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Plumas Audubon to share its efforts through new column

The National Audubon Society was founded in 1886. Named after naturalist and artist John James Audubon, its original focus was the preservation and study of bird species.

Over time, as our understanding of ecology has increased, that focus has expanded to seek protection for all animals and their habitats.

The Audubon Society has established itself as a national leader in working to protect and improve all components of the natural environment, such as forests, wetlands, watersheds, and atmosphere, for the benefit and well-being of not only birds and other animals, but also humans. These efforts have become increasingly critical in recent years as threats to the well-being of our planet, such as human population pressure, sea level rising and global warming accelerate.

Concurrently, existing laws to improve and maintain clean air, water, and the natural balance required for healthy life on earth are eroded by those with power who define the human role on earth as one of exploiter of resources for a short time rather than one of steward of a complex web of interactive life for perpetuity.

Along with the national effort, Audubon supports nearly 500 local chapters throughout the United States. It is Plumas County’s good fortune to be the home of one of those local chapters.

Plumas Audubon Society has been active for 30 years. It aspires to follow its local mission statement of promoting “understanding, appreciation, and protection of the biodiversity of the Feather River Region through education, research, and the restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems.”

Although at the outset it may have fundamentally been a local club of volunteers supporting and celebrating birds and birders, in recent years it has been more ambitious in its efforts.

Primarily through securing grant funding, PAS has overseen or developed a number of projects with paid staff, including grebe monitoring and preservation in the Lake Almanor area, wildlife inventories and monitoring (including post-fire environments), curriculum development, and sizeable watershed improvement projects in both American Valley and Genesee Valley.

Both valleys will not only be returning to more nurturing habitats for birds and animals, they will also become more fire-safe environments for us humans.

To help inform our local membership, as well as the people of Plumas County in general about our current activities and future aspirations, Plumas Audubon Society will be offering what we hope will be an interesting and timely newspaper column at least once a month. It will be authored by PAS Governing Board members, staff and other friends of the board who have particular expertise or information.

Topics will include reports about the various grant-based projects we are administering or seeking, educational assistance offered in Plumas County classrooms (some of which is based on curriculum developed by our staff), key environmental legislation of local and national importance, and annual events such as the Christmas Bird Count (which set a record this year).

We will announce our speaker programs and numerous bird walks, which are always open to the public, and we will describe collaborative efforts between PAS and other local conservation organizations, such as Feather River Land Trust, Sierra Institute, and the Maidu Consortium.

Through our column, we would also like to address questions or concerns from the readership, ranging from information about current bird sightings and birding hotspots to Audubon positions on current environmental issues.

Stay tuned. We trust that you will find our columns encouraging and informative. You may also find additional information about PAS by checking out our website: plumasaudubon.org.

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