Thursday, November 29, 2007

More birders than AARP members?

From The Daily Green:

One in six Americans is a bird lover, and yet the political clout that would be marshaled by other constituencies of that size has not had as big an influence, the heads of the nation's biggest birding groups told reporters as they discussed the 2007 WatchList of imperiled U.S. birds.

"There are more birders than Baptists. There are more birders than there are members in the AARP," said George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy.

The Audubon Society, particularly, is active politically. And there are signs that there is bipartisan federal support for bird conservation, despite the constituency being relatively unorganized. That has resulted in federal bird conservation programs remaining stable during the Bush Administration, when several other environmental programs saw dramatic cuts.
"... federal bird conservation programs remaining stable during the Bush Administration" -- That clause intrigues me.

This also intrigues me: "the political clout that would be marshaled by other constituencies of that size has not had as big an influence..." Why hasn't the birding community created a stronger, cohesive political presence? What has prevented us from doing that -- ourselves?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Belardo said...

Where's my birder discount at the movie theater?

I think the ABC needs to distinguish between "bird lover" and "birder" a little better. I'm sure 1 in 6 people are bird lovers. "Birders" as in people who actively pursue birds, travel to see birds, regularly go on walks, etc. is a bit different. The "birders" I find are definitely more active in politics and conservation.

November 29, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Good points, Patrick.

November 29, 2007 11:19 AM  

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