021

NOTE: Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present: Doug Miller, Jim Gast, Bill Mees, Allison Vaughn, Eric Wood, Nancy Bedan, Eric Seaman, Greg Leonard, Lottie Bushmann

Time called to order: 6:05pm

Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)

Bill Mees moves we accept the April 20, 2021 board meeting minutes. Nancy Bedan seconds the motion. The motion carries.

Nancy Bedan moves we accept the April 23, 2021 emergency board meeting minutes. Eric Seaman seconds the motion. The motion carries

Treasurer’s Report

  • Eric Seaman reports that we received a $500 memorial donation for Garland Russell
  • Eric Seaman reports that we received a $1000 donation to be used for the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS)
  • Eric Seaman is preparing our annual end-of-year financial report
  • Jim Gast mentions that another $100 donation was received.

Bill Mees moves we approve the Treasurer’s Report. Nancy Bedan seconds. The motion carries.

Committee Reports

Jim Gast asks if the Committee chairs will remain for the next season: Bill Mees (Nature Areas), Eric Wood (Field Trips), Allison Vaughn (Communications), and Lottie Bushmann (Education) will remain in their positions for the 2021–2022 season.

Nature Areas

  • Bill Mees reports on a City of Columbia program to identify and commemorate trees that are 200 or more years old as part of the state bicentennial celebration. The Mizzou Forestry Department will non-invasively confirm the age of the trees. A phone app will show the location of these historic trees across the city. Bill showed Mike Snyder of Parks and Recreation one of the oaks at Columbia Audubon Sanctuary for possible inclusion in the program, provided we would like to participate.
  • Nancy Bedan moves that we nominate the big oak on the west side of CANS as a bicentennial tree. Eric Wood seconds the motion. The motion carries.

  • Bill Mees reports that the Wild Haven parking area is finished: the poles and wires are installed; David Neely, Eric Wood and John Besser assisted with the project. The gate is now open and the new sign has been installed.
  • Bill Mees reports on a possible Eagle Scout project at Wild Haven to build 2 or 3 small informational kiosks that could hold maps or rules; the kiosks would be around 2’×2′ on a 4″×4″ post.
  • Bill Mees reports the prairie expansion on the west acreage of CANS was sprayed with herbicides the previous day. The $1200 invoice is being submitted to Eric Seaman. At least one more spraying will be required in the fall.
  • Bill Mees reports that he was contacted by a teacher at Fairview Elementary School, wanting to establish prairie on the school grounds. They contacted us for permission to pick seed from the Bonnie View/CANS prairies.
  • Bill Mees reports that he submitted the final Boone Electric Community Trust (BECT) grant report for the interpretive panel at CANS. The BECT representative said they would look forward to dealing with us in the future.
  • Bill Mees reports there was a work session last week at Wild Haven that included Jean and David Neely, John Besser, Bill and Eric Wood. They cleared the trail around the lower pond, removed bush honeysuckle and autumn olive, and painted stumps in preparation for the upcoming picnic
  • Jim Gast reports that the Boone Electric Community Trust has asked us to apply for another grant, which would be due on December 1. We can think of new projects, including possibly an interpretive panel at Wild Haven. Nancy Bedan suggested lighting at Wild Haven to deter vandalism. Bill suggested an improved outhouse. Bill also mentions that with the gate to Wild Haven now open and the new parking lot, we might wait to see what kind of vandalism occurs before putting in an interpretive panel.
  • Bill Mees reports that suggestions are coming in for naming the Wild Haven storage building. Eric Reuter has offered to make the sign. Nancy Bedan suggests soliciting opinions at the picnic. Jan Mees suggested “Haven Hall”.


  • Jim Gast reports that the prescribed fire bill passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature. A bill amending the governing structure of the Missouri Department of Conservation did not pass.

Outreach and Education

  • Lottie Bushmann reports on Missouri Birding Society field trips that were assisted by CAS members. The May 1 trip was attending by 21 birders; 12 birders attended the CANS trip with John Besser — and those were mostly familiar faces; a similar crowd of 10 at the 3M Wetlands; and 12 new attendees for the final trip that was focusing on beginning birders. Lottie suggests scheduling regular field trips for beginners.
  • Lottie Bushmann reports that she met with Chris Linn (a Hog Island scholarship recipient) and his class at the Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area.
  • Lottie Bushmann reports that Missouri River Relief has asked her to help with a 2-hour birding program in June for 5-year-olds.

Field Trips

  • Eric Wood reports that no field trips are currently scheduled. Lottie Bushmann remarks that John Besser led a great walk the previous Sunday at Wild Haven


  • Nancy Bedan reports on preparations for the picnic and contingencies if the weather does not cooperate.
  • Jim Gast mentions that if the picnic and its membership meeting are cancelled, we will restart the process of approving the new bylaws in September. Notification of the upcoming vote will go out in September.


  • Jim Gast asks if we must use WordPress for the Chat and the Chat newsletter. Doug Miller responds that if we’re intending for current and future board members (specifically Chat editors) to update the website, then WordPress is a standardized, well-known content management system. There are other CMS systems, but the difficulty using the system is not as much with WordPress itself, but the customizations which allows Word Press to interface with our e-mailing system and to control the various parts of the website. Doug says that he can work more on documentation, but also that when his duties as Secretary are over he will work on improving the links between Word Press and the other systems to make them more user-friendly.


Canton Subdivision Update

  • Jim Gast reports the Columbia City Council has pushed forward action on the proposed development and its annexation into the city until the June 21 meeting to allow the developer and their opponents time to better prepare. There are doubts whether the developer has enough supporting votes on the Columbia City Council to proceed. Jim encourages everyone to write the council and the mayor with their opinions and suggestions regarding the proposed subdivision.

Summer Board Meetings

  • Jim Gast reports that Unitarian Church is available for small meetings in the sanctuary over the summer. The church will decide at the end of the summer whether to fully open their building for normal public use. Jim will check with the board monthly to see if we need to meet during the summer.

Any Other Business

  • Nancy Bedan asks Jim Gast if CAS sent specific project requests to Parks and Recreation for inclusion in the upcoming Parks Tax vote. Jim spoke to Mike Snyder about water control issues at CANS to mitigate streambank erosion caused by storm runoff.


Nancy Bedan moves that we adjourn. Eric Wood seconds the motion. The motion carries and the meeting is adjourned at 7:11pm.