by Stephen Capra
It’s that time of year again, when we all come together with family and friends and share a meal of gratitude and celebration for the past years efforts. It is also a time to give thanks. So we thought we would take a moment to do just that. Thank-you for your support!!
Over the past year, Bold Visions Conservation, while growing has been able to be a voice for many new conservation initiatives. Last week, we returned from North Carolina where we met with conservation groups that are major players in the state including the Environmental Defense Fund, Environment North Carolina, the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the Southern Environmental Law Center to name just a few. They came together for a meeting designed to educate about fighting the oil and gas industry and working to create a massive marine sanctuary off the coast of North Carolina. It’s something we have worked on for the past year. Getting everyone in one room for close to seven hours was fantastic and naturally we learned much about what the groups in North Carolina are dealing with; a radically right state House and Senate and now the election of an anti-woman, anti-environmental Senator. These groups are working in a very hostile environment and our hope is to lend the support and experience that can help them be successful in fighting the evils and misinformation of the oil and gas industry!
Another major emphasis has been our work to create a new wolf coalition. I was part of the creation of one of the original wolf coalitions. One that I personally was thrown out of two months later in part because they viewed my anti-ranching and refusal to allowing killing of wolves as to “radical.” Now we have spoken to groups including Friends of the Clearwater, Predator Defense, Wild Earth Guardians, Trap Free Montana to name just a few to meet in Idaho during the third week in February to forge a new coalition, one that will stand up to ranching and livestock interests, to state Game and Fish Departments and work to create a new voice that demands justice and expansion of wolf range while educating the public and pressuring elected officials to stop catering to a special interest group that continues to enjoy the largesse of the federal government. We have also hired Trisha Cook who lives in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, and begun working directly on wolf issues in Washington State. The killing of packs to appease ranchers in eastern Washington has hit a very unsustainable level. Our goal is to have her organize in more urban communities and open a chapter of Bold Visions on the campuses of the universities in the state.
In addition, working directly with renowned paleontologist Robert Sullivan and the Back Country Hunters and Anglers along with the BLM, we have been working and meeting with our delegation to push the concept of wilderness for a BLM Wilderness Study Area rich in history, paleontology; a land that abuts Chaco Canyon and would provide a larger buffer for this beautiful landscape, while stopping a proposal to create a massive open-pit coal mine.
We have brought former New Mexico Wilderness Alliance staff scientist Steve West onboard to help us with projects for school children in low-income families that need access to wild nature, and we continue to push a proposal to connect school children in Big Bend National Park and the bordering community of Boquillas, Mexico to work together on projects in the Park and in the Mexican community. We are being aided by support from the Center of Southwest Culture who have years of experience working on such issues. These are exciting times and there is tremendous opportunity to move forward on a range of conservation issues!
Bold Visions Conservation remains a young and vital conservation organization. We bring the experience of creating two National Monuments and starting many campaigns for conservation into what we call a Bold and progressive organization. We believe that to protect our planet means that you must take on those who would destroy it. So we can be harsh on Republicans, but so to on Democrats we see as negligent in their duties. We understand that public lands grazing is the greatest environmental impact to our beloved western lands and we believe that wolves belong in the wild, free from the torture of trapping or the killing that a segment of our population seems to think is their eternal right.
If we want to change conservation we must understand the connective tissue that links it with our modern world. If we disregard a woman’s right to choose, we are accepting her as less. If people of color face discrimination, then we all lose. If we support wars in the Middle-East to extend our use of fossil fuels, then we are losing. How can we demand justice for the wolf, when innocent people live twenty-three hours a day in solitary confinement for forty years in our own country? Groups like to speak of a human connection to nature, we believe we must make the connection and do so as we do our conservation work, with conviction.
We set out to be a new type of conservation group. We may not engage in all these fights, our focus is in conservation; but we feel we must talk about and demand justice and work to control our population, because people will not fight for the environment, when they refuse to even fight for themselves, their neighbors and for simple justice.
In the coming year you can expect more great videos from staffer Joe Adair, likely a new look website from him as well. We are not content to sit by idly just because Republicans are now in control of the House and Senate. There is work to be done, more Monuments to create and battles in the US and abroad which can support and educate.
There are many groups that ask for your support. But if you are a person that believes in true grassroots, not litigation, in organizing for change and speaking the truth; then understand how far your investment goes into a small, progressive environmental group such as Bold Visions Conservation who use small staffs and shoe leather to make a difference!
We continue to reach out and create true coalitions, that are working to fight not just those who work to destroy, but also some national conservation groups that have lost their edge and integrity in their endless pursuit of money, at the cost of wolves shot and wilderness lost.
The earth is crying out for our help and on this Thanksgiving week, we are proud to say, we are responding to the call!
Please enjoy the week ahead, and share this special time with people and pets that add meaning to your life.
Many thanks for your support and we hope you will be generous to our efforts in the remaining days of 2014, enjoy a tax benefit and continue to help in supporting our goals.
Also, consider a donation to our crowdsourcing fundraiser for the wolf summit.
Bold Visions Conservation
Bold Visions Conservation