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Broadcast Audubon

State of the Birds 2013

The fourth State of the Birds report highlights the enormous contributions private landowners make to bird and habitat conservation, and state-of-the-birds-report-coveropportunities for increased contributions. Roughly 60% of the land area in the United States (1.43 billion acres) is privately owned by millions of individuals, families, organizations, and corporations, including 2 million ranchers and farmers and about 10 million woodland owners. More than 100 species have 50% or more of their U.S. breeding distributions on private lands.

Birds are important indicators of the health of our environment. To assess bird populations and conservation opportunities on private lands across the nation, the State of the Birds report combined the latest eBird distribution data with land ownership data from the Protected Areas Database of the U.S. As in past reports, the report focused on species dependent on a single primary habitat, or habitat obligates.

The results emphasize the high dependence on private lands among grassland, wetland, and eastern forest birds, with important conservation opportunities existing in all habitats. Many conservation programs available to private landowners offer win-win opportunities to implement land management practices that benefit birds and landowners. The success stories highlighted in the report demonstrate that voluntary private landowner efforts can yield real and meaningful bird conservation results.

Working cooperatively with private landowners is a central theme of ISC-Audubon. That is why ISC-Audubon has created the John James Audubon Conservation Network and the Audubon Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary Program for landowners. ISC-Audubon is looking to greatly expand its network of certified bird sanctuaries over the next year.

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Sustainability By Design

By: Brian Kington

Sustainable Landscapes: Improving Economies by Protecting the Environment

img_0329-sm.jpgDespite a growing awareness of the real value of sustainability during this recent global recession, there are still many people who believe we must make a choice between improving the economy or protecting the environment. Thinking people correctly understand both objectives must coexist to achieve resource conservation goals and ensure prosperity of individuals, businesses and communities.  Although this is no easy task, a successful way to help overcome this great challenge is through the creation and management of sustainable landscapes. 

A sustainable landscape refers to a planned and managed system of green spaces, greenways, recreational amenities and natural or restored lands which contribute to the health and quality of life in our communities.   Sustainable landscapes provide benefits of water conservation, filtration and absorption as well as air particle removal and heat relief.  Sustainable landscapes also counter pollution, increase community resiliency, save energy, encourage exercise and activity, create safer communities and improve the value of land.   Sustainable landscapes provide the important connection between human use and enjoyment, and functioning habitat for wildlife and other ecological systems.  

Land is the common denominator for many aspects of our economy and environment.  Agriculture and recreation based tourism are completely dependent on land and resources.  Our physical well being relies heavily on clean air and water, and consumption of resources that require taking care of the land in order to be sustainable.   Because land is a finite resource, how and where we locate people and jobs on the land determines the amount of land we consume and how much energy is used to transport goods and sustain the community.  This is especially true in developing regions like Central and South America where communities are increasingly expanding to areas outside of urban centers. These areas of expansion nearly always lack adequate infrastructure to support the growing population.   New development must consider ways to more efficiently use land not only to meet human needs, but to properly incorporate sustainable during the planning process.  This approach to planning and design is an integral part of building a vision for creating sustainable and affordable communities. 

Qualified designers and planners are the key to implementing this strategy to reduce the ecological footprint of development.   This means locating development in the most suitable areas, avoiding fragmentation of natural habitat, reducing grey infrastructure, designing for maximum mutually beneficial connectivity between humans, wildlife and the environment, and allowing for effective management practices that minimize the impact on natural processes.  By using the power of sustainable landscapes, and being more efficient when we do build, we will lower costs in the long term and achieve conservation goals that we can enjoy right now.  

Brian Kington is Director of Sustainable Design for Sustainable Golf & Development, LLC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

EnergyStar
www.energystar.gov/

The Business Alliance for Living Economies
www.livingeconomies.org

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

Sustainable Golf & Development 
www.sustainablegolfdevelopment.com

The PGA Golf Club
www.pgavillage.com

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu

   

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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