Well what a fiscal year to have gotten over and what an incredible fall for the current year to now be experiencing at this halfway position. As many of you know the HWF has a fiscal year July 1 through June 30. We just closed out the 2011 -2012 year with the Annual Meeting on Friday Dec 15. So many things to touch on.
Comments on the Annual General Meeting:
1. Dr. David Bird moved and the Directors unanimously passed to thank all the volunteers from the key mods to all those contributing by posting questions and answers to the various Forums, Facebook etc. I am reluctant to make specific kudos simply because so many do so much. JudyB, with her expanding group of mods and different levels of helpers, totally keeps the web going. She has become our webmaster as well as web manager and Karen keeps me going or pointed to the next presentation. I can't leave this without acknowledging that Mary again seems to enjoy directly assisting in my talks or being a 'bald eagle widow' -- I am not sure which prevails. Needless to say in addition to being the Foundation Secretary she is the resident Foundation social convener: chief cook and bottle washer -- I can only hope she does not read this! Again, and with the confusion of fiscal years and calendar years, it is best to simply say that Nancy has again produced a wondrous calendar with image contributions by so many. The Directors and I pass along our sincere appreciation for all your time, devotion and contributions.
2. Susan Muraja moved and the Directors unanimously wanted to pass along another tribute to Richard Pitt for all he had done to bring the HWF cams to the world. I will be writing a personal letter to Shirley Pitt. Without Richard's total dedication to our project it would not have seen the light of day or developed as one of the pioneering live wildlife streaming cam sites of the world. They noted that the volunteers donated over $11,000 to fund educational elements in Richard's name. We have yet to decide what element to dedicate in his name. Of course some eagles were named because of him -- Linux and Goldwing -- to honor Richard's commitment to the Linux systems and to remember him and his large touring bike. I passed along to the Directors the reluctance of many to name a nest or chicks specifically after him in case the site came to a disastrous end. My suggestion is to name our archival system, where we will ultimately be archiving all 24/7 captured images, as the Richard Pitt Archival Center -- or affectionately known as the 'Pitt' into which all images are stored.
3. Hancock reported that last year end activities were slowed down by Richard's failing health but particular thanks are to be extended to Ken Cillis and son Mike for not just overseeing the cams during the last of the season but more importantly getting their heads into starting and then preparing and getting them to the web for this season. A record number of 5 nests (12 cams!), the underwater cam and both Chehalis Tower cams -- most with PTZ cams are functional. Good work Ken and Mike. During the 2011 fall it was not feasible to install the Chehalis cams but that has been overcome by Ken for the fall of 2012 and we have been privileged to see thousands of wintering eagles feeding, squabbling and becoming eagles -- for me an awesome sight.
4. Donations were a little down from the previous year but, between having fewer cams installed due to Richard's down time, we had more funds available to purchase new cams for the 2012 - 2013 seasons -- a total of 15 cams were re-installed or cleaned or were replaced or added. As noted by the Directorate, the upcoming 2013 nesting season should offer unprecedented opportunity for viewing since all five nests have both HD cams and at least one PTZ cam. Two other fine contributions continued again this year: Lafarge Cement continued to fund their cams and Russ and Ellen Cmolik continued their support of the incredible White Rock Nest. This year also saw us get continued support from Delta Cable for the Delta 2 nest and Shaw Cable initiated the Shaw Cable TV distribution of our White Rock streams on the local Shaw Cable TV stations. This experiment was sufficiently successful that Shaw Cable is expanding their funding and coverage of several additional sites for the New Year, hopefully giving us access to even more and different viewers. This might lead to some cross-country TV coverage. Finally, Diana and Mike Seear have been and are continuing to fund the development of a fine new web site, with Keta and the mods working closely together, which should be functional in 2013.
5. Susan Muraja offered to redo our US Government Income Tax Deductibility application. When we made the first application it was through the State of Washington as a "Foreign Non-profit" and while we were approved for their Tax Deductible Donation Status as a 501(c)(3) organization their State approval only allowed deductions from donors who live in Washington State and who had made money in Canada. A bit restrictive! After a year of applications that status has been cancelled and Susan will reapply for the Federal domestic status so any US person or company can get a Tax Receipt for a donation to the HWF. This US Tax Deductibility Status should enable some of the upcoming Fundraising efforts to be more effective. Of course we still have the ability to issue Tax Receipts for Canadian donations.
6. David Hancock reported and was given full support to move forward on encouraging as much new stewardship interaction as possible, particularly with other ecologically based groups like Stream Keepers etc. We would like to install several more underwater cams and are open to suggestions from other groups. If anybody has unused underwater housing we would be pleased to accept these. Secondly, with 10 PTZ cams now installed we need to expand our encouragement of "zoomers" -- those volunteers who wish to control these PTZ cams and work at finding the best images at their favorite sites. Another major objective, which needs some additional funding, is to establish key elements of the production facilities, including the storage facilities where the full HD streams of each cam can be stored for future reference and use. The Foundation participated in many "Conservation Fairs" where our volunteers displayed videos, our live streaming cams on big screens and gave out information -- again thanks for the work, time and funding -- particularly to Karen who is our Project Coordinator. This year saw us get involved with the initiation of the Harrison Salmon Stronghold -- an organization of community and government groups interested in working to preserve the Harrison - Chehalis River system -- the best salmonid river in Canada. Finally the HWF worked extensively with the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival and Sts'ailes First Nations to bring about the expanded 4 weekend Bald Eagle Festival. The work on developing the Bald Eagle Interpretative Center on the Sts'ailes land is progressing slowly and still in need of funding. Also a particular thanks to Jo Anne and Rob Chadwick of Fraser River Safari Tours for all the opportunities to travel the Harrison on their tour boat and to see and talk about eagles.
Hancock Wildlife Foundation