Board Minutes: November 17, 2021




A Zoom meeting of the board of directors of Western Mass Climbers Coalition (WMCC, a Massachusetts Nonprofit corporation), was held on November 17, 2021 at 7p ET pursuant to notice given in accordance with Article 11, Section 3 of the WMCC’s bylaws.


Stephanie Giguere, President; Dolci Mascolo and Sara McFadden, Co-Vice Presidents; Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Secretary; Danielle Rao, Treasurer; Sam Copland; Josh Seamon, and Rob Sullivan.

Stephanie Giguere called the meeting to order and welcomed our new board members, Sam Copland and Josh Seamon, to their first WMCC board meeting. Based on the number of directors in attendance at the meeting and the Non-Profit’s by-laws, the Secretary determined that a quorum was present and stated that the meeting could proceed. 

[NOTE: Since voting does not officially end until the 20th of this month, Sam and Josh joined the meeting with full participation except the ability to vote.] 

Topics discussed and decisions made follow below.


Minutes approved

Minutes from the last board meeting, October 21, 2021, were approved.


JDEI Committee Update:

(by Sara McFadden)

Winter Speaker series:

  • November 18, 6-7:30 pm: Heather Bruegl, More Than a Land Acknowledgement
    (organizers: WMC JDEI and Scenic Hudson)
  • December 9, 7-9 pm: Cody Kaemmerlen and Shara Zaia, Climb United, AAC

(organizers: WMCC JDEI committee)

  • January 2022: Majka Burhardt
    (organizers: Sendhers, AMC, WMCC)
  • 2022: Irene Yee

Action: The JDEI committee requested $350 for a winter 2021-2022 speaker series. It was approved unanimously by the board.

Fundraiser for Stockbridge-Munsee Band Youth Climbing Program:

The youth climbing program was a WMCC JDEI idea, but we are putting this on hold while we speak with the S-M Band on what the tribe wants and what would really benefit them.


Press Protocol:

The WMCC does not seek publicity, but we have decided that it would be good practice to create a press release for some of our activities. This decision has come about after a Berkshire Eagle article about the Hanging Mountain opening. Organizations who gave money to the project and provided us with many volunteer hours were not mentioned in the article. This was a terrible oversight as Hanging Mountain could not have happened without their support. We feel that this would not have happened if the board had been prepared for media coverage and had a formal statement about Hanging Mountain. 

Action: WMCC will create a media page on our website where we will post releases for major events. This will ensure that important information about the WMCC is released in an orderly and reliable manner.


Passwords and Other Security Protocols:

There is no policy regarding current practices. We realize that this is an important issue that requires a deeper dive into the subject than we have time for in tonight’s agenda. The board decided to re-visit this issue at a later date.


Hanging Mountain Stewardship Committee (HMSC) Update:

(by Rob Sullivan)

New Rock Fall Sign: It has been ordered (see 10.21.21 minutes).

Spring Closure: Whether or not to have one, how dates might be determined: Still under discussion.

Guiding: HMSC will come up with a policy.

Crag Management: Rob is looking into getting Kel Rossiter to speak to WMCC on this.

Route Development Protocol: HMSC is working on one.

Conservation Easement: Matt Conroy, president of RMF and member of the HMSC, and Jennifer Carlino of the AMC will work on a plan. 

Drones: If anyone wants to use a drone on the property, they must request permission first.

Army Corps: On October 29, WMCC received an email from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding climbing on their land. WMCC’s guide currently lists climbs on the Corps Wall, but makes clear that this is not WMCC-owned land. Rob and Jon LaValley will meet with representatives of the Army Corps to discuss usage. 

Action: Corps Wall climbs and any mention of it will be removed from the guidebook. Signs will be put up at the kiosk saying the Corps Wall is closed.


Finance Update:

(by Danielle Rao and Stephanie Giguere)

$49,307 in bank account as of 11/10.

Mass Trails Grant: We will be reimbursed $5,000. Dolci reported that we can apply for another Mass Trails Grant next Fall 2022.

$5,000 Grant: WMCC was awarded this money from AAWF through Rama Davis. It will go towards maintenance and expansion of the Farley Parking Lot and will be dispersed sometime this winter.

Iron Ranger at Hanging Mountain

Action: Jon LaValley will be reimbursed for expenses for this.


New Land Managers for Becket Quarry:

The Trustees ( are the new land managers for Becket Quarry. 

Action: WMCC will reach out to The Trustees to discuss access for climbing at the Quarries. Jon LaValley and Josh Seamon will be our representatives.


FERC and First Light Update:

(by Pamela Matsuda-Dunn)

On July 14, the board voted in favor of seeking a land transfer from FirstLight to the WMCC; the preferred alternative to that would be to continue our current arrangement of an “informal” recognition of climbing. After talking to Bob Fletcher, the official at FERC who handles transfers, we found out that ownership was not an option, but a permanent Conservation Easement (CE) was possible. Climbing can still be informally recognized for FirstLight’s license, but would be listed in the CE as an “allowable activity.”

Action: The board voted unanimously to seek a permanent Conservation Easement status with climbing as an allowable activity.


Special Board Seat:

An emeritus board position was discussed. Josh provided this definition:

“An “emeritus” director is usually a former board member who is invited to stay on board as a nonvoting member in an advisory capacity. This is an honorific title in recognition of the member’s active participation, financial contribution, or continuing strong interest in the organization.”

The board voted unanimously to appoint Jeff to the board as regular board member. He will need to run as a regular nominee in the next election to retain his seat, as was done with Rob’s position (Rob was asked to fill Michelle Lloyd-Dedischew’s position when she vacated her seat).


  • Rob will talk to Jeff about joining the board. 
  • Rob and Josh will bring a proposal to the board about an emeritus position to ensure institutional memory. The board will continue to discuss how to incorporate an emeritus seat.



WMCC needs to establish specific policies for our committees in order to be better organized, establish better communication, and have clearly defined roles to better engage our membership.

Current committees:

– JDEI committee

– Hanging Mountain Stewardship committee needs to be defined. It is a coalition committee currently made up of RMF and WMCC members.

Current informal committees:

Farley committee

Farley Parking Lot committee (subset of Farley committee?)

FERC/FL committee (another subset of Farley committee?) [Does this need to be a committee? Pamela is the only WMCC member actively involved in FL discussions. Perhaps she should be a “representative” of the WMCC who brings back information to the greater board for discussion and voting.]

Still to discuss:
– Are committee positions indefinite appointments?
– How do we create diversity within committees?


  1. Committee members will be appointed by the board.
  2. Committees should meet on a regular basis.
  3. Committees should take minutes and share with the board.
  4. Each committee will have a board member who acts as a liaison to the board. This board member will bring formal proposals to the board to consider via email or regular board meetings.
  5. Each committee will choose a committee chair and secretary.
  6. As committees are formalized, we will add them to the website.
  7. There will be 5-9 members in a committee.


The next Board meeting is a public meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, December 15 at 7p via Zoom.


There being no other business to consider, the meeting was adjourned 9:05 pm.



Pamela Matsuda-Dunn