About this series

Day one
April 22, 2001

Main story: Movement's prosperity comes at a high price

Sidebar: Rare rodent likely extinct

Sidebar: A century of environmentalism

Graphic: Giving to the environment

Graphic: Executive salaries (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Graphic: The greening of the environmental movement (Requires Acrobat Reader)

(Download free Acrobat Reader)

Photo gallery

Day two
April 23, 2001

Main story: Mission adrift in a frenzy of fund raising

Graphic: Philanthropic report card

Graphic: Fund raising fact and fancy -- Otters

Graphic: Fund raising fact and fancy -- Whales

Graphic: Fund raising fact and fancy -- Wolves

Graphic: Fund-raising effectiveness

Photo gallery

Editorial: How to be green

Day three
April 24, 2001

Main story: A flood of costly lawsuits raises questions about motive

Graphic: The cost of environmental litigation

Photo gallery

Day four
April 25, 2001

Main story: Spin on science puts national treasure at risk

Graphic: Growing Southwest forest fires

Graphic: Fire country

Photo gallery

Day five
April 26, 2001

Main story: Solutions sprouting from grass-roots efforts

Graphic: Endangered nation

Photo gallery



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Related report: Mission adrift in a frenzy of fund raising


Sacramento Bee / Scott Flodin

Fund raising: fact and fancy

More than 160 million environmental fund-raising pitches swirled through the U.S. mail last year. Some used the power of cute animals to attract donors. The problem is that in many cases those campaigns were less than honest.

Pitch: California gray whale

Time is running out for Laguna San Ignacio and the gray whales. Their fate is very briefly in our hands. Please take a few minutes right now to save them. Tomorrow may be too late.

-- Natural Resources Defense Council, fund-raising letter


The California gray whale is a conservation success story. Since receiving protection from commercial whaling in 1946, the gray whale has made a remarkable recovery and now numbers between 19,000 and 23,000, probably close to its original population. The gray whale was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1994.

Source: American Cetacean Society.


"The fight to save the great whales has largely been won. All but ignored has been the plight of smaller cetaceans, which continues to worsen. Some species ... of dolphins, porpoises and small whales are in greater danger of extinction than any of the great whales...However, (this) situation has received little publications -- indeed, they are almost forgotten species."

Source: Oceanus, 1989