Article I: Name & Purpose
Section 1: In order to improve, disseminate data, share expertise and to pass on to posterity the art and practice of wild raptor acquisition for falconry as well as for scientific research and conservation purposes, we hereby associate ourselves as a nonprofit organization known as American Falconry Conservancy established in 2002. It is also our intention to offer the broadest liberties possible to our endeavor which are not in conflict with the health of raptor populations, i.e., liberty in conjunction with responsibility to raptors.
Section 2: We further declare that our purpose is to help promote wild take knowledge and experience amongst all interested falconers in order to instill an appreciation for the ancient art of wild raptor acquisition. We also wish to instill pride in falconers for their historic contribution to raptor migratory science and their continued contribution to this endeavor.
Section 3: We further declare that our purpose is to promote an understanding between the scientific community, birding organizations, and the falconry community. Through our common interest in raptors and our diverse knowledge, unique to each group, we may serve raptor populations better in a united effort rather than as factional entities.
Section 4: We further declare that our purpose is to open all borders between all states and nations for trapping and transportation of all secure species of raptors.
Article II: Membership
Section 1: Any falconer* - neither antagonistic nor detrimental to this organization - of good moral character may become a Regular Member of this organization.
Section 2: Any falconry or raptor trapping organization having purposes complementary or similar to those of this organization may become an Affiliated Member.
Section 3: Only Regular Members shall have the right to nominate candidates and vote on any organization issue.
Article III: Organizational Authority and Responsibility
Section 1: Authority for the operation and management of American Falconry Conservancy shall rest ultimately in the Regular Membership who shall establish and maintain By-Laws governing this organization. This authority shall be exercised by delegation, through the By-Laws, to a Board of Directors (the Board), who shall consist of elected representatives. The Board shall be the policy making body of this organization in accordance with the By-Laws. The Board shall consist of a President, Vice President and 6 or more Directors. The Board, individually and collectively, shall be responsible to the Board as a whole and to their electorate.
Section 2: The By-Laws shall provide for exercise of final Authority by the Regular Members by prescribing procedures for, but not limited to: proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws; both Board and Members’ meetings; the removal of Board Members and Officers; the expulsion of members; and addressing petitions from a representative number or percentage of the Regular Members at any time.
* Definition of falconer: One who presently or previously practiced falconry as defined by NAFA, i.e., “Falconry is the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of trained raptors.”
Article IV: Directors, Officers, and Committees
Section 1: The Board shall be composed of Regular Members, and Directors shall be nominated from their respective Regions. Regions shall be established by the Board and approved by the Regular Members. Vice President and President shall be nominated from the Regular Membership at large.
Section 2: Officers shall consist of a Secretary, a Treasurer and an Editor. Officers shall be chosen from the Regular Membership and they shall be appointed by the Board.
Section 3: The Board may appoint or dissolve such committees as they deem necessary for activities or functions useful to this organization.
Section 4: No Director, Officer, or member of a committee of this organization shall receive any compensation of any kind from organization funds or assets for services rendered, except for payment of legitimate expenses approved by the Board.
Article I: Membership and Dues
Section 1: Membership Categories and Criteria.
a. Regular Membership. Any falconer – neither antagonistic nor detrimental to the association or its purpose – of good moral character and over the age of 17 years, may become a Regular Member of this organization.
b. Affiliated Membership. Any falconry or raptor trapping organization having purposes complementary or similar to those of this association may become an Affiliated Member.
Section 2: Admission to Membership.
a. Admission to all categories of Membership shall be within the discretion of the Board of Directors.
b. Applicants for Membership shall submit a completed Membership application form, the contents of which are to be determined by the Board of Directors, along with dues.
Section 3: Dues.
a. Annual dues shall be established in amounts recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Regular Membership in a vote by mail in the same manner as prescribed for amending the Constitution and By-Laws.
b. A late fee shall be incurred by Members if dues are not paid by March 15th of the current year, the amount of which is to be determined by the Board of Directors. Timely payment is important for budgeting purposes, Member’s inclusion in directory, Member’s receipt of publication(s), Member’s timely receipt of mailings of the association’s functions, etc.
c. Dues shall be payable to the Treasurer in the association’s name at the time of submission of application for Membership, or, in case of renewals, between January 1st and March 15th annually.
d. Dues shall not be apportionable for any part of a calendar year, either upon admission to or termination of Membership.
Section 4: Duration of Memberships.
a. Upon payment of annual dues, Membership shall extend from calendar year to calendar year, unless otherwise terminated in accordance with these By-Laws.
Section 5: Termination or Suspension of Membership.
a. Membership may be terminated by resignation or death of the Member (to include dissolution of the association in the instance of Affiliated Membership).
b. Affiliated Membership may be terminated for such cause and in such manner as, in the sole judgment of the Board of Directors, is in the best interests of the association.
c. Membership will terminate automatically if not renewed by payment of prescribed annual dues on or before March 15th annually.
d. Regular Membership may be suspended or terminated by the Board of Directors if, in the sole judgment of the Board, such Member has violated the By-Laws, rules or regulations of the association, or if, in the sole judgment of the Board, such Member’s status, activities, or motives are prejudicial to the best interests of the association. Such suspension or termination shall be imposed only by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors; provided that a statement of the grounds for such action shall be sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, to such Member at his address on file with the association at least 30 days before suspension or termination action is taken by the Board; and, provided further that such statement shall advise the Member of the scheduled date of Board action and that he may, prior to that date, submit to the Board for its consideration any matters in explanation, defense, extenuation, or mitigation. Actions by the Board with respect to suspension or termination shall be final and shall not be subject to ratification by or appeal to the Regular Membership. The provisions of this subparagraph are not applicable to Board Members and Officers of the association. Board Members and Officers first must be removed from office as hereinafter prescribed prior to any suspension or termination of Regular Membership status. While in a suspended status, a Regular Member shall not be entitled to vote, serve as a Director, or hold office.
Article II: Directors
Section 1: Number of Directors.
a. The number of Directors shall be determined by the needs of the association but not to be less than six. As the proportion of the Membership increases from other regions of the world, new Directorships will be required to represent those regions.
b. New regions shall be recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Regular Membership in a vote by mail in the same manner as prescribed for amending the Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 2: Electorate, Qualifications, Terms and Term Limits.
a. Electorate. Board Members shall be nominated from the Regular Membership by Regular Members.
b. Qualifications. Directors must be residents of the regions from which elected or appointed. Residence, for purposes of Director qualification, shall be the mailing address furnished by the individual and maintained on file by the association.
c. Terms. The term of office of President, Vice President and Directors shall be two years. The Board of Directors shall insure that the terms of half the Board begin on January 1st of even-numbered years, and the other half on January 1st of odd-numbered years.
d. Term Limits. All Board Members (not including Secretary, Treasurer and Editor, which are defined as Officers) shall serve no more than two consecutive terms in any particular office; each term being two years in length. After vacating an office for one term (two years), the individual may again run for, and hold the same office. A Board Member may run for, and hold office of a different distinction without waiting two years.
Section 3: Election of President, Vice President and Directors.
a. The President and Vice President shall be nominated and elected from the Regular Membership at large.
b. The regional Directors shall be nominated and elected by those Regular Members residing within their respective regions.
c. Voting shall be done by mail or email and voting by proxy shall be prohibited.
d. The Board of Directors shall have general authority to plan for, schedule, and supervise the election of Board Members by the Regular Membership. Voting rules and procedures to be promulgated by the Board of Directors shall, among other matters:
1. Permit the completion of regular elections not less than 30 days prior to expiration of the affected incumbents’ terms.
2. Provide to all Regular Members timely notice of both nominations and elections, and reasonable opportunity to nominate and to vote.
3. Insure that at least one qualified candidate is nominated for each Board position to be filled, and that each nominee is willing to accept the position if elected. Active competition for election to Board positions shall be encouraged.
4. Insure that elections are conducted in a fair and equitable manner.
e. A majority (over 50%) of all votes cast for a particular Board position shall be required for election to that position. If no candidate receives a majority, a special election between the two candidates receiving the most votes shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible. If two or more candidates be tied for the most votes, or if one candidate receive the largest number and two or more be tied for the second largest number, then all who are tied shall participate in the special election.
Section 4: Responsibility and Authority of the Board of Directors.
a. The Board of Directors shall have full control and supervision of the affairs of the association; shall have full authority to make rules and regulations for the administration of the association, consistent with the Constitution and By-Laws; and, shall be responsible to the Regular Membership for the effective and efficient operation of the association. Within the discretion of the Board of Directors, it may delegate to any Board Member or Officer such authority as it deems appropriate and to create or dissolve new Offices as deemed useful.
b. In addition to the general powers conferred, the Board of Directors shall control and manage all funds and property of the association, including specifically the appropriation and disbursement of its funds.
c. The Board shall have authority to prescribe Officers’ responsibilities and job descriptions subordinate to these By-Laws.
Section 5: Directors’ Meetings.
a. The Board of Directors shall meet, either in person or by other means of communications, upon call of the President. The President or, in his absence, the Vice President shall preside over all Board Meetings.
b. A quorum as such will not be required, but, unless otherwise prescribed herein, the affirmative vote of over 50% of the Board, in person or in writing, by mail or email, shall be required for action on any matter. Voting by proxy at Board Meetings shall be prohibited.
c. Not more than 20 days from the date of mailing shall be allowed to reply to any request for vote by mail (post or electronic). Any Board Member who shall fail on two consecutive occasions to respond to such a request shall be considered to have resigned his office as a Board Member.
Section 6: Termination and Removal of Board Members and Officers.
a. Any Board Member or Officer may be removed from office upon written petition signed by five percent of the Regular Members within his electorate, for Directors; one percent of the general electorate in the case of President, Vice President or Officers, but not less than 10 Regular Members in any and all cases; or a majority (over 50%) of Board Members, and then approved by an affirmative vote of a majority (over 50%) of the Regular Members responding. Voting will be conducted by mail.
b. In the event vacancies in the Board of Directors occur in any manner other than by expiration of term of office, then the remaining members of the Board, by majority vote, shall fill the vacancy temporarily, by appointment from the Regular Membership, provided that such temporary appointment shall continue only until the next regularly scheduled election at which time the Board positions shall be filled by normal process.
Section 7: Submission to the Regular Membership.
a. Any matter may be submitted to the Regular Membership for vote by mail upon the written petition of one percent of the Regular Members (but not less than 10 Members). Within 15 days following receipt of such petition, the Board of Directors shall submit the matter to the Regular Membership for vote. In such event, the Board of Directors shall be bound by the resulting vote of the Regular Membership upon the issues submitted.
Article III: Officers
Section 1: Appointment and Tenure
a. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the prompt appointment of Officers to fill all vacant positions.
b. All Officers shall be appointed and approved by the Board of Directors, from among the Regular Membership, at their discretion. Within the discretion of the Board of Directors, a Regular Member may hold the offices of Secretary and Treasurer simultaneously.
Section 2: Duties of Officers.
a. President. The President shall be the principle officer of the association and shall call and preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the association, except as otherwise prescribed herein. He shall be responsible for the planning and presentation of all matters requiring Board action or action by the Regular Membership, and the expeditious processing of such matters to a conclusion.
b. Vice President. The Vice President, in the absence of the President, as confirmed by the Board of Directors, shall perform all acts and duties of the President. He shall assist the President as required.
c. Secretary. The Secretary shall:
1. Give notice of all meetings of the Regular Membership.
2. Keep minutes and/or other records of all meetings including meetings/communications by mail.
3. Keep records of all actions taken by the Board of Directors.
4. As directed by the Board of Directors, conduct correspondence on behalf of the association, including, but not limited to, membership renewal forms, meeting agendas, nominations, and ballots and maintain records of such correspondence, and maintain records of such other official correspondence of the association as may be furnished him by the Board of Directors and the Officers of the association.
5. Maintain a complete file of all association publications.
6.Obtain from the Treasurer and keep in the association’s files an accurate and complete list of the membership.
7. Maintain all association files and records, other than financial, which are necessary for the conduct of association affairs.
8. Perform such other and further duties as the Board of Directors may prescribe.
d. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:
1. Serve as custodian of all association funds and property, and keep a strict accounting of all receipts and expenditures.
2. For equipment owned by the association (e.g., office equipment) and all association records, the Treasurer shall keep on file a signed agreement from association officials who possess association equipment and/or records, stating the ownership by the association; make, model and serial number in the case of equipment; definition and accounting of association records; and the return of equipment and/or records upon termination of duties. The Treasurer shall provide current copies of signed agreements to the Secretary.
3. Collect and receive all monies due this association from whatever source.
4. Pay only such expenditures as have been authorized by the Board of Directors.
5. Deposit all association funds in suitable checking and/or savings accounts protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); insure that signature cards on file with the bank bear the signatures of the Treasurer, the President, and the Vice President; and insure that the accounts are so restricted that the signatures of the Treasurer and of either the President or Vice President shall be required on all checks drawn thereon or withdrawals made therefrom. In absence of a Treasurer, the President and Vice President are authorized to sign checks for these purposes.
6. Maintain proper accounting records of the association, and, upon 10 days notice from the Board of Directors, submit to the Board a current statement of receipts and expenditures and a statement of fund balances.
7. Maintain complete lists and addresses of past and current Members and when required, certify to the status of Members. The mailing address furnished to the association by Members and maintained on file by the Treasurer shall be used as the official Membership list.
8. Members. The mailing address furnished to the association by Members and maintained on file by the Treasurer shall be used as the official Membership list.
9. Insure that expenditures do not exceed cash on deposit, and advise status of same.
10. Perform such other and further duties as the Board of Directors may direct, including an audit when appropriate.
Article IV: Regular Membership Communications
Section 1: Communications with Regular Members, in all its forms, shall be given the highest priority. An informed electorate shall be the measure of success for the Board of Directors.
Section 2: Regular Meetings.
a. The Regular Membership shall be called to meet physically at least every year upon call of the President.
Section 3: Membership Communications by Mail.
a. Full notice of the issues involved in a vote by mail, including a ballot on which to record the vote, shall be mailed to each Regular Member at his mailing address on file with the association, not less than 45 days prior to the effective date for counting the ballots.
b. The President shall provide time sensitive information to the Members via email.
Section 4: Membership Communications via Association Publication.
a. The Board of Directors shall provide reports for publication of their positions on non-sensitive issues which they are called to vote upon.
b. The Secretary shall make available for publication Board Meeting Minutes for those issues that are not sensitive or damaging to the association or an individual Member.
Article V: Association Publications
Section 1: Editor(s) of Association Publication(s).
a. Editor(s). The Editor(s) shall
1. Compile, publish and distribute association publications in conformity with operational, editorial and financial policies determined by the Board of Directors.
2. Solicit newsworthy material from within and without the Membership.
3. Submit a draft for peer review to the President and a Board Member prior to publication.
4. Refrain from censorship except when material submitted may injure an individual or the association.
Section 2: The Publication.
a. The official publication of the association shall be known as The Passager. The purpose of The Passager is set forth in Article I of the Constitution.
b. The Passager shall be published at least once annually, and shall be distributed to all current association Members without charge.
c. Reproduction of The Passager’s articles is allowed given the source and credit is referenced in the reproduction.
d. The Board of Directors may authorize the publication of additional sources of information as they deem useful.
Article VI: Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws
Section 1: The Constitution and/or these By-Laws may be amended only through mail to the Regular Membership, provided written notice of such communication, the proposed amendment, the contents thereof, and a ballot shall be mailed to each Regular Member in good standing at his address on file with the association, not less than 45 days prior to the date fixed for counting ballots.
Affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Regular Members responding in a vote by mail shall be required for amendment. Voting by proxy shall be prohibited.
Article VII: Dissolution
Section 1: In the same manner as provided for amending the Constitution and the By-Laws, the Regular Membership may, by affirmative vote, terminate the existence of the association.
Section 2: In such event, or in the event of termination of the association by operation of law or in any other manner, the Board of Directors shall forthwith proceed to wind up the affairs of the association. All property and assets of the association, including accounts receivable, if any, shall be reduced to cash or other suitable disposition made, and all outstanding association debts, obligations, or liabilities shall be satisfied insofar
as assets of the association permit.
Section 3: When the above requirements have been satisfied, the Board of Directors shall dispose of the balance of cash, if any, and any other property, in such manner and to such an organization or organizations organized for wild raptor research and which are not antagonistic to falconry or wild raptor harvest by falconers.
Section 4: A full and general accounting of the dissolution shall be given by the Board of Directors to the Regular Membership.