So the holidays are officially underway, so too is our most successful year as an organization coming to a close. As a conservation organization preparing this coming March to celebrate three years of existence, it’s time to reflect and chart the path forward. When we started Bold Visions Conservation, the goal was to be a small conservation group that worked on national and local conservation issues. In the past two plus years our all-volunteer organization has done just that.
From our efforts to fight off-shore development on the Atlantic Coast, to prairie dog rescue, to our fight against New Mexico Game and Fish and our work to preserve lands as wilderness, our goal is to protect our wildlife and wilderness in a manner that is smart, strategic and always passion filled! We have done it on a budget that few groups could operate with.
Over the past two years we were able to bring a large group of North Carolina Conservation groups together to fight offshore oil and gas development. We created a coalition, that remains vibrant and the effort continues to grow, we did this on perhaps the smallest budget imaginable.
We brought groups together this past February in the Pacific Northwest and southwest to fight for wolf protection. We spent part of the year in Colorado working to protect prairie dogs that were in harm’s way of a shopping mall. While we rescued more than 150 prairie dogs from certain death, (after more than 1000 were killed before our arrival) and received a commitment of more than $250,000 for new land acquisition and future rescues in the region this was part of a commitment to preserving healthy ecosystems and predator species.
Since that time we have refocused our efforts in New Mexico, promoting a very specific effort on Game and Fish Reform. Organizing the business community (close to 100 signed on) and working to build a solid religious community support. We have developed a film to educate the public on Game and Fish Reform, but that film remains in need of funding for completion.
We have continued our efforts to gain support for the protection of a large area of Bureau of Land Management lands in and around Chaco Canyon, known as Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. This spectacular area of hoodoos and mushroom-like rock formations is an essential part of a potential expansion of Chaco Canyon and an important area to place off limits from the swarming oil and gas leases that continue to destroy our land, air and water.
We also had the chance in late August to go back to Florida to fight a developer’s plans to build a high-rise hotel, and expensive condos and shops in what is today the oldest trailer park in that state, home to retirees, many of whom are veterans. The other important aspect is the estuary, which is home to manatees, dolphins, endangered sea turtles and sawfish, all of whom would be threatened by proposed dredging of this spectacular inlet on Florida’s east coast. This is an environmental justice issue; we worked with locals to help form a new organization, Old Florida Preservation Society, which will work in the area to fight runaway development and to protect its natural heritage. Our goal is to help them succeed!
In the coming year, Bold Visions Conservation will continue to fight to protect the lands, waters and wildlife we all love. In truth, our focus this coming year will likely be closer to our New Mexico home. With this new narrower focus we hope to aggressively move Game and Fish Reform and wilderness protection for the lands that need our support. This is at the core of our experience and expertise that have led to the protection of some one million acres of land in this state.
Yet more than ever we need your support. When you look at what we were able to do on pennies this past year, ask yourself this-What could this organization do with real financial support?
Here is the answer:
-Complete our film on Game and Fish Reform and tour the state to educate the public, educators, students and elected officials.
-Gain support and build consensus on our Trail of the Ancients proposal.
-Present a new vision for the protection of Otero Mesa.
-Begin work on our first Forest Service Wilderness proposal.
-Continue to film wilderness areas in our state to give people a sense of their beauty and need for preservation. Also, using our filming to raise awareness about other key conservation or energy issues. -Maintain our powerful writing that challenges and inspires.
-Continue to make predators a focal point of our conservation efforts.
-Meet with officials at federal agencies.
-Develop maps for some of the key areas of concern.
-Begin a series of hikes, service projects and trips that we lead designed educate the public and allow our members to have fun!
-Development of a Student Chapter at UNM.
-Begin our organizations plans for a better energy future and keep oil in the ground campaign.
-Educating elected officials and doing so at the upcoming Round House session.
-Getting an audit of our finances completed.
-Continue to build a strong Board of Directors.
The answer is clear: this effort to save our heritage and fight those that would kill or despoil our lands and waters is our life’s work. Give where your money goes straight to the front lines, not to a group’s endowment.
What the last year has most reflected is a commitment to building new relationships, to building the partnerships necessary for success.
Conservation is never easy work or rarely happens overnight. For the past three years three people have tried- and sometimes failed- to create a new vision for conservation, a flexible model that allows us to work in many areas and create success. Like any business we continue to examine our efforts and look at how we can do better. With the support of our ever-growing Board, we are refining our mission and looking forward to sharing more with you in the year to come. In the weeks ahead many will ask for your support. We ask you to invest you hard-earned money in a group that has proven it’s willing to work hard and to use passion and experience to guide its success.
Happy Holidays from all of us at
Bold Visions Conservation!
Let’s make 2016 a year to remember.
Bold Visions Conservation
Bold Visions Conservation