By Barbara Kessler

If you’re feeling extravagant and eco-conscious this Christmas, two urges that can cause serious neural collisions, the World Wildlife Fund has a solution to diffuse your cognitive dissonance: Buy your sweetie a big park… in the Amazon. For just rainforest-ww-f.jpg$1,000,000 (yes that’s the correct number of zeros), you can “adopt” a park in the imperiled Amazon rain forest. Government matching money will double your donation, creating a fund large enough to build research infrastructure and protect the native plant and animal life within the park, according to the WWF.

bonobo-ape.jpgIt’s all a part of the non-profit’s “Extraordinary Gifts” program. The website doesn’t say how large this park will be, but if you buy it, you’ll certainly find out. Presumably it would be large enough to stem the loss of tropical rainforests, yield important conservation information, spread your ashes on at a later date and provide one whopping big tax deduction for 2007.

For less endowed gift givers, WWF offers many more affordable but still “extraordinary” gift opportunities. Donations in the mere thousands can help preserve lemurs in Madagascar, apes in the Congo, Pandas in Asia or bison in the Great Plains in the United States. The list, sadly, is long, and emotionally treacherous. Who with ten or twenty thousand to spare could turn down a chance to help save the Bonobo Apes, our close relatives on the species tree in danger of extinction from poachers and diminishing habitat? And don’t even get us started on those dewy-eyed Pandas. Benefactors can shop online to find the slice of life that appeals to them and then let WWF know of their interest. Someone will call.