I cannot believe it. I received a letter from The Nature Conservancy, with the salutation "Dear Friend." What an honor. It gave me such a warm feeling.
Apparently, I misjudged this noble organization, never thinking they would ever consider me a buddy. It might be that they truly enjoyed the attention I gave them in my September 2003 article entitled "Has The Nature Conservancy Run Amok?" in which I identified them as one of the most influential, self-appointed saviors of Planet Earth and the most heavily endowed of the ultra-green, liberal environmental organizations, all of which employ bad science, deception, and plays on human emotions. Could it be that my remarks gave them a warm feeling?
The Conservancy letter was accompanied by fifteen personalized address labels, replete with the face of a baby black-crowned night heron. They say the labels are to introduce you to a loud-mouth baby with a face so ugly, only her mother could think she is adorable. I showed the head to my wife and her reaction was "it is so cute." Mine was a little different, feeling that it was a rather handsome devil. I had to get out my bird book to see what the adults look like. They are indeed striking, with tuxedo-like attire, which is in tune with their night life.
I do believe the Conservancy should be more careful in dealing with feathered babes. Such pronouncements could produce complexes that might carry on through life, with repressed desires and memories that could exert a dominating influence on personality and behavior. This on top of all the abuses heaped upon them by man. On the other hand, they might know what they are doing, with the intention being to make this youngster a victim that any caring person would undoubtedly show pity for. A favorite liberal tactic.
There is always a catch with a greeting from a supposed friend: they want money. But it is only ten dollars to join, rather than the usual twenty-five. The letter says that their baby black-crowned black heron depends on me for her survival. Is this to suggest that this species is in dire straits and falls into the threatened category? A quick review of the American Bird Conservancy field guide reveals that this heron is considered fairly numerous, widespread in wetlands, and the accompanying range map shows it occurring in all of the lower 48 states and into the adjacent Canadian provinces. This certainly suggests that the black-crowned is very secure and that the dramatics might be seriously overplayed.
The letter goes on to tug further on emotions by claiming that the wetlands that this species calls home are vanishing under the plow, the bulldozer, the cement trucks. And the streams, bogs, ponds and marshes are being destroyed as never before. No statistics are offered, but, by any stretch of the imagination, these statements represent a gross distortion. They could have been valid to some extent thirty or forty years ago, but today a case could be made that wetlands are considered too sacred and as a result are overprotected by Big Brother.
They say they are going to let me in on the land deal of the century. Yes, they can boast of being involved in many land deals, a number being very questionable in nature. And, they certainly qualify as very successful real estate agents. Their expertise in sound wildlife management is another matter. The home for their heron chick, which is being acquired through a coordinated plan of purchases and agreements, is the Virginia Coast Reserve, which supposedly is the last intact barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean. One would assume that it is in Virginia. What about Assateague, Parramore, Hog, Wreck and others in Virginia; and Cape Hatteras and others in North Carolina? Incidentally, if they are serious about preserving barrier islands, they should not be overly concerned with man's activities, but rather focus on the devastation done by Mother Nature with her hurricanes, tropical storms, tidal waves, and winds; all of which make man's impact rather insignificant.
Of course they continue to use Paul Newman's line, "saving the last great places on Earth." They know that they can pull this one on the emotional, gullible segments of society. But, a knowledgeable, thinking individual realizes that this is utter nonsense. My wife and I have traveled the width and breadth of the great U.S.A. (except Hawaii) and much of the Canadian provinces, by motor vehicle loaded down with camping gear. We have poked along on thousands of miles of back roads, and everywhere we went we encountered many great places of many different qualities. Why does the Conservancy try to create the impression that there are only a few left? What some people will resort to in the furtherance of their agenda.
They audaciously state that their work is protecting threatened species around the world from possible extinction. At least in North America they must realize that such responsibilities are delegated by law to various governmental agencies. In addition to their self appointment, they have managed to successfully infiltrate these government wildlife agencies, effectively promoting their agenda. The time is long overdue for the legality of these dealings to be thoroughly investigated with appropriate corrective measures taken.
Finally, their appeal letter says I am exactly the kind of person we need right now. Sorry, you obviously sent this to the wrong person. In lieu, I will very shortly send contributions to a number of deserving charities.
October 21, 2003
Email Nate Dickinson: email@example.com