Scientists with the National Audubon Society have found that of the nearly 600 bird species that call North America home, over half are already threatened by climate change. Thankfully, says Audubon Washington’s Executive Director Gail Gatton, there’s a policy prescription that economists, environmentalists, and scientists all agree will make a huge difference: putting an effective price on carbon emissions. Gail shares how her organization is getting out the climate vote in Washington State.
In October 2013, Rachel’s Network members took a special excursion during our Fall Retreat to Bracken Cave, which at the height of summer houses approximately 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the largest concentration of mammals in the world. Earlier that year, BCI had learned that a planned 3,500-house subdivision would threaten the bats’ habitat. It was a conservation challenge like no other, but BCI rose to meet it. With the support of countless partners, they saved Bracken Cave.
When faced with all that is wrong with the world, is there room for hope, love, or even a little compassion? Rachel’s Network Member Ashley Stone proposes that we look to our closest living genetic relative – the relatively unknown Bonobo, to find inspiration for our future. Ashley’s organization The Bonobo Project is working to protect bonobos in the wild and build awareness around their plight.
Aided by cutting-edge research in endocrinology, genetics, GIS, and more; today’s conservationists pack an arsenal of sophisticated tools to help save the world’s most threatened species. Much of this significant research is happening in a rather unlikely place: the rural Virginia countryside. Several Rachel’s Network members support the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and we traveled there in March to see their work firsthand.
During the Rachel’s Network Fall Retreat in Yellowstone National Park, our members were inspired by a presentation by sculptor and ecologist George Bumann who conveyed the value of wild places beyond the facts and figures we often fall back on. We asked George about his process, the experience of working in Yellowstone National Park, and his advice for inspiring a wonder for nature in others.
In a world of unchecked development and climate change, conservation is no longer simply about protecting land. It’s about changing systems and helping people to rethink the ways they interact with the natural world in their daily lives. “From the mountains, to the prairies,” Rachel’s Network members are preserving some of our country’s most ecologically important and beautiful landscapes, and doing it in a way that acknowledges and works with this human element.