Bylaws

Revised November, 2014
(Bylaws for chapters are found at the Chapters page)

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ARTICLE I: NAME

ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES

ARTICLE III: ACTIVITIES LIMITED TO EXEMPT PURPOSES

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

ARTICLE V: DUES

ARTICLE VI: OFFICERS

ARTICLE VII: ELECTIONS

ARTICLE VIII: STANDING AND AD HOC COMMITTEES

ARTICLE IX: APPOINTMENTS

ARTICLE X: CHAPTERS

ARTICLE XI: MEETINGS

ARTICLE XII: RECALL

ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS

ARTICLE XIV: ASSETS

ARTICLE I

NAME

This organization is a unit of the Society of American Foresters, hereinafter referred to as the Society, and shall be known as the Florida Division, Southeastern Society of American Foresters, hereinafter referred to as the Florida Division, as provided in Article VI of the Constitution of the Society of American Foresters.

ARTICLE II

OBJECTIVES

Sec. 1. The objectives shall be:

  1. To advance the science, technology, education, and practice of professional forestry in America and U.S. Territories, and especially within the State of Florida;
  2. To provide an opportunity for better communication among the individual members, their regional representatives, and the Society.

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ARTICLE III

ACTIVITIES LIMITED TO EXEMPT PURPOSES

No part of the net earnings of the Florida Division shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Florida Division shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and make payments and distributions in furtherance of the objectives set forth in Article II hereof. No substantial part1 of the activities of the Florida Division shall be for carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Florida Division shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. In the case of a written request from a governmental body, committee, or subdivision, the Florida Division may provide technical assistance and advice, providing the Florida Division deems it appropriate to provide such assistance. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Florida Division shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on a) by an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

1Greater than five percent (5%) of the annual budget

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ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP

Sec. 1. Membership in the Florida Division shall be limited to members of the Society in good standing who have established domicile in the Florida Division’s territory. The domicile of the member shall be the member’s home or residence except that if a member’s residence does not lie within the boundaries of the Florida Division, but place of business or professional affiliation does lie within said boundaries, the member may, by written application to the National Office of the Society, establish domicile within the Florida Division for the purposes of membership. An individual may be a voting member of and be eligible to hold office in only one state or multi-state Society, but may become an associate member of any other state society.

Sec. 2. Only voting members, as defined in the Florida Division’s Bylaws, in good standing shall be entitled to vote on any question before the Florida Division. Other members of the Division may attend any meeting of the Florida Division and take part in the discussions, but shall have no vote. Members of a student chapter shall be entitled to vote on any question before the Division consistent with the Society’s policy on student voting.

Sec. 3. Membership in the Florida Division may be terminated by (1) voluntary resignation, (2) failure to pay dues, (3) expulsion from the Society for unprofessional conduct, or (4) transfer of domicile to another state society.

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ARTICLE V

DUES

Sec. 1. The annual dues of the Florida Division shall be set by the Florida Division Executive Committee based on financial needs. Notification of any changes in the dues structure shall be made to both the Southeastern Society of American Foresters and the Society’s National Office.

Sec. 2. The annual dues of the Florida Division shall be payable from the first day of January. With the exception of Student Members who shall not be assessed, dues shall be collected by the Society concurrently with the collection of national dues and transmitted to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Florida Division by the Southeastern Society of American Foresters’ Secretary-Treasurer.

Sec. 3. A member who has transferred from another state division or society to the Florida Division and has paid annual dues in the state society from which the transfer is being made shall not be required to pay additional dues for the year of transfer and shall automatically become a member of the Florida Division for the remainder of the year.

Sec. 4. New members admitted during the year shall pay pro-rata dues beginning with the quarter after the admission is accepted.

Sec. 5. The Southeastern Society of American Foresters’ Secretary-Treasurer shall forward quarterly to each Chapter the dues received from members of the respective Chapters during the preceding three-month period.

Sec. 6. Members who have not paid national and state dues by March 1 shall be notified by the Society that they are in bad standing, and thus ineligible to vote, to receive the Society’s publications, to be a candidate for office, or to hold office or serve on Division committees until the dues are paid.

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ARTICLE VI

OFFICERS

Sec. 1. The officers of the Florida Division include a Chair, a Chair-Elect, Past Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer. Officers shall be voting members of the Society and the Florida Division for the duration of their terms. Terms of office for all officers shall be for two years, and shall commence on January 1.

Sec. 2. The Chair-Elect shall be elected for a two-year term and shall automatically succeed to the office of Chair at the beginning of the next term. The Chair shall automatically succeed to the office of Past Chair upon completion of their term as Chair. The Chair shall be responsible for developing and continuing Florida Division activities during their term of office and for organizing the membership toward meeting the objectives. The Chair shall preside at meetings of the Florida Division; serve as Chair of the Executive Committee and as ex-officio member of all committees; oversee the business affairs; appoint, with approval of the Executive Committee, the standing committees and other special committees; and perform all other duties commonly incident to such office.

Sec. 3. In the event the Chair is unable to complete the full term in office, the Chair-Elect shall succeed and complete the unexpired term prior to serving the full term as Chair. Should this occur, the Executive Committee, by a majority vote, shall appoint a replacement Chair-Elect who shall assume the duties of the vacant office until the next election of officers. In the event the Chair-Elect is unable to complete the term of office and succeed to the office of Chair, the Executive Committee shall appoint an acting Chair-Elect to serve until the next election at which time both a Chair and a Chair-Elect shall be elected. A vacancy in the office of Secretary-Treasurer shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee. The Chair-Elect, in the absence of the Chair, shall preside at Florida Division meetings and act for and assist the Chair in conducting Florida Division affairs as may be requested by the Chair.

The Secretary-Treasurer, elected for a two-year term, shall act as custodian of the accounting records and accounts of the Florida Division, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chair or Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall coordinate with the Florida Division Chair and the Nominating Committee all Florida Division elections and referenda; keep the minutes of the Florida Division’s meetings and send a copy to the Chair of the Southeastern Society of American Foresters; conduct correspondence; announce meetings; and send agenda for meetings to the Executive Committee 30 days in advance when possible and record the minutes of all meetings. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare and present at the annual meeting a report of the Florida Division’s financial status, including an income and expense statement for the year’s operations and a balance sheet as of the end of the Division’s fiscal year, i.e., December 31. Upon certification of the Auditing Committee, copies of the written report shall be submitted to the Chair. The Secretary-Treasurer shall provide all information required by the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 and, if the Florida Division has unrelated business income, Internal Revenue Service Form 990-T. In the event that Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements are changed, the Secretary-Treasurer shall provide the information required on any additional form of the Internal Revenue Service. Copies of the official minutes and financial statements shall be provided to the Chair and Archives Committee of the Division.

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ARTICLE VII

ELECTIONS

Sec. 1. Election of officers shall be by letter or electronic ballot mailed in October. The ballots shall be counted by December 1. Elections results will be reported to the National Office no later than December 8.

Sec. 2. The Nominating Committee will propose a slate of officers with the name of at least one person qualified and willing to serve. The proposed slate of officers shall be transmitted to the Chair, along with a copy to the Secretary-Treasurer by September 15. Nominations by the membership at large, if endorsed by at least 25 voting members in good standing and presented to the Secretary-Treasurer in writing on or before September 15, shall be included on the ballot.

Sec. 3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall determine whether all nominees are voting members in good standing, eligible to hold office, and agreeable to serve if elected. The Secretary-Treasurer shall report to the Chair and the Nominating Committee the name of any nominee who fails to qualify. Further nominations, if necessary, shall be made by the Nominating Committee by no later than September 30.

Sec. 4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall coordinate with the Southeastern Society of American ForestersÕ Business Manager to assure that ballots are provided to all voting members in good standing at least 30 days before the date of the election. The ballot shall (1) state the offices to be filled, (2) list the names of the candidates for each office in alphabetical order, (3) show the closing date for receiving the ballots, and (4) be accompanied by a brief factual professional biography of each candidate and an addressed return envelope, postcard or email address for voting.

Sec. 5. The outcome of the elections shall be determined by a plurality or simple majority of those voting. In the case of a tie vote, a run-off election shall be held within one month. The ballots shall be counted by the Nominating Committee which shall certify promptly the results to the Chair, and Secretary-Treasurer who will notify the Executive Committee, the Chair of the Southeastern Society of American Foresters, and all candidates for office. The membership shall be informed of the election results as soon as possible.

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ARTICLE VIII

STANDING AND AD HOC COMMITTEES

Standing Committees shall include the Executive, Membership, Program, Forest Policy, Communications, Education, Nominating, Foresters Fund, Auditing, Archives and History, Awards, and Florida Society of American Foresters Hall of Fame. Other ad-hoc committees may be designated by the Chair and Executive Committee. The Chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint a Chair of each Standing Committee, except the Executive Committee and Membership Committee. The Committee Chairs will select no more than four Florida Division members, in staggered appointments, who are in good standing and are interested and willing to assist with carrying out their charge. The senior member shall chair the Committee. If a new committee is established, a designated membership rotation will be established by the Florida Division Chair.

A. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair of the Florida Division, who shall be Chair of the Committee; the Immediate Past Chair; the Chair-Elect; the Secretary-Treasurer; the Chair of the various chapters; and the Forest Science Coordinator (if appointed). The Executive Committee shall give general supervision to the affairs of the Florida Division and its contacts with the Southeastern Society of American Foresters and the National Society; shall control the expenditure of all funds; and shall approve the place, date, and the program of all meetings.

The Executive Committee also shall adopt a charter for all committees, except the Executive Committee, which shall outline the objectives, organization, and activities of the Committee. Each incoming Chair shall recommend to each new Executive Committee at its first meeting the additions, deletions, and changes in committee charters which are deemed appropriate. Action on any charter, however, may be taken at any Executive Committee meeting. This Committee shall fill by appointment any unexpired term of its members or any Florida Division officer; approve or disapprove proposed appointments by the Chair; advise the Chair on matters raised to the Committee; act upon any application for membership upon which the Membership Committee has disagreed; and act for the Florida Division on urgent matters which require immediate action in the interim between Florida Division meetings. Any action of the Executive Committee shall be subject to a referendum vote of the Florida Division upon petition by at least 20 voting members. The business of the Committee may be transacted in part by tele-conference, mail and/or email but at least one meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held annually.

B. Membership Committee

The Membership Committee shall consist of the Chair-Elect as Committee Chair, along with the Chair-Elect of the various chapters. They shall operate in accordance with the Committee charter. The Committee shall be active in promoting membership in the Society; coordinate activities of the Chapters in recruiting and advancing members; and act for the Florida Division in all other membership matters and services.

C. Program Committee

The Program Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. The Program Chair and the Spring Symposium Coordinator designated by the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation may choose other members appropriate to the annual theme to plan the Spring Symposium. The Florida Division Chair shall appoint one member to serve as the Sponsorship and Exhibits Coordinator. In consultation with and under the authority of the Executive Committee and with cooperation of any meeting partners, such as the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation, this Committee shall prepare a program for the Florida Division’s annual meeting/symposium and shall be responsible for all arrangements. The Program Committee Chair and Symposium Coordinator shall confer with the Education Committee Chair and determine the appropriate Continuing Education Units to be identified in program announcements as available to participating members. Additional Florida Division meetings may be called by order of the Executive Committee and shall be arranged by this Committee.

D. Policy-Legislative Committee

The Policy-Legislative Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter, Society Forest Policies, Southeastern and National Society Bylaws II A-E. The Committee shall consist of six or more members, representing to the extent feasible, all segments of professional forestry. The term of appointment to this Committee shall be two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually. This Committee and the appropriate staff member of the Society shall work cooperatively to review pending or proposed legislation and keep Florida Division members informed thereof. The Committee shall be responsible for reviewing forest policies and national position statements and the forest policy issues and position statements referred to or originating within the Florida Division. The Committee shall recommend a Florida Division position on any policy issue and/or make recommendations for the modification, reaffirmation, or termination of current Florida Division positions to the Executive Committee. Florida Division policy and resolutions shall be expressed in position statements made available to legislators, interested groups, and individuals concerned with the formulation of laws, regulations, and public policies. Adoption and approval of position statements shall be in accord with the National Society Bylaws. Each position statement when developed shall be submitted to the Society’s National Office for review to avoid conflict with “Forest Policies” and National positions. All Florida Division positions with respect to legislation (and regulation) shall be based on non-partisan analysis, study and research and may only be used to attempt to influence legislation, regulation or other government action to the extent permitted by the National Society Bylaw II-B. The Policy Chair should draft for review by the Chair a letter to be sent to each appropriate member of the Florida legislature no later than November 1 each year advising them of this professional Society and its availability to provide information on issues related to forest resources in Florida.

E. Communications Committee

The Communication Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. The Committee shall consist of at least one member from each Chapter and shall work in cooperation with the appropriate Society Staff member. The term of the Chair’s appointment shall be for two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually. The Committee shall be responsible for proper news coverage in the various media for all suitable activities of the Florida Division; shall prepare professional communications within the Florida Division and with other organizations and shall encourage the dispersal of information to gain public awareness and understanding of forestry and the forestry profession.

F. Education Committee

The Education Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. It shall consist of members representing: a school of Professional forestry and other members such as representatives of a Forest Ranger school or Technical Training Institution; Federal and State Forestry Agencies and the industrial and private forestry sector. The term of appointment to this Committee shall be for two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually.

This Committee shall work in cooperation with the appropriate Society Staff member. It shall act as liaison on matters of educational concern to institutions of higher learning which offer courses in forestry within the Florida Division’s boundaries; shall keep the membership informed on developments in forestry education; and shall review and assign continuing education units for programs available to members of the Florida Division.

G. Nomination Committee

The Nominating Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. It shall consist of three members appointed annually prior to February 1. This Committee shall propose a slate of officers from the eligible Florida Division members for the elective positions to be filled. The Nominating Committee shall obtain from each nominee an agreement to serve if elected, and to send the nominations and agreements to serve to the Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer. Nominations from the membership at large may occur in accordance with Article VII. The Nominating Committee shall assemble at the time and place designated by the Secretary-Treasurer to count ballots and certify the election results to the Chair and the Executive Committee.

H. Auditing Committee

The Auditing Committee shall consist of three members, appointed annually. This Committee, at the conclusion of the fiscal year, shall inspect the financial records of the Secretary-Treasurer. The Committee shall certify the accuracy of the financial statements prepared by the Secretary-Treasurer and shall report the results of the audit to the Chair and the membership of the Florida Division.

I. Archives and History Committee

The Archives and History Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter and shall consist of four members. The term of appointment to this Committee shall be for two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually. This Committee shall preserve in accessible form the history and vital records of the Florida Division and its predecessors, the Florida Society, the Florida Section and the Florida Chapter. It shall be responsible for: (1) maintaining an archives file of selected historical documents; (2) accepting from the Secretary-Treasurer and/or the Chair file material more than one year old, and evaluating, selecting, and preserving those materials having continuing or historic value or interest; (3) researching the Archives files and reporting on the history, development or activities of the Florida Division as appropriate. The depository for the Division Archives is the Smathers Library at the University of Florida.

J. Awards Committee

The Awards Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. It shall consist of four or more members. The term of appointment to this Committee shall be for two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually.

This Committee shall, as from time to time directed by the Executive Committee, actively seek for and select, from the membership of the Florida Division and from among others, those persons meriting special recognition, awards, or mementoes and shall arrange for the procurement and presentation of said awards.

K. Florida Society of American Foresters Hall of Fame Committee

The Florida Society of American Foresters Hall of Fame Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter and Bylaws. The Committee shall consist of five members with staggered terms of five years each. The senior member shall chair the Committee. This Committee shall supervise and elect nominees to the honor society known as the Florida Foresters Hall of Fame.

L. Foresters Fund Committee

The Foresters Fund Committee shall operate in accordance with its charter. The committee shall consist of two or more members. In consultation with the Executive Committee, the Committee shall seek opportunities to promote special forestry initiatives within the State. The term of appointment to this Committee shall be for two years. Staggered appointments will be used to facilitate Committee continuity, with one-half of its members being replaced annually. The Committee is also charged with seeking opportunities to assist funding of the ForesterÕs Fund through such activities as Silent Auctions at the Division meetings or other appropriate means.

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ARTICLE IX

APPOINTMENTS

With the approval of the Executive Committee, the Chair shall make the following appointments:

A. Forest Science Coordinator

A Forest Science Coordinator may be appointed for a two-year term beginning January 1 and may be reappointed for a total of two consecutive terms. The Forest Science Coordinator assists the Regional Forest Science Committee should one be appointed.

B. Committees:

The Chair and members of each Standing Committee shall be appointed to serve two-year terms except as stated above. The term of office shall begin January 1.

C. Other Appointments

Any other appointments shall be authorized by the Executive Committee and made by the Chair.

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ARTICLE X

CHAPTERS

A. Chapters

A Chapter within the Florida Division may be authorized by the Executive Committee upon written petition of 15 or more voting members resident in an area where a strong local organization may be effected. The boundaries of a Chapter shall be established by the Executive Committee on recommendation of the members concerned.

A Chapter shall hold at least one meeting each year in order to retain its authorization. The authorization for a Chapter may be rescinded by the Executive Committee. The officers of each Chapter shall include a Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and such other officers as may be necessary. Chapter Officers shall be voting members of the Society and shall be residents or employed within the boundaries of the Chapter for the duration of the term of office which may be one or two years as provided in the Chapter Bylaws. The term shall begin on January 1. Chapters may adopt Bylaws subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, provided that no part thereof shall conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society.

A Chapter shall report promptly to the Florida Division Chair who will report to the Chair of the Southeastern Society of American Foresters the election of Chapter officers, the adoption of Chapter Bylaws and amendments thereto, and at least once a year on the proceedings of the Chapter. Actions or recommendations of a Chapter on Society affairs will be transmitted to the Florida Division for consideration for forwarding to the Chair of the Southeastern Society of American Foresters.

B. Student Chapters

A Student Chapter may be authorized within the Florida Division by the Executive Committee upon written petition of 15 or more Student Members at an institution designated as Society of American Foresters-accredited or as a candidate institution for accreditation or by a Society of American Foresters-recognized forest technician program, or upon written petition of 15 or more voting members. Student Chapters shall be composed of Student Members and other Society members employed by the institution at which the Student Chapter is authorized. Student Chapter officers shall be students or graduate students who are members of the Society. They shall serve for the duration of a school year. Society members other than Student Members who are members of Student Chapters shall also be members of their local Chapter.

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ARTICLE XI

MEETINGS

The annual business meeting of the Florida Division shall be held at the annual meeting of the Division at the Spring Symposium developed in conjunction with the University of Florida Ð School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Meetings shall be announced to the membership at least 30 days in advance, and shall not conflict with the annual meetings of the National Society nor the Southeastern Society of American Foresters. Other meetings will also avoid such conflict.

Positions pertaining to Florida Division policy shall be presented at the business meeting for discussion and, if approved by a majority vote, shall be submitted to all voting members electronically or by letter ballot, except as provided in the National Society Bylaws II A-M. All ballots must be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer or a designate. Each ballot shall state the deadline for its return, and no ballot returned after the deadline shall be counted. A majority of the votes cast shall be required for adoption.

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ARTICLE XII

RECALL

Any officer may be removed from office for reasons of misconduct, incompetence, or neglect of duty provided such removal is approved by two-thirds vote of all members voting in a letter ballot. Such ballot may be initiated by the Executive Committee on its own volition or it shall be required to conduct such ballot if it receives a petition setting forth the points of complaint and signed by at least two percent of, but in no case less than 10, voting members of the Florida Division. The Executive Committee shall designate one of its members to mail and receive the ballots in any recall election.

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ARTICLE XIII

AMENDMENTS

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Committee or upon written petition of at least two percent but in no case less than 10 of the voting members of the Florida Division. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Southeastern Society of American Foresters who coordinates with the Executive Vice-President of the Society for approval prior to a vote by the members at the annual meeting. Amendment of these Bylaws shall require a two-thirds vote of the members voting.

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ARTICLE XIV

ASSETS

State society assets belong to the state society membership as a whole. In the event of division or merger of state societies, the assets of the parent state societies will be audited and allocated to the new societies in proportion to the percentage of the voting members transferred.

Upon dissolution of the state society, the Executive Committee shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the state society, transfer all the assets of the state society to the national society, or dispose of all of the assets of the state society exclusively for the purpose of the state society in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Executive Committee shall determine.