I have heard and used the saying “it takes a village” many times in many different settings, from raising my children to organizing an event. I also think of it in the work we do here at Audubon. It takes us all to build the momentum that birds need to not only survive, but thrive. As we all once again reflect on the past year, I hope you know how important your voice is. I hope you see how you are a part of the Audubon “village.” We need you; the birds need you.
Building community around birds is one of Audubon’s core strategies. This year, our efforts to do that continued to grow. We launched a new series of virtual trivia nights and storytelling events to connect people across our region in a shared joy of birds. Our new Gillmor Workday and Discover Gillmor series created opportunities for people to connect to birds at Gillmor Sanctuary. We co-trained the third cohort of the Wyoming Naturalist Program, whose graduates have now completed more than 900 hours of conservation service.
We also continued to scale up our habitat restoration efforts in grasslands, sagebrush, wetlands, and streams. Collectively, we secured more than $1.5 million dollars for seven restoration projects. With them, we began seven long-term projects to improve habitat for birds on private working lands.
Finally, our work with state and federal agencies and lawmakers enables more projects like these. Our outreach helped pass SB23-270, a Colorado law that facilitates stream restoration projects while respecting water rights. In Wyoming, the Bureau of Land Management removed more than 123,000 acres of important sage-grouse habitat from oil and gas lease sales thanks in part to our efforts.
We were able to do all this because of our Audubon “village.” It is through your support and voice that we have been able to accomplish so much this past year. With your continued partnership we look forward to giving birds a voice in 2024.
Executive Director, Audubon Rockies