by Bob Lee

With all the uncertainty concerning gatherings last spring, Flathead Audubon postponed their annual meeting, the May potluck, to be rescheduled at an appropriate time this fall. However, gatherings are still limited. But we need to conduct some business, including elections. Per state statute and our ByLaws, we can hold a business meeting in person or by proxy vote. The FAS Board has opted to utilize the proxy vote option.

The procedure for proxy voting is fairly simple. Anyone who was a member as of May 2020 is eligible to vote; individual members are allowed 1 vote, family memberships are allowed 2 votes. Ballots will be included in the October issue of the Pileated Post. Cut out or print the ballot, make your selection(s), and mail the ballot to PO Box 9173, Kalispell MT 59904. Gael Bissell, as President, is calling a special Board meeting on 11 October at 1 PM at Lone Pine State Park where the proxy ballots will be counted. Ballots must be received by Saturday, 10 October 2020 to be eligible. In keeping with our usual voting procedure which is a voice vote, anonymity will not be kept, so we are asking that you sign your ballot. In an effort to encourage voting, all signed ballots will go into a drawing for 1 of 2 bluebird houses generously donated by Pam Willison. A candidate is elected by receiving a majority of the number of proxy votes.


Secretary – Pam Willison – I’m a Montana native who grew up in the Jocko Valley, and graduated from U of M with a Business degree, which I used while working in Missoula for over 10 years. Later, an opportunity to take classes at MSU resulted in a career change to teaching high school in Ronan and Bigfork. Four years ago, when I retired from teaching, bird watching was #1 on my to-do list. Through FAS field trips and presentations, State Festivals, and Audubon friendships and resources, I feel I’ve graduated from being a beginner, and I always feel a great sense of accomplishment from making a correct identification while birding, hiking, or working in the yard and garden. I look forward to honing my skills each time I set out on an outdoor adventure. I’ve volunteered for Hawk Watch and the long-billed curlew survey, am a co-chair for OSNA, serve on the Executive, Education and Finance committees, and currently am the Secretary for the Board of Directors.

Treasurer – Rod Wallette – I have been a Board Member at Flathead Audubon Society for the past three years where I worked on several committees and was involved with projects including work activities at Owen Sowerwine Natural Area. I am actively involved with the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch and Montana Audubon’s curlew surveys at Camas Prairie. I completed a Bachelors’ degree in accounting in 1990 and went on to complete a Masters’ degree in Vocational Counseling in 1994. I worked as a Vocational Counselor in the Flathead Valley and Hawaii for 22 years.


Joe Batts – I have been asked to serve as a member of the Flathead Audubon Board. I am happy to do so with one condition: that I am allowed to keep the name tag production and delivery. Lana and I have been members of Flathead Audubon Society (FAS) for many years and I’ve served on the board as Treasurer for at least 5 years. I’ve served on several other boards and I find the FAS board to be the most friendly toward members and super conscientious to bird conservation. What a pleasure to work in and for such an organization. I would be pleased to serve another three years.

Carole Jorgensen – I am a retired wildlife biologist with over 40 years experience in 5 states (and Botswana) working on rare and conservation-listed species (bears, spotted owls, sage grouse, marbled murrelets, Pacific fishers, cheetahs, black footed ferrets and others), habitat protection and improvement projects, land management, regulation, timber/oil and gas/mining/recreation, oil spills (Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon), and way too much litigation. Throughout my career, I often said if we knew then what we know now, the loss of species and habitats could have been prevented with some proactive actions. Now, in Montana, the last great place, I fear we take our resources and open spaces for granted too often. I am the world’s worst birder, but am a bulldog on law and policy and hope to apply to be Flathead Audubon’s mascot so I can continue to work towards the wise balance of ecosystems and people. 

Bob Lee – I have been a member of Flathead Audubon for a number of years and served in a variety of positions during that time. Currently I am an appointed Board Member, and Representative of FAS to Montana Audubon. I would like to continue to be involved as an elected Board Member and carry on as Representative to Montana Audubon. I feel that my background as a wildlife biologist will serve me, and Flathead Audubon, well as we progress in uncertain times for many bird species. Thank you for your consideration.

Cindy Roberts – I earned a Master’s Degree in Science Education and taught elementary and middle school students for 38 years in Iowa, Virginia, Montana, Japan, and Austria. I have also worked as an interpretive park ranger in Yellowstone National Park for nine summers. With my husband, Tom, I raised two daughters, and love taking six grandchildren into the Montana wilds.

Tom Roberts – I teach at Linderman Education Center in Kalispell, adding to a career total of 42 years. I have also coached many sports teams in Iowa, Virginia, Japan and Austria. I worked as an interpretive ranger in Yellowstone National Park for 20 summers. My daughter, Lisa, lives in Iowa, and daughter Lori, in Kalispell, Montana. In my spare time, I paint wildlife in oils and watercolor.


This is an additional section to allow the Flathead Audubon Society to hold meetings and conduct business using electronic means of communication. Specific wording is as follows:

A new Article III, Section 7 to read: “Wherever in these bylaws it is stated that a meeting may be conducted in person or by any other means of stated communication or attendance, participation by remote communication, including but not limited to video conferencing, shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.