Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raising your voice!

So now that I have inundated you with information about HR 5864 the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act, you might be wondering "what can I do...I am just one person...?" This is true, but every person has a voice. You just have to raise it!

When in DC waiting in offices to meet with Congressional and Senate aides, I was amazed at how many phone calls from constituents came in encouraging them to vote for or against a particular piece of legislation. They DO pay attention to people taking time to make a phone call. So one thing you can do is pick up the phone and call your Representative or Senator, at their local office or in Washington, D.C. And a key here is to give it a week or two and make a FOLLOW-UP call. This helps to emphasize that you feel an issue is important!

Another action you can take is to send an email. I am sure we ALL get those "Action Alerts" from different organizations making a push to get legislation pushed or blocked. It is great when you go through these, but even better is to add a PERSONAL touch to the pre-written response. There IS someone in the office reading these, making notes, and reporting on it. Do it at the very beginning to add impact and get them to realize you took time out of your busy schedule because you care about the issue. Your time is just as valuable as theirs, and this personal touch does make them take notice. Again, it is key to take the time to send a short, to-the-point follow-up email a couple of weeks later.

A third thing is to get your friends talking! I know there is an age old phrase..."Never talk about religion or politics." But how can we learn from one another and come to a compromise if we don't have discussions about topics that make us uncomfortable? An issue doesn't have to be force fed down another's throat but can be tactfully broached. Entering into conversations about an issue opens the door to point out important legislation and help educate others are things they might not be well versed in. Education is a key. Talk about what you are passionate about!

Keep in mind, these views about raising your voice above are from my own personal experience and NOT a view necessarily of my organization. However, National Audubon Society and Florida Audubon DO endorse the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act HR help us out and raise your voice! Pick up the phone, write an proactive!!!

Give mothers like the bobcat pictured below and her kittens (off the side of the road unseen in the photos) a fighting chance!

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