What Matters Most
This was the 20th year of service for Tammy, and the first year as Board Chair—having served several years on the Board already—for Yvette. Over the past two decades, we have taken risks and pursued opportunities—from creating an environmental learning center at our Barr Lake headquarters, to establishing offices in multiple states, to changing our name to better reflect who we are. Even as we weather challenges, like economic downturns and government shutdowns and, now, a global pandemic, we remain steadfast and focused on our mission and purpose.
Birds made headlines in a big way in 2019 with the revelation that we have lost almost 3 billion birds since 1970. As one of the organizations that helped deliver this groundbreaking research, we also recognize our role in finding solutions to reverse those trends. Now more than ever, it’s vital that people know why birds matter. By conserving bird habitat, we protect vital water resources for working lands, wildlife, drinking and recreation. By using technology to track movement patterns of birds, we demonstrate connections across borders and cultures, and a shared natural heritage. By immersing people of all ages in nature, we change lives and impart a stewardship ethic, a sense of place and responsibility for our natural world.
Uncertain times tend to reveal what matters most—including the critical importance of the natural world to our health and the prosperity of human communities from the food we eat to the recreation we pursue. Time spent in nature provides healing and calm, whether it’s enjoying the chorus of birds during a walk, the beauty of wildflowers and wildlife, or the sound of rushing water along streams and rivers.
Despite the challenges we are facing, it’s business as usual for birds. They are migrating, resting, feeding, and starting to build nests. They bring hope that life will return to normal again. But even as we find comfort in this certainty, let us strive to learn and grow from this experience. Hopefully, we will see how important the natural world is to our daily lives and come together as a community, with unified voices, ensuring there are healthy places for people and birds across the West and beyond.
Throughout this annual report you will see stories that highlight not only accomplishments, but an organization that is creative, resilient and ensuring relevance in an ever-changing world. You—our supporters, partners and friends—are a vital part of our story. Thank you!