2011 Business Meeting
37th Annual Meeting Southeastern Fishes Council
10th-11th November, 2011
The 2011 business meeting of the Southeastern Fishes Council was called to order by Chair Gerry Dinkins at 4:31 p.m. Seventy-six people were in attendance.
Report of the Secretary
Secretary Rebecca Blanton reported that the 2010 minutes were unanimously accepted by e-mail vote; 26 members voted. She noted that the 2010 minutes would be posted on the SFC website.
Secretary Blanton also provided a summary of the current and past membership, noting the following for 2011 and overall for the history of the society:
Report of the Treasurer
Treasurer Anna George presented the society’s overall financial standing, including a summary of the expenses related to the 2011 meeting. She noted the overall good financial standing of the society and the expectation that expenses of the current meeting would be offset by income from registration. George noted that the 2011 ending budget presented did not include expenses for the 2011 meeting ($9850) or the printing and shipping for the 2011 Proceedings ($2000). She reported the total expenses and revenue for the year at $14,000 (expenses)/$16500 (revenue). Details of the Treasurer’s Report follow:
Chair Dinkins called for a vote to approve the Treasurer’s Report, the motion was seconded and the report was unanimously approved.
Report of the Committees
Candidates for Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer were previously identified by the Chair of the nominating committee, Carol Johnston. Election of new officers was held by ballot vote. Candidates for the Chair-elect were Ginny Adams (University of Central Arkansas) and Cathy Phillips (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), for Secretary, Mollie Cashner (Southeastern Louisiana University) and Will Duncan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and for Treasurer, Steve Ryder (Alabama Fish and Wildlife Service), and Benjamin Keck (University of Tennessee). New officers elected were: Ginny Adams, Chair-elect; Mollie Cashner, Secretary, and Steve Ryder, Treasurer.
2. Program Committee – Mary Freeman, Anna George and Jim Williams.
Nothing to report.
3. Constitution Committee – Bernie Kuhajda
Nothing to report.
4. Proceedings Committee – David Neely and Chris Skelton
Editor Neely reported that the 2011 issue of the Proceedings was complete and would soon be mailed to the membership. He noted that only one volume would be produced in the current year and that the state reports would be included in that volume.
5. Awards Committee – Anna George
The executive committee and membership acknowledged the service of out-going Chair Dinkins and thanked him for his contributions to the society. Chair Dinkins thanked out-going Treasurer George and Secretary Blanton for serving two terms in these positions and playing a critical role in the success of the society’s first and subsequent stand-alone meetings. Former Chair Kuhjada noted that he would be cycling off he executive committee and thanked N. Burkhead and other committee members for their assistance throughout his tenure.
6. Technical Advisory Committee – Steve Powers, Patrick Rakes, Ginny Adams, Charlie Saylor, Jim Williams, Hank Bart, and Brett Albanese
Jim Williams informed the membership that he would be stepping down from this committee and Anna George volunteered to serve as his replacement. George noted that she would be focusing on completion of the Fishes In Need conservation reports for Tier 1 and Tier 2 fishes with the hopes of completing all by the following year.
7. Membership Committee – Hank Bart and Rebecca Blanton
Nothing to report.
8. Website Committee – Jake Schaefer
Nothing to report
Jim Williams noted that he would continue to monitor register actions and pass pertinent information on to the SFC executive committee.
Anna George noted that no relationship or agreement had been established with Patagonia.
Anna George said that the proposed plan to create a USFWS position had not been established and likely would not be established.
T. Curry from the CBD provided an update on the petition status. She requested SFC members provide comments, critical habitat, or other pertinent information to USFWS to assist with their review of petitioned species.
Chair Dinkins noted the 2012 meeting would be held in New Orleans, LA and that Hank Bart would serve as the local host. H. Bart noted the contributions of Royal Suttkus to SFC and southeastern fishes and suggested that the society honor these contributions at the 2012 meeting by holding a Suttkus-themed symposium and memorial.
Mel Warren asked for the subsequent meetings to not be held over the Veteran’s Day holiday. Anna George noted that an effort could be made to avoid scheduling the meeting over this holiday, but due to conflicts with other events scheduled at meeting venues, that it could not always be avoided.
Chair Dinkins requested that the membership avoid last-minute cancellations of presentations. He asked the membership to entertain the idea of imposing repercussions, such as preventing a speaker from submitting an abstract in the subsequent year, for non-justified, last-minute cancellations. Bruce Bauer moved to accept this policy, A. George seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
Chair Dinkins requested that the membership follow deadlines posted with respect to early registration and hotel reservations to the best of their ability. Treasurer George requested an increase in the late registration cost to alleviate the costs associated with accommodating the large number of late or walk-up registrants. N. Burkhead expressed concerns with this plan due to the fiscal year restrictions of government employees that often restricted their ability to pay registration fees before the early-registration deadline. Mollie Cashner suggested increasing walk-up registration fees only, as this seemed to be the largest concern with respect to creating unexpected expenses at the meeting. Pat Rakes suggested an RSVP option for members that planned to attend, but would not be able to pay prior to the early-registration deadline, to allow the society to account for those individuals in the overall meeting numbers, while allowing government employees more time to resolve their fiscal year budget issues. After additional discussion, Chair Dinkins asked for a motion to double the current walk-up registration fee. H. Bart moved, J. Williams seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
The attendance of vendors and potential fees to vendors at subsequent meetings was discussed. J. Williams moved that vendors be permitted, but charged a vendor fee (registration and table fee). The motion carried unanimously.
Pat Rakes noted a proposal to establish a horse stable and 4-acre parking lot on Citico Creek adjacent to a known site of the Yellow-fin Madtom. He further noted that there was also a proposal in place to develop the parking lot and other features at an alternative site. He said that work by the Southern Environmental Law Center indicated that the alternative site would have a minimum impact to Citico Creek overall. Noel Burkhead asked the executive committee to write a letter on behalf of SFC opposing the development at the Yellow-fin Madtom location. Chair Dinkins noted that he had written a letter previously. N. Burkhead and J. Williams proposed that the letter request complete removal of the planned development from the Citico Creek watershed given the other federally listed species there. Peggy Shute pointed out that the Biological Opinion notice associated with the planned development was posted on Christmas Eve, and no formal consultation of plan had been conducted. Dinkins called for a motion to write and submit a resolution and letter on behalf of SFC opposing construction of the horse area and parking lot in the Citico Creek watershed. H. Bart and C. Johnston moved, J. Williams, seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Herbert Boschung noted the good financial standing of SFC and requested that the society increase the student award amounts. Treasurer George indicated that it would be feasible under the current budget to raise award amounts. An alternative proposition to offer travel awards was also proposed. Ginny Adams suggested restructuring award categories to include awards for undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. level students. B. Kuhajda called for a motion to double the amount of money allotted to student awards and then hold an email vote to determine how to divide or use the extra allotted money. N. Burkhead moved, J. Williams seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned by Chair Dinkins at 5:34 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Secretary Rebecca Blanton Johansen