Thursday, Apr 23, 2020
Each year, we set out to protect, maintain, and restore critical habitat in the fragile ecosystem that makes up this unique state. And each year, we are met with challenges – some that are surmountable, and some that are seemingly overwhelming.
2019 ended with a number of positive conservation achievements. We celebrated the removal of the Kirtland’s Warbler from the Federal endangered species list, and the reintroduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) in Congress. The latter, if approved, would redirect $1.4 billion of existing federal funds to states to implement congressionally mandated Wildlife Action Plans – a plan that MNA was a key partner in helping to develop for the State of Michigan in 2015.
But 2020 has come with a new set of challenges, and hope seems elusive as we face a global pandemic the likes of which few of us have experienced. In these uncertain times, I can at least report on the many signs of hope we saw in 2019 for Michigan nature.
The Michigan Nature Association itself was the recipient of hope for our future, with the receipt of a Consumer’s Energy Foundation Planet Award. The grant award is helping us protect, restore, and enhance 575 acres of critical habitat at or adjacent to eleven of MNA’s more than 180 nature sanctuaries. Some of the restoration work began this past year, and there is much more to come.
It is with much determination on the part of MNA, its staff, board members, and volunteers, that we achieved all that you will find in this Year in Review. And those accomplishments would not be possible without the support of members, like yourself, who place your trust in us to protect Michigan’s natural heritage, for generations to come. Whether protecting critical shoreline, fighting invasive species, or helping to educate the next generation of conservationists, we continue to build on hope for a better future.
Thank you for all that you do – while the challenges of 2020 are unlike any in recent history, still I look forward to working with all of you to protect Michigan’s incredible natural landscapes, forever, for everyone.