"Mea Chiroptera, Mea Culpa" was the heading of an editor's comment page published recently in a national wildlife newsletter. The editor admittedly got a bit careless with some attempted drollery in a previous issue, likening bats to slugs and termites in the grand scheme of nature. Not apt to miss such a slight, however innocently intentioned, BCI members deluged his office with letters. Impressed, the editor published one of them and offered his apologies both to bats and BCI.
Members can and do have enormous impact as the front line in spreading BCI's educational message and in keeping us aware of local affairs which affect bats. Although we are growing rapidly, BCI is still a relatively small organization with a staff of eight full-time and three part-time employees. This is almost twice as many as last year, but it is still not possible (or even practical) for us to seek out and respond to all the numerous stories published which have potential consequences for bats.
Our members play a crucial role in keeping us informed. A daily sampling of the clippings and letters sent to BCI contains stories from all over the world, varying from those of global to local importance. Our members provide information and advocacy critical to our success. In a very real sense, each of you are our eyes, ears and voice.
BCI has always played a role in the environmental community disproportionate to our size. In part, the key to this strength comes from an extraordinarily committed, informed and active membership that multiplies our efforts by serving as lay educators and advocates. Our members are unparalleled in their responsiveness to a call for action. In responding to BATS "Action Alerts" members have consistently demonstrated great fervor and eloquence in letters to lawmakers as well as editors. Many times this kind of grassroots lobbying has effected critical change.
Your letters continue to fill our mailbox in ever greater quantities. As they always have, many of them begin with the simple salutation, "Dear Merlin..." Although we have made enormous strides from our one-man-crusade beginnings, BCI is still a small organization with a very large job too large to do alone.
Your support has made an important difference in BCI's ability to succeed. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you.