Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

January 2012 Prez Sez

Your executive and I hope you had a great Christmas season and we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

As we approached 2012, Gil expressed a desire to no longer edit and publish the eSkimmer.  We worked together on a couple of options and decided to work the newsletter articles into the club’s website.  What you are seeing is a result of that collaboration.  The eSkimmer News section will be a defined block of articles, the same articles you would have read in the pdf version, but without the graphics and artistry that Gil provided.  I am not a graphic artist and have for many years depended on Gil to provide that functionality in the Skimmer, the eSkimmer and the website. 

The new format is somewhat of a blog format, and probably most of you are accustomed to reading blogs and newspaper articles in that form.  Because of this format, it will not be constrained by article size, number, etc.  I hope you enjoy it and find it as useful as the eSkimmer.  If you have articles of interest to our readership which you would like published, please send the to .  The deadline for articles will be about five days before the end of the month of publication.

I have really enjoyed collaborating with Gil over the years and I will miss that.  He is such a talented graphics artist.  However, I respect his wishes to find some time to work on his own projects.  I am forever grateful for the times we had together.

Focusing on the Goal

It is the sign of the times that even the Wilderness Society is cutting its staff by 17%.  Times are hard, donations are not coming in like they were and so budget pressures forced a retrenchment and reorganization.  According to an article in the LA Times   ( the Wilderness Society increased its staff and spending over the last several years, but times are different now. 

Kitty Thomas, senior director of advocacy communications,said:  "We believe that we have emerged from the process with an organization that is more focused on its priorities."

National Audubon is also refocusing on its priorities.  In their annual report, “Audubon’s new strategic plan focuses our work and aligns our network to ensure the greatest conservation impact.”  They identify their priorities as:

    Putting Farms, Ranches and Forests to Work for Birds

    Sharing Our Seas and Shores

    Saving the Most Important Bird Areas in the Americas

    Supporting a Healthy Climate for Birds and Poeple

    Creating Bird-friendly Communities and Cities

Audubon will focus its work in specific areas along the four major flyways of the Western Hemisphere.

You can get parts of the report in pdf format at .

We need to do more to get our word out.  As we enter a new year, please make it a point to write at least one letter to the editor on an issue you believe in.  Climate change, Florida-friendly yards, water conservation are good starters.

Happy Birding New Year.