Committees - International Affairs Page not found - Society For Range Management
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International Affairs Committee

SRM - International Affairs Committee Annual Meeting
Sunday, February 11, 2006, 1-5 PM
Cypress Room, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver, BC

Attending members and visitors:
Herman Garcia , Urs Kreuter , Leslie Stuart Phelps, Joe Wagner, Poncho Ortega, Jim O'Rourke, Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Mengli Zhao, Guodong Hann, Dennis Phillippi, Austin Sewell, Ricardo Mata Gonzalez, Andres Cibils

The 2005 minutes were reviewed and accepted.

International manuscripts submitted to REM
Maria Fernandez Gimenez reported conversation with Dave Engle about REM editorial board wanting to increase international manuscript submissions. Urs Kreuter addressed the issue of finding mechanisms to subsidize page charges on international submissions. Jim O'Rourke expressed concern regarding Allen Press being cited as the source of an SRM-REM article.

Keith Owens indicated that there is an ongoing major commitment by REM to increase international participation on the editorial board. Currently there is one associate editor from Argentina, one from Canada, and three from Australia. There is interest in recruiting an associate editor from China. A meeting with the Chinese delegation had been scheduled to discuss this matter. From a total of 18 associate editors, 5 will be international. Keith Owens also addressed the problem of page charges for foreign scientists. Twelve to 14 international manuscripts are submitted annually; page charge waiving for these manuscripts costs the SRM about 10,000 $ per year. He requested that the IAC provide ideas to seek funds to defray this cost.

Urs Kreuter suggested we go to the BOD with a proposal to establish an endowment of 3 million dollars to fund these expenses. Maria mentioned current proposals to allow members to donate annually to a fund that subsidizes reduced fees for members from developing countries. Another proposal is requesting reduced REM subscription rates. Maria suggested collapsing all of these separate proposals (page charges, membership fees, subscription rates) into the endowment proposal that would generate sufficient resources to cover all IAC proposals.

Jim O'Rourke pointed out the need to coordinate fund raising efforts between IAC and IRC to avoid overlaps.

Update on 2008 IRC in Huhhot, Inner Mongolia.
Mengli Zhao provided an update and distributed the minutes of the first meeting of the IRC 2008 organizing committee. Mid and pre-congress tours have been selected. There are 7 pre congress tours and 8 one-day mid congress tours planned. Tours have not been planned for after the Congress because the Olympics in Beijing will be occurring 20 days after IRC and it will be difficult to find hotel accommodations and air tickets. The dates for the Congress have also been established from June 29-July 5. A draft of the first Congress brochure is being edited. Construction of the congress venue facilities are progressing according to plans and will be completed in 2007. There is also the auditorium of a national museum (?) close to the convention center that could be used for a plenary session. There are many hotels around the building site of the convention center.

In reply to a question by Urs Kreuter, Jim O'Rourke indicated that the congress brochure would be ready in about a month's time. The brochure will have a tear-off form for potential paper presenters. The brochure will also be posted on the IRC site. A member of the organizing committee is compiling a mailing list using lists from several professional societies, the IGC and the IRC. The brochure will be sent to everyone on that list.

Jim reported that they are currently working on revising the budget. A new chair from the Agriculture ministry in Beijing was recently appointed to the congress organizing committee and developed a new budget with very little input from the folk on the ground in Huhhot. Gordon King and…….will be traveling to China to continue work with the committee on this aspect. Jim also reported that the organizing committee is well staffed and organized. Mengli indicated that they have developed a congress web site that currently has some information.

The fund raising effort for the congress is just beginning. The congress brochure is needed for this effort. Professor Hong will be in the US to work with Jim et al. to help raise 350 thousand dollars in sponsorship funds from organizations outside of China. Much of this is used to support delegates from developing countries. Fund raising efforts will include federal agencies and other NGO and corporate sponsorships such as Winrock International, Noble, Ford, Rockefeller, GTZ, FAO, donors in Ireland and Canada.

Urs Kreuter suggested setting up a booth in the 2007 SRM meeting in Reno to publicize this IRC with brochures, goodies etc.

Progress on the bidding for the 2011 IRC
Mexico and Argentina are being encouraged to submit a bid for this Congress. The IRC funded the travel expenses of a person from Mexico to attend a workshop about developing a bid in Fort Worth last year. IRC also funded Jim O'Rourke's travel expenses to Argentina to attend the 3rd. AAPMPN congress in Parana. AAPMPN appears to be increasing its geographical area of influence in Argentina including both INTA and Universities. Jim met with 5 key players and did a mini bidding workshop. The site selected for the Congress venue would be Rosario. Jim visited with undersecretary for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, with the president of INTA, administrators of the Universidad de Buenos Aires and with local FAO authorities. All were very supportive of the idea of hosting the 2011 IRC. A bid needs to be received by early 2007, since the final decision needs to be made by July that year.

The feasibility of satellite meetings and tours to cover Argentina's diverse ecosystems was addressed. The convenience of receiving bids from more than one country (Argentina and Mexico, in this case) was also discussed.

Poncho Ortega reported on the progress that is being made in Mexico. In April 2005, a new society of range management was formed in Mexico with a focus on natural resources management across many ecosystems besides arid lands. Dr. Ramon Gutierrez is this organization's president. The organization will hold its annual meeting in August and could then discuss the IRC bid submission. However, Poncho indicated that it was probably not realistic to expect any news from Mexico regarding IRC until after the presidential elections in November. No authority will make a commitment before then. Some of the folk that were in Ft. Worth have now been promoted to upper leadership positions. This will probably require recruiting new participants to do the ground work to organize IRC bidding. It was suggested that Jim O'Rourke attend the August meeting of the Mexican rangeland society.

2006 IAC Symposium on Grassland Ecology of China
Ben Wu was not able to attend. The symposium program was handed out and discussed. Symposium speakers involved with the 2008 IRC organizing committee were identified.

Update on proceedings from the 2004 and 2005 meetings
The 2004 symposium proceedings will be published shortly as a Forest Service General Technical Report. The timing for this is possibly good since it could be used to promote the upcoming IRC in Huhhot.

The 2005 symposium proceedings are currently being edited. All the English and Spanish versions of each paper have been received. The Spanish papers are being reviewed. Dr. Fullbright will do the revision of the English versions. Funding for this publication will come from the Caesar Kelberg Institute. Revenues would come back to the IAC committee.

Ideas for 2007 symposia
Andres Cibils spoke about plans to conduct a symposium on rangelands of Argentina during the Reno 2007 SRM meeting. A tentative agenda for the meeting was discussed. The proposal was favorably viewed by the committee.

Urs Kreuter indicated that we could possibly count on Dow Agrociences to be a co-sponsor in this symposium. Could request 2.5k to cover invited speaker expenses. Jim O'Rourke suggested Andres and Poncho contact Jim Linebaugh chair of Reno's organizing committee to discuss complimentary rooms and registration waivers. Jim pointed out the need for each speaker in the symposium to include aspects of rangeland extension and education in their area.

Discussion with the SRM BOD representative
Jeff Moseley reported that the BOD did not want to take action regarding the reduced membership and reduced subscription proposal put together by Jim and Don without talking with other committees. The BOD will make a final decision this Friday. The advisory committee would like somebody from IAC to come to talk about this proposal. More detail is requested. The constraints on the BOD decisions would possibly be tied to funding. The BOD is unsure about the costs associated with this proposal. IAC will need to provide specific figures. Jeff pointed out that the BOD awarded previous proposals including the ITF and Spanish brochure. There are indications of strong support as long as the initiatives are financially sustainable.

Maria provided a report on 2006 ITF and because the recipient was not able to attend, requested that the 2006 award be rolled over to 2008.

Jeff Moseley indicated that they would like to discuss Web page matters with Poncho and assured the committee that he will champion IAC matters that that are brought to the board.

Maria brought up the matter of waiving page charges to international scientists discussed earlier with Keith Duncan, and spoke about Urs' idea of seeking an endowment for all IAC funded efforts. Dennis Phillippi was supportive of this idea and its vision of the future. Jeff indicated that the only potential issue is if this initiative were viewed as competing for dollars used to run the mother society but was supportive of the idea and suggested that the IAC provide as much detail as possible. The request should be ready by Friday. Maria will attend the BOD meeting with Poncho.

Jim indicated that the IRC will be requesting fund from the SRM ( about 60 k) for the upcoming Huhhoot meeting.

Review of workplan and progress for 2005, workplan for 2006
The need to contact committee members who are not currently attending was discussed.

Spanish brochure: Herman García reported that the brochure was printed and ready to send out. The brochure is aimed at Mexican audiences and is intended to educate the Spanish speaking population on the importance of rangelands. Herman has an English version of the brochure on file as a backup. Different distribution strategies were discussed. It was suggested that the brochure be sent by bulk mail to the Mexico Rangelands Society and to the CA, AZ, NM,CO, TX, FL, NV, and NE sections. There were discussions on developing brochures in other languages and/or for other countries in Latin America.

Mexico Section reorganization: Poncho pointed out that each country prefers having their own society as opposed to becoming a chapter of SRM, however he indicated that the new rangeland society in Mexico was not likely to draw Mexican members away from SRM given the benefits associated with SRM membership (basically access to REM and Rangelands).

International Travel Fellowship: Maria reported on the ITF and 2006 award and upon Poncho's request agreed to lead the ITF search in 2007. The fellowship was modeled after a similar fellowship given by the Society of Landscape Ecology. Criteria of eligibility were discussed, particularly regarding the restrictions for graduates from Universities in US and Canada. Maria discussed the rationale behind this restriction. Poncho, Jim and Andres discussed its possible downsides. Herman and Ricardo also indicated they would like to open ITF to a larger pool of applicants. There was general consensus to remove this restriction. However, restrictions for foreign students currently enrolled in graduate programs in universities in the US and Canada will be maintained. It was also agreed that applicants would be required to submit their abstract to the ITF award committee before submitting it to the SRM. All applicants would then be invited to submit their abstracts to the SRM. Therefore, the call for applications and the awarding of the ITF should occur prior to the deadline date for abstract submissions. Andres suggested that applicants submit a letter of support from their organization indicating that they will provide the additional funds necessary to insure that the ITF awardees can attend the meeting.

Jim suggested that we should be thinking about alternate ways to fund the 2008 ITF in the event that the BOD decides not to approve the roll over request. Jim also suggested that we should submit a proposal to the BOD to renew this fellowship in the Reno meeting.

Maria suggested requesting that ITF recipients write a short essay about what the meeting meant to them. This could help make IAC's case for this fellowship before the BOD. Maria also mentioned that the organizing committee agreed to include the ITF award in the awards ceremony. This will contribute to give the IAC more visibility within the society.

Proposal for voluntary member check-off, reduced subscriptions and membership rates: There was a resolution to support the check off. There appears to be an issue regarding creating a new category of society members because that would require changing the society's bylaws. There would be no financial impact associated with this proposal. It was suggested that if we increase the attendance of international members, there should possibly be efforts to sponsor hands-on skill-oriented workshops geared toward them. For example, sessions on how to organize local societies or chapters were suggested.

Website: Jim O'Rourke offered IRC support (Gordon King) in updating the IAC website. Leslie Stuart Phelps offered to lead the website effort during 2006. Ricardo suggested we post the power point presentations of the international symposiums on the IAC website.

Contact sister rangeland societies: Maria compiled websites of sister societies in Australia, South Africa, Spain, other European countries. A number of pastoralist societies, one in of which is located in the Basque country. These links will be posted on IAC's website. Jim suggested we also look at the links posted on IRC website. It was suggested that IAC and IRC cross-link their sites. Jim spoke about IRC's efforts to compile a list of rangeland liaison people in all countries/regions. Will provide IRC's list.

Other matters: The need to quantify and justify the dollar amount of the endowment IAC would be proposing was discussed. IAC would need to develop a list of the funds needed. It was estimated that about 25 thousand dollars are required for page charge waiving, 20 thousand dollars for IAC symposium expenses, and about 3 thousand dollars for the ITF. Herman, suggests we set priorities, to allow us to begin to use the interest of the endowment before we reach our target endowment fund amount. This would help attract new donors by showing how IAC is using these monies.

Elect co- chair for 2007-2008: Ben was elected incoming co-chair. Andres Cibils was elected co-chair for 2007-2008. We need to begin to think about the 2008 symposium for Louiville KY. Jim suggested that we should be planning 2 symposiums in advance. It was also suggested that there should be an effort to recruit members from northern Africa.

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