Magazine article National Wildlife

Celebrating the Gift of Wildlife

Magazine article National Wildlife

Celebrating the Gift of Wildlife

Article excerpt

The gift of wildlife conservation, to which every National Wildlife Federation supporter contributes and from which each benefits, often finds its purest meaning in private moments.

Early this year; Tom France had such a moment in Yellowstone National Park. Tom has led NWF's gray wolf recovery effort for nearly 20 years. And that morning, as the fog lifted in the valley below, he could clearly see a pack of free-roaming wolves on the prowl for their prey. Prior to the wolf recovery effort, that magnificent sight had been absent from Yellowstone for nearly a half century--its return was a gift that Tom, NWF and you helped give the world.

Later in the year, Steve Torbit found himself in deep snow near the Rio Grande's headwaters in southern Colorado. Steve is a biologist who leads much of our wildlife work. In a fleeting moment, he "watched in awe" another gift of emerging wildlife restoration as a wary lynx was released from its cage to coolly glide over the snow toward the woods and freedom.

These moments included staffer Margaret Fowle scaling a crag in the backcountry of Vermont to see with her own eyes the nesting evidence of the peregrine falcon's comeback. They included NWF Chair Paula Del Giudice and other volunteer NWF board members joining hands with children in Washington state to restore a wetland where nature's living tapestry can thrive.

And, you, your friends and family share in these moments whenever you venture into the special places you know and love to receive nature's gilts.

As we pause to celebrate the gift that wildlife brings each of us, we should reflect also on what makes it possible. For the gift of wildlife cannot be taken for granted in the modern world. It must be earned, safeguarded and restored with vigilance and creativity.

Behind the private moments of awe, connection and awakening that wildlife brings to each of us, stand the core lessons of conservation that NWF has symbolized for nearly 65 years. …

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