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Policy on the Review of Public Statements on Behalf of the Washington Native Plant Society

Background

WNPS has a history of strong advocacy for native plants and their habitats by the membership. Individual members are encouraged to express their views openly. From time to time differing views emerge among individuals and the Society seeks to provide guidance to the membership by adopting policies that are intended to best represent the views of the membership. While individual members have the right to express their personal views on any subject, when publicly representing WNPS individuals are expected to clearly articulate the Society’s adopted policies.

Purpose

The purpose of establishing a policy on the review of statements made on behalf of the Washington Native Plant Society is to facilitate public expression and awareness of the Society’s objectives and policies regarding relevant environmental and conservation issues consistent with our mission. The policy is not intended to stifle or inhibit the initiative of individual members but to build solidarity of the Society’s scientifically based positions by speaking as one voice that is believed to best represent the views of the entire membership.

 

Policy

WNPS Chapters and members are encouraged to make public statements in support of the Society’s mission and values. Any WNPS member who plans to speak or write on policy matters as a representative of WNPS (including but not limited to conservation, education, research priorities, and issues of botanical significance that relate to the mission of WNPS) must first clear any written or oral presentation with either the WNPS Executive Director for national, state or regional issues or the appropriate Chapter Board for local issues.

Authorities and Responsibilities

 

Executive Director Responsibilities

The Executive Director is authorized to clear national, state and regional presentations or statements on behalf of WNPS that are consistent with existing WNPS policies and public positions. Chapters and members should submit their presentations and statements on these types of issues to the Executive Director at the earliest possible date to allow adequate time for review.

 

If the WNPS member submitting the statement for review is a State Committee Chair, the statement must be reviewed and approved by other members of the committee before submitting to the Executive Director for final review and approval.

 

If the Executive Director finds the issue statement consistent with WNPS policy, the statement will be cleared. If the Executive Director finds the issue statement is not consistent with WNPS policy or contains questionable comments the Executive Director will be responsible for distributing the proposed statement to the Executive Committee for their review.

 

The Executive Director will maintain all statements made on behalf of the Washington Native Plant Society including chapter statements and will make these available to the WNPS State Board of Directors as a record of the Washington Native Plant Society.

 

Executive Committee Responsibilities

The WNPS Executive Committee is responsible for reviewing statements on behalf of the Washington Native Plant Society not cleared by the Executive Director. If the Executive Committee finds that the supporting rationale and statement are clearly within the scope of the WNPS mission and values it will immediately clear the statement. If the proposed statement opens new policy direction, or appears to conflict with existing policy, the Executive Committee will make recommendations for changes to the statement or deny its clearance.

 

Chapter Board Responsibilities

Chapter Boards of Directors are authorized to clear statements on local issues on behalf of the Chapter and/or its members that are consistent with existing WNPS policies and public positions. Chapters and members are encouraged to submit their issue statements on behalf of the Chapter to their Chapter Board at the earliest possible date to allow adequate time for review.

If the Chapter Board of Directors finds the issue statement consistent with WNPS policy, the statement will be cleared. If the Chapter Board finds the issue statement is not consistent with WNPS policy or contains questionable comments, the Chapter Director will submit the issue statement to the Executive Director for review. The Chapter Chair will be responsible for distributing the proposed statement to the Executive Director for review.

 

If the Executive Director finds the issue statement consistent with WNPS policy, the statement will be cleared. If the Executive Director finds the issue statement is not consistent with WNPS policy or contains questionable comments The Executive Director will be responsible for distributing the proposed statement to the Executive Committee for their review.

 

Chapter letters and statements on behalf of the Washington Native Plant Society will be sent on WNPS letterhead clearly indicating it is a statement of the ______Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society.

 

Chapter Chairs will be responsible for providing a copy of all cleared statements and documents on all issues to the Executive Director as a record of the Washington Native Plant Society.

 

Disposition of Approved Advocacy Policies, Statements and Presentations

Copies of Society’s adopted policy statements and approved advocacy position statements submitted on behalf of WNPS and Chapters will be available on the WNPS web page for member reference in preparing statements as individuals or on behalf of the Society.

 

Examples of topics covered by the policy

Examples of topics that do not require Executive Director review are:

  • Presentations or statements that summarize existing programs, activities and events
  • Presentations or statements that quote or summarize, existing policies or adopted positions without interpretation
  • Presentations or statements representing WNPS in policy issues at the local level which have been reviewed and approved by the Chapter Board of Directors.

 

Examples of topics that require Executive Director review are:

  • Presentations or statements representing WNPS in policy issues to political entities or legislative bodies at national, state and regional levels; and
  • Presentations or statements at conferences and to public agencies, advocacy groups and other organizations regarding the interpretation of WNPS policies.

 

 

Adopted by the Executive Board: October 17, 2009, revised and approved 04/27/2013.

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Updated: March 7, 2015
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