Friday, January 27, 2012

Three Alternatives to the NWF

So here we are, feeling bitter, betrayed, and cheated on. The NWF has left us out in the cold and like anyone looking to rebound, we conservationists and gardeners are looking for someone or some organization to hang our hats on, so to speak. Someone to show us that there really are organizations out there who say they care about the environment and have the resume to back it up. I'd like to recommend 3 groups that I believe are worthy of our support, in no particular order:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  • Why support them?: Research, education, conservation, and Citizen Science Projects- they do it all
  • What impresses me: A long history of real results, they share their financial reports, wonderful online bird guide

The Pollinator Partnership

  • Why support them?: Conservation, education, and research of pollinators, critical to the world food supply and ecosystem health
  • What impresses me: A wealth of user friendly information for the home or community gardener available to make their gardens more pollinator friendly

The Xerces Society

  • Why support them?: Representing all invertibrates (94% of all animal species on the planet) through advocacy, policy, education, and research- critical for ecosystem survival
  • What impresses me: They share their financial reports, informative and user friendly web-site with ID tools, very active in government policy

I am not an official spokesperson for nor am I recieving any payment from any of these organizations, I merely wish to share my positive experiences with them. Visit their websites, see for yourself!

Another alternative group you may support would be your local native plant society. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction you can get by doing hands-on work. I don't have a native plant society active in my area but Jeff and I fill our free time by attempting to manage 4 different properties through invasive species removal and re-establishing native plant and wildlife communities. So, you don't even need an official "group" to get started, all you need is a friend or relative with land, whether it be a 1/4 acre or 20 acres, and explain to them the benefits of creating wildlife habitats while twisting their arm to let you "garden" on their property. Every little bit counts.


  1. I like to encourage people to support land conservation because that is such an important concern for "wildlife". To that end, I'd say support local, state and national parks and organizations like The Nature Conservancy.

  2. Ellen, I agree 100%, land organizations are definitely critical. Actually, my favorite place to hike around here is a Nature Conservancy owned preserve, Bottom Creek Gorge.

  3. As a birder, I have always thought highly of Cornell. Lots of helpful info and seem to be "solid citizens".

  4. Three good picks, Julie! Due to my perception of urgency, the Pollinator Partnership is my big push right now. What with white-nose fungus, colony collapse disorder and the general eradication of insect species by pesticides, I want my neighbors to think of these "pest" species in a new light, while there is still time. I also LIke Audubon & The Nature Conservancy, but so many "higher order" species are based on having healthy insect populations I think the focus of the Pollinator Partnership best matches my immediate goals. Thanks for posting!

  5. And now the big question: I hear that the NWF has backed-out on the affair, said it meant we now welcome home the cheater and act as if nothing ever happened? And then what do we say when we run into that slut Miracle Grow at the plant store?

  6. RK, Thanks goes to you too, I learned about the Pollinator Partnership from your blog.

    Jeff, Well, I guess the real question is did they back out due to social pressure or because of the guilt on their conscience about the poisoned birdseed story.

  7. Or C. They thought sensibly about what they were going to do and said "Holy poop, what were we thinking! We have nothing in common with Scotts. I guess it was just a cash grab on our part". Nah.

  8. Jeff/Julie, I confess confliction. I'm leaving up my "certified backyard habitat" sign, but I took the link off my blog.

  9. I like your thinking here...

    I'm partial to native plants myself, but that kinda goes hand in hand with what helps the birds and butterflies, doesn't it?

    Jeff: Really a good question... After the partnership with BP, the NWF should have known better.

    What's a little poisoned birdfood, when they're offering us this massive infusion of cash?

    I think the NWF is more about money soliciting than the animals, and I seriously doubt that something like that can be changed.

    As television's Dr. House says, people don't change, I suspect that goes for organizations as well.