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Re: E-M:/ Regarding Humbug Marsh



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Enviro-Mich message from "david zaber" <dzaber@gateway.net>
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The message from Mary Ginnebaugh brings up a major issue that continually
resurfaces in the environmental field.  Namely, the failure of established
environmental organizations to give credit where credit is due.  The
Michigan environmental community, while often willing and able to share the
kudos for the few and far between environmental victories, also is subject
to the "credit envy" problem.  

Having worked with both large and small environmental organizations, I can
say from first hand experience that the situation brought up by Ms.
Ginnebaugh is a common problem.  Too often, the large environmental
organizations fail to give the grassroots organizations credit for their
efforts.  Although there are many reasons why this occurs, funding patterns
helps to explain it.  Because funding for environmental causes is often
scarce, organizations must promote themselves in order to educate others
and to fulfill requriements of grants.  Each time an organization can say
that they have been involved with an issue, and can document that
involvement, they further their chances of securing additional foundation
funds.  While not a problem in and of itself, this tendency to overplay
their roles and to ignore the roles of other organizations often leads to
conflicts within the environmental/conservation community.

In the case of MUCC, they have much to be proud of: bottle bills, wetland
protections, pollution cleanups, etc.  Unfortunately, there are many other
groups that have been at the forefront of the many environmental battles in
Michigan and who have not been given credit and who are reluctant to blow
their own horns, so to speak.  However, I do not advise for those groups to
hold their breath waiting for the biggies to provide kudos and publicity to
their efforts.  Fortunately, Michigan's environmental community has been
able to generously acknowledge the many small grassroots organizations
around the state for their good work.  The failure of MUCC to do so seems
to be an oversight that I suspect will be addressed quickly, within the
organization.

For my part, THANK YOU Ms. Ginnebaugh and others who have worked to stop
the Engler Administration from destroying yet another piece of Michigan's
natural heritage!

David John Zaber
dzaber@gateway.net

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> From: MaryGinbau@aol.com
> To: mucc@mucc.org; owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net;
enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Subject: E-M:/ Regarding Humbug Marsh
> Date: Sunday, December 06, 1998 6:11 PM
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from MaryGinbau@aol.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 
> In a message dated 12/2/98 4:04:33 PM, mucc@mucc.org wrote:
> 
> <<Leading the charge to protect Humbug Marsh is the state's largest
> environmental and conservation organization, the Michigan United
> Conservation Clubs (MUCC).>>
> 
> In reading this press release from MUCC regarding MDEQ's decision to
protect
> the conservation easement at Humbug Marsh, I am troubled by the Club's
> statement of "Leading the charge ...."  in the Humbug Marsh fight.  
While it
> is important to herald  triumphs ... particularly in the environment,
where
> successs are very few ... it is equally, if not more important, to be
accurate
> and give credit where credit is due. 
> 
> Those who have been working on the Humbug Marsh issue over the last year
and a
> half know that this fight was a grassroots effort lead by individuals
from the
> downriver area and local groups ... not MUCC.  Yes, MUCC was an important
> addition to the ranks and their support was significant.  But saying they
"led
> the charge" is just not so.
> 
> Mary Ginnebaugh, 
> Grosse Ile
> 
> 
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