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David Yarnold
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In September of 2010, David Yarnold became the 10th president of the National Audubon Society. Founded in 1905, Audubon is one of America's most prominent conservation groups, with an annual budget of $86 million, 500 chapters nationwide, and an award-winning magazine that reaches over 2 million readers.

David Yarnold’s experience and perspective span the NGO and for-profit worlds. Yarnold came to Audubon from the respected Environmental Defense Fund, where he served executive director, overseeing all operations -- from programs to development -- and played a leading role in expanding EDF’s partnerships with corporations. Yarnold helped EDF go from $52M to $117M in revenue, and led the organization’s political action arm.

Before EDF, Yarnold worked for more than a quarter century at the San Jose Mercury News, one of the nation’s premier newspapers. The Mercury News staff won the Pulitzer for its coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 when Yarnold ran the paper’s afternoon edition, and he was one of three Pulitzer finalists for editorial writing in 2005. He also led the paper’s unparalleled coverage of the rise of Silicon Valley.

As Audubon’s new president, he leads the organization’s powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, state offices and Audubon Centers across the country. A growing number of these centers are in urban areas such as Los Angeles, Seattle and Brooklyn, where they enable city families to connect with nature and expand Audubon's reach to into new communities previously underserved by the conservation movement. Expanding diversity has been a hallmark of Yarnold's career and is key to the Audubon mission of growing stewardship throughout the nation.

Yarnold has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and PBS News Hour. He has spoken at numerous conferences on diversity in the environmental movement, and serves on the board of the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, EcoAmerica and the Stanford University Graduate School of Businesses' Center for Social Innovation.

Entries by David Yarnold

Inspiring Action on Climate Change and Protecting America's Birds

(63) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 10:40 PM

What can I do? That's the question Audubon hears most frequently when people learn that there may be no Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore or Common Loons nesting in our northern states by the end of the century.

In a study based on decades of data, our scientists...

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Saving Louisiana

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 4:40 PM

Louisiana is disappearing. Every year, land mass equal to the size of Manhattan is lost--simply washed out to sea off the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana's crisis is out of sight and out of mind. When Katrina roared into New Orleans with no natural wetlands barrier...

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As Global Temperatures Rise, Beloved Bird Species Are Leaving for More Suitable Locales

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Last week, a new study by the National Audubon Society found that if global warming continues on its current trajectory, 314 U.S. and Canadian bird species -- more than half of the 588 species studied -- could lose 50 percent or more of their current territories by 2080. Many...

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Keeping Our Arctic Wilderness Wild

(3) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 5:25 PM

Fifty years ago, the battle to create the magnificent Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in far northeastern Alaska inspired Congress to approve America's Wilderness Act, the law that has since protected millions of acres of some of our nation's most iconic and cherished wild places.

The Arctic Refuge is, simply put,...

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This Gutsy Move by EPA Is Going to Be Good for All of Us ... and Our Feathered Friends

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 8:58 AM

We've known since 1990 that emissions from coal-fired power plants are harming both people and birds. Loons, Ospreys, and Bald Eagles have been getting a heaping serving of mercury with their fish from streams tainted by power plants. Songbirds take the hit in their nervous systems. Mercury and metal poisoning...

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Eagles Are Worth Fighting for Today

(27) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 10:39 AM

bald eagle

When's the last time you saw an eagle? A Bald Eagle, perhaps, perched in a tree along a river, or a Golden Eagle soaring overhead? I get to hear a lot of people's eagle anecdotes -- there's something about those big,...

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This Deadly Lead Ammo Myth Is Killing Wildlife and Putting You at Risk

(117) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 8:22 AM

A dangerous myth persists in the debate over the use of lead ammunition in hunting. It goes something like this: We can afford a little lead in the wilderness, and a little lead in your blood is just fine.

That wrong-headed idea still has some traction because lead ammunition is...

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Green Groups Must Embrace Latinos' Concern for Environment

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 4:37 PM

The numbers are consistent in survey after survey: When it comes to the environment, Latinos show far more interest in conservation issues and stronger pollution laws than their Anglo counterparts.

The annual poll of conservation attitudes in the western United States by Colorado College found that Hispanics strongly...

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Time for BP's Fantasy to Turn Into Payback for the Gulf

(2) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 3:46 PM

What's the difference between BP paying $5.4 billion to repair the epic mess it created along the Gulf Coast and the $21 billion check it should write? Two words: "grossly negligent."

Headed toward a court date with BP in early 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice...

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Big Oil's Arctic Bet: A Fool's Risk

(9) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 12:06 PM

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." We've all heard it -- and lived it -- as individuals and collectively as Americans.

We've all had to confront someone who has fooled or even misled us. But when Big Oil repeatedly tells us a monumental...

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New Guidelines a Step Forward for Bird-Friendly Wind Development

(6) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 2:54 PM

What do wind turbines and home prices have in common? Location, location, location.

America needs energy from every safe source possible, but wind power creates unique threats to birds. So it was a big deal when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced new wind energy siting guidelines today that will help...

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For the Love of Birds

(4) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 11:21 AM

There's a fun infographic making its way around Facebook (it originated in Adbusters) that asks viewers to identify the names associated with a handful of common logos, as well as the names of common leaves.

The point is obvious. Because of the billions invested in corporate branding, we...

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An Open Letter to Secretary Clinton: KO Keystone XL

(14) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 6:50 PM

Since last fall, a steady stream of damning evidence about questionable relationships, lobbying practices and political bias have been flowing from the Keystone XL pipeline process. This weekend's outrageous revelation that TransCanada supervised the environmental review has poisoned the process beyond repair.

It's time to KO...

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Hitting the Sweat Ceiling?

(17) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 10:30 AM

Hot enough for you? The oppressive heat that has engulfed much of the nation this summer has been dubbed "The Sweat Ceiling" by D.C. insiders obsessed with the debt ceiling debate.

If you like this summer, you'll love knowing that the deal brokered to avert economic disaster is likely...

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What Birds Teach Us: Don't Take Them -- or the Future -- for Granted

(6) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 3:37 PM

The bird you heard singing or saw overhead today? It's pretty easy to take it for granted, but in fact, it might have traveled thousands of miles to get to your house.

It might have been to places where you'd need a passport and vaccinations to visit. Those ducks that...

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Whose Earth Day?

(4) Comments | Posted April 22, 2011 | 12:49 PM

The question, posed by a black man, left me dumbstruck. "If you leaders of the big Green groups hadn't been a bunch of northeastern white folks for the past 40 years, what issues would you have worked on that would have been different?"

I was, in fact, a Californian, new...

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Five Denier Myths about the Climate & Energy Bill

(2) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 10:36 AM

Like the summer weather outside, the fight over a strong climate bill is heating up. The next three weeks will reveal which Senators are serious about fixing the world's biggest crisis, and which are worried about short-term political advantage.

At stake is whether the Senate will consider a strong bill...

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Why the Senate Needs to Keep the Change in Climate Change

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 4:55 PM

With the exception of perhaps Rep. Joe Barton, all Americans are alarmed by the pictures coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The destruction and chaos don't just evoke intense concern for the economy, environment, and way of life for that region. They also raise the most urgent questions about the...

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Somewhere Over the Gulf Coast: A "Glee" and BP Oil Disaster Mashup

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2010 | 4:02 PM

After decades of inaction, this may be the single most important moment in America's search for clean energy. Starting with Richard Nixon, the last eight U.S. Presidents have promised to end our addiction to imported oil and develop our own domestic energy resources. We're now on the verge of unprecedented...

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