We've taken a major step forward by beginning work on our Louisiana Conservation Center, due to come online in 2013 to join our other regional sites: Arkansas, California, Maine, Mississippi and the Houston region. As part of this process, I will be in Louisiana in December for meetings with both state agencies, various organizations and individuals key to dealing with the state's most pressing conservation issues.
Before long, we plan to add even more state sites, with Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia among those next in line. Of course, the number of states and new national resources we add each year depends on two vital inputs from you. First, please continue to tell us about new information we need to add to our state and national databases. Thanks to your help, our user-friendly and comprehensive database resources already provide the world’s largest conservation “marketplace” – a marketplace attracting over 400,000 page view per month and on track to top a record five million visitors this year.
Remarkably, our unique service remains free to private landowners. But it is increasingly expensive to maintain. This challenge has increased further due to USDA's NRCS having cancelled our multi-year contract, leaving us more dependent than ever on individual, philanthropic and corporate sponsors. Therefore, second, please visit our donation page to either renew your support or make your first-time donation to support expanding conservation on private lands to benefit the public, the economy and the environment.
As a PLN newsletter reader, you’re already benefiting from another major step, the appointment of Frances Day who joined us in July as our new Director of Development. We welcome Fran back to Maine where she made great friends and great advancements for Thomas College as their award- and grant-winning Vice President of Institutional Advancement. After an equally productive stint in West Virginia raising the international as well as national profile of Future Generations, Fran is very busy coordinating all our RFF outreach activities, again both in the U.S. and overseas.
Drawing on her experience as a veteran development professional who has taught as well as practiced fund raising, Fran is taking our conservation initiatives to a new level thanks to her extensive ties with the philanthropic community throughout the country. For one visible sign of the many changes which Fran has launched, please visit our Resources First Foundation site where you’ll find a new look and a newly sharpened focus.
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