As we bask in the glow of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I figured it would be a terrific time to update y’all on the many great things that have happened at The Nature Conservancy recently. This news will give you the same warm feeling you get after eating a giant Thanksgiving meal – only you won’t need a long nap or a looser belt once you’re done reading. This is fat- free conservation news that will make you want to roll up your sleeves and get even more great work done (and possibly even bake a celebratory pie).
Home on the Range for Two Cranes and a Black Bear
Fall has brought some important changes to our state; for one, we have all stopped breaking a sweat every 20 minutes. The relief from our heat wave was welcome and signs of conservation success literally came out to show us what they got. There is nothing quite like the first whooping crane sighting of the year at our Mad Island Preserve. We had two cranes drop in recently, and while their stay was brief, it was a positive sign of the species’ population growth and the great habitat we helped create in Mad Island’s marshlands. We also had the first confirmed black bear sighting at our Dolan Falls Preserve – more tangible proof that the whole system conservation work we are doing is, well, working. You get the habitat right and you’ll see the results.
Moving the Needle
The past few months have been incredibly busy and wildly productive. Our board of trustees recently reviewed and approved a number of important conservation deals. Here’s a quick look at what they did:
What do these deals add up to for Texas? In sheer dollar terms, these deals represent about $31 million in conservation, but in terms of meaningful, long-term conservation, the value is incalculable. Here’s what we’ve done:
Celebrating our Conservancy Heroes
In October, we remembered and honored a long time conservationist and TNC trustee Dick Bartlett by erecting a memorial plaque at our Davis Mountains Preserve. He was bigger than life and it is fitting that this ‘at scale’ preserve is how he’ll be remembered.
We’ve got other heroes, too. We’re proud to say the list of Conservancy donors continues to grow. It’s exciting to see how many of you are standing up for conservation and standing behind the work we are doing.
Happy Birthday to Us
The Nature Conservancy celebrated its 60th birthday last month, proving our basic conservation recipe has stood the test of time. The reasons are simple: we are a science-based, field-oriented organization with a strong bias toward action and a global reach. In plain English, that means we get a lot done, and we get it done with partnerships all around the world. In Texas alone, we’ve conserved over a million acres of land, helped craft important state laws that protect flow regimes in our rivers and done some important proof-of-concept oyster reef restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico.
It is also striking to see how many volunteers around the country help – I mean, really help – lead. It’s pretty neat to work in an organization that not only strives to leave a local footprint, but understands that 100 percent of innovation does not and should not come from within. Our trustees do a lot of heavy lifting, too.
And it happened, didn’t it? You got that warm feeling. Delicious, isn’t it? This year, as with every year, we are thankful for the time, energy and investment you have made in us. I hope you can see the difference it makes.