Minutes of the 2016 Desert Fishes Council Business Meeting

MINUTES of the ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING – November 18, 2016
1. Call to Order: President Michael Bogan called the Business Meeting to order and thanked David Propst and the entire local meeting committee for their exemplary effort in putting together the annual meeting.
2. Approval of the 2015 Business Meeting Minutes: President Bogan asked for a motion to accept the 2015 Business Meeting Minutes, so made by member Doug Duncan, and seconded by member Linn Montgomery. The membership voted unanimously to accept the 2015 Minutes.
3. Report (brief financial summary) of the Executive Secretary: Phil Pister reported that the Council’s finances remain strong and our funds remain in an investment account in Bishop (Vanguard).
4. Report of the President: Michael Bogan reviewed and revised a letter prepared by member Steve Parmenter regarding California Fish and Game Code Section 5515 which prohibits the taking of the Owens Pupfish, even for otherwise lawful activities such as ditch clearing which is beneficial for pupfish and other native fishes. The letter explained DFC’s support and recommendation to permit existing land use activities such as well-managed fish friendly water diversions and other agricultural activities that local farmers and ranchers require in their day-to-day management. DFC encouraged support for AB 2001 to remove longstanding barriers to the recovery of some of California’s rare endangered fishes. Michael also worked with the UA Press to develop an online digital version of the Battle Against Extinction book that is now out of print. The cost for this will be $1000 and the Council approved this expenditure. Michael thanked Outreach Coordinator Heidi Blasius and member David Fryxell for their efforts in a student member outreach event with local schools in Albuquerque. Lastly, President Bogan thanked Heidi Blasius for her time in coordinating the annual raffle and student networking session. Scott Bonar, President-elect of AFS, indicated that AFS will likely be “ramping up” its cooperation with the Council during his tenure. Michal also discussed having a joint meeting with CEMAC in 2020, which would assure more participation by our Mexico members. Chuck Minckley requested a T-shirt Design Competition for the 50th Anniversary Meeting.
5. Report of the Past President: Kathryn Boyer assisted President Bogan and EXCOMM with developing issues to be discussed at the annual Executive Committee Meeting held in June at UA, and transcribed minutes taken by Kate Boersma at the meeting. Kathryn assisted Areas Coordinator Brandon Albrecht with Species Accounts and other responsibilities when he transitioned into the position upon resignation of Doug Duncan. Kathryn also assisted President Bogan as needed with Council business, correspondence, and meeting planning.
6. Report of the Proceedings Editor: Dean Hendrickson reiterated to the Membership that starting with the 2008 meeting, DFC no longer publishes Proceedings, but is moving toward instead archiving meeting abstracts and annual Species Accounts (Tracking Tables) online in an easily searchable format. Currently the 2008-2014 Abstract database is currently served as a Google Fusion Table to make the abstract data easily searchable. He also mentioned the DFC F1000 chapter where any presenter of talks or posters at DFC can quickly and easily publish their presentations. They provide a permanent location for these files and give them DOIs that are indexed by major web search engines and become easily located. He also pointed out to the membership, which includes many species experts, a new species conservation assessment template in the Biodiversity Data Journal. This online template structures assessment data to allow IUCN to mine it to update their database.
7. Report of the Membership Secretary: Lesley Fitzpatrick reported that we have 188 paid members, not including Life Members. She suggested that folks become members even if they are not coming to the meetings to support DFC’s mission, including the grants and other programs.
8. Report of the Program Secretary — David Rogowski discussed the abstract submittal process. David requested members to provide input about the online Google Calendar. David also thanked Tyler Filger for his help with moderation of the oral presentations, and the meeting hosts for their excellent organization and management of the annual meeting.
9. Report of the Areas Coordinator — Brandon Albrecht asked members if they were aware of the Area Reports and Species Accounts. Brandon reiterated the importance of area reporting at the meetings, provided an update of the current list of Area Coordinators, and encouraged all members to support their respective Area Coordinator(s) by providing pertinent species information
10. Report of the Member-at-Large — Kate Boersma announced that this is her final meeting as Member-at- Large and she appreciated her time serving in this capacity. Kate indicated that the Gustafson Award went to Mauricio De la Maza Benignos and the W. L. Minckley Award went to Peter Unmack.
11. Report of the Treasurer — Stewart Reid gave the financial report. Details are available in the report – contact Stewart with questions. Discounted Life Membership contributions are upgraded to $625 out of General Funds and placed in a segregated accounting to provide interest income to General Funds in perpetuity. Travel Funds are not just for students coming to the annual meeting, but also for members to use for projects, collaborations, etc. Our cost for the meeting in Death Valley last year was only $10,648 dollars, thanks to the National Park Service. Chuck Minckley has suggested the Council organize a T-shirt design competition for the 50th Anniversary celebration. We generally make a profit with the T-shirt sale, usually around $600.
12. Report of the Webmaster – Brian Kesner explained his role as Webmaster, and announced he is seeking another entity besides Nationbuilder for our web services. President Bogan thanked Brian for his enduring commitment as Webmaster.
13. New Business of the Council — The 2017 meeting (November 15-19, 2017) will be in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora. Organizer Martha Roman provided details of the meeting venue and preliminary plans. The meeting will be held at Universidad Tecnológica de San Luis Río Colorado. The meeting site is located near one of the largest Biosphere reserves Mexico, and there will be several options for field trips. A special session focusing on research and management of the lower Colorado River is being discussed.
14. Executive Committee Elections for Member-at-Large were held. Two candidates were on the ballot: Megan Bean (Texas Parks and Wildlife) and Eliza Gilbert, (American SW Ichthyologic Researchers). The votes were tallied, and the candidates were tied. The Council decided to allow both nominees to share the position.
15. Progress Report of the Battle Against Extinction book. Member Jack Williams provided a brief recap of the upcoming book which will provide an update of this ongoing battle. There will be 28 chapters, and all royalties from sales will be given to the Council. Jack requested $15,000 be set aside for publication costs by the University of Chicago Press. David Rogowski suggested we consider an online GO FUND ME effort to help defray costs. No motion was made but the suggestion is so noted and may be considered. Member Linn Montgomery made a motion to provide the $15,000 and Peter Reinthal seconded the motion which passed.
16. Announcements from Members. No additional announcements were made and Tom Turner moved to adjourn the meeting. Stan Gregory seconded the motion. The 2016 Annual Business Meeting was adjourned at 6:20 pm.