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Luke Cole 400 Species $40,000 Memorial Challenge

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  • markeaton
    Luke Cole 400 Species $40,000 Memorial Challenge A benefit for Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE) September 26th and 27th, 2009 The birding
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2009
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      Luke Cole 400 Species $40,000 Memorial Challenge
      A benefit for Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE)
      September 26th and 27th, 2009

      The birding community lost one of our most selfless members when Luke
      Cole was tragically killed June 6, 2009 in an auto accident while
      visiting Uganda. Luke's passion for birds, birding and conservation
      seemed boundless. Whether he was looking for the near-mythical Red Owl
      in Madagascar or simply trying to add a new species to his many county
      lists while traversing back roads in California, Luke's joy in finding
      and sharing birds was infectious.

      Luke was not only a great birder he was also a great humanitarian. With
      his background in law, Luke could have been a highly paid attorney.
      Instead Luke founded the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment
      (CRPE). Acting Executive Director Caroline Farrell wrote:

      "Luke founded CRPE almost 20 years ago, in October 1989. What started as
      the 'Luke Cole employment project' has become a 15-person environmental
      justice organization with a national reputation for representing poor
      people and people of color fighting for environmental justice . . . He
      recognized that an injustice in one community diminishes us all. He
      shared his power and privilege to help those low income communities and
      communities of color struggle against powerful interests and buck the
      status quo."

      To celebrate Luke's life some of his friends have come up with the kind
      of harebrained scheme Luke would have loved; a California-wide birding
      event to raise funds to help keep CRPE running strong.

      Here's the challenge: Can a group of birders find 400 bird species in
      one weekend in California? And can we raise donations amounting to $100
      per species for the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment?

      Unlike a Birdathon, teams and individuals in the Challenge will be
      working with each other instead of competing against each other.
      Everyone from elite birder to backyard observer can add to the ultimate
      state total. In the spirit of Luke's passion for county listing, species
      will be tallied county-by-county as well. Focusing county-by-county will
      be essential if we are to reach the 400 species mark, as we'll need a
      grass-roots effort from observers looking for such isolated species as
      Great Gray Owl in Tuolumne County, Yellow-footed Gull in Imperial County
      and Greater Sage Grouse in Lassen County.

      As of this point, the dates are set and we're working hard to set up the
      coordinators for all 58 counties in California. Also, we're working hard
      with our friends at CRPE to set up a simplified mechanism to pledge
      donations to the effort. As soon as these details are sorted out, we'll
      send out an update, but mark your calendars now to join us!

      Mark Eaton mark@... <mailto:mark@...>
      Steve Glover countylines@...
      Alan Hopkins ash@... <mailto:ash@...>
      Brent Plater bplater@... <mailto:bplater@...>

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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