2008-2009 Annual Report

Board Report June 2008-June 2009

Board Members: 2008-2009
president:        Larry Bogan
vice-president:        Sue Abbott
secretary:        Doug Linzey
treasurer:        Jean Gibson-Collin
Active representatives of N.S. naturalist societies
AFNS:            Jon Percy
BNS:             Patrick Kelly
HFN:            Peter Webster
NSBS:            David Hughes
NSWFS:        Heather Drope
SSNC:            James Hirtle
At Large:         Jim Wolford

Summary 2008-2009 and Status

Nature Nova Scotia has been active in representing Nova Scoitia naturalists on national forums as well as provincial commitees and coalitions.

NNS has had active participation from naturalist societies in Halifax, the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore. The naturalists in other areas either do not wish to be part of an provincial organization or do not maintain formal communications. The board of NNS meets quarterly and conducts much of its day-to-day business via its email list-server, FNSN@yahoogroups.com.

The number of naturalists societies has decreased since the formation of FNSN in 1990 and many of the clubs are smaller with problems in getting executive to run the societies. However, a new naturalist club has recently been formed in the Milford area of East Hants and several of the larger Societies are healthy and are maintaining their participation by local naturalists. A newsletter and good programs and field trips seems to be important.

N.S. naturalists are fortunate to have several other organizations, such as Ecology Action and CPAWS, that are concerned with the natural environment in Nova Scotia and do much advocacy work . In addition there are many other local groups that work to preserve the natural environment in their area. NNS cooperates and works with these groups in most situations.

Meetings:

AGM 2008 – Barrington, N.S.
A very successful meeting with many field trips and good attendance by local naturalists. This shows the value of having the NNS AGM in various parts of the province.

Quarterly Board Meetings
1. 20 Sept 2008 – Wolfville, N.S. (6 present)
2. 17 Jan 2009 – Bridgewater, N.S. (8 present)
3. 25 Apr 2009 – Halifax, N.S.(9 present)

No member society was willing to host the N.N.S. AGM 2009 so it was organized by the N.N.S. board and held at Grand Pre, N.S.
  
Business:

A presentation and submission to the Voluntary Planning on the N.S. DNR Strategy. The VP report emphasized many of the ideas that NNS and other naturalist groups supported. We are waiting for the next step in the plan by DNR.
A new brochure on for NNS is planned and will provide more information on NNS to the public.
Donations of $250 to For Our Birds 2008 Conference and Cape Sable IBA Committee.
Developing policies in anticipation of questions on NNS points of view.
    – Tidal Energy Policy (proposed policy in place)
    – N.S. Coastal Policy (in conjunction with development in the NSCC)
    – Wind Energy Policy
A new website design (www.naturens.ca) and location: moved from chebucto.ns.ca to nature1st.net where it can and using Content Management System so that it is more fexible and feature rich. It is now capable of being edited by many editors and support user sign-in for forum discussions. N.S. Young Naturalist Club is on nature1st.net also (ync.nature1st.net) using similar software. Note: Other member naturalists groups are welcome to request a site on the system.
Big Tree Search project still on-going with a new website containing improve presentation of data and on-line data collection. Only a few trees have been added this year.
The naturens list-server on Chebucto Community Network is still very popular and widely used by naturalists all over the province.

Consideration of the future for NNS 
• revisit the purpose of NNS (promote natural history; promote clubs; education; opportunity for naturalist community to contribute to 
provincial & local discussions relating to environment & things that affect nature)
• board operation & effectiveness (need alternates from each club; teamwork & sharing; pay travel expenses?)
• possible staff person 
• financing (project related)

Representations on External Commitees

Canadian Nature Forum (Nature Canada) – Larry Bogan
– conference calls about once a month with provincial nature federations across Canada
– long-time president of Nature Canada, Julie Gelfand, left Nov 2008
– 2008 acting president: Ruth Catana
– new president: Ian Davidson
– Memorandum of Understanding for the provincial federations and Nature Canada on
  working together as a forum on Natural History for Canada

Canadian Nature Network web portal (Nature Canada) Larry Bogan
http://www.canadiannaturenetwork.ca
– looking for funding to expand the functionality of the site
– looking for how to best use the site for networking among naturalist in Canada
– most naturalist clubs do not need another website so this is not its purpose

NS Coastal Coalition – Larry Bogan
– working with the government of N.S. to establish planning for the coastal areas
http://ccns.chebucto.org/

Nova Forest Alliance – Doug Linzey 
http://www.novaforestalliance.com

Forest Technical Advisory Committee  – Jamie Simpson (for EAC plus NNS)

NS Habitat Conservation Habitat Fund – Joan Czapalay, 
– grants from provincial fees for wildlife habitat and research
http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/habfund/

Caretaker Group for IBA's  (Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada) – Sue Abbott

Observations 

Members of the board of Nature Nova Scotia has been the driving force its operations. Recently, the board has been concerned with making NNS more effective and visible as well as better understood by the members of their clubs.

NNS is the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists and was created to represent the naturalist clubs at the provincial level. In that context, NNS draws its authority and capabilities from the member clubs. All of its executive/board are members first of one of the naturalists societies. The member societies have not been as active in NNS as they had been in the first 10 years of the society. As an example, the AGM's in the 1990's were well attended, always put on by a member society and provided a great place to meet, mix and network. At present the attendance to AGM's is down and few outside the board and former board members attend the AGMs. There seems to be less interest in participating in province-wide gatherings. NNS needs a renewed mandate from the member clubs to continue in its tasks.

The Federation of N.S. Naturalists Newsletter requires effort that the board does not have and as a result it has not been published very often. Is there a substitute than is as effective but easier to publish? Perhaps an email newsletter or other form.

Perhaps the following with help NNS.
– Ask all member societies to have two representatives to NNS, the board member and alternate. 
– Ask both the board member and alternate to attend meetings and participate in committees etc.
– Ask the member societies to help NNS be more visible to their members and urge them to participate in its province-wide activities.

Respectfully submitted:
Larry Bogan, president
14 June 2009

—– Glossary —–
NNS – Nature Nova Scotia
FNSN – Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists
BNS – Blomidon Naturalists Society
AFNS – Annapolis Field Naturalists Society
NSWFS – Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society
NSBS – Nova Scotia Bird Society
HFN – Halifax Field Naturalists
SSNC – South Shore Naturalists Club
CPAWS NS – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Nova Scotia
EAC – Ecology Action Centre
NSNT – Nova Scotia Nature Trust
BSC – Bird Studies Canada
NSDNR – Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
NSCC – Nova Soctia Coastal Coalition
IBA – Important Bird Areas