El Dorado Nature Center 7550 E. Spring St. Long Beach CA 90815 Hosted by El Dorado Audubon Attending:

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SoCAL COUNCIL Meeting

Saturday,
January 8, 2011


El Dorado
Nature
Center

7550 E. Spring St.

Long Beach CA 90815


Hosted by
El Dorado Audubon


Attending:


Mary Parsell,
El Dorado

Donna Bray,
El Dorado

Eleanor Palmer,
El Dorado

Carolyn Vance,
El Dorado

Lindsay Fitch,
El Dorado

Janet Baumann, Sea & Sage

Letty
Brooks,
Whittier

Drew Feldmann,
San Bernardino
Valley

Laura Garrett,
Pasadena

Mike Van Norman,
San Fernando Valley

Al Baumann, Sea & Sage

Ron Cyger,
Pasadena

Deni Sinnott,
Pasadena

Jess Morton, Palos Verdes/South Bay

Darrell Cannon,
El Dorado


CHAPTER REPORTS


El Dorado

Donna Bray, President


Donna

asked for feedback on websites. Does anyone have resources to offer El Dorado
Audubon.
Donna asked for resources for volunteers and software resources.


Drew suggested that
Donna check out
www.preservetheplateau.org

for a great website.

Mike Van Norman suggested that
El Dorado check out JOOMLA
http://www.joomla.org/


an open source web software which is very user friendly and
content can be put on the website by different people than just a webmaste
r/mistress.
Mike reported that the chapter is considering going electronic for the newsletter in an
opt out way so that those who want to receive a printed newsletter can still receive one.


Garry reported that chapters in
California have found
volunteers in Marketing and
Communications departments of universities or junior colleges or local colleges who
might take on a website design as a class project or for their portfolio, and also have
found volunteers on Craig’s list who might want to add a

website design to their
portfolio.


Deni reported that
Pasadena’s website and newsletter is very 1.0 and is beginning to
upgrade their website modeled after
Eaton
Canyon’s website. Deni offered to share the
template acr
oss all SoCAL chapters.


Letty asked if Whittier Audubon was required by National Audubon to mail printed
newsletters to NAS members in their territory. Jess Morton and Garry answered that
this is NOT a requirement by NAS. Garry reported that some chapter
s have electronic
only newsletters.


Al Baumann suggested that printed copies of newsletters can be left at WildBirds etc.


Janet Baumann reported that S&S webmistress is also the newsletter editor and field
trip chair and this works well.


W
illow
Springs
Park


possible new park which chapter is supporting. Chapter found
CA Gnatcatcher there.


Sea & Sage

Al Baumann


S&S is looking for a volunteer conservation director. Chapter is thinking of revamping
the conservation commi
ttee.


Chapter had to change the entrance from
Riparian Way due to Irvine Water District
construction.


Whittier

Letty Brooks


Conservation Chair Joan Powell is daughter of Walt Powell who was involved in
Mitigation
Lakes lawsuit in 70s in
Whittier
Narrows. Joan has submitted comments on
two draft EIRS: 1) oil drilling in
Whittier hills; 2) Whittier Narrows Master Plan. Joan’s
approach was to receive comments from members of th
e Conservation Committee and
assembled them.


Fundraising: Chapter is spending money from endowment principal for administrative
expenses, and is looking for fund raising suggestions.


Laura Garrett mentioned that a good fundraiser is a Birdathon and
Pasadena is doing a
big one this year.


Al Baumann reported the end of year appeal brings in the most funds for S&S. It should
be sent out in beginning of November. End of year appeal goes out with a handwritten
note from Board member or President.

He also reported that S&S reads all the letters
from other orgs to get ideas, and sends out a follow up letter.
Donna Bray sends out letter
at tax time when folks are thinking about deductions. Letty asked for folks to send
template appeals to
her at
bobletty@earthlink.net


Donna reported that Board giving is a source.


Garry reported that 3 t
op fund raising efforts by chapters in
California are:


-
Bird a thon (Santa Clara Valley Audubon earned $58,000 last year)

-
End of Year Appeal

-
Bequests: (put information on bequests in your newsletter regularly and publicize your
good works to t
he public at large). Most bequests that come to chapters are from people
that the chapter doesn’t know.


San Bernardino
Valley Audubon

Drew Feldmann


Chapter won one of the lawsuits! This one is against the Royal Rangers, a boy scout

like
org of the Assembly of God on development of pristine habitat.


SBV is hosting the next meeting of SoCAL Council at San Jacinto Wildlife Reserve and
will be meeting at Lake Perris Recreation Area nearby. Locations will be posted on
www.ca.audubon.org/chapters.php

in March or April.


Pasadena Audubon

Laura Garrett & Ron Cyger & Deni
Sennott


Laura reported on the 11 acre oak woodland in
Arcadia that is about to be destroyed to
have silt from the dam dumped on it by
Los Angeles
County. The EIR was approved in
2009 without any comments from Sierra Clu
b, Audubon, local residents. Laura and
other protestors achieved a moratorium for 30 days but the project is moving forward on
Wednesday, January 12. Laura begged everyone to sign on to the petition at

http://w
ww.gopetition.com/petitions/save
-
the
-
arcadia
-
woodlands.html

and have asked
Supervisor Antonovich to extend the moratorium until a solution can be achieved. LA
County also wants to cut down 50 acres in Hahamongna. Laura asked that National
Audubon/Audu
bon California provide a lawyer that can advise chapters about legal
efforts. Drew suggested that Laura consult with Jan Chatten
-
Brown and Doug
Carstensen, CEQA attorneys, and/or consult with Center for Biological Diversity as they
have a staff attorneys t
hat can take on a case, and SBV has partnered with them. Laura
asked that everybody email their
County
Supervisor and ask them to put Arcadia Oaks
on the agenda for Tues, Nov. 11
County
Supervisors meeting
.


Laura is on the Arroyo Foothills Conservancy and is trying to acquire over 40 acres of
Rubio
Canyon and has acquired 20 acres so far from
Eaton
Canyon, Pasadena Audubon,
and Audubon
California
. Laura passed out postcards to seek more funding for land
acquisition and trail restoration.


Deni reported that she is designing new website and hopes t o launch in July. She is all
about user friendly, easy to update website. There are three voluntee
rs doing marketing,
newsletter and field trips so they will coordinate. She did an outreach for Christmas
Bird Count to the public and got 10 new participants who are new to the chapter
through a postcard campaign. Deni reported that she had been a membe
r for a few years
and then jumped on the Board.


Ron reported that PAS is offering small grants from a bequest. Grant information will be
available on Pasadena Audubon’s website and also on Audubon
California site. Deadline
is in March. Ron invi
ted all chapters to apply.


Ron gave Birding 101 classes and attracted new members to the chapter. Ron is teaching
a Birding 201 class in spring. Very popular programs. The chapter holds the classes at
Eaton
Canyon.


Ron al
so reported on Wrentit club which gives folks a purpose for birding. The sightings
go into eBird. The 2011 Wrentit club has started. Check the chapter’s website for details.


12 of the top 13 birders submitting data to eBird are from Pasadena Audubon.


San Fernando Valley

Mike van Norman


Mike asked for feedback on bylaws update. Garry reported that LA Audubon just
released a 27 page of draft bylaws that were prepared with attorneys for approval by the
members on Wed, Jan 12. He will ask if he can
share the draft.


SFV formed a publicity committee. They want to use FACEBOOK, TWITTER more
effectively.


REI announced that SFVAS was an org on their giving tree at the Northridge branch.
Erin at
El Dorado
Nature
Center explained how the program worked for them. Mike
found out about this from a Google alert that he put out under “San Fernando Valley
Audubon”. Google alerts are a great idea to find out what is being said online about your
chapter.


Conservation

Committee did a native plant restoration at Sepulveda Basin with college
age volunteers.


Chapter is considering doing a bird observatory at Santa Susana site. Chapter has been
submitting comments on the clean up plan at Santa Susana.


Palos Verdes/Sout
h Bay

Jess Morton


Year end appeal went out to members list. Audubon YES program will be a central point
for fund raising from Birdathon. Birdathon at PV/SB make $10,000
-

$15,000.


Redesigning Audubon YES website.


Los Angeles Audubon

Garry George


Garry reported that new Bylaws are up for approval by members on Wed., Jan 12.

USF&W is renewing successful Snowy Plover project contract for another three years,
and was featured in AUDUBON Magazine.

Education programs have expanded from Ballona and Sepu
lveda Basin to Baldwin Hills
State Park and Leo Politi Native Plant & Wildlife Garden which led to science
illustration classes for students that has been really successful.

Copies of WESTERN TANAGER were handed out.


Al mentioned that San Diego Audubon is

considering joining in an effort with Anza
Borrego State Park on a Swainson’s Hawk Hawkwatch as many hawks roosts there, and
will create an education program in the park in partnership with Anza Borrego Institute
that will report on radio transmitters on
hawks as they migrate.


National Audubon

Board

Jess Morton


Next National Board meeting will be in Florida.

Jess has been appointed Chair of Chapter Committee of National Audubon Board. He
will be forming some task forces for long term and short term solut
ions to problems
between National and chapters. Committee will be forming task forces that might
create large scale programs of capacity building for chapters perhaps like a model such as
National Association of Land Trusts education program for their loc
al chapters. He also
plans to address Membership, funding (revenue sharing between National and chapters),
and integrated communications opportunities especially on the web. Jess asked for
volunteers who might want to work on the task forces for the Comm
ittee.


Audubon California Board

Chris Redfern submitted the following report be email:


Audubon CA Board Meeting Report

For SoCal Meeting, January 7, 2011


Submitted by Chris Redfern, SoCal Council Rep

redfern@sandiegoaudubon.org



858
-
273
-
7800


NOTE: Since our last SoCal Council meeting of September 25 at Starr Ranch, the Audubon
California board
has meet twice


October 22 in Santa Ynez, and December 17 in Venice.


October 22


Santa Ynez
Board
Meeting


Topics of this meeting included a visit by new NAS president David Yarnold to California and an
introduction of a new project to restore the San
ta Ynez River led by IBA Director Andrea Jones.
David Yarnold spent three days in California meeting with state office staff, board members, and
chapter leaders, primarily in northern California. The general impression was that as a
Californian, he would l
ikely focus more attention on Audubon activities in our state and visit the
state more often. His impression of Audubon’s work in California was very positive, calling our
work “results
-
oriented.” Also, he believes that chapters play a significant role in

the Audubon
network and so we hope there will be more focus on support of and collaboration with chapters
than in recent years (although no specific plans or new strategies have been identified yet).


Audubon CA Executive Director Graham Chisholm also sh
ared information on a strategic
planning and capital campaign currently underway. (Our SoCal representative, Chris Redfern,
has subsequently been asked to join this committee and is providing input from the chapter
perspective on how the state office can i
nclude collaboration with chapters in its long range
planning.) An outline of the plan will be presented at the May 2011 board meeting for the full
board to review.


During the board meeting, your SoCal rep Chris Redfern also led a discussion to better de
fine the
role of the Chapter Committee on the board. A number of possible roles/responsibilities emerged
from a discussion of the committee prior to the board meeting, including:




Two way communication between Audubon California Board and staff and chapt
ers
(examples: Board reports at Council meetings, reports and discussions at Audubon
California Board meetings, relationships with Audubon staff and other Board members)



Represent chapter positions/interests in Board and staff decisions and policies
(exa
mples: renewable energy section of Climate Change policy)



Continue to strengthen the relationship between National and chapters (examples:
grant funding, membership)



Represent chapter positions to Audubon Board and staff on policy issues (recent
exampl
es: Tolowa Dunes issue, Water Bond support)



Highlight and educate the Audubon California Board, Audubon staff, and chapters on
exemplary models of positive collaboration between chapters and Audubon California,
pursue expansion of successful collaboratio
ns, and propose additional collaboration
opportunities based on these models (example: Education Summits, Grebe grants, San
Diego Bird Festival/Assembly event)



Help chapter and Audubon California boards embrace the integration of youth and
cultural diver
sity into Audubon leadership roles



Promote Audubon California’s efforts to support capacity
-
building in chapters to enable
chapters to be more active in achieving goals in conservation, education, and
membership development.


Chris expressed that he fe
lt there is a large opportunity to activate the grassroots network of
chapters but that to date the power of the network has been vastly underutilized (we’ve only
seen the tip of the iceberg). Possible future areas of focus for the Chapter Committee includ
e
focusing on developing more mutually beneficial collaborations between the state office and
chapters and putting greater emphasis on working with state office staff to provide chapters
with capacity
-
building and organizational development support vs. con
servation issues of the
day.


December 17


Venice Board Meeting


The primary focus of this board meeting was on condors and a postmortem on the November
election results.


Gary Langham provided a summary of the AOU Condor Report recently released. Sust
ainability
of wild populations is not possible without constant and costly human assistance, due to the
persistence of lead in condor food sources. Evidently, despite a lead ban in Condor Country,
compliance and enforcement have not been strong enough to l
ower the exposure of condors to
lead and condors continue to be greatly impacted by the presence of lead in their food sources.
Concerns about supplemental feeding. Concerns about adults feeding chicks small items of trash
(“microtrash”). The program has b
een in existence for 25 years; currently, more than $5 million is
spent annually by program partners.


Myra Finkelstein, researcher at UC Santa Cruz gave a presentation on her work analyzing levels
of lead in condor blood, showing that ingestion of lead even in low levels can compromise condor
health and immune systems. New isotope studies allow scientists
to track exposure levels over
time using condor feathers.


Dan Taylor provided a policy perspective on the condor/lead ban issue. Banning lead ammunition
is seen as a culture war, with some feeling a lead ban is an “assault on rural America”. While
recent

lead ban state legislation has failed, largely due to the power of NRA lobbying efforts, Dan
believes that eliminating lead from ammunition is winnable over the long term.


November election postmortem: Dan Taylor shared his views on why Prop 21 lost, and

so badly


in summary, a negative, angry voter mood.


SPECIAL NOTE ON BIRD FESTIVAL/ASSEMBLY: Folks, many of the most popular birding
field trips are at or near capacity. To ensure that you get to go on the trip of your choice, we
suggest you register AS
AP for the festival/assembly.

www.ca.audubon.org/assembly.php



********************************************************************************
*****


My role as your SoCal Council Rep: I seek to advocate for chapters at the state level and act as a
conduit for information
-
sharing between southern California chapters a
nd the Audubon
California staff and board.
If you have chapter issues you would like
me
to address, please
contact me at
redfern@sandiegoaudubon.org

or at 858
-
273
-
7800, ext 102.


11:00 am

Audubon California update


-
Audubon California Assembly/San Diego Bird Festival, March 4
-
6, 2011

-
Volunteer of the Year Award


deadline Jan 15, 2011. Your Board must
send your
nomination by then and awards will be given out at Assembly.

-
State Parks Endowment Grant


deadline Jan 15, 2011. Details
http://ca.audubon.org/chapters_grants.php

-
Audubon California and Renewable energy in IBAs in Southern California

(Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan for the Mojave, Colorado and Sonoran
deserts, Golde
n Eagles and wind and solar projects, Altamont, and California’s Renewal
Energy Portfolio Standards).

-
Annual Reports


THANK YOU! All have been turned in by December 31, 2010 deadline
except for Whittier Audubon.


LOS CERRITOS WETLANDS



Special presenta
tion

Mary Parsell, Janice Dahl, and
Clarann Levakis

brought us up to date on El Dorado
Audubon’s long history since the 70s working to protect, restore and monitor the
wetlands, and the chapter’s role in recent and future acquisitions and actions related t
o
the Los Cerritos Wetlands Audubon Important Bird Area.

With the purchase of the recent Hellman Property, the wetlands in public ownership
now amount to about 200 acres.

This is a fine example of a chapter adopting and advocating for “their patch.”

NOTES taken by Garry George, but not reviewed for accuracy.

Next meeting is Saturday, May 7 at Lake Perris. Details to be posted on
www.ca.audubon.org/chapters.php