Saturday, October 08, 2005

Operation Migration - Running out of Gas?



From Joe Duff of Operation Migration:

Only a very small portion of philanthropic dollars donated in the US are given to environmental causes at the best of times, and recent weather related catastrophes have understandably pushed them even farther down the list.

The soaring cost of fuel, increased expenses, the large number of birds we have this season and resulting added staff needed, has made it very difficult to raise enough funds to keep us going. To make ends meet, we made cuts to our already lean budget, and reduced the wages of senior staff, but we still have concerns. All year, along with training and preparing 20 birds for migration, we have been frantically fundraising. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we still have a budget shortfall, one that has caused us indigestion and insomnia for months. Our WCEP partners too have not had an easy time securing support, so we are in good company.

Through our fundraising efforts, and thanks to our MileMaker Sponsors, we have enough funding in place to get us almost to the Kentucky/Tennessee border before we run out of gas figuratively and literally. As a result, we are about to send out a special E-mail appeal to every contact address we have. We will be appealing to every individual, group, club, organization, corporation, and foundation we know, for their help.

Over the years we have faced many tough challenges: from convincing the federal government this concept had merit, to keeping our birds wild; from developing aircraft that can fly safely with birds, to crossing the Appalachians with our precious flock in tow. But no challenge has proved as difficult as securing ongoing funding.

The OM team understands our obligation to the partnership, and, most importantly, to the birds - who ask nothing in return. So, one way or another, we will get them to Florida. But it is a heavy burden to place on the people who have already shouldered a lion's share of the load. Please help if you can. Click here to contribute or call our office at: 800-675-2618

In-flight crane image © Joe Duff

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