So, I usually don't mention this sort of thing because I don't like to give it energy, choosing instead to stay focused on matters at hand. However, being this far down the line with so much hard work under my belt, while also inspiring and helping many others along the way over the years, I'm going to take a moment to comment.
From the onset of Wild Love Preserve, many have assumed I have personal deep pockets or some sort of financial support because, many believe, no one would make such a commitment otherwise. Why on earth would someone make a commitment to help save wild horses, their respective environments, and make an agreement to buy a wildlife preserve, if they had to rally and raise the funds from others to actually succeed?
To that I respond, "Wild Love Preserve is a reflection of our humanity, this is about all of us and it is for all of us. It is about working together on behalf of our greater good and collective well-being. That which we do today, carries on for generations to come."
This lingering misconception has also proven detrimental when folks haven't donated because they assume we already have financial support and are not in need of their support - no matter how many times and ways I have stated otherwise. It never ceases to amaze, that hard work, due diligence, quality presentation, and dedication are presumed to be in motion only because of dollars being already secured to support such activities.
That said, I am contacted regularly by people who want to pick my brain for the advancement of their own activities, while I continue to work daily to source support for our project. I've spent the last six years working non-stop to raise project funds to fully implement Wild Love Preserve programs and our inclusive model in wild horse conservation is being sourced as a framework for other regions in the west by the BLM and wild horses advocates alike.
There have been teases of full project funding over the years, but to no fruitful avail as of yet. While shopping this project and tirelessly fundraising, we have continued our boots-on-the-ground work which includes policy change, and have inspired and helped others, including some wealthy folks I was hoping would support or partner with Wild Love Preserve, but instead, sourced our project for their own activities.
Recently I received yet another familiar inquiry, "We want to do what you are doing and we have a group of people with the money to buy land, etc. You are the one actually doing it and are the expert. Will you tell us what we need to do and how to build a project like Wild Love Preserve?"
I spoke with this individual for a bit and clarified the fact we have created this new model but still need the funding to fully implement our programs and, at long last, acquire our identified lands in Idaho, noting that time is of the essence. You might imagine how that sits to hear they have funds to do what you have been working six years to achieve. I invited them to support WLP and let them know how big it would be for wild horses everywhere if they were to join with us and help us finally fund our land acquisitions. That we have 135 Idaho wilds we need to get moved to our permanent wild expanse, and additional wild lives to secure. That this is a "we" project and funding to implement our programs is especially critical as we work to curtail future roundups and removals.
But, like so many before, they want their own, versus support that which they admire. Clearly, I want to see all wild horses secure, but this is very frustrating. Our commitments are great and we need to have our existing work and established platform funded. We have worked very hard to set in motion a model with a solid foundation. We are not singular, in that, the work we are doing in Idaho also helps wild horses and communities in other regions, and already has in many ways.
Video filmed and produced by Andrea Maki. ©Andrea Maki 2016
The fact that remains the same, year after year, is that we have walked our talk and proven our worth. We have all logistics in place and simply need to match the solid foundation we have built with project funding that will enable us to fully implement WLP programs, which in turn, also help others. This project is about the wild horses and their respective indigenous habitats as an interconnected and balanced whole. From the onset, I have emphasized that this is a "we" project which focuses on engaging all stakeholders because I believe, that as two-leggeds, we have a responsibility to care for the whole and nurture our today, for future generations. Time is of the essence.
So, there is my comment.
Andrea Maki, Founder + President
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