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Nationwide Audubon Society Votes to Hold Audubon Title

The Portland Audubon Society made waves lately with the announcement of its official resolution to drop the ever present “Audubon” title. Portland’s title change comes throughout a cultural second whereby a variety of Audubon organizations are reexamining their ties with the eponymous John James Audubon. Audubon societies across the nation, together with the group previously generally known as “Audubon for All” have begun the method of renaming. Audubon for All has turn into the “Chook Union.” In every of those instances, the historical past of Audubon as a person was weighed towards the recognizable Audubon title which has turn into synonymous with avian science, conservation, wildlife appreciation, and community-building.

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Whereas many particular person Audubon-affiliated teams are making their very own selections concerning the Audubon title, the Nationwide Audubon Society has introduced its resolution, in a current open letter from the Audubon CEO, to maintain the Audubon title. In line with Dr. Elizabeth Grey:

At this time, Audubon is dedicated to uniting individuals from all walks of life who share a love of birds and a dedication to defending their environments. As we transfer ahead, we are going to construct on the distinctive accomplishments in conservation that this group has made since its founding by bringing collectively communities throughout the Americas to guard birds and the locations they want.”

Like different Audubon organizations which have chosen to maintain the Audubon title, the Nationwide Audubon Society voiced issues over the impression {that a} title change would have on the necessary conservation work that the group does. The Audubon title was chosen greater than fifty years after the dying of John James Audubon and has come to signify way more than his particular person contributions to ornithology or his private legacy.

Most individuals contemplate the Audubon title to be synonymous with birds and the communities which kind round those that share an curiosity in birds. The diploma to which John James Audubon ought to issue into these communities is the controversy on the coronary heart of this title change motion.

John James Audubon was born on a plantation. He was a slave proprietor. He opposed abolition and wrote favorably about slavery. Additional issues to his legacy embody claims of plagiarism or fraud, in addition to a disturbing incident whereby Audubon collected cranium specimens from Native American gravesites.

These occasions definitely affect our understanding of John James Audubon as a person. For the organizations that share his title, although, virtually 120 years of ornithology and conservation should be weighed towards his antiquated actions and views. Even because the Nationwide Audubon Society has determined to maneuver ahead beneath its authentic title, a number of different Audubon teams should discover methods to maneuver ahead with out it.

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