Do you want to really put your $20 to $2-million to work?

At this time of year every charity and conservation organization sends out pleas for a year end donation. Given the condition of the economy, most of them really need it. On the other hand, you want to make a cost/effective donation.

Only a few conservation groups expend much going after public land grazing. Maybe it doesn’t sound sexy. Foundations are risk-aversive to giving in a way that would offend our precious landed nobility in the West. Many conservation groups rely very heavily on the good will of these foundations. They are encouraged one way or another to play smileyface with these posers of the “Tradition of the West.”

A few groups do not. As a result they need more income from private donations to make up for the relative lack of foundation giving. If you are irritated enough to give some money, I’d suggest the Western Watersheds Project, Advocates for the West and the Buffalo Field Campaign.

This doesn’t mean there are not other groups, especially smaller ones, that merit a donation. I like the low overhead, high output, uncompromised efforts by these groups.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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