Conservation Stories Ring True

Eagle at sunset

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

Categories: Uncategorized | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Conservation Stories Ring True

  1. Bholmes

    I am glad to see ConservAmerica as a party to this compact, as they have made tremendous efforts to reconnect the Republican base with their historic conservation platforms and ethics. What I would say to conservatives is, pro-environment is pro-life. Why would you want to bring a child into a natural world that has been horribly degraded by our actions? Acid rain, deforestation of the Amazon, arsenic in water, mercury poisoning in food, mass crowding and traffic caused by rapid urban sprawl, and so forth.

    Destruction of God’s Creation, the natural ecosystems which he gave unto us to sustain our human lives, is NOT pro-life. Hopefully we can find reasonable compromise and agreement in this nation again.

    Ben in Maine

  2. Bholmes

    I was raised around tremendous beauty and pristine ecology in southern and northern Maine. I am so grateful for that experience.

    Conservation is important for me in a few ways. One, as a Catholic Christian, nature represents the mystical wisdom of God and highlights how that God is the greatest artist of the universe. Why destroy what he has created? Nature provides a substantive sense of healing for the heart and soul, and exposure and interaction with the natural world has proved to possess holistic principles.

    Second, conservation is patriotic, as President Theodore Roosevelt declared (and I couldn’t agree more). When we preserve and utilize farmland, America retains an ability to feed and sustain itself. There is almost no greater sign of self-reliance than the ability to feed oneself. Second, preserving our historic American battlefields allows us to traverse the sacred grounds upon which the United States was formed and continually forged. It is the final resting place of those heroes and opponents who fought for their ideals and for this nation.

    I hope we can regain a widespread sense of the conservation ethic in America, especially in a bipartisan reality. Thank you for this noble effort, keep up the terrific work, and fight on for conserving and restoring America.

    Ben in Maine

  3. martha

    the natural world is everyone’s home…and heritage

    • Natural resource issues transcend political, economic, and religious boundaries. I was reminded of this last weekend when I participated in a pow-wow sponsored by the Warm Springs native american Indian tribe. The celebration included a wide diversity of Americans gathered together to honor a new tribal heritage center at the base of WyEast (Mt. Hood, Oregon). We need only look to aboriginal cultures for their wisdom about on how careful stewardship of the world’s natural resources is crucial to human survival.

  4. Years ago, when we visited my sister and family in WA, I was horrified to see clear cutting in the National Forest. Now, on different websites, I read how people are allowed to drive RVs on beaches–where there might be fragile ecosystems, and how besides logging, oil and gas drilling are proposed for national forests. What will be left? Who benefits from this sort of thing–except the corporations. I am wearing my Overturn Citizens United shirt today. I do not think that a corporation should buy an election, and they sure as h— don’t deserve the land that belongs to all of us!

  5. Elizabeth Mudge

    I’m so very glad that the Audobon Society has moved forward in sending this pledge to the politicians who hopefully will act positively on this issue.
    If we didn’t have these rights in the U.S. just think of the consequences. So, hopefully everyone will do there part and sign the Eagle Contract.
    Thanks for putting in the effort to give everyone the chance to act on this issue.

  6. Linda Macfarlane

    It’s about the future – our future, our children’s, our grandchildren’s. But even more than that, it’s about the survival of the human race as a species. We cannot ignore the damage we are inflicting on this planet any longer. We have grown in numbers enough that we certainly can affect the health of our world. We will not destroy the earth, but we will certainly make it uninhabitable for us and 90% of the rest of the life on this planet. We have no alternatives and we have no more time. We are right on the brink of it being too late. We HAVE to do this – NOW!

  7. Karen Raccio

    We all have to take care of our earth. It is our duty.

  8. Denise

    I agree with the others, we have one planet that we must take care of. Not just for the flora and fauna, but for all. It seems that we have not learned from past mistakes. Pennsylvania is now fracking away and risking the water supply to NY, NJ, PA, Phila and the Chesapeake Bay states. No one, but the drilling companies, knows for sure what chemical are being pumped into the ground or the water supply.

  9. Mischa

    I’m feeling a bit spiritual today – Ever since I was a young child, I have always felt an affinity with the earth and all of it’s creatures. So, while others were swatting flies and killing spiders; I would pick them up and put them outside or rescue birds, talk to the deer who would calmly watch me and sometimes walk towards me. Of course the family thinks you’re crazy when you do these things but even then, I felt that all life is valuable and the balance of the earth is conducive with the way we treat our fellow humans, the earth and all it’s inhabitants. This kinship has carried me through my adult life as long as I don’t forget who I am and hold my values true. If we don’t get wrapped around the politics, greed and pervasive stupidity, maybe our planet can survive. Also, when I was young, there was a song we would sing in church entitled “Stewards of the Earth” which is a gentle hymn to our planet. It is a lovely song that often drifts across my mind as I gaze upon the beauty of the earth. Wishing you all the best.

  10. Darlin McDaniel

    I agree wholeheartedly with Reuben.
    We have only one inhabitable planet–we must take care of it or we will not survive!

  11. JV

    When will the Audubon Society speak out against the slaughter of Golden Eagles and other birds by the many windmill farms? Or is that “political”?

    • The public needs to be aware that the windmill industry is not the friendly “green energy” we have been lead to believe. The death count for Bats, Golden & Bald Eagles and other habitats will never be known, there is no accountability, but they are high. Unfortunately, the wind industry is getting a free ride to downsize and many causes slaughter innocent bird species.

      This creates a huge chain reaction, starting with the farmers, property value (and neighbors) reduced, crop production reduce, chemicals increased to justify the crop reduction loss from the increase of insects. Bats are our friends in helping to provide a nature balance from the thousands of insects they eat. Chemicals will trickle down into our waters from the rains.

      Sensitive impact sensors should be placed in the hub of each turbine, think of the black box that is use in airplane that records needed data. Wind industries need to go back to the drawing board.

      We must step up to the plate and speak up for these innocent birds, IBA area should be off limits.

  12. It is wonderful to read so many heartfelt comments. Conservation is a very personal value, yet one that binds all Americans–past, present, and yet to come.

  13. Reuben

    Simply put, when we diminish our environment, we diminish our future. What is so surprising is how supposedly intelligent beings have such a difficult time accepting this. The culprit? Again, selfishness and greed, those terminal illnesses that plague all of mankind.

    • We are so blessed to live in America the Beautiful. Thanks to all the “watchdog” organizations and concerned individuals.

      Glendora in Illinois

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