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not sure it would work. I mean during those years, where did you see developers/landowners even worrying about the environmental aspect of a new project? But an environmental organization actually working with developers? It was definitely on the cusp of a new frontier. But it would also be protecting native species in their own habitat and protecting water quality. I thought of those two ponds. So I accepted the job with one condition. That was that I stay in Henderson. I figured if I failed to make this Signature Program succeed, I would have lost nothing. And if I failed, I could always teach piano.

grassy buffers along ditches. They were the first environmental stewards that I knew about. Most profound was that Audubon International was the first environmental organization to sit at the same table with developers and government agencies to give input and support while the project was being planned. It was groundbreaking. In 1996, 26 projects registered in the Signature Program, but membership eventually settled in to about 10-12 new projects annually. In 2008, when the bottom fell out of housing, there was little interest in building new golf courses based on the decline in golfers particularly across the US. Many golf architects took on work in the Far East and even opened offices there. Because of the decline in the US, more owners began looking at renovation of existing courses. So Audubon International created the Classic Program to work with courses undergoing those changes. To this date, the Classic Program continues to generate regular interest.

When I took over the reins of the Signature Program, it was more an idea than a program. There were no parameters, very few real requirements and only a set of principles to guide the program. At that time, each Above: Nancy, middle, listens intently as the inprepreter member was required translates for the golf course superintent who is to write Conservation explaining how equipment washwater is recycled at Lake Plans covering several Maralen, the first golf course in China registered in the topics. But those were Signature Program. Below: Nancy visits Kunming Zoo really plans for how they in China to see the ever popular giant pandas that were lolling in their grassy enclosure awaiting supper. would conserve land and wildlife. At the end of the project getting them to record what actually HAD been done was very difficult. About that time the concept of Natural From my perspective, Resource Management the last twenty years was coming to the has been one great forefront. I had heard experience after another, the word sustainability all put together to form on occasion but this a career that I didn’t plan was building in a way to on but wouldn’t have sustain natural resources, traded for anything. to manage them during Each landowner that I the development process. met in the early years So Conservation Plans was taking a chance were converted to NRM with a program that would help them focus on the Plans. The NRMP was one of the biggest changes environmental aspect of their development. They ever made to the Signature Program. It was at this were the risk takers. The goal continues to be to point that I realized I had been watching resource foster an ethic where these people will not only management most all of my life, only it hadn’t been look at the economic side of development but also given a name. I watched farmers maintain fence the environmental when developing new projects. rows of vegetation between agricultural fields and


Profile for Audubon International

Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 3 | Summer 2014  

Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 3 | Summer 2014