Notes from the President

Summer 2012

This update is reprinted from the August 2012 issue of The ICF Bugle (coming soon!)

In mid-June we enjoyed another magical night at the International Crane Foundation. An Evening with the Cranes drew friends from across the country to share wine, food, and song from the crane regions of the world, under a beautiful summer sky. During our welcoming remarks, we thanked our lead sponsors Teel Plastics and WR and Floy Sauey of Baraboo and the many other supporters, partners, and volunteers who make our work possible. Greg Smith, Managing Director of Discover Wisconsin, shared the exciting news that ICF is featured on their program as one of Wisconsin’s premier attractions (click here to view the Wisconsin Birding episode featuring ICF). We honored Forrest Hartmann, ICF Co-founder and Emeritus Director, for his lifetime of conservation service. My favorite part of this annual event is the opportunity for ICF members and supporters to mingle with our program leaders. Stationed across our site among the many species of cranes we are working to save, staff shared stories of our efforts to halt the decline of Grey Crowned Cranes and wetlands in Africa, to secure the most important wetland in China for Siberian Cranes and many other species, reintroduce Whooping Cranes in the Eastern U.S., and to provide real alternatives to crop depredation by Sandhill Cranes. The evening accentuates our unique position as a rural Wisconsin-based organization tackling conservation challenges of international importance. We think and act locally, and globally.

Kate Fitzwilliams, ICF’s Marketing and PR Specialist, proudly displays Discover Wisconsin’s Choice Destination award at the 3rd Annual Evening with the Cranes. Discover Wisconsin is a television show dedicated to Wisconsin tourism and featured ICF in a recent birding episode. Photo by Christina Beam

ICF’s landscape is a living laboratory of local and global as well– a place where restoration ideas have germinated – literally and figuratively – for nearly 40 years. Our new photo exhibit Bloom: The Story of Ecosystem Restoration at the International Crane Foundation, features the stunning photography of Tom Lynn. No one captures the essence of our prairies, savannas, and wetlands better than Tom, who (showing remarkable range!) is also a professional photographer for the Green Bay Packers. Tom’s captivating photos will be on exhibit at ICF’s Donnelley Family Education Center through October. Special thanks to our Bloom sponsors Badger Glass, Bischof Construction, Econoprint, LifePhoto.com, University of Wisconsin – Madison Zoology Museum, and Wisconsin DNR Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center.

Those of you watching from home can connect to our conservation work as well. For over eight weeks this spring and summer our live Crane Chick Cam provided a behind-the-scenes peek at Lily, Fen, Catchfly, and other Whooping Crane release project chicks as they grew, exercised, and learned about wetlands they will soon call home. If you missed our live cam broadcast, view our series of Crane Chick Cam Video Shorts and stay tuned for further live cam experiences focusing on ICF’s captive flock!

There are more opportunities on the horizon to visit our site and share in our local and global conservation mission as well. On September 15 we will host our Annual Member Appreciation Day – complete with behind-the-scenes tours of our facilities, photography workshops with Tom Lynn, crane tracking demonstrations, and specialized tours of our cranes and prairies. ICF’s newest employee, Dr. Gopi Sundar, will share conservation highlights from the Saruscape of India. In the evening we will hold our Annual Member Meeting on site, honoring our Good Egg Award winners and providing our 2020 Vision for cranes and ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways they depend on here, and around the world. Please join us!