This is gonna be boring… Dec.17,2018 I have procrastinated this as long as possible – it’s time to write my final post for the Field Journal. There are several reasons for my procrastination. For one thing, CFO work is pretty boring unless you’re a ‘number cruncher’. I happen to get excited when I need to create new Excel spreadsheet, but that’s not great grist for this mill. Also, I have struggled with what to say in a ‘final farewell’ post. The third, probably most significant, reason is that I am a procrastinator. Always have been, always will be. A few people have asked me what in the world I’m still doing since the decision has already been made to dissolve the corporations. Others have asked me what happens to money that OM has left after we’re done with the work of shutting down the two corporations. Read on if you’re curious about these momentous questions, or if you simply don’t have anything better to do right now. There’s a LOT to do. If you’ve been following the Friends of Operation Migration Facebook page, you’ve seen pictures of the office as Joe, Heather, and Chris gradually emptied it out. There were archives of records to sort out – what to keep, what to shred, what to recycle. There was office equipment to be sold, donated, or dumped. I realize this doesn’t answer the question about what I’ve been doing, although I did go up to Ontario last week to help out and to meet with our accountant. It was cold. OM, like any business, subscribes or takes advantage of a lot of services – all must be identified and cancelled, from EZPass accounts to credit cards to internet and phone services, and so on. And timing must be carefully coordinated so I don’t pull the rug out from Joe’s Canadian credit card before he pays for the final truck repairs. Speaking of trucks, trailers, and motor homes, all that equipment had to be sold – some in the US and some in Canada. We even used an auctioneer in Wisconsin to get rid of a ton of small equipment like trailer hitches, tools, water hoses, pumps, and the like. We still have one truck left to sell – click here if you’re interested! The process to dissolve a corporation in New York, where our US corporation is registered, is complicated. Pulling together all the forms, affidavits, etc. etc. for that process has taken a while. It’s much easier in Canada, but still takes time to research the PROcess and then put everything together. That’s probably all you ever wanted to know about what I’ve been working on, so let me answer the second question – if we have money left after we sell all the physical assets, where does it go. The answer is the same in both countries – it must be donated to ‘like-minded non-profits’. OM’s mission is migratory species conservation and education, so any non-profit who will receive part of our final distribution has to align with those objectives. Where possible, we would choose organizations with a Whooping Crane connection because that has been OM’s specific labor of love, although our mission is not species-specific. The decision as to who would receive our final donation(s) belongs to our Members, and they made that decision on September 24th, based on recommendations from the Board of Directors. OM’s U.S. corporation will make its final donations to Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Zoo New England, the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, and the International Crane Foundation. In all cases, the donations are to be used specifically for Whooping Crane conservation and education. Our final Canadian funds will be donated to FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program). FLAP is a registered charity that pours all its efforts “into protecting migratory birds from the life-threatening dangers of human-created environments.” Once these donations have been made, the coffers will be empty. I will then work with the accountants in Canada and the U.S. to close the books, do a final audit, and prepare the final filings. WAKE UP! Here’s the part that I’ve been especially procrastinating… the final paragraph. How to express what Operation Migration has meant to me in the few years that I’ve been involved. The short answer is that it has meant everything – being directly involved in helping to save a species, working with (and learning from) such passionate, hard-working, creative, and entrepreneurial people, wow, just wow, what a privilege! I’m sad that it’s coming to an end – not for me, a ‘short-timer’, but for my friends who have given their heart and souls for 15, 20, 25 years, fighting uphill battles year after year on behalf of the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes, a population that did not exist until Operation Migration led the 2001 cohort into the skies on the first aircraft-guided southward migration. I need to stop because now I can’t see what I’m typing. Thank you Operation Migration for the incredible opportunity to be involved in something so exciting and meaningful (unlike insurance). And now I have to go work on an Excel spreadsheet. Yay!