Announcements from the September General Meeting

The announcements for September are below. Included in the announcements are details of the events discussed below with links to websites and email addresses.  September_2017_Meeting_All_AnnouncementsV3

Support for Wildlife Effected by Hurricane Harvey
We usually present the projects that we will be undertaking in the next month or so. At the last board meeting we discussed how the chapter might assist wildlife displaced by hurricane Harvey. We resolved to do the following:
1. We would participate in North Texas Giving Day as we had originally planned. Donations received on Giving Day, September 14, would be treated as a donation to the North Texas Chapter; we would not redeploy these funds to another agency assisting wildlife as the rules for Giving Day would not allow that.
2. Donations may be made to the North Texas Master Naturalists through the end of September at which time we will assess what we have received and decide where the funds might be used. We want to make certain that whatever we support will be used to assist wildlife. Examples of such assistance would include habitat restoration, dealing with displaced or injured animals, rebuilding infrastructure that was destroyed that supported wildlife, and etc.
3. Donations may be made in a number of ways:
o Use the DONATE tab on the home page of the NTMN website to contribute using PayPal. You will use your credit card to pay, but as always PayPal will receive the money and deposit in the NTMN account and we will never see your credit card number.
o You may send a check via the US Mail to our mailbox at the AgriLife Office.
 10056 Marsh Lane
Suite B-101
Dallas, TX
o You may have contributed at the chapter meeting as we passed around a hat and our treasurer, David Reid, took the contributions to deposit in our account.  We have collected $526 so far.

Thanks in advance for your generosity. We will keep you posted and at the end of the month share with you the outcome of this effort. Attached is a list of agencies that we have identified that are working with wildlife issues. Additional suggestions would be appreciated.  Wildlife+Assistance+Options+for+Harvey_Linked

Using the NTMN listserv
The program we use to send out email to the chapter is a product provided by Yahoo! years ago. In addition to being rather ancient as a computer program we also have concerns because Yahoo! has not made any upgrades for years to the program and with Verizon acquiring the program when they purchased Yahoo! there isn’t much of a future for the program. The board has looked at more modern alternatives; the most common is Mail Chimp. What the Yahoo! Group email offers that is not available with other group email programs is the ability for a member to send a message to everyone in the group without having to submit the message for approval before the message is sent. In the August board meeting it was clear that many on the board thought this was a feature that we did not want to give up.

What we rely upon is for those sending messages to follow the guidelines that we have published online as part of our chapter operating handbook. Essentially we want to restrict content of messages to the promotion or announcement of events which inform the membership of “natural resource conservation and shall not promote advocacy in any way.”

Recently, messages were sent by a member in response to an announcement of a conference. The responding messages began a discussion of controversial content. After warnings, the ability for the member to send messages to the group was suspended. We rely on our members following the rules of common sense and not encumbering our members with extraneous messaging. The NTMN group email is not the vehicle for discourse and a more up-to-date email program wouldn’t remedy that. I have attached the Listserve Guidelines we have published on the use of the group email.  Appendix-I-4-Listserve-Guidelines

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk
As you may have seen on the front page of the Dallas Morning News on September 13, Harvey the Hurricane Hawk was released by Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Plano at  Oak Point Park on Wednesday.
Article from Dallas Morning News is here.

YouTube video of the release at Oak Point Park is only a minute long.

Texas Master Naturalist Annual Conference
The TMN Annual conference is Friday to Sunday, October 20 – 22 in Corpus Christi. Registration is open until Septerber 29 and there are a limited number of $200 scholarships available to our members. You may find details on the scholarship on the attached application form.

Ride and Room Sharing at the TMN Annual Conference
A number of members would like to attend the meeting and share a ride to Corpus Christi and a room during the conference to reduce their expenses. If you are interested in sharing a room or a ride, contact Dana Wilson who has volunteered to facilitate getting people together.

Wild Texas Film Tour
Check out the Wild Texas Film tour which will be shown in Dallas (Texas Theater) and Fort Worth (Amon Carter Museum). There is a link to an interesting trailer for the films.

TPWD Grants
The Wildlife Diversity Program of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has announced the FY2018 Call for Proposals, funded by the Horned Lizard, Hummingbird, and Rattlesnake Conservation License Plates. Grants will go to fund research projects benefitting plants and nongame wildlife. Proposals require a 2 page application and ZERO match. See the attached description of the program. Proposals are due September 25. The attached document lists the funding priorities.

As a volunteer at one or more of our partners, you may know of an opportunity to a fund a project that would be a benefit. Connemara and 12 Hills have received grants in the recent past. If you have an idea let the board know as soon as possible. We have grant writers who may assist.

Finding Common Ground and Advancing Positive Conservation Outcomes in Environmental Issues
This program will be given in Boerne on October 6 with 5 hours of AT. We are looking into getting a group together in Dallas to watch the streaming video of this program and getting a few hours of AT. The focus is on the language of effective communication with examples of successful environmental initiatives and opportunities to advance conservation issues.  Watch the calendar for details.

Thank you for your participation,

Bruce Stewart
North Texas Master Naturalist


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