Past Environmental Action

Detroit Audubon’s Sign On: Gwich’in Steering Committee Arctic Refuge Organization Letter to Insurance Companies – Don’t Support Arctic Refuge Drilling

Detroit Audubon and over 130 other organizations signed this letter, in support of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, asking insurance companies to not support drilling in the Arctic Refuge. 
Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge doesn’t make financial sense and is not worth the risk. So much so that even oil companies are spending millions to exit the leases they hold in the Arctic Refuge. It was recently announced that Chevron and Hillcorp paid $10 million, a “breakage fee,” to exit their arctic lease obligations
Also recently, Japanese insurer Sompo joined an ever-growing list of major insurers and lenders with policies that protect the Arctic Refuge. Now 29 major financial institutions (including five major U.S. banks) and 14 insurers are actively avoiding risk and harm from drilling on sacred land.
These big news items show how important our corporate pressure is and how it is making a difference. 

Click here, to learn more about the Gwich’in Steering Committee.

Detroit Audubon’s Stance on Hunting Wolves

Upper Peninsula Wolf Hunt Back in the Crosshairs Article

Detroit Audubon strongly agrees that wildlife management needs to be guided by sound science. That is exactly why; we oppose the resolution pressuring the Natural Resource Commission to institute a wolf hunt— because it advocates actions that are patently counter to science!

Detroit Audubon’s Opposition on Wolf Hunts

Detroit Audubon’s History of Protecting Birds and their Habitats

2018 Year of the Birds Proclamations

Detroit Audubon was at the forefront of heeding National Audubon’s call for chapters to prevail upon local governments to issue proclamations declaring 2018 The Year of the Bird. This was in recognition of the 100 year anniversary of the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, one of this country’s earliest and most successful pieces of environmental legislation. It also coincided with National Audubon, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and National Geographic Society jointly designating 2018 as the Year of the Bird, with many feature articles in each organization’s publications on the topic. This also comes in the face of proposed legislation to weaken that act substantially and administration efforts to rollback protections.

Detroit Audubon was instrumental in securing Year of the Bird Proclamations from:

Belleville, Clay Township, Dearborn, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Grosse Ile, Lincoln Park, Monroe, Riverview, South Rockwood, Wayne County Board of Commissioners, & Wyandotte

Click Below to view some of our Year of the Bird Proclamations:

Lincoln Park Year of the Bird Proclamation

Wayne County Year of the Bird Proclamation

South Rockwood Year of the Bird Proclamation

Grose Ile Year of the Bird Proclamation

Wyandotte Year of the Bird Proclamation

Mourning Doves 2004-2006

Detroit Audubon Society has strongly supported Michigan’s protection of the Mourning Dove as a songbird since its inception. The ban started in 1905 and Detroit Audubon Society was formed in 1939 so the ban predates the society. There have been several attempts to legalize the hunting of Mourning Doves over the years. Detroit Audubon has been in the forefront of efforts to counter those moves each time one comes up. Each time we were successful.

The last time a bill was introduced to legalize hunting of doves in 2004 Detroit Audubon president Jim Bull testified at hearings urging the bills be defeated. In the summer of 2004 the bill passed both houses of the legislature. We were still hopeful that Governor Granholm would make good on her promise to veto any such legislation. Instead she signed it relying on a so-called compromise that the anti-dove hunting groups did not approve. That informal agreement was to set up a trial hunt for three years West of US 23 and south of I-94. That September Michigan held a dove hunt.

Detroit Audubon along with Michigan Audubon, the Michigan Humane Society, Humane Society U.S. and several other groups including hunters formed the Committee to Restore the Dove Hunting Ban and began collecting signatures to put the new dove hunting legislation to a popular vote. In the Spring of 2005 Detroit Audubon president Jim Bull helped deliver 14 boxes of petitions representing 275,000 signatures to the board of canvassers. That is 73% more than the 159,000 signatures required. Detroit Audubon member Joe Bartell was given an award for being one of the people in the state that gathered the most signatures on the petition. On June 2 the board of canvassers certified the petitions. That put the bill and the hunt on hold until after the November 2006 election. The people would get to decide the dove hunting issue.

The committee changed its name to the Committee to Keep Doves Protected, then began its work to defeat the dove hunt (a “No” vote was for continuing protection of the doves). Again Detroit Audubon was one of the leaders of this effort. In November 2006 the proposal to keep the dove hunt was defeated by more than 1.3 million votes. 69% of the voters sided with protecting the doves. We still must be vigilant. The forces that wanted a dove hunt will probably try again sometime, but probably not for some time after such a stinging defeat. We now know clearly where the people of Michigan stand on this issue.

Detroit International Wildlife Refuge and Humbug Marsh 1997-Present

Detroit Audubon Society was a leader in the campaign to save Humbug Marsh, which is now the centerpiece, the “gem” of the refuge. We were part of the international consortium that produced a vision for the Lower Detroit River, which included an International Wildlife Refuge (building on the idea proposed by Peter Stroh and Rep. John Dingell). We worked hard to get the refuge established and have been a partner with the refuge from its inception. We helped organize the grand opening of Humbug Marsh including leading the first public hike into that natural area. 

Protecting Point Rosa Marsh, 1995

Detroit Audubon partnered with the friends of Point Rosa Marsh and the Clinton-Huron Environmental Coalition (CHEC) to oppose and defeat a planned major expansion of boat launching facilities at Metro Beach Park in Harrison Township. This DNR sponsored project would have severely damaged Point Rosa Marsh, the last remaining coastal wetland on the U.S side of Lake St. Clair. 1995-1997. 

Instrumental in Getting DDT Banned, 1960

Our late President Walter P. Nickell, ornithologist at Cranbrook Institute of Science provided data on birds killed by DDT to Rachel Carson for use in her book, Silent Spring. 

Bottle Bill, 1975

Dave Dempsey in his book Ruin & Recovery: Michigan’s Rise as a Conservation Leader credits Detroit Audubon as one of the four organizations which were principal leaders in the petition drive to put the measure on the ballot and then get it passed. 

Detroit Incinerator

Detroit Audubon Society and the Sierra Club were the two principal litigants who filed suit against the plant.  The suit went on for several years.  The plant was not stopped but we did win important concessions that made it a cleaner operation. 

Tuna Boycott

Now most tuna sports the “dolphin-safe label.”  Because the large “incidental” kill of dolphins with the purse seine nets in use at that time, Detroit Audubon was one of the first organizations in the nation, and maybe THE first to launch a tuna boycott.  Cars around Michigan and around the country sported our Boycott Tuna bumper stickers.

Offered Rewards

for Information leading the conviction of anybody who shoots hawks or owls and produced posters that placed in public places which had pen and ink drawings of a hawk and an owl with the title, HAWKS AND OWLS PROTECTED IN MICHIGAN.  The reward was offered at the bottom of the poster with a phone number to call.