National Audubon Society   00 Broadway
    New York, NY 1003-9562
    Tel: (212) 979-3000
    Fax: (212) 979-3188


October 6, 1997


Ms. Sally Yost
Plumas Audubon Society
P. O. Box 3877
Quincy, CA 95971

Dear Sally:

Thank you for your letter concerning Audubon's approach to the Quincy Library Group. I wrote the endorsement for the book The Ecology of Hope - Communities Collaborate for Sustainability, because I believe that local collaboration and citizen action will be vital to solving environmental problems in the future. One of the authors, Jora Young, has been a personal friend and colleague for many years. My endorsement of her book, however, does not imply that Audubon endorses everything that has occurred in each of the examples used, or that those examples should necessarily become federal law.

I believe Mike Leahy has approached this issue in a very thoughtful and considered way. This is not a question of whether or not the Quincy Library Group has accomplished a positive result. You used a process that worked for you in your situation. The issue for us now is whether or not that process should be certified into federal law. Before doing that, we must consider what results may be produced in other situations.

To come to that answer, we talked to many other Audubon chapters who might be affected. They overwhelmingly oppose such federal legislation. This is not a case of the national organization undercutting a local chapter. I would like nothing more than to be able to support your good work without reservation. This is a situation where our chapters disagree with each other over a piece of federal legislation. Over 20 chapters have considered this issue. All of them are in opposition to federal legislation except for Plumas Audubon Society.

As you can see from Mike Leahy's letter articulating Audubon's position, we are taking a very measured approach to our position. Our intent was to both recognize your efforts while at the same time pointing out the problems associated with legislating the Quincy Library Group formula. I believe that our position accurately reflects the divided opinion of our chapters on this subject. We are not formulating a position for Audubon apart from our chapters. If you would like to contact your colleagues and other chapters, we would be happy to assist.

Best regards,


/Iohn Flicker/

cc:   Mike Leahy

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