Editor's Note

Editor's Note

At Audubon, we try to focus on solutions rather than problems. 

By David Seideman
Published: November-December 2012

Let's have a balance of joy and sadness. Keep the magazine as is. Please continue my subscription so I remain informed. It's the intelligent thing to do.--Dr. Rosemary Beck, Lakewood, Colorado

When Ted Williams runs out of outrageous deeds to alert us to in his Incite articles, then perhaps the magazine will be justified in publishing only uplifting stories.--Paul Grosso, Maple Grove, MN


Was surprised by an Alabama resident's comments published in the November-December Inbox. Your magazine is not gloomy. It is informative. In the past, big business has had a field day trashing our environment because the general public was not informed and did not speak out. Keep up the good work!--M. Lorenz, Connecticut

I have been involved in environmental issues since the 1970s. There was a time when people were all about gloom, leading me to step away from anything environmental, feeling as if I couldn't make a difference. In recent years, Audubon magazine has made a great attempt to showcase solutions. An example is the piping plover article (which I love) and your columns that include natural history and also what local people are doing to solve environmental problems. I applaud these! They are a joy to read and an inspiration for the sorts of things we all could be doing.

However, it is sadly true that the environment has been under siege for decades. Ted Williams is an amazing researcher. I don't always like reading his articles either, but the work that he is doing is making information known that most of us would never find out about on our own. I am a researcher too. I know how slow and painstaking information gathering is, and so perhaps I can appreciate the breadth and depth of his articles. I admire his hard work, the clarity of his writing, and the hundreds of hours involved in each article. Thank you, Ted, for your persistence on behalf of nature.--Louise Conn Fleming, Ph.D. (Professor of Education; Chairperson, Department of Foundations, Inquiry, and Community Education; Director, Center for Civic Life; Ashland University)


I agree that some articles I read in Audubon and other conservation publications I read are depressing.  However, I am 80 years old, a realist, and I strongly disagree with the ostriches, whom I assume must be younger than I, who believe that "everything's coming up like roses." They need to extract their heads from the sand.

Keep telling like it is, and continue to publish Ted Williams' articles.  He's one of the best.--Robert H. Mount


I must agree that your magazine is pretty gloomy. I receive several birding magazines, and yours is always the last one I read. Sometimes, the articles are just so depressing that I skim through the beautiful photos and skip the articles altogether. I know that the issues you highlight are important, even if they are depressing, but I think it wouldn't hurt to put in articles that are more uplifting and enjoyable. Just my two cents.--Patty


I just have to reply to this topic. I have been a member for over 20 years, and to tell the truth, about five years ago I called you guys and told you I did not want your magazine any more as it was too depressing. It seemed like every article was either about "man" ruining or killing flora, fauna, and parts of our world.

I understand that you have to let us know what is happening, and where our contributions are going, and what good you are doing, but I hated seeing gruesome pictures of dead or dying animals. 

I have re-joined Audubon in the last two years and am getting your magazine again, and I must admit, it is not as bad as it used to be. Thank you for that. I see that you are trying. 

I am an avid birder and love seeing beautiful pictures of birds and hearing about conserving places instead of all the ruin that is happening around the world. I think, unfortunately, we all know about that.--Patricia Shoupe, Pine Mountain Club, CA


Just about every article written has some doom and gloom in it. I no longer enjoy reading your magazine because it is so depressing. Lighten up.--Don Burns


Please add me to the list of people who think the magazine has become too gloomy. I find some articles so depressing I cannot read them. What ever happened to your gardening for wildlife column? I miss that. That was something almost everyone could do.--Janene Lindholm, Pflugerville, TX


I totally agree and I seldom read the articles in the magazine. I look at the photos and scan for an educational piece. I receive the magazine because I am a member but I wouldn't seek it out. Probably most folks who have joined Audubon are "members of the choir."--Lois Shelgren

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David Seideman

David Seideman is the editor-in-chief of Audubon.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Not too much gloom

I am not a birder but am a hardcore environmentalist and enjoy learning about them. In 1978 I was given a gift membership to Audubon and have kept it up even through lean times because of the magazine. To protect birds, you need to protect habitat (which is good for everyone - including humans) and "Audubon" continues to inform me of all the the needs of wildlife as well as what is being done to help protect it. The photography is amazing and I learn so much from the articles.
"Audubon" is my favorite of all the environmental organizations' magazines. I have written periodically and said that if for nothing else, I read it for "Incite." However I do miss the cartoon that used to be on the back page.

Audubon too gloomy?

As a wildlife biologist, I have a decent understanding of what birds and wildlife need. I have spent my life working to ensure that birds have a fighting chance both on my own time and as a career. I have poured a great deal of money into conservation organizations like Audubon, Cornell and ABC. I have also learned a great deal about the Endangered Species Act and how it has succeeded in preventing many animals from becoming extinct like the whooping crane and the condor. As part of my job, I read the federal register every day to see what listings and rules are being proposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to start the process of recovery or not (warranted, but precluded). This can be depressing activity as well. It makes me sick that I will likely never see a ivory bill woodpecker. However that's the way life is sometimes - depressing. Audubon has a very important job to do. A little over a hundred years ago, Audubon was leading the way to protecting birds from feather hunters and others who would destroy anything for the right price and they must continue to fight for the birds. I agree with the writer from Oden, Arkansas that the Alabama writer should stick with "Bird and Blooms." Those of us who care must put our money and efforts where our mouths are. Ted Williams is right on the mark. Keep up the great work!! Julie Jeter, San Antonio, Texas.

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