A well-orchestrated scam by The Nature Conservancy was documented by Fox News in an article titles “Woodpecker Racket?” after it was discovered that the organization made over $10 million windfall on recovery efforts for the extinct Ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas. The article says that The Nature Conservancy almost got away with the scheme in 2004-2006 until “Florida Gulf Coast University ornithologist Jerome A. Jackson criticized the evidence put forth to support the conclusion that the Woodpecker wasn’t extinct after all — including a four-second video of an alleged sighting which garnered widespread media attention; several other anecdotal sightings; and acoustic signals purported to be vocalization and raps from the Woodpecker” in early 2006. Still, the Nature Conservancy reaped $10.2 million in federal taxpayer funds for the conservation project that were originally intended for a more meaningful purpose.
The event led at least one blogger to conclude “The Nature Conservancy is a Fraud”.
Certainly The Nature Conservancy has become an expert in converting our knee-jerk responses to preserve the environment into wealth for its own coffers. The Nature Conservancy collected over $1.3 billion in revenue in 2007 and spent only about ¼ of this on environmental programs. Until the public realizes the long pattern of corruption, scandal and social manipulation ingrained within The Nature Conservancy’s corporate management, we will continue to be duped by the organization’s “do good” outward appearance.