Dear Editor:

From time to time waters get muddied with accusations about funding of Wildsights community and environmental work. I would like to clarify Wildsights position.

We respect that many of the industries operating in the region are either foreign owned, depend heavily on foreign investment or market natural resources from the region into a global market.

Wildsight accepts funding from a broad variety of sources to advance our mandate of healthy communities and a healthy environment. We are funded through individual and corporate donations, as well as foundations. Our last fiscal year shows that 74 per cent of Wildsights income was from Canadian sources, and 26 per cent from south of the border. Our board is very clear: funding is accepted with no strings attached in regard to Wildsights mandate or direction maintain biodiversity and contribute to sustainable communities. No foundation has approached us to offer money rather, they have responded to our proposals.

The support we have garnered from foundations speaks to the critical importance of the region in which we live and work, a landscape of continental and global significance. It also reflects the reputation that Wildsight has gained over years of delivering on our commitments to our communities.

As an example of international funding, Wildsight has successfully funded greenhouse gas reduction, mitigation and adaptation strategies for both the District of Invermere and City of Fernie with funding from the La Salle Adams Fund, a Rockefeller family foundation from the United States.

Major foundations which have supported B.C. conservation efforts in cooperation with the provincial governments land use planning have also funded Wildsight, Wilburforce Foundation to name one. We have also been funded through grants from Shell, Teck, Encana, The Real Estate Association of B.C. and numerous other businesses operating in the region. This has never decreased our resolve to hold their feet to the fire and push for better environmental practices.

Wildsight is proud of our work to maintain a healthy environment in the Columbia and southern Rocky Mountain region, a critical region for North Americas wildlife and wilderness a global treasure.

John Bergenske

Executive Director, Wildsight