May I ask something of you as we head into a new year? Would you make a resolution to be the very best advocate for birds you can possibly be? It’s an election year, and Audubon, and its partner organization the Audubon Action Fund, will be working hard across our amazing network of chapters, state offices, and nature centers to keep climate and clean-energy legislation at the forefront of people’s agendas. We’re going to urge lawmakers to prioritize other environmental issues, too, including supporting a strong Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act. These need more champions in Congress, and lawmakers need to know that Audubon’s 1.7 million members will be watching how they vote.
You’ll remember from our fall magazine issue that we showed how climate change will affect North American birds. We also built a new zip-code tool to make it clear the climate crisis is about state birds, such as the Ruffed Grouse and Common Loon, and the birds in our backyards, too. (Click here for our Birds & Climate Visualizer if you haven’t tried it.) This year we successfully grew our new campus-chapter program to more than 100 Audubon chapters at colleges and universities across the United States—and there’s no reason we can’t double that number in short order. Together we delivered strong conservation successes across the hemisphere: We helped pass effective renewable-energy legislation in places like South Carolina and New York; we published and advocated for a comprehensive plan to restore the Gulf Coast; and we’ve expanded our reach into the boreal forests of Canada, breeding grounds that shelter billions of migratory birds each spring and summer.
Many of you helped make all of this success possible. Thank you for your actions. Thank you for enabling everyone who works at Audubon to come to our jobs every day to help save the world.
During 2020 we’ll be asking you to do even more on behalf of birds. These actions will be as diverse as they are effective: urging city planners to replant green spaces with native plants, for example, or writing a letter to your newspaper’s editor. But we also need you to write or visit your legislators and TELL THEM how important their votes for the environment are and on what issues they should be voting. I spend enough time with lawmakers to assure you that your voice matters. In a state lawmaker’s office, five phone calls can seem like a deluge, and staffers keep close track of why constituents call.
Never doubt your power. Please make that resolution: Speak up, and be the voice for birds.
Click here to take action on behalf of birds and the places they need.
This story originally ran in the Winter 2019 issue as “It's the Start of a New Year—Time for Action.”