Yvonne BoudreauxPO Box 14235
PresidentAlbuquerque, NM 87191
General Meeting Minutes
Date:2 February 2013
Location:James Joseph Dwyer Memorial Police Substation
12700 Montgomery Blvd NE
1. Call to Order
Overview: Yvonne Boudreaux opened the meeting at 1:10 PM. She noted that the meeting fell on Prairie Dog Day - which is Groundhog Day for Westerners. She thanked everyone for taking time to attend and for his or her continued support.
YIPS: Yvonne thanked for the board members for their hard work, often below radar. Each of the board members provided a brief summary of their roles and responsibilities. The introductions continued around the room with each of the attendees offering a glimpse of his or her involvement with prairie dogs.
NIPS:Prairie dogs are under assault everywhere. Some battles, (such as with the FAA) may never be successful. Other smaller battles (such as against cruelty and ignorance) can be fought and won every day. A little bit of knowledge and basic facts in everybody’s toolbox is formidable. Advocates who care about the ecosystem and this species in particular need to step up and speak out everywhere. Please don’t think that if you don’t have a specific niche or expertise that you can’t make a big difference.
2. The Minutes of the 2012 meeting were approved as issued.
3. Reports of Officers
R. Watt/Treasurer:During 2012, PDP had expenses of $26,942 and an income through contract payments, donations, sales, fundraisers etc., of $27,762 leaving us with a net increase in funds of $820.00. The Weems Artfest and Garage sale were the biggest fundraisers. Ray encouraged members to use their Albertson’s cards as we had raised about $200 in 2012 (the Wilderness Alliance gets over $1000 annually). Ann Ahlander mentioned that many charities use these cards to raise money.
G. Singleton/Site Stewardship: (Given by Y Boudreaux) Graziella could not attend the General Meeting as she was recovering from a cold. Site Stewardship duties will be split during 2013 due to increasing demands on Graziella’s time. Annabeth, Margaret, Ed, Graziella, and Kay S will meet to discuss how best to divide the work. PDP had approximately $500 in donated funds to sustain the colonies along Tramway.
Outreach:(Given by E Urbanski) Jim Trever presentedPDP’s "Prairie Dogs in Peril" lecture 16 times during 2012. The lectures reached a combined audience of approximately 960 individuals or more.
Two of these lectures were actually classes. The first at Festival of the Cranes (20 attendees) and the second was to 15 teacher students at the NM Highlands University in Rio Rancho.
Both classes included videos by Dr. Con Slobodchikoff that were accessed via the Internet and a Wi-Fi connection.
The schedule of 2013 is open at the moment.
A. Fieck/Interface:PDP tabled at a number of events during 2012 including Xeriscape, Fetch-a-Palooza, Earth Day, Bear Fair, Weems, and others. The tentative schedule of events for 2013 is attached.
M. Dowling/Private & singleton rescue: (Given by E Urbanski)Twelve prairie dogs were rescued from private residences during 2012. These come in via direct calls, often referred to PDP by 311. PDP does not charge for these rescues, depending on donations (none) from the homeowner. The calls require fast response as the prairie dog is lost, distressed, and panicked.
- 673 prairie dogs were rescued and relocated during the 2012 season; 326 of the prairie dogs came from the Taos rescue.
- Fifteen squirrels were also relocated.
- PDP will continue to thin and remove prairie dogs at the freeway exits and along Tramway.
- The season will likely run from 1-25 March and 15 June – 15 September.
- Kay Stitelman asked for a clarification on the number of prairie dogs at Indian School as she was concerned about the number remaining; EPU confirmed that 47 was the number removed.
- There are no contracts currently in place for 2013 although we have contacted DOT, COA, APS, Zuni School District, Winrock and other former clients.
- NM Game and Fish may issue PDP a contract for relocation of prairie dogs.
- PDP will be developing a MOU with the BLM for relocation of prairie dogs to their land.
- PDP provided supplemental feeding at the Sevilleta during 2012. Each week 100 pounds of carrots and 200 pounds of feed were distributed on two sites. Thanks go out to those who helped with the feeding.
- PDP has been using PIT tags to mark prairie dogs scheduled for relocation at the Sevilleta. During 2012 these were provided by the PDC, and through a generous donation by Jim Trever. PDP is seeking funds for tags during 2013.
4. Old and Unfinished Business
Sunport: The Sunport and Kirtland continue to poison; PDP does not anticipate any change in their policies as they are beyond public criticism. Members were encouraged to write their representatives at the state and national levels to express their concerns.
Prairie Dog Day: The intended fundraiser did not evolve as planned. Much coordination is required to conduct such an event and without sufficient support (committed volunteers) it is unlikely that one will occur.
5. New Business
Stewardship: Yvonne reviewed changes in our stewardship program. Responsibilities previously held by Graziella would be divided between herself, Margaret D. and Annabeth F. A meeting would be conducted in the near future (including Kay S. to further define roles and responsibilities. A call for volunteers was extended to the attendees.
Ed Uurbanski noted that due to the generous donations of John Wieroniey and Clifford Jake, Prairie Dog Pals had funding to purchasehay and grains for supplemental feeding along Tramway.
Board Changes: Yvonne introduced two new board members, Sharyn Davidson and Clifford Jake who will be board members at large until they have defined their specific responsible.
Volunteer Recognition: Yvonne recognized the contribution of volunteers who had exerted extra effort in the support of the prairie dogs and Prairie Dog Pals.
Becky Davis and Bobbie Capute: Extraordinarystewards in some of the toughest towns around (prairie dog that is)
Lynn Diehl: “Digs up” articles for PDP’sFacebook page
Frances Gauthier: Copy editor, outreach, trapping, relocations, everything
Inara Kuch:Creates beautiful quilts for PDP to raffle each year
Erin McKay: guardian, fosterer of some of the toughest cases, lost paraplegicpd Sandy only yesterday
Jim Trever: All around outreach virtuoso, our power point prince, guardian and fosterer of last chance cases, patron of serious expenses from pit tags to foundation funding above and beyond, and anything needed in between
John Wieroniey and Clifford Jake: Contributed to sustaining the colonies along Tramway
Sharyn Davidson:Creating art and craft work to the benefit of PDP. Her photos grace our Facebook page and the Sevilleta brochure.
Living on Burrowed Time: Living on Burrowed Time is an annual fundraiser conducted by the Humane Society of the United States’ Prairie Dog Coalition (PDC). PDP is a member of the coalition’s alliance of non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, and scientists dedicated to the protection of prairie dogs and restoration of prairie dog ecosystems.
This year the coalition honored Terry Tempest Williams for her work to protect prairie dogs. Mrs. Williams has spent countless hours observing colonies in the field and working behind the scenes to build support for the species. Her 2008 book Finding Beauty in a Broken World brought international attention to the plight of prairie dogs. She is responsible for the creation of Prairie Dog Day, a Groundhog Day for the West. And she has educated hundreds of students on the importance of prairie dogs.
The coalition also honored PDP by bestowing on us their Humane Rescue Award for our efforts to stage, rehabilitate, and eventually release the Taos prairie dogs.
Membership/Staffing:Volunteers are always needed, but the best ones are those who can commit to a specific task, or a specific time during the season. Please look at your schedule, you life and see where you might be able to join our efforts. Some of the most important requirements are sustaining the urban colonies, clerical/office work, website/Facebook updates, tabling/outreach and rescue…and we can always use a hand in the staging facility.
Few people in this room ever met or even knew of Justine Witlox-Becker, but Santa Fe, and the world of prairie dogs lost a tireless advocate on January 5th. Justine defended her beloved prairie dogs with such tenacity that many people trembled or fled before her resolve. Even I would sigh with exasperation when Justine would push so hard for their sake. But clearly, each of us could take a page from her playbook and step up if we can. We need to find time and attention to help pds in the coming season, attracting and recruiting like-minded people to the cause. Be like Frances if you can -she never lets a dinner event, gathering of any kind, even a grocery checkout line go to waste without speaking on their behalf.
EdUrbanski will follow up with Ana Davidson for the list of UNM students who might be tapped to help with PDP activities.
6. Items of interest
2013 fund raising opportunities: PDP is investigating ramping up its appeal for donations and assertively putting out information about any specialty items that may help fund our work. We’ve looked into renting a booth at some of the permanently sited flea market operations to see if even a temporary presence at one of these options would help us achieve more profitability from the donations we receive for our annual garage sale. Should we plan to have more than one a year?
Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center offers tabling space throughout the spring and summer for one weekend a month that might be a smaller test of promoting our merchandise and message… If there is a champion who would take on looking into this further, we would love to see if we could pursue this…
Just to give an idea, years ago one of our advocates, ran a marathon and solicited sponsors to raise funds. It was a great success, and matched up wonderfully with what her skills could offer. Let’s try and think about ways we can keep our mission success high, even without the city funding we have enjoyed in the past…
- Set up a table at Albertsons to promote the PDP card?
- Have a PDP night at Flying Star (Judy Calman promoted NMWA for their fundraiser event by handing out fliers at the door);
- AnnAhlandervolunteered to contribute through music, photography and crafts
- Tabling at the roundhouse during the 2014 Session
- Prairie Dog Day event for 2014.
Other: Frances Gauthier mentioned she had seen someone taking pictures at Travelodge (Central/Tramway) and will follow up to see if there are any plans for development.
Congratulations and thanks go out to Ann Ahlander who won the silent auction bottle of Carlson “Prairie Dog Blush”.
General Meeting Schedule: The next annual meeting will be scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 2014.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 and followed by refreshments and good company!
DOT: Ed and Yvonne met with DOT on Wednesday, 13 February, concerning requests for permits to remove prairie dogs along Tramway and the Freeway.
DOT was quite amenable to issuing us the permits (especially at no cost to them) BUT there were a couple of underlying issues that they wanted to discuss.
The group (Area 3) has been reorganized under a new supervisor who has taken a greater interest in the general appearance of Tramway and the "prairie dog situation" in particular. This is a change from the previous "laissez faire" approach.
DOT has received complaints from a number of residents along tramway about "litter" and has stepped up their program to keep the roadways clean. While they won't remove food from burrows, produce strewn about haphazardly will be considered litter and will be picked up. DOT would appreciate if our volunteers could be encouraged not to litter.
DOT would prefer we didn't feed at all, but recognize that people will take their own initiative. DOT would like for us to remove all the prairie dogs so that this is no longer an issue but will provide no funding to do this, and are appreciativeof our ongoing efforts.
The meeting closed on a positive note and DOT does appreciate our efforts. They will issue us permits for continued removals but would appreciate any help keeping the area policed.