I think it is right and fitting for me to give a short statement on John Cantelo's suggestion for automatic membership of Proact by subscription to UKBN.
Like James C. and Ian H. I agree that it would not be a good idea. Conducting any form of campaign with volunteers - rather than using the press gang - generally leads to wholehearted participation and better results. I will however take up the suggestion and post the 'joining instructions' link
< www.proactnow.org/team >
on UKBN once a month (unless there are violent objections). I will also include the link to my short FAQ - Proact is for the Birds - at
< www.proactnow.org/proactmain/id8.html >
This includes a download version which fits nicely on an A4 sheet for snail distribution.
That's my lobbying for this month but a couple of final points while I have the chance:
1. I started Proact because I wanted to give the growing number of internet birders - particularly in Europe - a lobby group of their own to take on the constant and unremitting therats to the birds we love and their habitats. Proact doesn't belong to me; someone else would have done something similar sooner or later; I'm just the catalyst and things are brewing nicely thankyou. And I feel I'm putting something back after almost 50 years of enjoying birds around the world.
2. Membership is free and, as John Cantelo pointed out, no one is forced to do anything. If you don't feel happy about supporting the Belgian birders in their campaign to stop small carnivores being exterminated just mail me and say "Leave me out of this one if you don't mind David" and I will remove your signature from that campaign. With a subscription to Proact News
< http://groups.yahoo.com/group/proactnews >
you can keep up to date with events although we will continue to post to the mailing lists with major campaign launches and developments. You don't even have to join Proact to subscribe to Proact news and, if you just want the mail addresses or a basic draft for your own private campaign - go ahead (A copy would be nice though!).
3. For reasons to complicated to discuss here Proact will be registered as an charity organisation in Germany (my main place of residence) later this year. I want to keep things open and cost-free but I run up quite a few running costs in the course of the year and from 2003 I will be living off my pension. There is a bit of (clean) sponsorship money in the offing and maybe a chance of an EU grant. I won't profit personally (against the charity laws here) but legal costs, internet time, domain, postage and the rest will be covered. Even if I wanted to I couldn't pull out now!
4. Proact is a family affair and I want to keep it that way. I write (albeit a form mail) to all new members personally and answer all individual queries, comments or thank you mails as soon as I can. Just running the membership list is time-consuming but those of you who are members seem to be happy with the administrative aspects. If not mailto:email@example.com !! The rest of my time is taken up with the campaigns and I try to get out for some birding as well (If all else fails a garden in Central Europe can produce some rewarding birds).
Thanks for taking the trouble to read this - I won't take any more of your time on this forum. See you maybe in the Proact Team.
*BTW* we haven't doubled our figures though John; but I've got a backlog of applications to answer.
Proact - Timmissat ineqarfiilu illersorpagut - kingusinaartinnata!