Images for Conservation Fund is one of the leading organizations for change in the approach to conservation. The Pro-Tour of Nature Photography and the Private Lands Nature Photo Tourism Industry are just a couple of the programs we are committed to developing and growing. ICF’s future and conservation programs will only be limited by imagination, our commitment to innovation and the free market system, and our ability to attract dedicated people to our organization.
A number of books have come out in the last couple of years that have significant meaning to ICF. If you have not read Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv, it is a must. I learned a number of things:
- The U. S. as a nation entered the Third Frontier in 1994, the same year we started an amateur wildlife photo contest in South Texas.
- That we have some of the most knowledgeable youth in the world about global warming, extinction, destruction of the rainforest and the depletion of the oceans, but many have no real concept of the feel of dirt, or wading in a creek or the spirituality of nature.
The second book is Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. The authors of “Death of Environmentalism” contend:
- Environmentalism, including conservation, must change if it is to survive as a viable solution to the earth’s environmental and conservation problems.
- Environmentalists are too focused on special-interest politics.
- The prevalent doom-and-gloom attitude for environmental concerns stifles positive change.
- The current “politics of limits” leaves no room for celebrating or stimulating human ingenuity and creativity.
ICF just completed its first ever strategic planning meeting. To the extent that our board of directors has a better understanding of our program and has seen our presentation to the region of the next Pro-Tour I think it was a success. We laid the foundation for the organization to become the leader in the arena of creative conservation. I want to thank Roberto Zambrano for committing to help us meet with Mexican ranchers and Art Cahoon for setting up a meeting with his Florida group. These meetings will help us plan Pro-Tours in those areas.
We are extremely fortunate to have dedicated volunteers like Claire and George Vaughan, Bruce and Gail Hoffman and Katharine Armstrong. Claire is leading our event volunteers with ICF Executive Director, Diane Smith, and helping Bruce and me with fundraising. Claire and George have developed a unique sponsorship concept that we recently presented to Alamo Lumber and Hardware’s CEO and President. Alamo Lumber has stores located in many of the communities throughout the 2008 Pro-Tour: Coastal Bend of Texas region. It makes sense for them to be the headquarters for all the ranchers’ photo blind needs.
The Vaughan and Cartwright families, along with their hunting leaseholder Triple B Enterprises, will host the judges in June for the entire judging time and a Family Field Day and “Meet the Judges” Party scheduled for Saturday, June 28th. Mark your calendars now to join them at the family ranch near Dinero, Texas.
I am really proud to announce the first time major ICF Pro-Tour sponsorship from a bank.Thanks to Bruce Hoffman’s hard work we were able to meet with Charles White, Renato Ramirez and Richard Bothe, the three IBC Bank regional presidents within our 2008 Pro-Tour region to secure the IBC Bank $25,000 sponsorship as the “Official Bank” of the 2008 Coastal Bend of Texas Pro-Tour. With Katharine Armstrong’s invaluable support, Dan Friedkin and Toby Hynes of Gulf States Toyota agreed to be the “Official Vehicle” of the 2008 Pro-Tourwith a $20,000 commitment.
The Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau will participate in the ICF 2008 Pro-Tour as the Hometown of Nature Photography. In addition, the Hoffmans have secured a $5,000 grant from the Harvey Weil Foundation, $5,000 from Valero Energy, $6,000 fromWachovia Securties, plus they have personally committed $6,000. ICF is also greatful to the talented team at Digett Marketing, Publishing and Design for the Web who have developed our beautiful new website.
This newsletter would not be complete without mentioning our most important sponsorship commitment. Without Julio Reyes, Gary Gibbs and Larry Jones of AEP Texas there would be no Pro-Tour. AEP Texas is the ICF Anchor Sponsor.
The 2008 Pro-Tour: Coastal Bend of Texas takes place the month of April 2008. Event co-chairmen Alexis Hunter and Kathy Lorenz of Corpus Christi and Gayle Neessen of Kingsville are planning a fabulous Launch Party for Friday, March 28th at the beautiful Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Center on the Texas A&M Kingsville campus. Shelley Plante of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Nature Tourism Division and Miles Phillips from the Texas A&M Extension are organizing an outstanding Symposium for Landowners and Photographers scheduled for Saturday, March 29th.
ICF is proud of all of our volunteers and hope you all will plan to attend as many of the exciting Pro-Tour events as you can. As a non-profit organization we are one of the most efficient operations in the nation. You should all be proud of your membership and your on-going efforts to conserve wildlife.
Please join as in Kingsville in March as we launch the 2008 Pro-Tour: Coastal Bend of Texas!
John F. Martin
Chairman and Founder
Images for Conservation Fund
(Photograph: Jeremy Woodhouse)