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09/04/2009

Updates on Board Projects

Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet Around the Corner 

Club leaders will gather in San Francisco on September 25-26 for the Annual Meeting, which is a time when the Board of Directors and Council of Club Leaders (CCL) come together for dialogue on key organizational concerns. Tina Schulstad, CCL Executive Committee Chair, and I have been coordinating with others to develop a very full agenda. Council delegates have been working on compiling a report on the Financial State of the Chapters for presentation during the meeting.

Topics for the three discussion forums are:
  • Core Chapter Function,
  • Fundraising, and
  • Climate Recovery Partnership – Coordinating National and Local Efforts.
Check for updated agendas and materials for Council and Board meetings. We’re looking forward to engaging discussions! 

On September 26 (Saturday evening), the National Sierra Club Awards Banquet will be held at Cathedral Hill Hotel (also in San Francisco). Please join us to celebrate and recognize Club and community leaders who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment. (It’s not too late to purchase a ticket!)

Board Task Forces Hard At Work – Thanks for Your Input!

The Board of Directors has appointed a number of Task Forces to address conservation and organizational policy. Task forces are task- and/or time-limited to provide advice to the Board on focused, specific topics. The recommendations may, in some cases, be in the form of alternatives. Task Forces are volunteer-driven and led. The Board Executive Committee appoints a lead volunteer who will chair the Task Force. The Executive Director appoints a lead staff to participate on the Task Force. The composition of task forces can vary according to need and can include a mix of volunteers along with chapter, regional and national staff. A link to all current task forces may be found here

Thanks to the efforts of the National Parks Task Force, a new National Parks Policy was recently approved by Board of Directors. Look for Ken Burns' PBS documentary on the history of the national parks starting in September. Burns recognizes the prominent role the Sierra Club has played in that history, a role we can all be proud of. Consider hosting a house party to share a sneak preview of the documentary!

The Natural Gas Fracturing Task Force is soliciting comments on a Draft Unconventional Natural Gas Policy. Reminder that you can read the proposed policy here and comment here. Comment period ends October 12, 2009. 

Chapter Funding Allocation and Chapter Fundraising Task Forces will be looking at the discussion forums during the Annual Meeting (above) as a dynamic way to solicit input.


Interim Policy For Walk-A-Thons and Bike-A-Thons

The Board’s Finance & Risk Management Advisory Committee (FinCom; ) recently became aware that several Club entities had conducted and/or were planning some outings-like events with the potential for a large number of participants, like walk-a-thon, bike-a-thons, hike-a-yhons. After reviewing the Club’s outings policies and the scope of the Club's training for outings leaders, and consulting with the Sierra Club General Counsel, FinCom concluded that conducting these events is an unreasonably high risk activity. The Club is not in the business of staging such events, lacks experience in doing so, and could not do so at industry standard without a significant investment of resources to develop appropriate protocols and training.

Accordingly, FinCom has established an interim policy, effective immediately. It will become final Sierra Club policy if and when ratified by the Board at their Annual meeting in late September.

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David Scott

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