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Florida Sandhill Crane Could Become the “Official Bird” of Saint Cloud

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Submitted by Jeanie Donohue, President & Founder, the Florida Sandhill Crane Preservation Society & Secretary, the Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society

Dear ALL Friends of Cranes,
    Many of you are aware of an important Initiative the Saint Cloud Mainstreet Organization is bringing before the City Council this coming Thursday to adopt the Florida Sandhill Crane as the “Official Bird” of Saint Cloud.  Ms.Paula Stark, the Director of the Saint Cloud Mainstreet will be making the presentation in support of this Initiative, which, if passed, looks to be a real milestone for our iconic & beautiful Cranes.
    Being ‘crowned’ our City’s Bird would bring much needed attention to & increased protection for these incredible treasures living amongst us.  There is great value in protecting these great-hearted birds.  With this official title, the Crane can become a focus of ecotourism that has prospects of drawing many tourists from all over the world to our City; there is simply no other place on this planet where one can see these magnificent creatures up close.
   But most importantly, adoption of this Initiative may qualitatively help us in the race to prevent our Cranes from being moved from the Federal & State Lists of Threatened Species to the List of Endangered Species (one step away from permanent extinction).  This in itself would be an incredible legacy to leave to future generations of Florida residents as well as the millions of visitors who flock to our state every year. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to increase the health of our population of Cranes to the point they are no longer even  considered a Threatened Species.
   So, it is with great excitement & anticipation we are looking forward to the outcome of this City Council meeting.  We have a very real opportunity before us  to help keep our iconic & beloved Cranes OFF the Endangered Species list by securing the City’s support for their future.  Everyone is, of course, invited to join us in attending this meeting to show their personal support! Meetings begin at 6:30pm.