This great country of ours is so blessed with rich landscapes and awe-inspiring terrain from the southern most tip of Florida to the northern tip of Alaska. Nowhere else in the world is there such a diverse array of grandeur, readily available for viewing, within short distances of almost any part of the country. Where once the land was almost barren of many species of wildlife, through wildlife conservation efforts, most of those species have been restored to a naturally healthy population.
Most of us probably think of radical, fanatical behaviorist when we hear the term wildlife conservation, but nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, there are those that take conservation much too far in trying to force their ideals on the rest of us. But true conservationist are concerned with the overall, long-range concept of conservation, not just protecting the lives of the immediate population. Only through proper wildlife management efforts is it possible to maintain a healthy population, no matter what the species.
There are many forms of wildlife conservation available in today’s society. One of the most well-known organizations is Ducks Unlimited. Back in 1937, a group of sportsmen decided it was time to do something about the dwindling waterfowl population in North America. Their mission was then, and still today, is “wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever”. According to a January 1, 2010 report from Ducks Unlimited, over 12 million acres of waterfowl habitat has been conserved as a result of the organization’s efforts. These efforts keep waterfowl millions of acres of habitat on which to thrive.
The National Wildlife Federation is another greatly publicized organization responsible for protecting and defending wildlife and the wild places they need to survive; restoring the health of our natural habitats and ecosystems; and educating and inspiring Americans to care for and protect our natural heritage. The National Wildlife Federation works to build coalitions with affiliates, sportsmen, Native American tribes, scientists and state wildlife officials to protect and restore wildlife habitat. The Federation does all this with a critical focus on species already being adversely impacted by the effects of environmental changes, and human population encroachment. All across America, wild spaces are being populated, polluted, or destroyed, leaving wildlife with fewer places to call home.
These are but two of the many popular organizations that serve to protect America’s wildlife. But there is another group of people in this country that is just as dedicated as any of the well-known organizations to wildlife conservation. Though they may not be as organized, and they may not have such a dynamic title, they are dedicated to the cause none the less. Who is this group? They are wildlife artists and through wildlife art, they are making a huge impact on conservation efforts.
Where do wildlife art and wildlife artists fit into the conservation scheme? Wildlife artists are some of the most dedicated people on the planet when it comes to the cause of conservation. Each artist truly loves the species they paint. They become intimately familiar with the habits, routines, habitat, and rituals of the species they love to portray in their art through in-depth study.
How does wildlife art contribute to wildlife conservation? There is an organization called Art for Conservation who sees the typical conservation campaign as a presentation of a bunch of facts and figures that, although critically important, gets really boring, really quickly. Art for Conservation believes this is where the power of imagery comes into effect.
Art for Conservation members believe that through partnerships with conservation photographers, artists and organizations, they create and market fine art prints in support of causes both large and small. To support that belief, the Art for Conservation organization pledged $509,810.00 to go to Ducks Unlimited through the sale of member’s artwork. Members allocate a percentage of each sale of their artwork to go to their conservation efforts and nationwide, this amounts to huge benefits to wildlife in general.
Now comes the big question. How can you get involved in this monumental effort to conserve wildlife? Here are just a few ideas that will go a long way toward achieving the goal.
Get Involved With a Specialized Conservation Organization
If you’re a hunter, join Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, or any of the other wildlife organizations aimed at conservation. Get involved with the goal in mind to make a difference.
Purchase Artwork Through an Organization That Supports Conservation
By purchasing your wildlife art through Ducks Unlimited, Art for Conservation, or other such organizations, a portion of your investment will go directly to wildlife conservation.
If you’re not a hunter, you can make donations to any of the conservation organizations without having to join or otherwise get involved. Your dollars will make a difference.
With the combined efforts of all the available organizations aimed at wildlife conservation, we can all play a role in the effective conservation of this country’s greatest natural wonders. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started.