Partners in Conservation : Non-Profit Group
 
Derek Goldman

 
Contributor:

Derek Goldman

 
3 people have given kudos so far.
 
Our Story

I couldn’t let Congressman Richard Pombo destroy endangered species habitat protections in Montana and across the country! So I began working with the Endangered Species Coalition in 2005, when the Congressman from California was leading an assault against the Endangered Species Act, public land, and most things-wild.

Continue Reading >

The Coalition helped lead a broad alliance of conservation groups, scientists, sportsmen and others, both nationally and in Montana, to beat back this attack. While this was not the first time that special interests had sought to weaken protections for imperiled wildlife, passing a bill through the House represented one of the biggest threats in recent years. Fortunately, we along with our member groups and allies were able to rally public support and prevent any companion bill from reaching the Senate floor.

Raised in central Ohio, I first moved to the northern Rockies in the early 1990’s, where I immediately fell in love with wildlife, wild places and the vast landscapes of the region. I spent much of the next decade playing in the mountains and streams of northwest Wyoming. I headed north to Montana in 2001 to pursue a graduate program at the University of Montana, where I earned a masters degree in environmental studies.

Since I had always loved seeing native wildlife, particularly the charismatic megafauna like moose, bison and bears, I was thrilled at the chance to work with the Coalition in 2005 to defend the law that protects many of these species—the Endangered Species Act. Through our board president, Brock Evans—a veteran of the conservation movement for whom the love of the outdoors all began in Montana—I came to learn that the Act was actually put in place not only for the sake of imperiled species themselves, but also to protect “the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend.”

In fact, the Congressional approval of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 (with only four members of Congress voting against it) likely marked the first time that the word “ecosystem” had been placed into U.S. statute.

I learned that the Act—through its “critical habitat” and “consultation” provisions—does indeed protect the places where many species call home, even those which are not imperiled. For instance, stream protections put in place for Bull trout in Montana protect the entire riparian ecosystem for all the other species that live there. Similarly, the Forest Service road-building restrictions in place to protect grizzly bears also provide added habitat security for elk.

Today, the Endangered Species Coalition has evolved into a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places. Through education, outreach and citizen involvement, we work to protect endangered species and the special places where they live.

Partners

We know from public opinion research that a huge majority of Americans (across all regions, political stripes and other demographics) support the Endangered Species Act. Much of the ESC’s organizing approach centers around the development of “allied voices” spokespeople: the small business owners, landowners, sportsmen, wildlife scientists and others who can speak out in support of this landmark conservation law and the wildlife it protects.

In recent years, our organizers have recruited these spokespeople for guest opinions to newspapers, blogs and podcasts, as well as meetings with elected officials and wildlife “fly-ins” to Washington, DC.

Additionally, as a coalition with more than 400 member groups, many of our members are Montana-based or have offices or chapters in Montana. We work directly with our Montana member groups as well as other conservation organizations on important issues affecting threatened and endangered species, while seeking to build support for the Endangered Species Act itself.

We also officially partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually in support of national Endangered Species Day—an annual initiative we have led since its inception in 2006. Our other supporters for Endangered Species Day include:

American Zoo and Aquarium Association

Boy Scouts of America

Defenders of Wildlife

Earth Day Network

Garden Clubs of America

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

North American Association for Environmental Education

National Association of Biology Teachers

National Audubon Society

National Park Service

National Science Teachers Association

National Wildlife Federation

NOAA

Sierra Club

Wildlife Refuge Association

Creating a Legacy

The ESC is the only national grassroots organization that focuses one hundred percent of our time on protecting and defending endangered species.  We engage citizens in urgent grassroots campaigns to save our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.

We specialize in grassroots organizing—mobilizing citizens to participate in the democratic political process. We believe grassroots power is the strongest political force to compel decision makers to protect wildlife and wild lands.

As one of our strongest conservation laws, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) safeguards our nation’s natural heritage today and for future generations.  It is a safety net not only for wildlife, but also the land that provides their habitat.  The millions of acres of habitat protected under the Endangered Species Act preserve open spaces that people and wildlife need to survive.  Because of the success of its programs, we can still see bald eagles, peregrine falcons, wolves, grizzly bears, and wild salmon.  Unfortunately, these wild lands are disappearing to development, mining, and logging, pushing many species to extinction. Extractive industries, and the politicians they support, have tried to chip away at its protections for decades because they understand the law’s power in protecting land.

Throughout our 30-year history, the ESC has been the primary advocate of the Act, defending it from administrative and Congressional rollbacks.  In the 109th Congress, we stopped Rep. Pombo’s “Extinction Bill” from becoming law. In 2008, we successfully advocated for restoring science in endangered species decisions and restoring scientific integrity. 

In 2010, in response to the BP Gulf oil spill, we launched the most comprehensive website on the spill’s potential impacts to endangered species (http://www.oilspillwildlife.org), and we successfully advocated for increased sea turtle protections. We galvanized our activists in a successful attempt to call upon the administration to reaffirm the international whaling ban. We’ve produced an annual Top 10 Endangered Species Report, educating decision-makers on key endangered species issues.

In 2011, we beat back the “Extinction Rider,” one of the few environmental victories on the House floor during the entire Congress.

Take Action

We strongly believe that grassroots power is the engine behind the democratic process. Therefore, it is incredibly important that people take action on endangered species issues. To do that, we encourage people to sign on to receive our activist alerts.

For those who would like to get even more engaged, we have a special group of volunteers—our Endangered Species Advocates. This is our network of super activists who we train, so that they can arrange district meetings, host house parties, staff booths, participate in letter writing campaigns, track local news media and participate in an education week fly-in. 

A fun way to get involved is to attend or host Endangered Species Day events, which are held every year in May throughout the country. Individuals can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn what we’re up to. And, of course, individuals can make tax-deductible contributions. As a small nonprofit, we work very hard to stretch every dollar that we receive, so that donors dollars go further.

Digging Deeper: Related Stories, Projects and Information
 

From the day he moved to Livingston in 1938 from New York State to open a fly shop in the railroad town of Livingston until his death in 1982, Dan Bailey's love affair with the...

Our Conservation Map

 

Contact Information

Derek Goldman

Field Representative

POB 5800

Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: (406) 721-3218

dgoldman@stopextinction.org

http://www.stopextinction.org

Related Stories

 

Northwest Connections integrates conservation and education in Montana's...

 

Here in Montana, we have the best stream access in the...

 

“I learned a lot about birds and look at them more often now. When I...

 

My long, arduous trek from the base of Bridger Bowl Ski Area to the crest of...

 

From the day he moved to Livingston in 1938 from New York State to open a...

 

Jackson Hole is a high mountain valley that is home to Grand Teton National...

 

We started as a group of neighbors working together to protect the wild...

 

It was May 1971.  The school year was drawing to a close when a group...

 

Thirty years ago, the National Wildlife Federation affirmed its commitment...

 

Tom Bell has long since retired from his various lives as a biologist,...

Nearby Stories

 

At the age of five, clad in blue corduroys and a striped red shirt, I stand...

 

The Watershed Education Network (WEN) is a Missoula based nonprofit...

 

In July 2012, the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) launched...

Similar Stories

 

We were weary of the dithering and denial, so Joan, Nancy and I invited our...

 

With a little help from our friends across the state, the Montana Raptor...

 

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation fosters wilderness stewardship and...

Partners in Conservation

 

Northwest Connections integrates conservation and education in Montana's...

 

Here in Montana, we have the best stream access in the...

 

“I learned a lot about birds and look at them more often now. When I...

 

My long, arduous trek from the base of Bridger Bowl Ski Area to the crest of...

 

From the day he moved to Livingston in 1938 from New York State to open a...

 

Jackson Hole is a high mountain valley that is home to Grand Teton National...

 

We started as a group of neighbors working together to protect the wild...

 

It was May 1971.  The school year was drawing to a close when a group...

 

Thirty years ago, the National Wildlife Federation affirmed its commitment...

 

Tom Bell has long since retired from his various lives as a biologist,...

 

Rick Reese’s Greater Yellowstone epiphany began in June, 1981 on the...

 

In 2001, as a young undergrad at the University of Montana with an interest...

 

The RCWG formed in 2008 when neighbors coalesced to pull invasive weeds in a...

 

I've had the privilege of spending several summers working on farms and...