Dear Corporate Sponsors:
As the Executive Director of Discover Life in America (DLIA), I want to introduce you to what I believe is the most important conservation project in the world today. The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, or ATBI, is a project whose mission is to inventory an estimated 100,000 species of living organisms in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Currently, DLIA and its partners have discovered 923 species new to science. These are species never before documented on earth. In addition to species new to science, over 7,600 species new to GSMNP have been identified.
As exceptional as these numbers are, thousands more species remain undiscovered. Each new discovery provides a myriad of natural resource applications. For example, many breakthroughs in modern medicine have come from nature. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, more than two-thirds of all medicines found to have cancer-fighting properties come from rainforest plants. Within the short timeframe of the ATBI, slime molds, which may be more abundant in GSMNP than anywhere else in the world, have raced to the forefront of medical breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research.
The benefits of discovering, identifying and cataloging all living species within the 800 square miles of the GSMNP are boundless. Understanding what we have will enable us to protect and utilize our resources benefiting the entire ecosystem. The resulting project information will enhance our understanding of our national parks and increase our ability to manage valuable resources for future generations.
Recently, the traditional ATBI funding sources have announced their need to decrease their support over time. Therefore, your sponsorship is now more important than ever. Please join in the ATBI effort by becoming a corporate sponsor of this enormously important endeavor. Your sponsorship is critical to helping us achieve our ATBI goals.
Thank you for your support.
Todd P. Witcher
Discover Life in America