Date: 6/24/18 9:31 am From: Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...> Subject: [obol] How should Oregon birders organize?
Like Mark, I have liked Audubon Society of Portland's pithy statement of purpose: "Teaching people to love and protect nature."
First of all that says that what we are about is "teaching" and that our target is "people." And more than facts, we are "teaching people to love." And the consequence is that the "people" will "love" and "protect" nature.
Conservation is the consequence of appreciation of nature.
I mentioned conservation in my original posting June 16. There was quite a bit of discussion before Joel brought up conservation. Why? Look at the demographics: Perhaps 1000s of Oregonians interested in birds. Some 1572 people subscribe to OBOL A lesser number subscribe to BOO Some 400 belong to OBA. Not everyone is an activist.
Being involved in "conservation" can take several forms:
One is being an activist, attending rallies, going to hearings, writing congress, raising funds, tracking issues and carrying a certain level of angst about all of this. The language of this endeavor is about campaigns, fights, battles, friends and enemies, winning and losing. It involves conflict with other people, trying to make them STOP logging, grazing, dredging, filling, paving, developing, hunting, fishing, spraying, mining... The action takes place in the human area. Wildlife continues with their lives, out in nature, in spite of us. That is not for everyone. I care intensely, but I can't do that.
Another way to do conservation is to provide hands-on help, pulling old fences at a preserve, nursing baby birds, cleaning oiled birds, running a bluebird trail, etc. This appeals to other folks.
Another way to do conservation is to gather data for a better understanding of birds and better management of habitat. Kudos to Joel for his efforts in that area with grassland birds.
Another way to do conservation is to engage in "teaching people to love and protect nature." That's for me. I'd rather show someone their first towhee than fight with them about protecting towhee habitat.
My original question was aimed at spurring a discussion of "What are we collectively about?" and "What do we want to be/do going forward?" I've stated my take, but I don't control the outcome.
To that end, I think our discussion has been helpful.
Thanks to all who have contributed, and any voices yet to speak,
---------------------------------- [obol] How should Oregon birders organize?
Joel Geier is absolutely right. Bird conservation must be front and center.
I serve on the Board of the Audubon Society of Portland and have been a memb er of that organization since the early 1980s. Our mission it to “inspire peopl e from all walks of life to enjoy, understand, and protect native birds and wildlife, and the natural environment upon which we all depend.” Or put anot her way, “to love and protect nature.”
Everyone on OBOL loves birds. For that very reason, everyone on OBOL should want to protect the habitats birds depend on. This is the main reason I supp ort organizations like Portland Audubon, American Bird Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy and other conservancies. Birders can support these organizations
through donations, memberships, advocacy, and simple environmental education
(reminding fellow birders, especially young birders, that without the habita t, there are no birds).
Thank you, Joel, for bringing this issue to our attention.