The holidays are a time when many of you are considering generous donations to charities and causes that are near and dear to you. I hope Defenders is one you will be considering.
Defenders of Wildlife is one of the most effective wildlife advocacy organizations in our country because of the support of hundreds of thousands of people just like you, who love animals and want to ensure that we leave a lasting legacy of wildlife and natural landscapes to those that follow us.
Donations to Defenders of Wildlife are put to good use, with 73 cents of every dollar going directly into our core mission to conserve wildlife and habitat, 18 cents going to management and general expenses and 9 cents going to fundraising.
Thanks to supporters like you, we have accomplished some amazing things this year:
We partnered with the Fort Peck Indian Reservation to release more than 60 pure Yellowstone bison to a portion of their historic range on the Great Plains following a 120 year absence from the wild.
We worked with ranchers, farmers and other landowners to provide range riders, guard dogs, electric fencing and other tools and education needed for people to coexist with wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, wolves, jaguars, prairie dogs and Florida panthers.
We successfully advocated for protections and appropriate management for imperiled wildlife in the new Forest Service regulations, which will restore the ecological integrity of our national forests and grasslands.
We provided guidance and expertise to both the federal government and renewable energy companies to expand solar and wind energy development without harming wildlife and important habitat.
Nothing defines our work at Defenders more than our efforts to protect endangered and threatened species—and this certainly held true in 2012.
With your support and our legal expertise, we won a lawsuit that required Cape Hatteras National Seashore to restrict off road vehicle use in key nesting areas for both sea turtles and piping plovers. And we are already seeing results with increased numbers of sea turtle nests and piping plover hatchlings. ORV use was also impacting Florida panthers, so we went to court and won protections for sensitive wetlands and panther habitat. And our legal team continues to fight for greater protections for right whales and wolves.
This coming year, imperiled wildlife faces a threatened Endangered Species Act, the grim reality of climate change, greedy oil, gas, and mining interests, and other urgent threats. But Defenders has never been stronger. Nor have we ever been better prepared to fight on behalf of wildlife —and much of this is owed to your generosity. I urge you to review our strategic plan to learn more about our mission and approach to conserving wildlife.
Your support will make a difference to imperiled wolves, sea otters, bison, polar bears, migratory birds and other wildlife—and ensure future generations have the opportunity to marvel at these amazing species thriving in the wild where they belong.
Thank you for your commitment to wildlife. I look forward to working with you on behalf of wildlife and habitat conservation in the coming year.