Thursday, Dec 20, 2018
A Year of Milestones
Two major anniversaries distinguish a busy and exciting 2018.
The first, of course, is the 45th anniversary of the Michigan Nature Association’s campaign that prevented logging of the largest stand of old growth white pine left in Michigan and established our Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary in 1973. The drive to raise needed funds to secure Estivant galvanized individuals, organizations and service clubs from all over the state and still stands as one of MNA’s crowning achievements.
In that spirit, we were delighted to receive a $90,000 challenge grant in honor of the Estivant Pines anniversary, and this new campaign is underway as this Year in Review goes to print. With your generous support, we will add 60 more acres to this iconic nature sanctuary and direct $90,000 in challenge dollars to stewardship needs in our nature sanctuary network.
2018 is also the 45th anniversary of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act is an essential, national framework for protecting rare, threatened and endangered species but it has been under assault since its passage in 1973. 2018 was no different and we made our voice heard by stepping up to formally oppose rule changes that could have a devastating impact on the statute. We will continue to monitor and act on threats to this critical environmental law.
One of the major limitations of the Endangered Species Act, however, is the lack of funding for protecting critical habitat. Remarkably, twenty years before Congress passed this landmark legislation, MNA’s founders recognized the need for action to protect Michigan’s rarest and most vulnerable species and natural communities, pioneering the strategy of protecting land in Michigan to do so. We pursue that mission every day thanks to their foresight and our members and donor who continually rally to the cause.
Celebrating these two major milestones bookend a year’s worth of notable activities that you will read about in this Year in Review. None of our work is possible without the commitment of our members, donors, and volunteers, and I hope you are as proud as I am of what we have accomplished together. Be it saving old growth white pines in the Keweenaw, protecting imperiled natural communities across our great state, or defending critical policies for threatened and endangered species, we are truly all in this together.
Thank you for all you do—I look forward to another year of working with you to protect Michigan’s incredible natural heritage.