31 December 2012 Bring On 2013 Posted by: Jamie Rappaport Clark | 3 comments | Share: Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO The new year is a time to make resolutions. This year, I hope you will renew your commitment to wildlife conservation, as we have done. Photo (c) Joan Cambray The Defenders’ team has been hard at work developing a visionary 2013-2023 Strategic Plan [PDF] to carry out our wildlife conservation mission this coming year and for the decade ahead. From saving polar bears threatened by climate change to preserving habitat for gopher tortoises, we believe that this strategic plan will position Defenders to be the force wildlife and wild places need to survive against habitat loss, population growth, invasive species, climate change and other urgent threats. But meeting the goals set forth for the next decade depends on our ongoing vigilance — and that means making meaningful progress in 2013, the first year of this long-term plan. One of our priorities is to protect ecologically important Arctic landscapes from further oil and gas development. Through our policy work, we will stand up to Big Oil and redouble our efforts to protect threatened and endangered species such as the polar bear and Pacific walrus. We will also focus much of our wildlife work onto 25 key species to ensure their survival, including wolves, sea turtles, whales, sea otters, manatees, sage grouse, bison and more. For example, one of our strategies is to protect wolves in Wyoming through our lawsuit against the irresponsible delisting of wolves under the Endangered Species Act in that state. Another strategy for wolf protection in the coming year is to quadruple the use of coexistence tools in the Northern Rockies to increase tolerance for imperiled wolves and other predators. Right whale and calf, photo courtesy NOAA When it comes to whales, you will see Defenders hard at work in the courts, in Washington, D.C., and in the field to reduce whale mortalities from vessel strikes and fishing net entanglement through our advocacy, litigation and field efforts. Our policy experts are working on strategies that have the potential to help wildlife nationwide. For instance, we are currently working to build support in the Senate to include conservation compliance measures in the 2012 Farm Bill. Half of all ESA-listed species have at least 80 percent of their habitat on private lands — and in the U.S. most of our private land is managed by farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. This makes federal agricultural policy an extremely important part of protecting wildlife, so we will continue this fight to include wildlife conservation measures in any Farm Bill. We will also continue to help guide our nation’s transition to clean energy in a way that protects wildlife and habitats by ensuring renewable energy projects are built “smart from the start.” In the coming year, imperiled wildlife will face a threatened Endangered Species Act, the grim reality of climate change, greedy oil, gas and mining interests and other urgent threats. Clearly it is going to be a busy twelve months for Defenders — but throughout the year ahead, we will not relent in our resolution to be the nation’s most powerful and impactful advocate for wildlife. I look forward to working with you on behalf of wildlife and habitat conservation in the coming year. The Defenders family wishes you and yours a Happy New Year! 3 Responses to “Bring On 2013” Adele January 1st, 2013 A comment I posted at Wolves of the Rockies today: The wolves have so few advocates, it’s hard to support your “seeing all sides” position. Surely you see that the hunters have no respect for us, the wildlife lovers, and less for the wildlife itself. The Endangered Species Act was such good protection for wolves, I think we need to hassle Obama, his Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service – as well as the big animal rights groups like Defenders – to get the de-listing reversed. There are certain things – like civil rights – that simply cannot be left to states. Reply Barbara January 6th, 2013 I waited to recieve my wolf calendar and didn’t get it this year. When I gave my annual donation, I noticed that it was no longer on the list of membership benefits. Can you tell me why this was eliminated? There are many organizations who I do not contribute to, who repeatedly send me calendars yearly. However, yours is the one I hang in my bedroom to see the beautiful wolves daily, and am now missing. Reply Moderator January 7th, 2013 Hi, Barbara. We still offer an annual calendar as a benefit of membership. We are sorry to hear that you did not receive yours. We would be happy to send a 2013 calendar to you, but in order to do so, we need to verify your full name and your mailing address. Please get in touch with Member Services by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 1-800-385-9712. They are available between 9 am and 6 pm EST Monday through Friday, and they would be happy to help you with this. Thank you for being a loyal supporter! Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap Up Fish and Wildlife Service Holds Public Meetings to Determine Fate of Mexican Gray Wolves; Six Mexican Gray Wolves Released in New Mexico; How Do People Form Their Opinions About Wolves? A Field Day with Gopher Tortoises Our Florida staff members spent a field day at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve to learn more about the reproductive and burrowing habits of gopher tortoises. Wolves are even more socially complex than we thought… In order to survive, wolves form cooperative groups known as packs, and these pack members hunt together, rear pups together, and compete against other wolf packs for food and territory.