April 4 marked Audubon NC’s 2017 Lobby Day, an event which brought together over 40 Audubon NC members from across the state to talk bird conservation and habitat preservation with lawmakers in Raleigh.
Representing over 25,000 members statewide, our volunteer chapter leaders, board members, and staunch advocates met over 35 NC state lawmakers in the space of six hours. Together, we shared our love for birds and concerns about their conservation, and requested lawmakers’ support for the following key policy priorities in 2017:
Funding for habitat protection and land conservation: Audubon joined the Land for Tomorrow Coalition and newly formed NC Forever coalition to support several bills that increase the state budget for habitat protection and land conservation.
Protecting natural inlets on our coast from terminal groins and other hardened structures: Audubon is opposing any new legislation that would further weaken protections for the few remaining natural inlets on our coast that are critical to Piping Plovers, Red Knots and other imperiled shorebirds.
Expanding clean energy, including wind and solar that is responsibly designed and sited: Given the significant threat that carbon pollution poses to birds, Audubon supports bills that expand responsible wind and solar development.
The most valuable part of Lobby Day was, of course, the chance to meet our local lawmakers face-to-face and connect on a personal level.
Every representative showed great appreciation and respect for the work we do to make sure that North Carolina’s homes, businesses, and communities are bird friendly, and so we left the General Assembly on a high-flying note.
Thanks to all of our volunteers, the folks who shared #Lobby4birds on social media, and especially to North Carolina’s lawmakers that are helping to ensure the continued protection of our birds and the growth of NC’s $1 billion birding and wildlife viewing economy.
Watch Reactions from a few of our Lobby Day volunteers: