Kathy Stiles Freeland, Conservation Committee Chairperson
Committee members: Bob Tate, Dick Mills, Elberta Reid, Hans Paul, Janis Barksdale, Katherine Bouma, Ken Wills, Maureen Shaffer
According to the by-laws of the Birmingham Audubon Society, this Committee's purpose is as follows:Birmingham Audubon Society's Conservation Committee is charged with investigating and collecting information about local and national matters affecting the protection and conservation of natural resources and the environment. It advises the Officers and Board of Birmingham Audubon Society about those matters, disseminates information about the same to BAS members and the general public, works in partnership with other Alabama environmental organizations and represents the position of BAS related to conservation matters to local, state and federal agencies and others. It also works to coordinate its recommendations with National Audubon Society.
At its planning meeting last summer, the Committee decided that the primary focus areas for its work in the next year would be to promote renewal of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust Program and enhance communications about conservation issues with BAS members.
In addition to the focus areas, issues that the Committee has addressed or is monitoring include:
- Gulf Oil Spill and Gulf Area Protection (including the Dauphin Island cut "repairs.)"
- Proposal to mine coal at Shepherd's Bend on the Black Warrior River
- Timber cutting activities in State Parks
- Proposed expansion of the Cahaba River Wildlife Refuge
- Jefferson County Greenways Plan
- Establishment of new birding trails in Alabama working with the Alabama Tourism Council
- Cyprus/Malta Bird Issue
In the next issue of Flicker Flashes I will provide more details about these individual projects and actions planned or taken related to them. While these are all complex issues, never doubt the ability of a small group of talented, caring and committed people (this includes you!) to make a positive difference in the protection of our natural heritage.
We are recruiting new members to serve on the Conservation Committee. If one of these issues is of particular interest to you and where you want to commit some time or if you are just interested in serving as a part of a Committee focused upon the varied conservation issues that now or in the future are of concern, please give me a call or email and let me know your interest. or 205/746-5855.
Note: Committee Chair Kathy Stiles Freeland served as a founder and the first Executive Director of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center (1977-1989) and founding Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy's Alabama Chapter (1989-2002). While with TNC, she was a leader of the effort that saw successful passage of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust in 1992. After leaving TNC, she provided consulting services to grassroots conservation organizations before returning to serve again as Executive Director of Ruffner Mtn Nature Center (2004-2009). During that time she led its $5 million capital campaign and oversaw construction of its award winning LEED certified environmental education center. She retired in summer 2009 and is now happily employed part-time as Administrative and Development Coordinator for Conservation Alabama located in Birmingham and Montgomery.