Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when I click on the "save land" button? Does this cost me anything?
Do I have to register?
No, but if you do, CharityUSA will contribute 500 square feet of Amazon Basin Rainforest in your name and keep a running tally of all the land that you have been responsible for preserving. This registration requires only your name, country, postal code, and e-mail. If you click 'shop' from EcologyFund, you will go to Shop for Acres where no registration is needed.
Can I select more than one project?
Yes, you may support as many as you like, but you can only select each project once per day. Click on all projects each day to maximize your contribution!
Why does the amount of land protected vary?
The amount paid by each sponsor for each project is the same. The amount of land contributed varies with the number of sponsors, and the cost of the land that is being preserved. If there are four sponsors for a project, the amount of land protected will be twice as large as if there are only two sponsors. Most threatened wild land in the United States or Canada (up to $2000+/acre) costs 12-150 times more than wild land in the Amazon Basin or Patagonia, (from $6 - $80/acre).
Where is the saved land located? How much does it cost?
The sponsors make the contributions directly to the land trusts that select and purchase the land. Most "saved" acreage will eventually be included in national, local, or tribal parks and reserves where it will have the best chance of being preserved in its wild state forever, (or until the next ice age). To get more information on any specific project use the 'more info...' link under each project, the "Project Info" links on the side of each page, or click on the links below:
African National Park: Since the formulation of the project in 1999, the development of the new Mkwaja-Saadani National Park in Tanzania, East Africa, has become the primary goal of Fondo per la Terra - Earth Fund, an Italian NGO working worldwide for bio-diversity conservation.Fondo per la Terra is aiming to purchase the 280 sq km Mkwaja North Ranch from a Swiss company and to thereafter contribute it to the Tanzanian Government. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Zakira Menji, has declared her desire to incorporate this land into a new protected area system incorporating the current Saadani Game Reserve, the South Mkwaja Ranch (bought in 1997 and donated to the Tanzanian government with the assistance of the European Union) and Zaraninge Proposed Forest Reserve. Her plan is to give the new area full national park status, affording it much stronger protection than at present. Land cost is $25/hectare. Fondo per la Terra (fondoperlaterra.org)
Amazon Basin Rainforest: It is located at the edge of three habitats, where the dry highland forest meets the whitewater flooded forest and the black water flooded forest. Many species of flora and fauna are common here that are rare in other parts of Amazonia. Both species of river dolphin live here and the Amazonian manatee is common. The Project Amazonas and Rainforest Conservation Fund are leasing parcels to expand existing reserves in Peru and The Rainforest Trust (in support of Fundacion Jocotoco) is buying land to create new reserves in Ecuador and Paraguay respectively. The Ecuadorian reserves will protect Amazonian/Andean areas that are the home to many rare species of birds adjacent to Podocarpus National Park; and the San Rafael Reserve in Paraguay will protect one of the last areas of intact Atlantic Rainforest remaining. Land acquisition or leasing costs average $14/hectare. Rainforest Trust, Rainforest Conservation Fund, and Project Amazonas. Also see: Fundacion Jocotoco.
Canadian Wild Lands: EcologyFund supports three projects of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Clear Creek Forest on Lake Erie: An 800 acre parcel that includes old growth forest and significant Lake Erie shoreline. Tatlayoko Lake Valley in British Columbia: a 950 acre area of forest, meadow, and lakeside that links the coastal rainforests to the inland valleys and is home to numerous large carnivores including grizzly bears, wolves, and puma; and Virgin Prairies: The remaining tracts of Manitoba's virgin Tall Grass Prairie (less than 0.02% remains) are home to over 270 plant, 155 bird and 35 mammal species along with 48 types of butterflies. The average land cost is $600+/acre. Nature Conservancy of Canada (natureconservancy.ca)
Cascade Old-Growth: 75,000 acres of checkerboard timberlands, which were conveyed to the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1864, are being protected. This land, presently owned by private logging companies, contains almost all of the old-growth forest still in private hands in this area of the Northwest. Some of these trees are over 800 years old, a truly irreplaceable resource. The forests include both wet west side forests of Douglas Fir and the drier east side, with large Ponderosa Pines in open park like settings. Some areas contain alpine meadows. There are large numbers of elk and deer. Over 1,000 species are considered dependent upon or associated with late successional forests like those found in the Cascade Partnership's project area. Average land cost is $1,750/acre, although the 4-1 U.S. matching fund makes effective cost lower, $350. Cascades Conservation Partnership (www.cascadespartners.org)
Mexican Wildlife: Mexico is one of the five most biologically diverse countries on earth, home to 1/10 of all land species, (many of which live nowhere else). EcologyFund is helping Pronatura (Mexico's largest conservation organization) and The Wildlands Project (Pronatura's partner in the Sierra Madre Mexican Thick-billed parrot project) protect some of Mexico's most endangered species by conserving imperiled habitats. EcologyFund is also helping Pronatura purchase 7,000 acres in the Cuatro Cienegas Valley, home to over 100 endemic animal and plant species. This project is also supported by the Nature Conservancy. The second EcologyFund Mexican project preserves the nesting areas of the largest breeding population of the Mexican Thick-billed parrot. It is the joint work of Pronatura, The Wildlands Project based in Tucson, Arizona, and three other conservation groups who arranged a 15-year lease on 6,000 acres of undisturbed forest in the Sierra Madre Mountains, in order to prevent the area from being logged in 2002. Average land cost is $26.5/acre.
(www.pronatura.org.mx - Spanish Version)
(www.pronatura.org.mx/english/ - English Version)
Palmyra Atoll and Reef: The Palmyra Atoll is a thousand miles south of Hawaii, an untold distance from civilization. It is the last intact marine wilderness in the U.S. tropics. Its pristine waters harbor five times as many coral species as the Florida Keys, and its shores offer one of the few nesting areas for seabirds within 450,000 square miles. Palmyra's 54 islets offera relativelyuntouched sanctuary to many species. The 680 acre islands are surrounded by 15,512 acres of reef, and were purchased by The Nature Conservancy for $37 million dollars including infrastructure costs. The Nature Conservancy (nature.org)
Patagonian Coastal Steppe: on the coast of Argentina, in the Golfo San Matias, this project would create the first reserve in an area rich with wildlife. The project will be self-sustaining, after the conversion of the existing sheep ranch to a small eco-tourist hotel. Just north of the famous penguin colony on Valdes peninsula, and home to pumas, sea lions, maras, guanacos, rheas, and numerous birds. The land acquisition cost is $10/acre after matching funds are included. Rainforest Trust (worldlandtrust.org)
Scottish Nature Reserves: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), operates over 140 nature reserves and is Europe's largest conservation organization. Ecologyfund is funding the expansion of the Forsinard Blanket Bog preserve in order to protect and rejuvinate a very rare habitat that is important to several UK bird populations including the merlin. (for a live merlin webcam from the RSPB Forsinard Reserve click here). The deep peatlands of Forsinard lie at the heart of the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland that has been nominated by the UK as a world heritage site. Land cost is 195 pounds/hectare ($117/acre). RSPB (www.rspb.org.uk)
United States Western Wilderness: EcologyFund money will be used in purchasing 31 acres in North Fork Meadows, the Stephan Mather Wilderness, North Cascades National Park, Washington State; 20 acres in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of Colorado; and in the Trinity Alps Wilderness of California. Over 8000 acres in seven Western states have been protected since 1992. The average land cost is $1000/acre. Wilderness Land Trust (wildernesstrust.org)
Why have you combined EcologyFund projects from different areas?
We have combined projects from different areas together to emphasize our goals of protecting endangered wildlife and virgin forests & prairies. We feel this will also make it faster to click, and easier to make room for additional projects. It is still possible to sponsor an individual project even if it is combined with several others in a group project button. When you click a group project button, all sponsors for the projects represented by the button are shown, and this creates a contribution from each sponsor.
How large is an Acre?
An acre is 43,560 square feet or .4 hectares, about the same size as a football field. There are 640 acres in a square mile.
How much land has EcologyFund.com been responsible for preserving? Can I find out how much I have added?
There is a running total of all land contributed on our home page and on the left side of most pages. If you are registered, there will also be a running total of land contributed in your name on the left side of the site. Click here for totals of land protected by project and by date (these totals are estimates).
Why is preserving wild land important?
Retaining road-less wilderness and wild land is important to preserving the earth's bio-diversity. The land acquired through EcologyFund provides critical wildlife habitat to many endangered or threatened species. Establishing
corridors to connect wilderness pockets is necessary for species survival. Preserving the complex web of existing forests is much easier than trying to recreate them. It is also the most cost effective method of reducing greenhouse gases, and it serves as a storehouse for biological information that may help fight cancer or other diseases in the future. For more information, click on specific projects links.
How were EcologyFund projects selected?
Our partner organizations selected these projects for the combination of impact, local involvement, and ability to preserve important habitat or cultural landmarks over time, by creating or enlarging existing parks or reserves and making sure that there is a method to finance their protection.
Does EcologyFund want to add projects or sponsors?
EcologyFund is a new way of raising money for environmental causes. We are always looking for additional projects and sponsors. Please contact us at: [email protected]
What does a sponsor have to do?
A sponsor picks a project and agrees to pay for each person who comes to the site, selects that project, and sees their ad. Normally sponsors write their check directly to the land trust involved. No sponsorship money is kept by EcologyFund or CharityUSA.com.
How can I help EcologyFund find sponsors?
The more sponsors we have, the more money will be raised for preserving wild land. We appreciate any help in finding sponsors. Please contact us at: [email protected]
Can we put a link from our site to EcologyFund?
Yes, please do. Click here for banners in various sizes. We would also be thankful if anyone pointed to EcologyFund.com in the signature block of his or her outgoing message. Thank you very much for your support of EcologyFund.
Are there posters available to promote EcologyFund?
Yes, you can download an 8 1/2 x 11 EcologyFund flyer/poster. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader which you can get in a free download if you don't already have it. If you would like printed copies of the poster please send your request to [email protected].
What are EcologyFund's SPAM and privacy policies?
Do you share information with the groups and projects that I support?
Is EcologyFund.com a charity?
No, we are operated by CharityUSA.com, a for-profit internet company whose business is finding additional revenue sources for charities and non-profits. All monies from sponsorships generated on EcologyFund go to purchase and protect wild lands.
What does CharityUSA.com do? What does CharityUSA.com get for underwriting all the expenses of Ecology Fund?
CharityUSA.com operates The Hunger Site (www.thehungersite.com), The Breast Cancer Site (www.thebreastcancersite.com), The Rainforest Site (www.therainforestsite.com), GreaterGood (www.greatergood.com), and several smaller websites. The Hunger Site was the first "click-to-give" site and has contributed millions of dollars to hunger relief since 1999. GreaterGood is the largest Internet shopping mall that gives affiliate shopping commissions to charity. We support EcologyFund for the same reasons our sponsors do:
1) we support wilderness preservation; 2) we can use our advertising budget to accomplish a good end; and 3) the best form of public relations is good work. CharityUSA makes money to support EcologyFund and its overhead through the sale of ecommerce products and the sale of Internet advertising that is not a sponsorship.
When I shop on EcologyFund, does it cost more? Where does the money go?
All shopping done on EcologyFund's Shop for Acres saves at least 50 square feet per dollar spent excluding taxes, shipping and occasionally other items. The exclusions are clearly indicated in our "Select a Category" mall. You do not need to register to shop for acres. You pay the same amount going through Shop for Acres as you would if you went to the merchant directly. Revenue from Shop for Acres also helps pay the costs of running EcologyFund but at least 50% of the merchant commissions is split by the land trusts on EcologyFund.
How do you make money and cover your costs?
EcologyFund is presently underwritten by private funding through CharityUSA.com. We are developing revenue sources which we hope will make the site self sufficent in the future. All money from sponsorship goes directly to the land trusts. Revenue generated by Shop for Acres, Special Donations, our search feature, and Rainforest Rewards is split 50/50 with the land trusts. We also receive income through selling advertising in our opt-in, take-action, and emails; as well as on the site. Additional income is received through the sale of ecommerce products (like t-shirts) through our store. When an action on the site is described as protecting x amount of wilderness land, then a portion of the revenue received from that action is being split between the charity partners of EcologyFund to pay for the amount of land described as a royalty payment. The land will be protected after the advertiser pays EcologyFund and EcologyFund pays the land trusts and the land trust purchases the land. All descriptions of land saved are estimates that assume complete payment on the part of all sponsors and advertisers.
Is my "contribution" of land tax deductible?
No, because you are not paying for it. Our sponsors are paying the market rate for Internet advertising, so it is a marketing expense, not a charitable deduction. If you contribute directly to our land trust partners, it may be deductible, depending on where you live, and if the group is a registered charity in your country. (Wilderness Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Cascades Conservation Partnership, The Wildlands Project, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Inc., American Chestnut Foundation- USA; Rainforest Trust and RSPB- Great Britain; Nature Conservancy of Canada- Canada; ProNatura- Mexico; Fondo per la Terra- Italy) If you have further questions, consult a tax advisor.
When does the contribution day start?
Midnight, US Central Time.
What are those counters at the bottom of the home page?
The human population counter has been created using the statistic of the US Census Bureau. The counter of the reducing number of natural habitats uses the data / information from the following publications: - " A reconnaissance-level inventory of the amount of wilderness remaining in the world" by J. M. McCloskey and H. Spalding - "Review state of the world's forest 1999", FAO 4/3/99.
It should be noted that the evident reduction on the counter is only related to tropical forests (the habitat most threatened and of which there is consistent data). It doesn't include the reduction of other types of habitat. Therefore the real level of shrinking territories is definitely higher.
The Counters are courtesy of Fondo per la Terra (Earth Fund).
Click here to learn more about biodiversity.
I have other questions or problems using the site, where do I reach you?
First check our Troubleshooting Guide out and see if your question can be answered there. If not, please contact us at:
One Union Square
600 University Street, Suite 1000
Seattle, WA 98101-4107