When we asked Audubon volunteers to tell us why they believed conservation has no party, we were surprised by the sheer volume of replies. They were all compelling, some long, some short, some poetic and some to the point. All were heartfelt. It was clear we had touched a nerve within our own ranks. Here are some of our favorite submissions. A few tap into the frustration so many of us feel as we’ve watched conservation of our world slip from an All-American no-brainer to a hot political potato. Read on — you may find your sentiments echoed below.
I’ve been an avid nature observer for over 40 years. I started by hunting and fishing as a small boy growing up on a farm in middle Georgia. I’ve always been a responsible outdoorsman, who had a deep appreciation for the land and its wildlife and native plants. About 10 years ago, I started doing all my hunting with the camera. You’ll find me out in the woods on most weekends photographing wildlife and wildflowers.
I agree that all Americans must work together to protect our environment. But, it seems to me that the two political parties are more interested in “winning” their point of view instead of doing the right thing for the environment. The United States is in much better shape than it was 40 years ago because of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. It saddens me when politicians advocate the dismantling of the EPA. I remember the days before the EPA where disposal of hazardous waste to the environment was a common and accepted practice. You just can’t count on all industries to do the right thing.
Ken C, South Carolina
Although my father and I hold vastly different views on a great many subjects, a gift that he gave me when I was quite young was the love of nature and, in particular, the birds outside our window. To this day, in his advancing age and humbling physical decline, I can share a moment with him about a bird I’ve seen in my own yard’s hedge or my daily wanderings, and I can see the old spark of interest and curiosity in his eyes that has inspired me.
Please continue to protect our natural and wild spaces. They transcend differences in opinion, as well as generations, and are more important than can be quantifiably measured.
Carrie S, New Jersey
It is not the sound of mens’ voices, arguing, shouting, yelling especially in Washington, D.C. that gives me pause in this life on Mother Earth. Rather, the sound of crow wings flapping in Bandelier Canyon near Santa Fe; the surprising swoosh of air as it is forced out of the gray whale’s blow hole in the waters off the Baja Peninsula; the early morning, melodic song of the thrush on Selma’s Bartram Trail in Georgia; the late night eerie calls of the coyote in Northern New Mexico. There is not one ounce of political rhetoric that can compare to these sounds in Nature. I would suggest great consideration be given to seeing that they are protected lest we forget what beauty really sounds like.
Kayce V, New Mexico
Our beloved American Bald Eagle, so strong, so majestic, soars over our country with a watchful eye and a magic presence ever guiding, ever guarding this great land of ours, representing the flame of Freedom that speaks to every American. Be diligent, the Eagle says, and don’t let your guard down even for a second. Be honorable, for honorable men stand tall and can look in the eye of the enemy. Be courage, for courageous men will ensure that Freedom will forever be the law of this land, and be love, for it is the actions of love that unite men’s hearts and align their spirit with the Divine Creator, who will then judge men on the intentions of their hearts.It is every person’s responsibility to be good stewards of our land and all the blessed birds of the skies and animals of the Earth that we share this great land with. Let’s all soar with the Eagles and honor the land we all share and have the courage to stand up for it and protect it because we love our country and it is our duty to do so.
I Love You America!
Kelly W, Hawaii
“Environment” is not a swear word, but too often it is treated like one in the halls of our legislatures. Yes, let’s bring together both parties to understand that we are dependent on a healthy atmosphere and strong laws to protect it.
Barbra B, Arizona
I too am frustrated by the death grip each party has in DC. I am reminded of what Winston Churchill said about our political system, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” I’m not sure he would agree with that statement if he were alive today. Good luck on your efforts.
Charlie B, Georgia
I grew up half a block from the railroad, and remember Mom’s clothes on the clothes line getting dirty from the soot of the passing locomotives. We never thought about health hazards from the soot, we just wanted clean clothes. We were pleased when diesel locomotives replaced the coal-burners — no more dirty clothes! We didn’t care whether Republicans or Democrats were behind the change. We just saw progress. Today we know about the health hazards of pollution — in the air, the water, the damage it does to human lives, plants and animals as well. We don’t care whether Democrats or Republicans support reducing pollution, and taking care of God’s earth. We just want a cleaner, better world for our children and grandchildren, one where they can enjoy nature in good health.
Bob B, Nebraska
We are blessed to have nesting Bald Eagles, Osprey and Peregrine Falcons, birds that had vanished from our region. This did not happen because we just hoped that it would. It happened because both Republicans and Democrats, good people on both sides of the aisle, more than 40 years ago saw the need to do the right thing, understood that threatened wildlife needed help. Despite what the corporations and big money demanded, they put the health of the people, our wildlife and forests ahead of politics. All Americans, despite what party they belong to, need to stand up and demand a healthy environment and our wildlife heritage preserved for everyone.
Don T, New Jersey
As a person of faith, I believe that all things are part of the interdependent web of existence. We must become good stewards of this unique and fragile planet, for the survival of all of us.
John S, Delaware
As an independent, I don’t like how polarized environmental groups have become. The planet and its health concerns ALL of us human beings. It is not a right or left issue. Polarizations leads to no progress! Period.
Jennifer O, Illinois