Nature Nova Scotia 2010-2011 Directors Report AGM June 5, 2011
The issue of the relevance of Nature NS to its member naturalist clubs has been raised repeatedly over the year and we have spent considerable time discussing ways of better servicing the groups. Declining memberships, burnt-out volunteers, and a general malaise about tackling the environmental issues of the day seem to be themes to overcome.
Not that one person has the answers, but letters were sent to each member club asking if President Bob Bancroft could attend one of their meetings and make a presentation.
The Nature NS website has made steady improvements with more information and links. Board meeting minutes will be posted once they have been approved. There is now a blog site open for member contributions. Larry Bogan has also established a Facebook page, which seems to have been adopted by Nature NS email list members as a site for posting photo’s.
Our participation in the Canadian Nature Network continued with Joan Czapalay doing an excellent job of representing the Nova Scotia naturalist community. We supported her nomination and election to the Board of Nature Canada.
We have maintained watching briefs on a number of policies of importance to the province. With NS Dept. Of Natural Resources this has been done through the Nova Forest Alliance (Doug Linzey) and through the strategic planning exercise (forests, biodiversity and parks). The NS Coastal Coalition (Larry and Sue) has/have been dealing with coastal development. Other initiatives include wind power, tidal power, aquaculture, mink farming and biomass exploitation. Elder Albert Marshall, Ray Plourde (EAC) and Bob Bancroft addressed a press conference in Halifax regarding important forestry issues on April 13. Individuals representing 54 groups attended the press conference and proceeded to participate in a rally at Province House. They demanded a stop to current forest practices that degrade the environment. Jim Wolford represented NNS and Joan Czapalay represented Nature Canada. A letter to the editor was written, approved by the NNS Board, and published in the Chronicle Herald Opinion page entitled "Masts to Moonscapes".
A closer working relationship has been established with Laura Lambie and the Young Naturalists Club. This needs to be continued!
Sue Abbott has kept us abreast of developments with Important Bird Areas the activities of Bird Studies Canada. Sue helped Bob write a letter to the Environment Minister, Peter Kent, with comments and recommendations regarding amendments to the list of Wildlife Species at Risk.
Nature NS financially supported the tour of Bridget Stutchbury.
We continue to discuss ideas for the using the funds attained through the 2007 Nature Canada conference in Wolfville, which we sponsored and organized.
Joan Czapalay is doing a fine job representing NNS on the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Board.
The NNS Board meetings each year provide an opportunity for each club representative to give updates on the activities of their respective clubs.
Much of our work and discussion takes place between the face-to-face meetings on a very active board email list. Physical meetings (other than the AGM conference) take place three times a year. The last three were in Wolfville, Truro, and Halifax. Any member is welcome to attend.
Nature NS currently has six active organizational members and about 130 federate and individual members.
Thanks to all the Directors for their enthusiasm and participation, and to Doug Linzey, who helped the President assemble this report.