Minutes, Board of Directors, 6 March 2002
prepared by F.T. Campbell, Treasurer
The meeting began at 10:10. Present were Faith Campbell, Joe Demko, Art Gover, Cindy Huebner, Lisa Smith; joined later by Mark Imlay and Betsy Lyman. Proxies had been received from Carole Bergmann, Carol Jelich, Debra Herr-Cornwell, and Michael Schwartz
The board approved the minutes of the December 2001 meeting.
A principal order of business was to formalize some resignations from the Board and corresponding appointment of interim officers. Under Article IV, these new officers will serve as "interim" officers until we hold another election at our August Annual Meeting. The board therefore accepted, with great regret, Laurie Anne Albrechtís resignation as our president. We appointed Art Gover as the interim President and Lisa Smith as the interim Vice President. The Board noted that the members having received notice of our intention to appoint Cindy Huebner to the Board, and no objections having been raised, Cindy is now an official board member. At the March meeting, the Board also appointed Kerrie Kyde to take the seat vacated by Laurie Anne Albrecht.
The Treasurer reported that there had been no expenditures or income since the January Board meeting. The account currently holds $7,378.04.
The Treasurer has not yet begun preparing the MA-EPPC tax forms, but accepts the responsibility to do so.
The Board discussed a proposed Spring 2002 workshop. Kerrie had identified Seneca Creek State Park in Maryland as a possible site. Art Gover hopes to do the workshop jointly with extension programs and to offer pesticide credits. We could charge a fee of $10 - $15. We anticipate the workshop taking place in late May or early June. Lisa Smith said the outreach committee is working on a standardized set of handouts, media networking, and other materials to enhance the value of these field work days. Marc Imlay will chair a committee to include Kerrie Kyde, Art Gover, and Lisa Smith to finalize these arrangements.
Lisa presented an initial proposal from the outreach committee for funding of materials for use by speakers representing MA-EPPC. The proposal envisages developing a presentation that would be available in both PowerPoint and slide formats. We would create several duplicates of each to minimize conflicts over access. It is hoped that Penn State can help with some of the technical work, such as converting slides to electronic format and converting the final PP "slides" to slides suitable for regular projectors. The Board will review the proposed text before it is finalized. The Board anticipates approving funding for this project once it has been better defined.
Cindy Huebner reported that the Science and Research committee was experiencing difficulties in compiling available research on invasive plantsí impacts and summarizing it for use by non-scientists. It has also found that compiling a list of experts is difficult. The species-by-species approach is too slow, so the committee is considering changing its focus to more conceptual issues.
Kerrie had submitted a detailed written proposal for the MA-EPPC web page. Members of the Board are asked to review this proposal, consult with Kerrie, and be ready to make a decision at our May meeting. The treasurer will ask Kerrie about the budget for the web site, especially the continuing cost of maintaining it. For a copy of the proposal, contact Kerrie.
Art Gover circulated a revised list of invasive plants for the region based on the official lists approved by agencies in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Art has, but has not yet incorporated, the list published by the Maryland Invasive Species Council. The Board agreed that we should obtain, and utilize, lists from New Jersey, West Virginia, and Rock Creek Park (the last as a list for the District of Columbia). Art is working on a text to accompany the new list. This text must explain our mission and goals, as well as say something about the varying criteria used by the states. He hopes that some seed trade people will participate in developing the wording so that it can accurately reflect their concerns as well as ours. For a copy of the list, contact Art.
Betsy Lyman reported on preparations for the Annual Meeting in August. It will be August 7 - 8 in Canaan Valley, WV. The meeting will include a work session in the wetlands of the area. The Board voted to authorize Betsy, on behalf of MA-EPPC, to finalize these arrangements. She will invite Rodney Bartgis, Director of the Joint Central Appalachian Program at The Nature Conservancy of WV, to be the principal speaker; he will address how TNC deals with weeds on a landscape level, including planning, strategies, assessing impacts, and control. Dr. Ron Fortney will help us focus on one invader, yellow flag iris Iris pseudoacorus. After describing the plantís invasion and impacts, he will lead a short work session to attack the plant.
Betsy also reported on plans for the 2003 symposium, to be co-sponsored with the Morris Arboretum. This meeting is scheduled for 6 - 7 August, 2003. While the location is not yet finalized, it will probably be the University of Pennsylvania. The Board discussed a list of potential sponsors who could help defray the costs. An initial list included such pesticide companies as Dow-Agro, BASF, Monsanto, and Novartis; such agencies as the National Park Service, Forest Service, and state departments of natural resources and agriculture; and others such as manufacturers of "weed wrenches" and other tools; professional weed management consultants/firms; forestry firms; seed and nursery firms and associations, etc.
Symposium organizers plan to offer an array of regional work days coordinated with the conference, instead of field trips. These work days would occur during the August - October period. Betsy is working with collaborators to identify sponsors and sites. Conference participants would be encouraged to sign up for one of these events during the conference. People who could not attend the conference could also sign up, subject to space availability.
The Board briefly discussed whether to purchase insurance covering the Board and officers. Art reported that the price being offered by the Maryland Association of Non-Profit Organizations [fix title] appears to be the best available. Nevertheless, the cost would be $800 per year or more - more than 10% of our total assets. Lisa agreed to follow up on whether all the EPPCs might join together in buying insurance, thus spreading the costs.
Art had sent a letter to the American Seed Trade Association in late January inviting it to participate in one of our board meetings. Kerrie reported that no reply had yet been received.
The Maryland Invasive Species Council seeks our assistance in printing additional copies of its new brochure. This would be a loan ó the various member government agencies would reimburse us for the total cost. The Board agreed that Kerrie should send out the electronic version of the brochure to all Board members, who should review the MISC brochure and convey their support or concerns to the board elist. Kerrie would also ascertain when the funds are needed. Following a brief discussion on the elist, we could vote by email if MISC cannot wait until our May board meeting. If we do make a loan, we would insist on receiving written commitments from the agencies to repay our costs.
Lisa reported on the work of the outreach committee in developing an activities plan (see also above discussion of the spring 2002 workshop and the August 2003 symposium). The committee hopes to schedule a series of on-the-ground workshops / field days throughout the year. She wants these workshops to be in varied locations and to focus on varied topics, e.g., setting up volunteer programs, working with agencies responsible for various lands, as well as control techniques. The outreach committee is preparing standardized materials for use at these workshops -- to convey information about MA-EPPC, carry out media outreach, etc. The Board agreed that a member of the Board or another actively involved MA-EPPC person should represent the organization at each of these work days.
Lisa and Mark reported that the 3rd annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week was a success. Among the specific points was the Union of Concerned Scientistsí efforts to persuade environmental organizations to be more careful when they offer plants or seeds as inducements to join their organization; and interest from Tim Playford of Dow-Agro in meeting with us to discuss how eastern and western weed groups can work together to pass needed legislation.
The Board agreed that the MA-EPPC should be "officially represented" at a number of meetings, and that it should defray some of the costs involved. We voted to provide $200 to help cover Lisaís costs in participating in the Southeast EPPC symposium in Nashville in April. We also agreed that we need a policy and strategy for determining which other meetings we should aim for and what our purpose/goals should be in participating. For example, is it more "important" to network with others working on invasive species or to "carry the word" to players which are not yet helping to address the problem? Finally, we agreed that we should set a budget ceiling for this purpose. Members should seek other sources of funds and should seek to speak at these meetings when possible. Faith agreed to draft a discussion paper addressing these issues
As part of this discussion, it was suggested that we budget sufficient funds to convert the MA-EPPC poster to a portable form (laminated single page) and print 3 or 4 ó so that meeting participants can easily carry it to meetings. Art will ask Kerrie to look into this.
Faith provided information about material being distributed by the Fund for Animals which recommends the planting of several invasive plants. Marc suggested that someone with personal contacts within that organization approach them and ask for changes (most of the plants on the "deer-proof" list are not invasive).
Faith suggested that MA-EPPC consider endorsing the "St. Louis Declaration" -- a set of principles and guidelines targetting deliberate planting of invasive species that was developed by a select group in December 2001. Betsy said that the coordinators of the effort would be "going public" by the end of March. It was agreed that ** Board members should read the St. Louis principles and guidelines, then post their opinions about them to the board elist. We would decide in May whether to endorse the principles and -- if we do support them -- what additional steps MA-EPPC might take to promote them. Faith has already circulated copies of the St. Louis documents and an outline of possible actions.
Faith also reminded the Board that APHIS is accepting comments on its draft weed management plan. Comment deadline is 29 March. The draft plan can be downloaded from www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/weeds.
The next meeting of the Board will occur on 8 May in north-central Maryland, perhaps one of the country parks.