Society Governance

Bylaws

The Florida Native Plant Society Bylaws form the framework that the Board of Directors must follow to govern FNPS and FNPS Chapter activities. FNPS Chapters may develop their own bylaws, provided they are consistent with those of FNPS. The FNPS Bylaws are reviewed on a periodic basis and may be amended by an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members present at any annual meeting, or at any other meeting of members; or by an affirmative vote of at least a 60% majority of the members participating in an on-line vote and/or mail-in vote which would adhere to the guidelines under Articles 4.073 & 4.074.

Code of Ethics

Governance and decision making for the Society are governed by a code of ethics that has evolved over time and through policy. The central ethics of the Society appear below.

Definition of native plants, and source of taxonomy. This definition was approved by the BOD in 1994:
For most purposes, the phrase "Florida native plant" refers to those species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical documentation. More specifically, it includes those species understood as indigenous, occurring in natural associations in habitats that existed prior to significant human impacts and alterations of the landscape.
When communicating about Florida’s native plant species, the Society adopts the taxonomy represented in the most recent edition of Wunderlin and Hansen’s Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida published by the University Press of Florida. Plant identification shall include scientific names in addition to any common names used in written materials or correspondence.

Plant rescue and collection of plant materials. Under Florida and federal law, plants belong to the landowner. A plant rescue form is being developed by FNPS to be used to document landowner permission. This form should be signed and present on site while a plant rescue is being conducted, in addition to any required permits. When completed, the FNPS plant rescue form will be available on the FNPS website.

Adherence to Florida and Federal Laws. The Society is dedicated to operations consistent with both state and federal law, from fiscal management, to copyright, to behavior on field trips. The actions of FNPS elected officers and designees conducting FNPS business are held to this standard, and actions in violation of law are disavowed by the Society.

Non-discrimination. The FNPS Board approved the following statement on July 10, 2004:
The Florida Native Plant Society offers its services to the public while being committed to the principle of non discrimination for all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, disability or marital status.

Board of Directors

The Board shall consist of the following Directors: (a) all Officers of the Society (President, Vice-president for Administration, Vice-president for Finance, Secretary, and Treasurer) and the President-elect or Past President; (b) 3 Directors representing the Council of Chapters (see below); and (c) up to 12 Directors, comprised of 3 Directors at Large and all standing committee chairs. In the case of elimination of standing committees or vacancies, the number of Directors serving in this category may be reduced, with a minimum of 8. These Directors are accountable for implementation of the strategic goals and initiatives of the Society. The Board shall meet a minimum of quarterly, with one meeting to be held at the annual conference. For details about meeting notices, et cetera, please refer to the Society Bylaws.
Legally, the FNPS corporation operates independently of the FNPS Chapters under the governance of its Board. Although official affiliation of Chapters is governed by the Society’s Bylaws, FNPS Chapters are also independent organizations responsible for complying with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. That said, you will see that the Society provides leadership, representation, guidance, funding, and other umbrella services to the Chapters; the Chapters provide Board Members, innovations, and local representation to the Society as a whole.

Executive Committee

The Florida Native Plant Society's policy decisions and daily operations are governed by an Executive Committee composed of the Officers of the Society, the Past President or President-elect, and one Board of Directors Member who represents the Council of Chapters. Under the Bylaws, It shall have the power to conduct FNPS operations as instructed by the Board.
Executive Committee meetings typically occur four times a year in addition to full board meetings, with the President determining the place and time. Meetings may be held in person or by telephone conference call or Internet meeting software. The Executive Committee conducts FNPS operations as defined by the roles and responsibilities of their positions, and by direction from the full FNPS Board.

Standing Committees

The Society's Standing Committees organize and direct programs and assist with Chapter activities. Standing Committees are responsible for specific committee tasks and general tasks associated with organizational needs. These Committees may have Sub-Committees that implement specific programs. The Board has the power to create standing committees, which must have a minimum of a Chair and 2 additional members who are members in good standing of the Society.
Standing Committees currently include Communications, Conference, Conservation, Education, Finance, Land Management Partners, Landscape, Policy & Legislation, and Science.
The president may appoint the chairs of the Society’s standing committees subject to ratification of the Board. The chair of any committee may recruit and appoint its members as long as they are members of the Society in good standing. Whoever creates a committee has the duty to establish and change its goals, and the power to terminate it and to end an appointment to it.
Committee chairs recruit and welcome members whose interests and expertise add to the ability of the Society to accomplish its goals. As committees implement projects, FNPS members are often approached based on their interest, abilities and availability.

Council of Chapters

The Society’s Council of Chapters shall consist of a representative from each Chapter of the Society in good standing. The goals and powers of the Council shall be specified by the Board of Directors. The general purpose of the Council is to provide a structure for interaction among Chapter Representatives so that they may share information to improve Chapter effectiveness, and to facilitate coordination among Chapters on regional or statewide projects to advance the mission of the Society. The Council has three Representatives on the Society's Board of Directors, one of whom represents the Council on the Executive Committee. The Council operates separately from the Board and is largely self-governing, with its own rules and procedures.