Jamie Rappaport Clark, President & CEO
This is a big week here at Defenders: Monday was Earth Day and today is Defenders’ 66th anniversary.
When I joined Defenders over nine years ago, I felt privileged to be part of an organization that shared my passion for wildlife and conservation. Like most kids, I grew up loving animals: both wild and domestic, from the neighborhood dog and my pet turtle to lightening bugs, deer, beavers and butterflies. I was lucky to make a career out of my passion.
One of the best things about Defenders is knowing that when I meet with corporations or elected officials, when I testify on Capitol Hill, when I work with states agencies or tribes, I know that I am representing more than one million conservation minded people. And that all of you stand ready to speak out for the wildlife that have no voices for themselves. We are their voices, their activists, their lobbyists, their ambassadors, their communicators. They are counting on us to conserve and represent them.
Thanks to the Defenders’ conservation community, we have done some amazing things for wildlife. Thanks to you, we have:
- Brought wolves back to Yellowstone, the Northern Rockies and the desert Southwest
- Protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the dangers of oil and gas drilling
- Initiated a national campaign to help guide proposed solar and wind energy projects to low conflict zones that avoid impacts to wildlife and fragile ecosystems
- Advocated for slower speed zones, wildlife underpasses and other tools to protect Florida panthers and other wildlife from collisions and death on Florida roads
- Relocated genetically pure bison from Yellowstone Park to tribal lands on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana
- Remained vigilant and effective against attacks upon the Endangered Species Act
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
We could not have accomplished any of this without you. Our members and activists are critical to conservation. So this week, as we celebrate Earth Day, pat yourself on the back and know that you have played a big part in some incredible conservation success stories. Keep up the great work! Happy Anniversary and Happy Earth Day. Thank you!