As our nation continues to struggle with the implications of the Corona virus, I hope you can find peace in the beauty of nature that surrounds the fall season. Migrations of waterfowl, caribou, butterflies, and songbirds are in full motion and many family traditions are underway. From hunting and fishing to weekend get-a-ways looking at fall colors, this time of year is all about being outdoors in nature.
Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the winners of the 2020 Federal Duck Stamp Competition. This annual art contest is rooted deep in the history of American conservation where purchases of the stamp secure Wildlife Refuges and public lands for recreation. This program conserves millions of acres of habitat that benefit not only wildlife but also greatly improves our nations water quality. In fact, the Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest was modeled after this program over 20 years ago to educate youth about fish and aquatic conservation. If you missed the announcement of our national youth art winners, click here.
At Wildlife Forever, programs and grass roots projects center around two main principles. Does it help fish and wildlife? And does it enhance public awareness and enjoyment of natural resources? Our newest program, Prairie City USAreaches far and wide to accomplish installation of prairie and pollinator habitat, and equally important, to educate and engage communities. Strategic placement of plantings can greatly improve water quality and the restorative function native grasses and flowers can play. By January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be deciding if the Monarch Butterfly gets listed on the Endangered Species List. Pollinators and their habitats are in serious jeopardy and Wildlife Forever programs are responding to help.
Members can also be proud that Wildlife Forever is the national leader on invasive species. The Clean Drain Dry Initiative reaches millions of people each year to educate and empower cleaning of outdoor equipment including duck boats, waders, and hiking boots. We all play a role in preventing the greatest threat to fish, wildlife, and public access.
For me, the fall season is also a time to reflect on what Wildlife Forever has accomplished and where we are going in the months and years ahead. I know our greatest assets are our people and natural resources that connect us to the land and sea. Nature has an unrelenting ability to heal mind and body and bring communities together. Perhaps we all need a little more time outdoors. If you would like to start a project in your community, contact us today at: info@WildlifeForever.org
I am grateful for you, our dedicated members, who continue to financially support the mission of Wildlife Forever and our vision of programs that bring us together in conservation.
Thank you for your continued support.
Peace to you and yours.