Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 20, 2006

Donna LaFleur

Past-President Baton Rouge Audubon Society

Today's Date: 7/20/06

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

My father, an outdoorsman, shared his love for nature with me and my siblings. I was 6 years old, hiking with him to the river to fish, when we topped the bank of the river and disturbed a Great Blue Heron, who gracefully took off for parts downstream. That beautiful image is still imprinted in my mind, and as my first memory of "nature," it is one I experienced with the same wonder and awe that now characterizes my admiration and reverence for the natural world.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

The forest and the river have always been my favorite places - from the swimming hole I enjoyed as a child near Covington, Louisiana, to the hiking trails I visit today throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

Difficult to choose from such a wondrous variety of life forms - but I seem to be drawn to birds. Flying is a skill we humans have long desired, from the seemingly magical flight characteristics of the hummingbird to the strength, speed and accuracy of a falcon. The personality, affection, intelligence and communicative skills of my pet parrot have endeared her to me, so while I greatly appreciate other animals, birds are my favorites (don't tell the dog).

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Global warming will bring serious consequences to our world, but it's impossible for me to forget that water usage and availability is also of prime importance, as well as the destruction of habitat for countless species of plants and animals. Ultimately, human overpopulation and dominance of the planet is connected to all of these issues as well as others, so perhaps that's the greatest challenge facing us.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Our natural environment is being undervalued and undersold in our capitalistic society. The true value of the environment can not be measured in dollars and cents. You cannot create a healthy planet in which to live, diverse in both life forms and natural resources, with money.

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