By Erin Ulrich

It’s the start of 2023-2024 programs and activities for the Rogue Valley Audubon Society. This year we are celebrating more than 50 years of advocating for bird conservation and education to protect birds and their habitats in the Rogue Valley. RVAS was first recognized as a non-profit, 501c(3) organization by the IRS on January 17, 1974.

It all started when Rev. Thomas McCamant, a pastor of the local Congregational Church, organized a bird club. The first general meeting was held in September 1971, and 131 members enrolled. One of the first activities was to organize a Christmas bird count as part of the national effort led by the National Audubon Society. (This is according to historical records in the RVAS archives including a 1971 Chat article written by Edith Linder.)

Let’s make our fiftieth year the best yet! We are going to have some wonderful pro-grams for our chapter meetings; we will be out in the community at various events, getting school children excited about birds; and we will finally have some t-shirts that we can show off! Please join me in celebrating our organization, and each other, for dedicating our time and sharing our passion for birds to everyone we can!