The Grassroots Fight Against the Sixth Great Extinction

Earlier this year, a study was published in the prestigious journal Science showing species of plants and animals are becoming extinct 1,000 times faster than they did before humans. This is about 10 times faster than biologists had previous believed. The official conclusion, according to the lead author Dr. Stuart Pimm of Duke University, was that “we are on the verge of the sixth great extinction, and whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions.” In other words, this looming mass extinction is caused by humans and only we can stop it.

Time and again we have seen that the actions of small, bold, grassroots groups are most effective at saving habitat and protecting imperiled species of plants and animals. They are helping to stem the tide of extinction not only by their on-the-ground efforts but also by inspiring other people to care deeply about biodiversity. Grassroots activists dedicate countless hours doing difficult work fighting destructive projects pushed by moneyed interests, with little financial compensation. Further, the boldness of these small groups often encourages much larger, well-funded environmental organizations to sacrifice fewer acres of forest and woodland, prairie, desert, wetland, and ocean habitats in the name of political compromise.

It is just these kinds of small, driven groups to which the Fund for Wild Nature provides vital support. We can only do this with investment from people like you. Our all-volunteer board of directors raises money, vets grant proposals to find the most effective projects, and seeks out new grassroots groups and activists doing innovative work to safeguard biodiversity. We also award a $1,000 annual prize to a ‘Grassroots Activist of the Year’ to celebrate the unsung heroes of the conservation movement and give them much-needed public accolades (and support for their spirits).

These groups include several in the northern Rockies fighting to stop logging in our national forests that would harm endangered grizzly bears, bull trout, lynx, and wolverines. In September, a federal court in Montana ruled in favor of a coalition of four Fund for Wild Nature grantees—the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan, and Native Ecosystems Council—who sued to stop a major timber sale in the Swan Valley. Thanks to these groups ready to take on David-versus-Goliath challenges, this area of the Swan Valley will remain wild. It is for this and other reasons that the Fund chose to honor the executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies as our 2014 Grassroots Activist of the Year.

These days, modern technology—our televisions, cell phones, and computers—has separated us to a great extent from wild nature. But we continue to depend on the natural world for our own survival, for clean air and water, healthy soils, and the intricate web of life that maintains it all. With your continued support we can fund the feistiest grassroots groups who are willing to dedicate the necessary time and energy to stop the sixth great extinction and preserve the web of life…and in doing so, preserve us all.

Contribute here.

Fund for Wild Nature
P.O. Box 900
Kelso WA 98626

Monica Bond, MS is a wildlife biologist and biodiversity advocate with the Wild Nature Institute. She is a graduate of the first year of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and has worked as an Endangered Species Act grassroots organizer for the National Wildlife Federation and a staff biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity, where she fought urban sprawl and protected forests from damaging logging. Monica received her M.S. degree in Wildlife Science from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University and has conducted field research on Gray-tailed Voles, Western Burrowing Owls, Spotted Owls, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Arboreal Salamanders, Northern Elephant Seals, Hawaiian Monk Seals, and Masai Giraffe. She resides in New Hampshire but travels around the world researching and advocating for the conservation of imperiled wildlife and habitats.


More articles by:

Monica Bond, a wildlife biologist with the Wild Nature Institute, is a nationally known scientific expert on spotted owls and fire ecology. Bond also serves on the board of the Fund for Wild Nature.

December 18, 2018
Charles Pierson
Where No Corn Has Grown Before: Better Living Through Climate Change?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Waters of American Democracy
Patrick Cockburn
Will Anger in Washington Over the Murder of Khashoggi End the War in Yemen?
George Ochenski
Trump is on the Ropes, But the Pillage of Natural Resources Continues
Farzana Versey
Tribals, Missionaries and Hindutva
Robert Hunziker
Is COP24 One More Big Bust?
David Macaray
The Truth About Nursing Homes
Nino Pagliccia
Have the Russian Military Aircrafts in Venezuela Breached the Door to “America’s Backyard”?
Paul Edwards
Make America Grate Again
David Rosnick
The Impact of OPEC on Climate Change
Binoy Kampmark
The Kosovo Blunder: Moving Towards a Standing Army
Andrew Stewart
Shine a Light for Immigration Rights in Providence
December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek