Bylaws for the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council
The name of the entity/group shall be the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council.
Purpose and Objective
The purpose of the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council is to provide communication, coordination, and integration among member organizations to implement elements of the Minnesota Statewide Invasive Species Management Plan by
- Promoting communication and cooperation among organizations involved in invasive species issues.
- Coordinating outreach on invasive species (such as the MISAC calendar)
- Supporting state-wide and multi-state conferences related to invasive species issues.
- Supporting trainings and field visits related to invasive species
- Recognizing outstanding and noteworthy work related to invasive species and encouraging such work through the Carol Mortensen Award
- Maintaining the MISAC website to help the public locate invasive species resources
- Advocating for research and management for the species and pathways deemed greatest risk.
- Working on other projects that MISAC finds to be appropriate.
These functions support, but do not supersede, the goals and responsibilities of member organizations.
There shall be representation from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), the University of Minnesota, county agricultural inspectors, the nursery industry, master gardeners, local, state, tribal and federal agencies, conservation and environmental groups, and other interested entities and individuals. New members will be invited to join the Council by the Co-chairs based on suggestions from membership or self-nominations.
Council members shall serve as long as their representative organizations deem appropriate. It is the responsibility of the members to make sure their agency or organization is represented. Co-chairs may contact entities to ensure appropriate representation. Vacancies shall be filled by the agency or organization being represented. There will be a biennial review of membership to make sure that members are still active.
Decisions and Recommendations
The Council operates on a consensus basis. All organizations operate under their own mandates. The Council will make recommendations to respective partners as needed. The Council will establish an annual action plan to achieve within a specified time and will review progress towards achieving those activities at the end of the specified period. The council will review bylaws every three years or more frequently if needed.
Council meetings shall be held quarterly (January, April, July, and October). Meeting dates, times, and agendas shall be sent out in advance to ensure adequate representation of each participating organization. Other invasive-species related events (e.g., Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference) may be held in conjunction with, or in lieu of, a quarterly meeting upon consent of the Council.
Co-Chairs and Minutes
The Council is led by a chair, co-chair, and past-chair. The Council will elect a new co-chair annually for a three-year term. The co-chair serves the first year as co-chair, then becomes chair in the second year of her/his term, and then serves the third year as the past-chair. Any Council member may be nominated to serve. The Chair is responsible for setting the agenda for each quarterly meeting, coordinating with the Minnesota DNR to produce the MISAC calendar, and representing the Council as an ex officio member of organizing committees for MISAC-endorsed events. The co-chair is responsible for arranging the time and location for quarterly meetings, taking minutes, distributing minutes, and correcting minutes as needed. Meeting minutes will be reviewed for additions or corrections and approved by the Council at the following meeting. The past-chair assists in continuity and transition of leadership.
The Council is a non-profit organization with no legal standing. The Council will contract with an external organization to serve as its fiscal agent.
Wildlife Forever acts as fiscal agent, keeping a full accounting of the Council's funds, providing quarterly reporting, and achieving transparency.
Funds may be generated for the Council through registration costs, sponsorships, or donations for meetings, field trips, or other educational events. The funds are only to be used to achieve the purpose and objectives of the Council.
The Council leadership shall be given a discretionary budget of $250 annually for purchases or services to benefit the Council. Such expenditures may be made without approval of other Council members when the budget reserves exceed $3000. Such purchases may not include honoraria, travel reimbursements, or items that might only benefit a single member and or a single member’s organization. A full justification for such purchases must be provided to the fiscal agent and included in the next quarter’s fiscal report. Purchases or services greater than $250 must be approved by a simple majority of members present at a Council meeting or by on-line voting. The Council may approve honoraria or other awards, travel reimbursements, or other expenses to achieve the objectives of the Council. The co-Chair or Chair has the authority to work with the fiscal agent to acquire purchases or services that have been approved by the membership.