elk, jackson hole, wyoming, deborah johns, wishes for wildlife
Elk graze peacefully outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a fitting image for NWF supporter Bonnie H., whose wish is for wildlife “to remain truly wild and with the full protection of their environment.”
Songwriter Harry Nilsson in the late 1960s released “The Puppy Song,” in which he declared that “Dreams are nothing more than wishes, and a wish is just a dream you wish will come true.”In keeping with this concept about aspirations and imagination, NWF is asking its members and supporters to send in the dreams they wish would come true for wildlife.

“Wishes for Wildlife” was the brainchild of NWF Membership Department staffers Jenn Watral and Margot Krieger, who thought a list of such wishes would reveal the issues and species that inhabit the dreams of NWF members and supporters.

Here is a small sample of the wishes we’ve received:

  • “My wish is for immediate enlightenment and action by the human species to protect, preserve and respect the other species on this planet and to end the destruction of them and their habitats.” – Bonnie H.
  • “I wish the world could see all wildlife as being the victims of our wasteful and consuming ways. They need our help in whatever way possible. But it takes all of humanity to care.” – Dan F.
  • “With my heart, thoughts, and prayers I wish wildlife’s greatest enemy (Mankind) could appreciate how deeply our mutual survival is intertwined. Every gain is a boost for us all. Every loss will be felt far more than it seems at the time. It is painful to observe how slowly mankind comes to this knowledge. I pray we learn in time.” – Dawn M.
  • “May all beings be safe and free from harm. May all beings be free. May every suffering be the door to an open heart. And may the open heart spring to action for every one.” – Elizabeth C.
  • “My wish is that all wildlife be safe and happy in their homes…that all those working so hard to save our planet be given the strength and wisdom to continue their work…that all mankind work together to better our planet and stop endangering it.” – A.R.

Wishes may seem a pretty thin foundation on which to build an edifice of change for conservation. As someone once sort of said, if wishes were Ferraris we’d all drive home in style. But history shows us some impressive examples of people turning wishes into reality. Henry Ford wished he could build automobiles, the Wright brothers wished they could fly, and John F. Kennedy wished America could send astronauts to the moon and back.

Wishes help give us a direction, but action and resources give us results. Ideally, as we ring in the New Year, these wishes will inspire us to action on behalf of beleaguered wild creatures and wild places and will inspire support for and commitment to wildlife conservation. NWF presently has 4 million members and supporters. We—and wildlife—can always use more.

To share your wishes for wildlife or to see the wishes sent in by others, go to www.nwf.org/wishforwildlife

NWF has just launched a new online portal called “Choose Your Cause.” Just click on the cause you care about most and enjoy inspiring stories and photos from folks on-the-ground who are working tirelessly to protect the wildlife and wild places we all love.