Monday, October 25, 2010

Executive Committe Meets

FNPS officers from all corners of the state met earlier this month at  Turkey Lake State Park outside Orlando. Discussions covered a wide range of topics: exciting new projects were being considered at the same time hard decisions had to be made over funding issues.

I had to leave before the finish of the meeting, and these notes in no way constitute minutes.  Here are few of the the discussion topics:

The Suwannee River Water Management District has continued to sell off surplus lands that many think are important for conservation. After FNPS wrote a letter of protest, the DEP did, too, and so did Gov. Crist, but to no avail. At this point, the District is engaged in adopting a rule that defines their concept of what "surplus" means, after which further action (filing suit) can be taken by others.

Biofuels is a pet passion of Adam Putnam, a possible new Commissioner of Agriculture. Caution is advised: biofuel plants tend to be rampant growers, and most have not been tested for invasive potential.

The Land Management Partnership committee reported 100% participation by FNPS members on the reviews this year. Every five years each parcel of state-owned and managed land must have its management plan reviewed and updated. FNPS has one of the coveted seats at the table for these reviews. FNPS volunteers were present as active voices at every review.  An added bonus has been that participants have tended to, in effect, take ownership of the sites they help review, and motivated their chapters to get out there and help with management. This program has been a big success and gets the FNPS name in the limelight. SWFWMD actually called them to ask for their help this fall and to finalize a working relationship.

Greater sponsorship is needed for our conferences. The Executive Director has sent out a spreadsheet with potential sponsors and their contact information. Chapters are encouraged to participate by selecting which of the potential sponsors to call, and coming up with others.

Many ideas related to fundraising were discussed. A subcommittee is already working on the first-ever
Annual Report to be used with seeking fundraising and grants. This paragraph is short but the discussion was loooooooooooong.

A generous offer from a Conradina Chapter member to help run an online store had the group re-visiting the issue of merchandising. What do you think, readers? Would you buy FNPS t-shirts, hats, bags, mouse pads, coffee cups online?  Are there other items you would use?

sue dingwell

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