Landscape, © Robbie George / National Geographic Stock

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunrise at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. (Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS)

Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO

Before  you head out to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your commitment to wildlife and to Defenders. Thanks to you, we are a strong voice for wildlife.

This past year, we have had many successes that we can all be proud of and thankful for. We worked closely with the tribes and the state of Montana to move Yellowstone bison back to parts of their historic range on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Elsewhere, we provided the tools, education and support to ranchers and other landowners to allow them to coexist with panthers, grizzly bears, bison and wolves. Our relentless advocacy work has resulted in the establishment of speed zones in some critical areas to protect Florida panthers. We partnered with renewable energy companies to ensure that solar energy development is smart from the start, for people and for wildlife. Thanks to our many years of advocacy for wolves, we now have wolves moving from the Northern Rockies to Washington, Oregon and even one lone and hardy male wolf in California (Keep your fingers crossed that a female wolf soon follows!). And we are grateful to the courts for keeping the Roadless Rule intact, which will help imperiled wildlife living in our national forests.

These are just a few of the many successes we have had, thanks to your support. With a second Obama administration and a new Congress coming to town, we will have even more opportunities and challenges to conserve wildlife.

I am heading to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. The hundreds of wildlife refuges that dot our nation’s landscape are truly a gift we can all be grateful for. As we consider our fortunes this Thanksgiving, I will be giving thanks for all of you wonderful wildlife advocates, and for the great natural heritage that we all know is worth fighting for.