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NORTHERN JAGUAR PROJECT
April 29, 2010

As a co-founder of the organization I have been intimately involved with its development and evolution since it began. I have been both surprised and very satisfied at the success of the organization to date. During the past 7 years, we have created an efficient cooperative relationship with our Mexican partner, Naturalia, A. C.; have raised the majority of the funding to acquire a 70-square mile wildlife reserve in Sonora, Mexico; have managed the reserve for landscape level restoration with preservation and expansion of all its wildlife populations; and have conducted on-going species inventories of wildlife, plants, birds, and butterflies. Our fund-raising and office expenses are a small proportion of our budget, the vast majority of which goes directly to support restoration and wildlife projects on the reserve. Our co-founder and treasurer, Rick Williams, developed the original concept for the Fotos Felinos project, which rewards neighboring ranchers for remote trip-camera photos of living carnivores. We have received surprisingly strong support from the Sonoran community nearest to the reserve and from the local cattle growers organization. We cooperate with the rural university closest to the reserve. We are a small, focused, practical, and efficient organization, with dedicated board members, each of whom brings a specific skill set to the group. Our one part-time employee is accomplished, efficient, creative, and very dedicated to the organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Recently drove the very rough 4-wheel drive roads in the reserve to observe the landscape-level changes that have occurred under NJP/Naturalia management. The improvements are stunning.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase our funding so that we could expand the area in which we are working in Sonora and increase our outreach in the US.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The opportunity to educate and inform the public in the US and Mexico about importance of preserving endangered species.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated, well intentioned, well informed, unpaid or under-paid, and willing to live a life with little economic remuneration in exchange for doing something they think is important and that they love to do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

(1) Create a chain of safe-harbor wildlife reserves that extends throughout Mexico and the southwestern US that would provide safe-harbors and corridors for the regeneration and free movement of wildlife populations. (2) Conduct more outreach.

Ways to make it better...

Cooperation should be greater among non-profit wildlife organizations and with governmental agencies.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Apathy, lack of information about wildlife populations, absence of ecological education, and governmental agency inefficiency. Specifically, the greatest challenge for wildlife regeneration and movement is the US/Mexico border wall.

One thing I'd also say is that...

NJP would like to create economic opportunities related to wildlife for local residents, so that the base of support is solidified.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & Work hard as a hands-on board member: keeping in contact with our Mexican partner, contacting agencies, meeting with donors, making public PowerPoint presentations, writing grant proposals, checking up on accomplishment of specific goals in proposals, arr.