Toyota Defends $20m Donation to Audubon Society

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
toyota defends 20m donation to audubon society

We weren't the only ones giving Toyota grief about their $20m contribution to the Audubon Society. The Green Company That Also Sells Gas-Guzzlin' Trucks has gone on the defensive after readers of their Open Road blog castigated the Japanese automaker for the largesse. It seems the National Audubon Society is one of the plaintiffs in a suit against the National Park Service for alleged failure to regulate beach driving at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina. Readers felt Toyota's donation "is being used against people who use their 4-wheel drive vehicles" and "to help fund the closure of the beaches of the Outer Banks of NC." ToMoCo says not so. After all, "we build and sell four-wheel-drive vehicles that have developed an enviable reputation in the four-wheeling community and many of us here are enthusiastic four-wheelers." To that end, their donation "will be used only to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders and offer volunteer opportunities, not for lobbying or legal efforts." Yes but… a contribution of that size will free Audubon to redirect organizational funds that would have been used for those purposes, increasing their legal and lobbying firepower.

Join the conversation
4 of 7 comments
  • Raskolnikov Raskolnikov on Apr 10, 2008

    @Lumbergh21 Bravo! That deserves a standing o!

  • 50merc 50merc on Apr 10, 2008

    This isn't the half of it. Just think of the tizzy the Audubon Society will be in when they learn about Toyota's non-truck offerings. My Prius, which is equipped with the optional Sam Coleridge Stealth Sportsman package, moves along so quietly it's crashed into six spotted owls, four bald eagles, two Great Auks and a California condor. It's good against armadillos too, but that's PETA's concern.

  • Geezer66 Geezer66 on Apr 11, 2008

    This is a tempest in a teapot. The lawsuit only asks for a no-vehicle zone on 12 miles of critical wildlife habitat. Those are tiny areas compared to the whole Cape Hatteras National Seashore. There's enough to share. An extremist beach vehicle group has gone nuts over the 12 miles, when they should be working for a good compromise.

  • Boogamite Boogamite on May 09, 2008

    It may seem like a "tiny area" unless you're familiar with the place. The CHNS is a narrow barrier island, and much of the drivable area (i.e. the beach) is not passable during high tide. There is enough to share, and the beach vehicle groups (actually fishermen's groups, but vehicular access is the only realistic way for landlubbers to have a chance) were trying to work with the extremist environmental groups on a good compromise. But the no vehicle zones they wanted would basically close off access to the entire park, which many believe was their true intention all along. Mr. Williams sums the Toyota-Audubon situation nicely.