Bylaws Template for Conservation Affairs Committee and Position Statements

Every subunit is different, but when it comes to engaging in policy or conservation affairs related issues, our strength is in consistency and our ability to communicate across all levels of the Society. To maximize our effectiveness, the Government Affairs Department recommends the use of the following template bylaws when referencing Conservation Affairs, Conservation Review, or Resolutions and Public Statements.

Article AA: Management and Finances

Section 1: Resolutions, Position Statments, and Public Statements

Definitions

  • Policy: the existing body of principles found in the bylaws, minutes of previous executive board and membership meetings, previous position statements, and resolutions. Policy is broader than statements and resolutions in that it provides direction rather than specific action.
  • Position Statement: describes the chapter/section’s position on a specific issues. A position statement recommends action and is primarily for internal documentation of the chapter/section’s position on a specific issue.
  • Public Statement: a position statement in format suitable for external distribution (i.e. letters, formal comments, etc). Public statements are intended to stimulate action on a position of the on a specific issue.

Process

Two or more members may submit resolutions or statements to the Conservation Affairs Committee (Article BB, Section 2D) for possible consideration by the chapter/section’s executive board. These shall be accepted or rejected by the board and, if involving new policy, prepared for submission to the membership. Such new items must be approved by two-thirds of the chapter/section's membership voting or be made available for chapter/section member review and comment, and then approved by the chapter/section council. They must be transmitted to The Wildlife Society, the section representative, and the section president or presidents of the chapters within the section, if approved. Actions falling within previously established chapter/section policies may be carried out by any chapter/section officer upon unanimous approval of the executive board.

On issues where there are no previously established chapter/section policies and that demand action on a reasonably short notice, the president, or designated representative, may present a public statement on behalf of the chapter/section, provided that:

  1. The concept of the statement be brought to the executive board’s attention and is accepted by them prior to public issuing of the statement; and
  2. Copies of the statement are sent to the membership within 15 days after public issuing of the statement.

Furthermore, the chapter/section may issue statements pertaining to subjects in its locale:

  1. When the content of the statement falls within the established policy of The Wildlife Society; and
  2. In the absence of existing position statements by The Wildlife Society.

Society Policy

The chapter/section will not issue statements that may be in conflict with the policy of The Wildlife Society without prior approval of the Society’s Council. All statements will follow the Subunit Policy Guidelines. The membership, The Wildlife Society, the section representative, and section president or presidents of the chapters within the section must receive copies of any resolution, position statement, or public statement within 15 days of such action.

Article BB: Committees

Section 1: Appointments

The chapter/section president shall consider suggestions of the executive board in appointing chairs of all regular standing committees, except the Nominating and Elections Committee (Article #, Section 1), and all special committees such as awards and hospitality. Committee chairs shall complete their committees with the president’s assistance. All committee chairs shall submit a written summary of committee activities to the president and the secretary-treasurer (or secretary) before the close of each annual chapter/section business meeting.

Section 2: Duties of Standing Committees

Clause D: Conservation Affairs

This committee shall:

  1. Review legislative proposals, administrative regulations, environmental assessments and impact statements, and other subjects or issues affecting wildlife or wildlife habitat within the organizational area of the chapter/section and make recommendations to the executive board for any action that should be taken by the chapter/section;
  2. Prepare white papers on critical wildlife issues, and other subjects or issues affecting wildlife or wildlife habitat within the organizational area of the chapter/section;
  3. Receive proposed position statements, resolutions, and public statements from two or more members at any time, and shall prepared, submit and recommend action on such items to the Executive Board in accordance with Article AA, Section #; and
  4. Communicate with The Wildlife Society’s Director of Government Affairs to elevate local or regional issues that may have national or international significance or precedent setting.

The composition of the committee shall consist of:

  1. At least three members, including the Conservation Affairs Committee Chair, appointed by the chapter/section; and
  2. One representative/liaison from each chapter within the section.