Report from Audubon Council, 29 January 2011

(written by Donald Winslow for the Deep Fork Audubon Society) The Oklahoma Audubon Council met at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on 29 January 2011. Representatives were present from Tulsa Audubon, Payne County Audubon, Indian Nations Audubon, and Deep Fork Audubon. Jane Cunningham emailed an update from the Audubon Society of Central Oklahoma. Eric Beck, Oklahoma Important Bird Areas Coordinator, participated by conference call. Each chapter provided updates. Donald Winslow described Deep Fork's recent activities. Several individuals gave advice for how we might broaden participation in our chapter's events. Suggestions included publishing a newsletter (electronic and/or print) and inviting speakers for presentations. John Kennington offered to give a presentation on eBird ( John also mentioned that start-up funds are still available from the Council if Deep Fork gets a bank account. John Kennington brought us up-to-date on planning for the upcoming Lesser Prairie-chicken Festival in Woodward (15-21 April). John gave Donald several festival flyers to distribute to Deep Fork members. Information on the festival (including the flyer) is available at Eric brought us up-to-date on the Important Bird Areas (IBA) program and habitat management efforts at the Selman Ranch and other Oklahoma IBAs. Unfortunately, his position is no longer funded. Eric was the first paid employee of Oklahoma Audubon, so that brought up the discussion of whether we want to make an effort to find funding for one or more staff members. John expressed that it would be easier to make the case for a staff position to funders if we had more participation in the Council by chapters and Audubon members in Oklahoma. Small contributions from chapters might leverage larger donations from foundations. Donald suggested that there may be ways that the Council could communicate more effectively with the chapters to promote statewide engagement. John agreed to update the calendar at and to provide more regular updates to chapter representatives. At some point the Council will solicit contributions from chapters. Donald offered Shawnee to host next summer's Audubon Council meeting, on 16 July 2011. A meeting room at the Shawnee Public Library should be a suitable venue. We may want to provide refreshments. Gail Storey of the Tulsa Audubon Society suggested that next winter the Deep Fork Audubon Society may want to help organize the Christmas Bird Count for kids at the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge.