2016 Annual Report

Annual Report of the American Wildlife Conservation Foundation

The American Wildlife Conservation Foundation (AWCF) currently consists of supporting and corporate members, with interests in research, habitat management and educational outreach related to fish and wildlife resources. The official year of AWCF is the calendar year. All information in this report is complete through December 31, 2016.

From the Desk of the President, Gary Will

2016 was another successful year for the Foundation. A couple new members were added to the roster and came from various backgrounds. They included a doctor, retired wildlife biologist and natural resource administrator. No major gifts were received this year, however the portfolio continues to be administered through Morgan/Stanley. Richard Capozza continues to be the Foundation’s legal counsel.

In September the membership elected two new officers. Long time member Ron Schroder is stepping down as Secretary and Peg Sauer volunteered to take on this responsibility. Up to this point she was the Vice President and new member Daniel Leete from Hamilton will take her place. Unfortunately the treasurer’s position, vacated by James Glidden, could not be filled at the Fall meeting. At a subsequent meeting in December, Mike Cavanaugh was elected to the Treasure’s position. These new officers shall begin their tenure on January 2, 2017. Gary Will was re-elected as President.

Looking forward the task of the Foundation continues to be the support the three objectives of research, habitat management and conservation education. The need to recruit additional members and new funding sources is paramount. New members will be the officers of the Foundation in the future. New donations especially, Planned Giving, will allow the Foundation to expand the ability to fund grants.

Speaking of the future, two seminars will highlight our spring and summer member’s meetings. In June, we will be going to the Watertown area to get an update from Dr. Curtis from Cornell on a fawn survival study. And, in September we will visit the Cornell Ornithological Lab near Ithaca.

From the Desk of the Vice President, Dr. Peg Sauer

The Vice President represented AWCF at two steering committee meetings of the Capital/Mohawk PRISM (Partnerships in Regional Invasive Species Management) and was a member of the Education/Outreach Working Group.

Two member meetings were organized at the DeWitt Town Hall. In the spring Samuel Peterson from CESF made a presentation on his moose research in New York, and in the fall Nicolas Peidmonte, also from CESF made a presentation on ticks in NYS and their relation to Lyme disease.

In addition, with the assistance of Mike Cavanaugh and in cooperation with the NYS Association of Towns, AWCF developed an RFP for a literature search on effective solutions for feral cat control. The RFP was sent to 10 universities, and John Davis from SUNY Albany was awarded the production of the literature search report for payment of $2,000 on receipt of the report. The projected completion date is mid-April 2017.
  From the Desk of the Treasurer, Jim Glidden

The M&T checking account balance stands at $1,593.20 as of December 31, 2016. Income from members and donors was $2,100. Expenses during 2016 were as follows:

Insurance: $1,195.97
Taxes: $391.00
Tax Preparation: $960.00
Internet Service: $90.00
Window Decals: $345.00
Income from Portfolio: $13,000.00
Grants: $12,000.00
Checking Account Deposits: $15,150.00
Total Expenditures: $14,984.97

N.B. In 2016, $291 in taxes was paid to the Federal Government because the sale of specific stocks in 2015 and was greater ($27,000) than in 2014 ($4,000).

From the Desk of the Finance Chair, Jim Glidden and President, Gary Will

The AWCF investment account continues to be maintained at Morgan/Stanley. This year the Money Market Fund was liquidated to pay for grants. Mr. Fred Shibel continues to advise the Foundation on the management of this portfolio. Two meetings were held this year with Mr. Shibel. The first was with Committee Chair, Jim Glidden and President, Gary Will. The purpose of the meeting was to review the performance of the portfolio and consider investment changes. Then, in December the newly elected Treasurer Mike Cavanaugh, newly elected Vice President Danial Leete and President Gary Will met with Mr. Shibel to review the annual performance of the portfolio and to consider appropriate changes. On December 31, 2015 the portfolio was valued at $259,369.74. On December 31, 2016 the account was $261,736.64. This difference, $2,366.90, and the $13,000 withdrawal represents a 5.9% increase over 2015. The fiduciary cost from Morgan/Stanley remains at about 1% of the portfolio, or $2,500.

From the Desk of Secretary, Ron Schroder

The Secretary reached his fifth term (10 years) in office and has decided to retire. It has been an enjoyable experience. Effective January 1, 2017, Peg Sauer will become Secretary and the current Secretary will become a Board Member at large.

The Secretary continued coordination with the New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association to aid with their college scholarship program. He will serve on the NYSOWA scholarship committee representing the Foundation. (The Foundation has approved an expenditure of $1,000 a year for five years.)

Routine secretarial activities consisted of correspondence related to Foundation activities, agendas and minutes for two Board of Directors’ Meetings (4-12-16 & 12-6-16) and two Members’ Meetings (6-9-16 & 9-15-16). Coordination of new member signups, notices of renewal of existing memberships and maintenance of the member roster also fell in this category. Two people joined the Foundation during 2016 and twenty-two of forty-two listed members renewed their memberships. New members are Katherine Stuart and Dr. Richard Capella.

From the Desk of the Audit Chair, Ron Giegerich

An audit of the Treasurer’s records and review of all transactions was performed on April 10, 2015 in the presence of the new Treasurer Jim Glidden and President Gary Will. The checking account continues to be maintained at M&T Bank. Thirteen checks were written in 2014. The first check was number 2056 and the last was number 2069. The checking account balance at the end of 2014 was $566.32. There was a deposit of $728.36. These monies were from funds deposited in a Pay Pal account from a 2004 conference. A NYS Lost Fund search found these funds and were returned by the NYS Comptroller’s Office to AWCF.

A Morgan/Stanley money transfer of $8,000 was made on April 2, 2014 to the M&T checking account. This transfer was used to support the grants awarded in 2014. This report was provided to the AWCF Board of Directors and approved.

From the Desk of the Grant Chair, John Hasenjager

2016 was a good year with many phone calls and emails, some asking about grants and other asking how to improve their applications. We receive four applications from out of the country. We received 42 applications this year, all very good and a diversity of projects. We selected six this year to be funded, which met our 2016 obligations as a 501 C (3) foundation. The ones selected were:

  • Robert Timothy Meyer of Mississippi State University for his study of the Trophic and Spatial Ecology of the Southern Flying Squirrel and Non-lethal Deterrent Methods. ----$2,000
  • Adam F. Parlin from Miami University of Ohio for his study of Habitat selection and seasonal energetics of eastern box turtles. -----$2,000
  • Dr. Paul D. Curtis from Cornell University for his study of Suburban fawn survival at Fort Drum, Watertown, NY. ----$2,000
  • K. Nicole White from the Archbold Biological Station in Athens, GA for here study of how does male reproductive effort influence mating dynamics, siring success, and effective population size in a high density population of a native threatened reptile of gopher tortoise. ----$2,000
  • Samuel Peterson from SUNY College ESF at Syracuse for his study of assessing the habitat quality to estimate carrying capacity of moose in the Adirondack Park. ----$2,000
  • Dr. Paul D. Curtis to continue his study at Fort Drum. ----$2,000

And, although not a categorized as a grant, the Board did authorized a $1,000 expenditure to the NYS Outdoor Writer’s Association. This money will be matched in a scholarship program.

I wish to thank the other members of the committee for their participation this year.

From the Desk of the Website Chair, Mike Cavanaugh

The website has been updated on a regular basis with information about the Foundation, it’s meetings and a new section called “Wildlife in the News” which highlights current wildlife related issues that may be of interest to AWCF membership. The site was updated in January, February, May, August, November and December of 2016.

There has been about a 30% increase in inquiries received through the “Contact Us” portion of the website. There was a total of 36 individual inquiries/correspondence - most were related to funding opportunities or application procedures. All were answered in a timely fashion.

A great improvement has been the installation of a “Bot Detector” in 2015 which helps eliminate e-mails that were automatically generated, commonly called “spam”.

Although the number seems to be diminishing, there are still numerous inquiries from areas outside our funding authority of North America.

As part of improving our outreach efforts we began updating the AWCF Logo, business cards and stationary in late 2016. Completion expected in early 2017.

From the Desk of the Audit Chair, Brad Griffen

Audit Report for January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016:

The assets for this Foundation are held in two accounts. The checking account is held at M&T Bank in Manlius, New York. This is a non-profit checking account that incurs no finance charge throughout the year. The portfolio is maintained and managed at Morgan Stanley, through Fredick Shibel in Skaneateles, New York. Detailed monthly statements were provided for both accounts as well as a Performance Summary.

The checking account balance on December 31,2015 was $1,542.27 and closed with $1,593.20 on December 31, 2016. Sixteen deposits were made totaling $15,075. And, fourteen checks were written that totaled $14,984.97. The balance for the checking on December 31, 2016 was $1,593.20.

The portfolio began the year with $259,369.74 and as of December 31, 2016 was exactly $261,736.64. The withdrawals match the deposits to M&T Bank which were used to fulfill seven grant commitments, totaling $13,000.

I attest that the financial records I have inspected are a true and accurate depiction of the checking and investment transactions of the Foundation from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016


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