Butterfly counts and money

James J. Kruse kruse at nature.berkeley.edu
Tue Jun 24 13:52:46 EDT 1997


As a volunteer for the now NABA butterfly counts I couldn't help but
notice that it is no longer enough to volunteer time, but now also money.
AND, the more counts you do, the more you pay.

"NABA now requires a $3.00 FEE per participant to cover costs" - from an
info letter for one of the counts I participate in.

Having done at least one count per year over the last 11 years, one would
think that NABA would have the common courtesy or even the responsibility
to send out a letter to annual count participants explaining what our
money is going towards.  That's what I keep writing down my address
for, isn't it?  What's the big secret?

There is now little doubt what Jeff Glassberg's stance is on collecting.
Even the most devout Glassberg fan must conceed that this has been made
quite clear by Glassberg himself in his editorials in NABA's newsletter. 

Is this fee a way of getting money to cover expenses related to
anti-collecting legislation??  How ironic it would be for us collectors to
fund our own demise.  Our own money freely donated to NABA for the
counts may be seen as support for whatever it is Glassberg intends to do
with it.  And no one has uttered a peep.

Does anyone know why the count went from no-fee volunteerism to $3 per
participant?  Fee for what?  The bird counts, on which the butterfly
counts are modeled, have gone on for years and years without demanding
fees of the participants, and then Audubon would at least tell folks why
(probably), and then the fee would probably be a buck or so for a couple
years before jumping to three!

I am a little surprised that no one has mentioned this anywhere,
including Leps-L. Do we  all accept this fee without question of its
use? If collectors are to be led like sheep to the slaughter, let's at
least bleat.

I don't wish to hear the collecting debate started again, just what
the heck NABA is doing with the money.  Hope this stirs the pot a little,
Leps-L has been a bit dull lately.

Jim Kruse
University of California at Berkeley
Dept. of Environ Sci, Policy and Mgmt.
Div. of Insect Biology
Sperling Lab
201 Wellman Hall
Berkeley, California, 94720-3113
(510) 642-5114

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