History of the Northern Arizona Audubon Society
The Northern Arizona Audubon Society is formed by volunteer group of bird and nature enthusiasts serving the Sedona and Flagstaff region. We form one chapter of the National Audubon Society, and our mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of birds and other wildlife, and the conservation and restoration of their natural habitats.
To fulfill our mission, we host events to share our knowledge and passion, we participate in citizen science, we engage in advocacy action and we promote conservation of all animal and plant species. You can help! Whether you become a member, donate or simply share your appreciation of bords, you are making a difference.
Please explore our website for our current activities and thank you for being interested in where we've been and what we've accomplished!
From its inception, our Chapter had a clear Mission:
As this history shows, our Chapter has striven to live up to the Audubon legacy of conservation all the while having fun and enjoying our “feathered friends”.
Birders in the Verde Valley initially started the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and we officially became a Chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1972. In 1978 we became a non-profit and have the IRS 501c3 status.
Our “Founder” was Will Osborn who was supported by a number of other like-minded birders.Two true NAAS Pioneers: and Virginia Gilmore and Wilma Morrison .
In the beginning of our history, the geographic boundaries extended from the White Mountains all the way to Prescott. Of course, in subsequent years both Prescott and the White Mountains (originally a satellite of NAAS) grew and formed their own chapters.
Over thirty-five years ago, interest in our activities in Flagstaff grew to the point where we started to hold a variety of programs in Flagstaff. The thriving birding scene in Flagstaff has led us to the unique position where we have become a “bi-level” chapter with monthly programs, field trips and many other activities being held both “above and below the rim”.
Dedication to the preservation of habitat
Even in our early years, our chapter was active in many efforts to insure that a legacy of a thriving bird population was preserved and passed on to succeeding generations. Here are some examples of what our early leaders were able to accomplish.
Initially conceived in 2001 as a celebration of birds in Dead Horse state Park, the festival has now grown into the premier watchable wildlife event in Northern Arizona. NAAS was one of the founding organizations for the festival and our members form the core of its volunteers.
Audubon designates important Bird Areas (IBA) in recognition of an areas global or national importance to bird conservation. Northern Arizona is fortunate in having four IBA’s: Lower Oak Creek, Anderson Mesa, Tuzigoot and Upper Verde River Wildlife Area. NAAS has been actively involved in supporting the creation and promotion of local IBA’s
For over thirty years, our Chapter has organized annual Christmas Bird Counts as part of the larger Audubon bird count tradition.