Monday, November 21, 2011

Wilderness Society cuts staff, citing weak economy

The weak economy has taken a big bite out of the Wilderness Society, which last week laid off 17% of its staff. Headquartered in Washington, the organization is one of the nation's most venerable land preservation groups and has been a major force behind the creation and expansion of the federal wilderness system. After increasing its staff and spending in recent years, the group is retrenching. "The Wilderness Society, like so many other organizations, has been feeling the effects of a down economy, creating budget pressures," said Kitty Thomas, senior director of advocacy communications. "We had an obligation to meet these financial challenges." Thomas declined to provide details of the layoffs but said the staff had been trimmed to 155, about the size it was five years ago. Thirty-two people lost their jobs across the organization, which has nine regional offices. The cuts included a number of positions in the Denver office and in Washington, as well as one in California, according to staff members. The layoffs were announced a month after William Meadows, the organization's president, announced that he would step down next year from the post he has held since 1996 and move into an advisory position. The group has launched a search for his replacement. According to the group's audited financial statement, expenses outstripped revenue of $23 million by about $2.3 million in fiscal year 2010. Thomas said she could not provide the most recent revenue figures because they had not been audited...more

Can you hear me cryin

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