Why I Support RMW – Gabby Vermiere

Gabrielle VermeireI was fortunate enough this summer to be Rocky Mountain Wild’s first 100 Women for the Wild intern, which gave me the unique experience of being both an insider and an admiring outsider to the organization. Needless to say, Rocky Mountain Wild is simply incredible considering its staff size and the impact they are able to have protecting Colorado’s biodiversity. My brief sojourn has turned into a lifelong appreciation for the indispensable work done by Rocky Mountain Wild and by other wildlife conservation organizations in the front range.

Because my internship duties dabbled in a few of RMW’s (also indispensable) projects, I’ll speak briefly to one of them. Buried under all of the oft-troubling national news and even under much of the news related to the attack on public lands is the fact that the Endangered Species Act is at risk of being legislatively dismantled. The Endangered Species Act is one of the most popular pieces of legislation ever passed (during the Nixon administration no less) and has prevented 99% of the species placed on the list from going extinct. Bills introduced at the national level have proposed actions ranging from vesting all authority for administering the act in state governors to de-listing all species on the list and requiring congressional politicians to approve their listing. There is no doubt that the success of any of these acts would severely compromise the ability of the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect endangered and threatened species, if not result in the extinction of a number of species.

I was charged with researching these threats and reaching out to partner conservation organizations to develop our response messaging. Ideally, our response will mobilize our members to actions that put pressure on Colorado representatives to commit to protecting the Endangered Species Act. This August, we held a joint event at Boulder Beer with Defenders of Wildlife and the Endangered Species Coalition to raise awareness about the threats and to have our members sign postcards to their representatives. If you’d like to take action on the ESA, you can visit http://rockymountainwild.org/esa and make your voice heard on one of the most critical threats to wildlife in the Rocky Mountains.

I also encourage you to support the work of Rocky Mountain Wild in any way you can. Something else that I learned while interning was of the immense challenges faced by conservation organizations in our state. Their lawyer and biologists are more often than not the only things standing between private interests and health of our ecosystems. I’ll add to the chorus of other voices giving more than enough reasons to support to RMW’s mission by emphasizing the urgency of the threat to the Endangered Species Act and Rocky Mountain Wild’s role in raising awareness and fighting back.

 

Consider joining Gabby in supporting RMW:

Join the 100 Women for the Wild, schedule your CO Gives Day donation, or fill out the Volunteer Application to volunteer your time and expertise!

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