Article 1 – Name
The names of this organization shall be the “Bear Education and Restoration Group of Mississippi” or “BEaR” for short.
Article 2 – Mission Statement
Support the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in restoration and management of ecologically viable and socially acceptable black bear populations in Mississippi.
Article 3 – Objectives
BEaR’s objectives are to:
- inspire cooperation and assist in educating all entities about black bears in the state and
- encourage, support and assist in the successful restoration of black bears in Mississippi.
Article 4 – Membership and Meeting Attendance and Participation
Any individual interested in promoting black bear education and restoration and who pays the annual dues shall be eligible for membership in BEaR. All members and nonmembers may attend any general meeting or function of the BEaR group. All members may participate in any general BEaR meeting or function. Board meetings and committee meetings can be limited at the discretion of the committee, board of directors, or the BEaR president. Upon becoming a member of BEaR, the individual must provide the organization with an address (e-mail, US postal or fax) so that the member may receive information concerning BEaR. It shall be the members’ responsibility to inform BEaR of any address changes. A member may send a representative to participate in a general or committee meeting. A written proxy shall be provided to signify that a representative has the right to act for a member. The minutes of said meeting shall reflect the use of proxies by representatives.
Article 5 – Dues
Annual dues for the paying membership are set at $20 but can be changed, as deemed appropriate, by the board of directors. Annual dues are payable on or before January 31 of each year. The treasurer shall notify members one month in arrears and dues that are not paid within 30 days thereafter shall be automatically dropped from membership in BEaR.
Article 6 – Voting
Members in good standing shall be entitled to vote; one member shall have one vote. In the event that a member’s annual dues remain unpaid for more than 30 days from the due date, then the member cannot vote. At the discretion of the executive board, votes will be taken at official meetings or in writing apart from official meetings. The president or the board of directors may, by majority vote, call a meeting by giving each active member actual (written) notice one week in advance. Actions of the board of directors can be overridden by the vote of at least 50 percent plus one of the total membership. Attendance of at least 70 percent of the membership of the board of directors constitutes a quorum for conducting business.
Article 7 – Officers
The officers of BEaR shall be the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Only members in good standing shall be entitled to hold an office. The officers shall perform the duties prescribed in these bylaws and use Robert’s Rules of Order for parliamentary procedures. The officers will serve two-year terms and can serve consecutive terms. Any officer may be removed by the board of directors if such action is deemed to be in the best interest of BEaR.
Article 8 – Directors
The directors shall consist of no more than 18 members, 16 of which will be approved by the membership, and the remaining two appointed by the directors. After initial election, the directors will serve three-year-staggered terms. The directors may include, but are not limited to, representatives from:
- Great Delta Bear Affair steering committee
- Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks – divisions of: a) law enforcement b) game and c) natural science museum
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – divisions of: a) ecological services and b) refuges
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- USDA Wildlife Services
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- MSU Extension Service
- Mississippi Forestry Association
- Mississippi Forestry Commission
- Farm Bureau or Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
- 4 representatives from NGOs such as: Mississippi Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Delta Wildlife, Trust for Public Lands, Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Wildlife Mississippi), Audubon Society, and/or Mississippi’s Lower Delta Partnership.
- private industry
- the financial community
- 4 representatives from the landowner community
- interested individuals and/or
- local elected officials
Article 9 – Board of Directors
The board of directors will consist of the officers and the directors.
Article 10 – Duties of the Board of Directors
President: The president shall be a member of the board of directors, executive committee and administrative committee. The president shall preside at the following meetings of BEaR: board of directors, executive committee and administrative committee and have coordination responsibilities for the affairs of BEaR.
Vice President: The vice president shall be a member of the board of directors, executive committee and administrative committee and shall perform duties that pertain to that office. In the absence of the president, or at the president’s request, the vice president shall preside over board of directors, executive committee or administrative committee meetings.
Secretary: The secretary shall be a member of the board of directors, executive committee and administrative committee and take minutes for these three groups as well as at general meetings. The secretary shall also assist the officers in routine business affairs of BEaR and be thoroughly familiar with the BEaR organizational structure.
Treasurer: The treasurer shall be a member of the board of directors, executive committee and administrative committee but cannot vote on financial matters. The treasurer must be thoroughly familiar with the financial structure and status of BEaR, certify financial records, record all receipts and expenditures promptly and accurately, make financial reports at meetings and recommend budget alterations if necessary.
Directors: Each director is expected to attend all scheduled BEaR board meetings and general meetings, chair or serve on a committee or project, be thoroughly familiar with the BEaR bylaws and promote BEaR in their respective arenas of affiliation. If a director misses two consecutive meetings without duly designating a representative to conduct business on his or her behalf, the director shall be replaced.
Article 11 – Committees
- Executive – consists of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and chairs of all the active committees. The executive committee will oversee the activities of BEaR and has authority to approve expenditures over $1,000 with a quorum vote.
- Administrative – consists of the officers and oversees the operational plan, budget, day-to-day activities of BEaR and has authority to approve expenditures up to $1,000.
Ad hoc committees (assigned specific tasks by the Executive Committee as needed):
- Nominating – researches and recommends candidates for the board of directors.
- Funding – creates funding opportunities for the operational plan and budget.
- Promotion – promotes membership and the objectives of BEaR.
- Graphics – works with artists and others to determine organizational brand and supporting materials.
- Research – focuses on needed research to support black bear in Mississippi.
- Habitat – focuses on bear habitat and related habitat issues such as baseline and projected information and supports habitat projects.
- Information and Education – provides information and education about bears and the restoration effort.
- Repatriation – supports the agencies that will actually conduct the relocation of bears.
- Human/bear Conflict – supports the agencies responsible for handling human/bear conflicts.
- Law Enforcement – supports the law enforcement agencies’ efforts concerning bears.
Article 12 – Program/Project Management Operational Procedures:
All BEaR activities and finances will be managed within various programs. A program is characterized by having a goal(s) that directly addresses the organization’s mission statement. The Executive Committee designates programs and invites project proposals to address those programs. Examples of programs may include but are not limited to:
- BEaR Administration Program
- Goal: to provide administrative support for all BEaR programs and projects
- Education Program
- Goal: to increase public awareness of BEaR activities and purpose
- Habitat and Research Program
- Goal: to promote quality bear habitat and to increase knowledge about bear ecology and management in Mississippi
- Human/bear Conflicts Program
- Goal: to prevent and to manage conflicts between humans and bears
All BEaR activities and finances will be managed by projects that address specific programs. A project is characterized by having a specific objective(s), time-table, budget, labor, and project leader. Anyone may submit a project proposal at any time. All proposals must be submitted in standard format (forms will be provided). BEaR members submit project proposals directly to the President. Non-BEaR members must have a member sponsor the proposal. Sponsors will have the same duties and responsibilities as project leaders. The President reviews project proposals and submits them to the Executive Committee for final action (e.g. accept, reject, and recommend revision).
Duties and responsibilities:
- Executive Committee
- Program development/creation.
- Take action on project proposals within 90 days.
- Review project proposals and make recommendations to Executive Committee.
- Monitor/manage project progress.
- Monitor/manage/report program progress.
- Annually, develop and manage a BEaR Administration Project.
- Project leader/sponsor
- Plan project activities/budget.
- Coordinate and manage project activities/budget.
- Report project progress.
- Submit project proposals.
- Assist project leaders with projects.
- Provide review/feedback to the Executive Committee and Board about the overall progress of BEaR programs and projects.
Project budget amendment process:
- Project leaders are expected to coordinate with the President. Project leaders may submit a written request to the President for an increase in budget. The President (Administrative Committee) may approve increases of up to $1,000. Increases in excess of that amount must be approved by the Executive Committee.
Process for paying bills
All bills must be approved and paid in a timely manner.
- All bills/invoices must be approved/signed by the appropriate project leader/sponsor.
- Approved/signed bills/invoices are to be forwarded to the BEaR Treasurer for payment.
- The Treasurer will keep the President informed of all financial transactions.
Reporting project progress (project objective, activities, and budget status):
- Project leaders will provide the President with annual written progress reports.
- Project leaders will provide a written report upon the completion of the project.
- Project leaders will present verbal progress reports at BEaR meetings.
Reporting program progress: (program objective, status of related projects, and budget status):
- The President will provide a written and verbal report annually for the BEaR annual meeting.
Amended February 7, 2006 and March 1, 2007 as voted on by BEaR members