Wildlife Conservation Stamp: Dec 2013 Newsletter

 

 

Newsletter December 2013
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Thank you for your support!

A big thanks to our many supporters — for helping us launch the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project and for moving us forward on the road toward realization. As we approach our one-year anniversary as a grassroots group, we are grateful for all of you who’ve expressed your passion and commitment to this endeavor. 

We are consistently energized in our efforts when we hear from others who are as excited as we are to bring a new Wildlife Conservation Stamp to fruition. It is clear from the comments and correspondence we’ve received over this past year, that the time is right for a stamp that appeals to our growing demographic of birders, photographers and wildlife watchers across the country.

We’re initiating some changes in the next month, the first of which is a website redesign, currently in progress. We’re also revamping our newsletter format and will send out updates monthly, keeping you informed about project developments.

Read on for other news. And, thank you again for being a part of the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project.

** HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! **

~ Larry Jordan and Ingrid Taylar

www.wildlifeconservationstamp.org

The Future of the Wildlife Conservation Stamp

We’re busy formulating our project plan for the months ahead, which includes discussions with wildlife advocacy groups — to collaborate and expand our reach in the coming year. We will update you on new developments in 2014. In the interim, thank you to the individual Audubon chapters and conservation groups who’ve joined our growing community of advocates — and who’ve taken the time to present the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project to their boards and members for approval. We appreciate your support!

To join our roster of organizational supporters, please fill out our contact form at:

wildlifeconservationstamp.org/organization-support/

Facebook and Twitter

If you’re not yet a fan on our Facebook page, be sure to head over and click LIKE. We’ll be posting project updates, links to our blog posts, wildlife photography, and other related stories on the page. We also have a brand new Twitter feed where we’ll be linking to articles and news items related to wildlife and National Wildlife Refuges.

Some Raves from our Readers

“These benefits for purchasing a Wildlife Conservation Stamp are perfect!!!!! This is everything I would hope for and solves many of the issues I have with purchasing Federal Duck Stamps, which I never have done. I’m an amateur photographer and recreational wildlife enthusiast. I want to enjoy the refuges with my family, without disturbing the wildlife that is resting and recouping there. I’d love to participate in a Wildlife Conservation Stamp program.” 

“We are bird/wildlife amateur photographers and we prowl wildlife refuges. We think a wildlife stamp is an incredibly worthwhile idea. I would purchase such a stamp as soon as it was available.”

As a long time Birder, I believe and fully support a Wildlife Conservation Stamp. In the past, all total I have purchased three Duck Stamps. However after reading this article which clearly identified the benefits of a separate stamp, I assure you that I would personally purchase a Wildlife Conservation Stamp each year. I’m can also assure you that I could get a significant number of family and friends to purchase the stamp as well.”

“Being a Wildlife Rehabilitator and President of Injured & Orphaned Wildlife, Campbell, California I believe it is about time that wildlife had its own stamp, which can depict those species that are endangered or not, mammal, fish, reptile, amphibian, bird all wildlife. Just because they exist, not because they are a hunted species.”

When you have treasures like these, what better way to go than to support and honor the diversity. A Wildlife Stamp I think would show our dedication to this cause.”

“This is a FABULOUS idea! And what breath-taking images I’ve seen right here in the past few minutes [Facebook] … a great way to help fund and promote our National Wildlife Refuges!”

“Now this is a project that is undoubtedly worthwhile!”

“Absolutely in favor of this — and we’ll continue to buy the Duck Stamp, too.”

“It’s about time!!!”

“Working With Wildlife” Series

In our new blog, we’ll be posting a regular Q&A segment with photographers, birders, bloggers and other wildlife enthusiasts who participate in wildlife conservation efforts.

One of the things we hear consistently is that non-consumptive refuge users like birders and wildlife watchers don’t contribute enough to wildlife conservation. We know this is simply not true, based on charitable donation figures, tax dollars, and volunteer hours clocked at wildlife organizations.

So, we want to put a face on those conservation efforts by showcasing those of you who have a passion for birding, wildlife observation or wildlife photography — and who also contribute to wildlife whether it’s through advocacy, research, rehabilitation, habitat restoration, education, or any other avenue. If we feature your work we’ll also showcase your wildlife and nature photographs (or art media) for our website visitors and Facebook fans.

If you work for or volunteer with an environmental project and would like to be considered for this Q&A, send us a brief description of your work and any relevant links.

Nature Photographers: We Need Your Wildlife Refuge Photos

Last year we started a collection of photo essays about our National Wildlife Refuges and the wildlife present at each one. We’re covering our favorites in California, Oregon and Washington and will ultimately feature beautiful shots of every Refuge in every state.

If you have photos you’d like to share from one of your favorite National Wildlife Refuges, we’d love to see a sample for possible inclusion at our website. It can be original content or cross-posted from your own blog, with a link back to your page.

We are looking for good quality images that we can post at a width of 800 pixels in our blog — which showcase the diversity of each Refuge, its animals and habitat. The text accompanying the photos can simply be short and descriptive. We’ll add details about each Refuge as needed.

You can see samples of our Refuge coverage in the blog.

Canadian lynx by Keith Williams, Wikipedia Commons

Case Study Kenai: Why We Need a Wildlife Conservation Stamp

Recently, a popular bird watching and photography location in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) faced a challenge that would have opened the area to predator hunting, an area that since its creation has been open only to non-consumptive uses. The Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area is approximately 2 percent of Kenai NWR  and was set aside specifically for wildlife viewing and conservation education.

David Raskin, speaking on behalf of Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and The Wilderness Society, pointed out that ”This area is probably the most heavily used area of the refuge, even though it’s only 2 percent of the refuge lands. Almost 2 million acres of refuge are open to hunting, including wolves, coyote and lynx. It would be a travesty to jeopardize all of this for the special interest of a very relatively few hunters who currently have 98 percent of the refuge available for their consumptive activities.”

We realize there are many difficult and complex decisions involving Refuge land use priorities but this should not be one of them. Decisions to preserve just 2 percent of any Refuge for wildlife viewing exclusively, with limitless benefits for both humans and wildlife concerned, shouldn’t even be questioned.

We applaud the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Manager, Andy Loranger, for his decision to stand firm on the 2007 scientifically based management plan agreed upon by the refuge management and Fish & Game, and we thank him for recognizing the critical importance of wildlife, wildlife viewing, and non-consumptive uses in the broader spectrum of Refuge land allocation.

This story is just one example of why we need a Wildlife Conservation Stamp. There are many different types of people using our National Wildlife Refuge System and we don’t all have the same interests. When conflicts arise, non-extractive users of refuges need a stronger voice in these matters.

Backed by our financial contributions through a new Wildlife Conservation Stamp, we can gain political clout with the USFWS giving us more influence on the decisions they make for the future of our Wildlife Refuge System.

Your Feedback

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or ideas. We’ll do our best to respond in a timely manner. You can also post your thoughts at our blog and on our Facebook page.

Thank you again — stay warm, have a great holiday season, and we’ll see you in 2014!

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