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June 2022

Vol. 50, No. 3

The History of Bird Observer - Chapter 2: The Saga Continues

William E. Davis, Jr.

Clearly the Bird Observer staff took the December 3, 1977, comments by Philip Martin (Davis 2022) seriously, as evidenced by the January 14, 1978, response to Martin’s letter by Paul Roberts and the discussions that followed at the general meeting—and off and on for the next five years. At the February meeting, staff discussed putting the back issues of the Where to Goes into book form, and the minutes contain the following comment:

The reorganization of BOEM is a must—we have fallen apart and need very much to begin meeting deadlines. Leif [Robinson] drew up a reorganization plan which is enclosed. Please look at and be prepared to discuss at length and finalize a new reorganization plan ….

At the March meeting, there was much discussion about changing the cover of Bird Observer and changes in the structure of the organization. Leif Robinson stressed that there should be minimal key personnel and no redundancy in staffing responsibility, and that the president should be responsible for success of the business aspects of Bird Observer and overall success of the magazine. He further suggested that the editor should be autonomous:

Everything moves from the top. People lower down only worry about one facet. The President has to worry about the whole thing. Normally the president has no role in the production of the magazine, but here since he can do so he should step in and do whatever needs to be done when the usual people are unable to do their jobs.

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