Dear Audubon Member:

I like to win, especially when wildlife habitat is at stake. It isn't often that we can claim big victories in conservation. But over the past few months, we've had not one but two exceptional wins.

First, a comprehensive Everglades restoration program passed both the Florida legislature and the U.S. Congress. At a total of nearly $8 billion, it will be the largest ecological restoration effort ever undertaken anywhere. The second big win came when President Bill Clinton decided to set aside some 58.5 million acres of wild forestland for protection--the largest land-conservation effort since the Alaska Lands Act of 1980.

Until now, many people thought that restoration of the Everglades was impossible. It was too big, too complex, too expensive. Many also thought it was too ambitious to expect almost 60 million acres of roadless national-forest land to be protected in a single executive action. Although these victories are vitally important for the habitat they protect, they are even more important because they give us hope. They reinforce our conviction that we can reverse the tide of habitat loss and heal the wounds we have inflicted on our planet.

Energized by this new hope and conviction, Audubon has set an ambitious agenda for the new Congress and administration. Of course, we will continue to work for the implementation of both the Everglades and national-forest plans. The rest of the agenda includes:

  • Reauthorizing and expanding the National Environmental Education Act.
  • Protecting 36 million acres of important wildlife habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program, which is due to be reauthorized in 2002 as part of the Farm Bill.
  • Gaining needed funding and status for the National Wildlife Refuge System, which is at risk from a chronic lack of money and attention.
  • Increasing U.S. funding for international family planning, so women in developing countries will be able to plan their families as women here do.
  • Making sure Congress fulfills last year's $12 billion commitment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other conservation programs.
  • Leading a comprehensive effort to restore the San Francisco Bay, the largest estuary on the U.S. Pacific Coast.
  • Working to protect wildlife habitat along the Upper Mississippi River.

Our recent victories were possible because thousands of citizen volunteers like you joined with us to take action. Now we need to engage even more people to accomplish our expanded agenda. If you want to help, call 202-861-2242 or send an e-mail to audubonaction@audubon.org.


John Flicker
National Audubon Society

© 2001  NASI

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