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Bylaws...

Approved and updated July 2006
Updated again 12 April 2007
Last updated 20 March 2008

IDAHO BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE BYLAWS

I. NAME AND AFFILIATION

The Idaho Bird Records Committee, abbreviated IBRC, and referred to hereafter as the "Committee," is a committee of the Idaho Audubon Council, Incorporated.

II. PURPOSE

IBRCís purpose is to:

  • Establish procedures for submitting reports of rare or unusual bird sightings in Idaho.
  • Evaluate reports of rare or unusual bird sightings in Idaho.
  • Permanently maintain, for future reference, all original submitted bird reports and subsequent Committee comments and votes.
  • Establish standards of observation and reporting that will increase knowledge of birds found in Idaho.
  • Provide a means by which sight reports can gain universal acceptance as valuable scientific data.
  • Publish data on all reports receiving a decision.
  • Publish and maintain an official Checklist of Idaho Birds and an official List of Idaho Review Species.

III. MEMBERSHIP

Composition

The Committee shall consist of ten people: seven "Voting Members," one of whom is the "Chair," one of whom is the "Secretary," two "Alternate Voting Members" that vote in the place of any of the seven Voting Members as instructed by the Secretary, and two "Non-voting Members," one of whom serves as webmaster and maintains the Internet site (http://idahobirds.net [hereafter "the Internet Site"]), both of whom also advise and assist with organizational tasks.

Qualifications

Anyone who has demonstrated an ability in, and knowledge of, field identification of birds is eligible. Eligible members must have an email address and have access to the Internet Site.

Election and Term of Office

All Committee Members, including the Chair and Secretary, will serve on the Committee for three years starting on June 1, 2006. All IBRC members are listed on the IBRC page of IdahoBirds.net.

The Alternate members will vote on records as a substitute for an absent members as arranged by the Secretary. If a member is unable to vote within a two week period of a record being open for voting, they should notify the Secretary. The Secretary will then arrange for an Alternate to vote. The Alternate may not vote on Committee business.

At the first annual meeting called by the Chair, the Committee will work to establish rules for election of members and terms of office which must be included in these Bylaws by June 1, 2008.

Responsibilities of the Chair

  • Call and preside at Committee meetings regardless of meeting format.
  • Ensure proper application of the Bylaws.
  • With a majority vote of a quorum of Voting Members, appoint a Secretary.
  • With a majority vote of a quorum of Voting Members, appoint chairs of subcommittees when deemed appropriate.
  • Ensure that the Checklist of Idaho Birds and List of Idaho Review Species remain current.
  • With the Secretary, ensure that all appropriate evidence, including Committee comments concerning accepted or rejected bird reports, is made available.
  • Serve on, and direct, the Checklist Committee.

Responsibilities of the Secretary

  • Maintain a current, master copy of these Bylaws.
  • Keep, or cause to keep, minutes from any Committee meeting.
  • Send, or cause to send, a note of appreciation to those submitting reports.
  • The Secretary position is a Voting Member; the Secretary will vote on reports before sending them to Committee to avoid being influenced by other votes.
  • Promptly inform the Committee when submitted rare bird reports are ready for a vote.
  • Tabulate Committee votes. Inform, or cause to inform, the person(s) submitting the report and the Committee members the results of any vote.
  • Recirculate reports that have not received a decisive vote.
  • With the Chair, ensure that all appropriate evidence, including Committee comments concerning accepted or rejected bird reports, is made available.

Responsibilities of Voting Members

  • Vote on all reports expeditiously.
  • Vote in all elections and on all proposals in a timely manner or before any reasonable deadline established by the Secretary.
  • Attend Committee meetings called by the Chair.

Responsibilities of Alternates and Non-voting Members

  • Alternates: Help and advise as needed. Complete a proxy vote for any Voting Member temporarily unable to perform that duty.
  • Webmaster: Maintain IBRCís presence on the Internet Site. Help and advise as needed.

Removals

The Committee may remove, with cause, any Voting Member, Alternate, or Non-voting Member who is delinquent in performance of duties, or acts in a manner that reflects poorly on the Committee.

Removal requires a super-majority (5-1 or 6-0) of all Voting Members.

Vacancies and Special Elections

If the Committee loses a Member during mid-term, the Chair shall immediately conduct a Special Election during a called meeting. The electee shall serve the remaining term of the person replaced and is eligible for future Committee membership.

IV. MEETINGS

Meetings of the Committee shall be held at a time and place set by the Chair for the purpose of conducting elections and transacting any other business as may be brought before the Committee. An agenda shall be provided to each Member prior to the meeting. Meetings can be conducted in a variety of formats: in person or electronically, including email, telephone (conference call), or Internet chat room. Five Voting Members participating in any Meeting, regardless of format, constitute a quorum and a quorum is required for a Meeting to be considered valid.

V. BYLAWS

The Committee determines IBRC Bylaws and procedures and shall regularly review (at least once every five years) the Bylaws and other procedures. Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of a quorum of Voting Members at a meeting called by the Chair. All Committee decisions which are not treated elsewhere in the Bylaws shall be made by a majority vote of a quorum of Voting Members.

VI. RECORDS AND VOTING

For the purpose of this Committee and these Bylaws, a "report" is considered to be a written documentation, submitted to the Committee, as proof of the identity of a sighted, heard, taped, collected, banded, or photographed bird.

Reports Reviewed

The Committee will review reports, substantiated with any or all forms of documentation, for:

  • Any species that is potentially a first State of Idaho record.
  • Any species on the List of Idaho Review Species (see Section VII).
  • Any rare or difficult to identify species as designated by the Committee and specified on the List of Idaho Review Species.
  • Any species that is geographically or temporally rare may be evaluated at the discretion of the Committee.
  • Any subspecies and hybrids at the discretion of the Chair and posted in a special section on the Internet Site.
  • Any specimens or banding results will be treated in the same manner as other reports.

Submissions

The Committee prefers that reports be submitted using the Committee's Official Report Form available at the Internet Site. Forms may also be obtained from the Secretary. Further evidence, such as photographs, digital image, video, audio recording, or drawings are encouraged.

Circulation Procedures

The Secretary is responsible for the following circulation procedures:

  • Determine if the report meets circulation criteria (either a potential first Idaho record or on the List of Idaho Review Species).
  • If the report fails to meet criteria, thank the observer in writing for the report and explain why the report need not be reviewed by the Committee.
  • If the report meets criteria, thank the observer in writing for the report.
  • Affix to each report a unique number, starting with "1" for each calendar year followed by a hyphen and then the letter "A" for potential first state record, and "B" for all potential records thereafter. The letter A or B is followed by another hyphen and then the year the report was submitted for review (for example, 1-A-2015). (Note: all dates before 2015 read only the last two digits of the date, for example 1-A-14)
  • Endeavor to post all reports to the Internet Site within one week of receipt. The Secretary may, however, solicit other observers and supporting evidence available for a particular sighting by sending a message to IBLE and Inland-NW-Birders before posting the report for a Committee vote.
  • Notify the Voting Members that a new report is ready for a vote.

Receipt by Voting Members

Each Voting Member must judge the reportís validity and submit a vote, including their own reports (no disqualifications or abstentions allowed). Each Voting Member must use the Official Voting Form on the Internet Site. Voting Members are encouraged to vote in a timely manner (within two months after the Secretary notifies the Voting Members that a vote is required). An extension may be granted by the Secretary either to the Committee as a whole (that is, for a difficult record) or to an individual for any valid reason (upon request by that individual to the Secretary).

Voting Criteria

Criteria used by a Voting Member for acceptance or rejection of a report are based on that member's knowledge and experience and will not be specifically addressed in these Bylaws. Voting Members are encouraged, however, to accept or reject reports on the basis of more-or-less objective criteria, such as the adequacy of the field marks reported or the conditions under which observations were made. The veracity of the observer should not be questioned without good cause.

Only four types of votes are permitted:

  • Accept
  • Not acceptable, specific identification not established
  • Not acceptable, natural occurrence questionable
  • Not acceptable, establishment of introduced population questionable.

Official Voting Form

The vote of each Voting Member together with commentary must be submitted to the Secretary on the Official Voting Form on the Internet Site. The Official Voting Form must include, at a minimum, the (1) report number, (2) species reported, (3) name of the Voting Member, (4) date of the vote, (5) the vote, and (6) comments.

Comments

Voting Members must supply Comments to justify their votes.

Consultations

For the first vote (first circulation), a Voting Member shall not discuss a report with another Voting Member until both have voted. If a report requires additional votes (second or third circulations), pre-vote consultations are encouraged among Voting Members. On any circulation, a Voting Member may consult anyone outside the Voting Members of the Committee before Voting. Information gathered will be added as an addendum to the record being considered.

First State Records

The Committee prefers that reports of potential first state records have some form of physical documentation, such as photographs, sound recordings, specimens, verified band numbers, and so on. A first state record may be accepted without physical documentation, however, with these considerations in mind: (1) the species is obvious, easy to identify, and cannot be confused with a similar species; (2) the observer is familiar with the species; (3) the observer is known by the Committee as a careful, competent observer with previous experience in documenting rare birds; and (or) (4) multiple, competent observers submit separate, careful documentation.

Accepted first state records will be listed as either "verified with physical evidence" or "accepted but not verified with physical evidence." First state record submissions that involve only a single observer may be accepted as hypothetical and added to the Checklist of Idaho Birds as such. Species shall remain on the hypothetical list until a report meeting the above criteria is accepted by the Committee.

Tabulation

The Secretary shall tabulate votes after all Voting Members have voted.

Decisions

First round votes must be unanimous, either 7-0 or 0-7. If the vote for a first round report is unanimous, then voting is considered decisive and a second round is unnecessary. First round reports receiving less than unanimous voting proceed to a second round. After the first round, votes in subsequent rounds will be completed after the Secretary posts Voting Member comments on the Internet Site from the preceding round of voting, and informs Voting Members that a new vote is required.

For second round votes to be decisive and stop the report from going to a third round of voting, the vote must be 5-2 (or higher) or 2-5 (or lower). Reports with a 4-3 or 3-4 vote must move to a third round. Reports in the third round of voting will be accepted if the vote is 5-2 (or higher); reports receiving any other combination (4-3, 3-4, 2-5 [or lower]) will be rejected.

Another Submission

A report that has received a final Committee decision, whether accepted as a record or rejected, may be submitted a second time at the discretion of the Committee by a majority vote of the Voting Members. Such a report shall be resubmitted and circulated following the same procedure as a new submission, except that it should be accompanied by all previous votes and comments of the Committee and all new evidence marked as such.

VI. PUBLICATION

Accepted reports will be published immediately by the Committee as records on the Internet Site. This is the responsibility of the Chair and (or) Secretary.

At a minimum, the published data for accepted records will include the name of the species, date(s) of observation, locality, and reporting observers. Other information may be added at the discretion of the Committee.

Reports not accepted as records will be published on the Internet Site as "Reports Not Accepted" including, at a minimum, the name of the species, date(s) of observation, and location. No observer names will be included.

VII. OFFICIAL CHECKLIST OF IDAHO BIRDS AND LIST OF IDAHO REVIEW SPECIES

Checklist of Idaho Birds

The official Checklist will:

  • Follow the AOU Checklist order.
  • Include species common name, season, abundance code, region code, and date of last revision.
  • Be published on the Internet Site and on paper.

List of Idaho Review Species

The official Review List includes:

  • Any species for which no accepted records exist in Idaho; therefore any species not specifically printed on the Checklist of Idaho Birds or on the List of Idaho Review Species is automatically considered a review species.
  • Species that have occurred within Idaho, or on the Idaho side of the Snake River (as depicted in DeLorme), between Idaho and Oregon or Washington four or fewer times per year in each of the ten years immediately preceding the most recent revision of the List of Idaho Review Species.
  • Any rare or difficult to identify species as designated by the Committee.

Changes to the Checklist and Review List

First state records accepted by the Committee will be added immediately to both the Checklist and Review List on the Internet Site; new state records will be included in the next paper printed revision of the Checklist.

The Checklist Committee will oversee reviewing and amending the Checklist of Idaho Birds and List of Idaho Review Species. This three-person committee includes the Chair, who will direct the Checklist Committeeís actions. The Checklist Committee will review both documents at least every three years. Changes to either document may be proposed to the Checklist Committee by any member. The Voting Members will vote on any proposed changes submitted by the Checklist Committee; a majority vote of the quorum is required for acceptance.


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