How We Operate
Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, which was incorporated on May 15, 1995 as The Stone Lakes National Refuge Association, is a non-profit 501(C3) public benefit corporation located in Sacramento County, California. Its purpose is to support the National Wildlife Refuge and its staff in its resource management efforts, and to encourage the public’s use and enjoyment of the Refuge’s outstanding lands and facilities.
The membership of Friends of the Refuge consists of private citizens who are willing to share their time, talents and dedication for the benefit of the Refuge and to further its goals. Most of the Friends members live in the Sacramento Metropolitan Area, particularly in the city and county of Sacramento, and the City of Elk Grove.
Friends of Stone Lakes NWR is a self-governing organization, independent of the Refuge itself. It is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of Friends members who, in turn, are nominated from among the general membership and then elected by the Board. The Board has five officers: President, Vice-President, Immediate Past President, Treasurer and Secretary. The first three officers serve three-year terms, wherein the Vice-President fills the office of President and Immediate Past President in following years. The Treasurer and Secretary serve two-year terms, with the former elected in even-numbered years and the latter in odd-numbered years.
The Board meets monthly on the third Thursday evening of the month. Meetings are held at various locations (for exact meeting locations email Habitat@FriendsofStoneLakes.org). The meetings run from 7 to 9 p.m. and are open to the public. A representative of the Refuge staff attends the meeting to report on Refuge programs.
The Board has a number of standing committees, each focusing of a specific subject area. These committees consist of Board members, including one Board officer, and other Friends members who wish to participate. These committees meet between regular Board meetings, and report on their activities at Board meetings.
The current Board committees and their area of responsibilities are as follows:
Finance – Is responsible for the continuing oversight on the Friends' funds, for reporting on the current state of its finances, and for preparing the Friends' annual budget.
Membership/Outreach – is responsible for (1) expanding and maintaining the Friends' membership, conducting outreach events and activities, maintaining a website to provide information to Friends members and the public; for (2) informing appropriate decision-makers and the concerned public about the Refuge and its programs, its value and its needs; and for (3) encouraging private citizens and organizations to support the Friends in furthering the goals and programs of the Refuge.
Conservation – is responsible for (1) identifying, evaluating and addressing environmental and land use planning issues which may impact the Refuge and its programs; for (2) recommending to the Friends Board any public positions which it should take in addressing such issues that would benefit the Refuge; and for (3) preparing written comments and providing public testimony on behalf of the Friends Board.
Environmental Education – works to expand the educational values of the Refuge and its resources. It assists in programs that facilitate public access to the Refuge and coordinates its programs with the K through 12 education programs of the larger Elk Grove Community.