Conservation Force is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable public foundation. It is an international organization with partners worldwide. Its exempt purposes are wildlife conservation, education, research and serving the greater public good. It serves the public through support and development of conservation infrastructure locally, nationally and internationally. It is a comprehensive organization that functions as a worldwide communications center and information source, monitor, advisory think tank and pro-active advocate for its exempt conservation purposes. The aim is to aid, support and complement other organizations (a consortium of approximately 100 organizations) rather than compete, thus to be a positive addition to the overall capacity of the conservation community. It supports and is supported by a federation of partnering organizations from the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) in Paris to the Dallas Ecological Foundation in Texas.
Conservation Force is a fully qualified Land Trust that owns ecologically important lands and conservation easements. It managed those lands and policed the easements in 2004-6. In 2004 it cleared its island on the Tangipahoa River in Louisiana of all structures and helped bring adjacent river frontage in compliance with the Scenic River Act. In 2005 CF threatened legal action to enforce an easement it holds on 2,000 acres important to “threatened” black bear recovery (a corridor between a national wildlife refuge and state wildlife management area) which was resolved by the adoption of a comprehensive management plan by the naked owner of the property. In 2006 CF completed a draft proposal to add several miles of additional water frontage to an existing easement. We also participated in the development of national policies governing conservation easements that came to fruition in 2006.
CF participated in the National Conservation in Action Summit on National Wildlife Refuges and thereafter (2004-6) tracked and participated in the development of “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCP) in those 95 million acres as they arose. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 we have led a debris location and removal program in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge and Delta Wildlife Management Area as well as participated in drafting the CCP (15 year plan) for that refuge at the mouth of the Mississippi River. CF also continued its Doorways to Waterways and Wetlands Restorationprojects in the delta area. The first helps provide public access to the area and the second helps restore and protect important waterfowl and fisheries habitation in the Central Flyway.
In 2004 CF fully funded and supported its Chairman’s second Presidency of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation which was formed by the State to support the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ projects and programs. In 2005 and 2006 he continued to serve on that Board wholly at CF’s expense and helped garner and allocate more than 2 million dollars for the State’s natural resource programs.
CF also bore the expenses of its Chairman continuing to serve on the Board of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation of the National Wildlife Federation – a member of IUCN - to provide leadership on many local conservation issues. Ditto participation in Ducks Unlimited, the formation of the Louisiana State Legislators Sportsmen’s Caucus, leadership in the Tangipahoa River Conservation Foundation, etc. CF funds its voluntary board members’ participation on dozens of conservation boards and committees around the world including many IUCN member organizations.
CF has continued its unparalleled leadership in the conservation of “endangered” listed barasingha. In 2004 voluntary board member Dr. James Teer visited the headquarters of the Wildlife Society of India and toured the Dudwa Tiger Reserve and adjacent Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary. The complex together holds the majority of the barasingha surviving in the wild. The ongoing barasingha project there is wholly funded by CF and is being implemented by the Wildlife Society of India. In 2004 the specific project was entitled Ecology & Conservation of Barasingha in Northern India and was expanded to the three principle reserves in India and is continuing today as the foremost conservation effort for the species in the world.
In 2005 CF participated in the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation with 1,200 of America’s conservation leaders which showcased a number of projects in which CF partners and supports, including the Louisiana Black Bear Committee project in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas and the White Mountain Apache program in Arizona.
CF provides leadership on several committees dealing with controlling the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Mad Cow Disease in North America.
In 2004 CF began the construction of a veterinary clinic and wildlife education center in the community adjacent to Bale National Park in Ethiopia. That project was wholly funded by CF and was completed in 2005 in its effort to conserve Mountain Nyala.
In 2006 CF began partnering with and funding the Murelle Foundation’s (1) Mountain Nyala, (2) Ethiopian wolf and (3) habitat restoration projects in the Bale Mountains. (firstname.lastname@example.org). CF also initiated the planning of a workshop on Mountain Nyala to develop a management plan.
In 2004 CF leaders attended the Third World Congress of IUCN in Bangkok, particularly the preceding SSC meeting on which five CF Board Members served.
CF is one of the most active organizations in the world focused on the conservation of the African lion. Three CF Board Members serve (one now deceased) on the African Lion Working Group affiliated with the IUCN’s CSG. They fully participated in the African Lion Workshop in Douala in 2005 and in RSA in 2006. This included the planning, co-authoring and presentation of the primary papers. This was a joint effort with IUCN to develop an unprecedented continental strategy for the conservation and management of the African lion (see http://www.felidae.org).
Our 2004-06 projects for the conservation of African lion are too numerous to list but include the following:
(a) Funded Professor Laurence Frank’s (WCS) film in Masai language on predator conservation and livestock management entitled Eramatere Naota Dupota (Wealth Through Management). Completed and first shown in Laikipia, Kenya in 2006. In late 2006 we partnered with WCS to expand the project to be a mobile, roving program throughout Africa to reduce human-lion conflicts.
(b) Funded the Botswana Lion Workshop in 2005.
(c) Helped establish and fully funded Dr. Paul Funston’s Kruger Comprehensive Lion Study which was completed in 2006.
(d) Helped form and funded Dr. Craig Packer’s Savannas Forever program, 2004-2006 operating in Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.
(e) Completed, published and wholly funded the first field guide on Aging Lion in Eastern and Southern Africa by Karyl Whitman and Craig Packer, 2006. It took two years, the work of twelve specialists and is the first and foremost compilation of its kind ever produced.
(f) Lion aging research and monitoring project: Installed and operated x-ray machines in Tanzania and Botswana to x-ray and age African lion, 2004-2006.
(g) Co-sponsored the man-eating lion study in Tanzania to determine how to reduce the conflict in partnership with Savannahs Forever and the Ministry.
CF leaders/board members have participated in IUCN’s Sustainable Use Specialist Group from its inception, particularly Dr. James Teer and John Jackson. In 2004 CF helped restart the North American Regional Group of SUSG of IUCN that Dr. James Teer originally chaired from its inception. In 2005 CF provided the Group’s primary funding to develop its “conservation hunting” project with the Circumpolar Institute, the University of Alberta and Nunavut. In 2006 CF continued its proactive leadership in that and five other major projects aimed at making regulated hunting a greater force or conservation tool. First in Bonn, Germany, then in Brussels, Belgium, CF formed part of an international team to develop Principles, Guidelines and Criteria for Sustainable Hunting Tourism as an adjunct to the Addis Principles and Guidelines of the CBD,both in 2006. In London, CF co-sponsored IUCN’s symposium on Recreational Hunting, Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Science and Practice and the follow-up meeting Standards and Certification for Recreational Hunting, October 2006. Both were held by IUCN’s Sustainable Use Specialist Group in conjunction with the Zoological Society of London. To top it off, CF worked tirelessly in South Africa to help develop better Norms & Standards for the regulation of hunting. Throughout the three years CF leaders also funded and served as both President and Vice President of CIC’s (Budapest) Sustainable Use Commission and on the Sustainable Use Committees of both The Wildlife Society and the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
In 2006 CF completed the King of the Altai monument sculpted by artist Rick Taylor. The monument rests before the Natural History Museum in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. A monument for Desert Sheep was begun in Mexico City.
In 2006 CF co-hosted the spectacular Presidents’ Gala Banquet with Dallas Safari Club, The Freidkin Fund, and the Tanzania Wildlife Foundation. Joint patrons former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and President Valery Giscard d’Estaing animated the guests to raise a quarter of a million dollars for conservation in Tanzania. This is above the quarter million dollars CF also collected in its ongoing Cullman & Hurt Community Wildlife Project in Tanzania each of the three years. (www.cullmanandhurt.org)
In 2006 CF supported and helped implement the International Foundation for Conservation of Wildlife’s Carnet DE BROUSSE project in Central and West Africa to determine the status of bongo, giant eland, lion and other species.
In Paraguay CF funded the GPS radio collaring and tracking of four jaguar in 2004, three in 2005, and four more in 2006 and other efforts to determine range and behavior and to reduce conflict in a project with the ministry.
In 2006 CF entered into an agreement with WWF (LIFE Plus) to develop 80 communal conservancies in Northern Namibia for reintroduction of key indigenous species and to ensure sound wildlife management practices.
In 2006 CF contributed to the completion of a strategic management plan for “endangered” black-faced impala including reintroduction in communal areas and creation of a pure zone to eliminate the risk of hybridization that threatens the species.
In 2004-06 CF continued funding various cheetah projects in Namibia in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Predator Coordinating Committee, and other partners.
CF continued funding the WCS Poacher Transformation Program in Zambia administered by Dale Lewis. In 2006 CF expanded the program coverage area to include protection of CITES Appendix II Red Lechwe.
In 2004-06 CF helped primarily fund the IUCN’s Eld’s Deer Task Force and its Trust Fund. During that period we have funded projects in Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam. We serve on the IUCN Deer Specialist Group and Eld’s Deer Task Force.
One of CF’s deceased Board Members helped initiate the Targhor Markhor Project decades ago. In 2004-06 we helped expand the model and benefits of that renowned project to other tribal areas and Markhor subspecies in northern Pakistan.