TOD Charter


10/11/08, Revised 10/2013, Revised 4/19/2016


The Board of Directors of the Big Thicket Association (BTA) established, in a called meeting on March 11, 2006, the Thicket of Diversity (ToD) for the purpose of conducting an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in the Big Thicket National Preserve and the greater Big Thicket region. The ToD shall be governed by its Executive Council, created by and answering directly to the board of BTA and its president. Executive Council members are not necessarily members of the BTA board.  The ToD Executive Council will guide, support, and assist in the development and implementation of a thorough inventory of life forms in the Big Thicket region.

As of January 17, 2016 BTA signed a Work Plan under our Friends Agreement with the Big Thicket National Preserve identifying projects, roles, and schedule to be undertaken by the Director of the Thicket of Diversity and the organization.  The Work Plan will be revised annually.  The Director of the ToD and the Big Thicket Association support the goals and objectives of this Work Plan to achieve successful implementation in a timely manner.

Article 1: AUTHORITY

            Section A:  The Big Thicket, an area of unique biodiversity and a major corridor for international migration, is under increasing threat from natural disasters, population increase accompanied by urban sprawl, changes in land ownership, and increasing numbers of invasive species and exotics.  These critical circumstances require better knowledge of the many life forms existing in the Big Thicket.

            Section B:  The Big Thicket Association creates, as a subsidiary of the Association, the Thicket of Diversity Executive Council to advise and implement the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in the Big Thicket area.

            Section C:   The Council shall have the authority to solicit funds for ToD and to create such subcommittees as deemed necessary.  All policy and financial recommendations shall be submitted to the Big Thicket Association Board of Directors for approval. All funds to support ToD shall be held in the custody of the Association.      

Article 2: MEMBERSHIP        

             Membership in the Thicket of Diversity shall be granted to all who are engaged in or are supportive of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in the Big Thicket.


            Section A - The Thicket of Diversity shall have an Executive Council composed of:

                        Subsection 1: President, Vice President, and Secretary.

                        Subsection 2: Director of the Thicket of Diversity

                        Subsection 3: Executive Director of the BTA,

                        Subsection 4: Chairs of the standing committees (see Section C below) appointed by the Executive Council president;

Subsection 4: Two members of the BTA Board, two distinguished representatives of the larger community, and one representative of the mass media, appointed by the president of the BTA

                        Subsection 5: Two members of the BTNP staff, appointed by the BTNP superintendent.                    

            Section B: The President, Vice President, and Secretary shall be elected by the attending membership present at the fall meeting of even numbered years.  Elected positions shall have a term of office not to exceed four (4) years. 

            Section C:   The standing committees are: 




                        Data Management. 

                        Other committees may be created by the Executive Council as needed.

            Section D:  The Executive Council shall develop policies and procedures for:

                        The establishment of Taxonomic Working Groups;

                        The approval of grants and other expenditures;

                        Recruitment and training of citizen/scientists;

                        Reporting TOD activities to BTA, NPS, and funding sources

            Section E:  Members of the Executive Council and committees shall avoid possible conflicts of interest by abstaining on decisions involving funds that might be received directly or indirectly by that member



            Section A: The Thicket of Diversity shall focus its attention on the management and implementation of a thorough All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in BTNP and the Big Thicket region.

            Section B. ToD shall inform, recruit, and mobilize the scientists, local citizens and citizen scientists necessary for the development and implementation of ToD.

            Section C:  ToD shall seek grants, contributions, and other sources of funding for the support of TOD activities.

             Section D:  ToD and BTA shall assure that the product of ToD is duly reported and recorded in a usable database so as to be available to NPS personnel, the scientific community, and the lay community for effective management and enjoyment of the ecological environment.

            Section E:  ToD shall assist in the utilization of the ATBI for the training of citizen scientists and for effective environmental education of the public.