Date: 6/24/18 2:16 pm
From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...>
Subject: [obol] Re: How should Oregon birders organize? / organizing for conservation
A couple things:

Thing #1. Being a "conservation activist" doesn't necessarily mean
conflict and fighting. Some of the most effective conservation work
being done nowadays is collaborative:

- Talking to landowners who are interested in conservation, and
connecting them with programs that can help them to help birds.

- Meeting with land managers to make sure they're aware of significant
habitat on the lands that they're responsible for.

- Mobilizing volunteers for restoration work at important sites.

- Building coalitions to expand awareness of the value of bird habitat
(in economic and social terms).

- Helping to find ways for bird lovers to contribute to habitat for the
birds they love (e.g. parking permits, voluntary stamps, birdseed tax,

- Showing up at planning commission meetings to testify in favor of
natural areas, or to give moral support to others who do.

These are all low-key types of activities, where generally no one calls
anyone names or gets punched in the nose.

Thing #2. Effective conservation organizations can find ways for
everyone to contribute in a way that they're comfortable with.

- Not everyone feels qualified to lead field trips.

- Not everyone is brave enough to ride herd on a group of first-graders
or (scarier yet) middle-schoolers, and try to keep them focused on
nature for a couple of hours.

- Not everyone wants to sit down in front of a microphone and explain to
your county commissioners why a scruffy-looking patch of land on the
north side of Coos Bay is important to keep.

- Not everyone feels comfortable talking to ranchers or farmers to find
out if they'd be interested in looking into a conservation easement.

- Not everyone has a back healthy enough to yank invasive weeds out of
the ground on Skinner Butte.

- Not everyone is willing to go on camera for a local TV program to
advocate for birds, and run the risk of having your kids make fun of
every goofy thing you said.

But a good conservation organization, with an active membership, can
find the right people for each of these roles, and many others.

None of us -- whether Paul, me, or whomever -- is necessarily going to
want to do all of these things. But working within an effective bird
advocacy organization, we can contribute to the cause by doing one or a
few of the things that we're more comfortable with

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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