Writing in support of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018, Patagonia, Osprey Packs and Petzl America urge our elected officials to support this landmark legislation. Introduced in the House by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va) and in the Senate by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) in December 2018, the Act will designate wildlife corridors on federal lands and provide incentives for states, tribes and other entities to enhance connectivity on non-federal lands throughout the country. It’s in important step toward protecting our wildlife and wildlands, as 1 in 5 U.S. species is threatened with extinction. In their letter, the outdoor brands write, “The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act will provide key tools for conserving our nation’s wildlife and natural heritage for future generations.”
Marking the most significant step toward national wildlife conservation in decades, the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018 was introduced today in the Senate by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). If passed, the Act will restore habitat and protect America’s native wildlife by establishing a National Wildlife Corridors Program that facilitates the designation of wildlife corridors on federal lands and provides grants to protect wildlife corridors on non-federal lands.
This bill would establish the National Wildlife Corridors System to provide for the protection and restoration of native fish, wildlife, and plant species. The conservation of landscape corridors and waterways, where native species and ecological processes can transition from one habitat to another, is critical to conserving biodiversity and ensuring resiliency for wildlife—especially in the face of climate change. By designating select landscapes and waterways under federal jurisdiction as wildlife corridors, we can safeguard our native flora and fauna for future generations.
The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would establish the National Wildlife Corridors System to provide for the protection and restoration of native fish, wildlife, and plant species. The conservation of landscape corridors and waterways, where native species and ecological processes can transition from one habitat to another, is critical to conserving biodiversity and ensuring resiliency for wildlife—especially in the face of climate change. Read case studies about how this act would benefit Florida panthers, grizzly bears, monarch butterflies, and pronghorns.
Backed by more than 160 conservation organizations across the country, the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act was introduced to Congress by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) in December 2018. We expect the bill will be reintroduced in 2019 with bipartisan support. If passed, the bill will designate wildlife corridors on federal lands across the country and provide incentives for states, tribes, and other entities to enhance habitat connectivity and protect wildlife corridors on non-federal lands. In the letter, the conservation groups thank the Congressmen for their leadership on this landmark legislation that will help rapidly declining species populations adapt to a rapidly changing climate.
Prominent conservation biologist Dr. E.O. Wilson lends his support to the landmark Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act as Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) prepare to introduce it in the Senate and House in December 2018. If passed, the Act will designate wildlife corridors on federal lands and provide incentives for landowners to protect corridors on non-federal lands. In his letter, Dr. Wilson urges “all members of the Senate and House of Representatives to support this bill that would help conserve the interconnectedness of habitats of thousands of our nation’s native species, boosting their resilience to climate change and maintaining the health of our country’s diverse natural heritage.”
We presented the webinar on October 17, 2018 about the evolution and importance of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. Susan Holmes, Wildlands Network’s Policy Director, discusses the growing movement for wildlife corridors around the country, how we are building bi-partisan support, and how the bill will address protections for native species and their habitat, promote wildlife corridors, and mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Through the implementation of wildlife corridors and road crossings on major highways, Florida Panthers would have a safe passage from southern protected areas such as Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge northward to protected areas like Apalachicola National Forest, securing this species for future generations. Florida Panthers are a classic tale of an American comeback—and by supporting the National Wildlife Corridors Bill, this species will continue to represent this important national story.
Many consider the monarch butterfly to be one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. What some people may not know is that, each year, monarchs travel 2,500 miles to Mexico and southern California to escape freezing temperatures and lack of food during the winter. Through the designation of a National Wildlife Corridors System, we can support monarchs by protecting strategic habitat along their flyways, thus providing them with necessary resting areas, food, and the ability to reproduce.
Grizzly bears don’t follow human boundaries, and often, our parks are simply too small for this wide-ranging species. Just like how people need highways to get from one place to another safely, grizzly bears and other species need wildlife corridors to move from protected area to protected area in search of food and mates. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would provide these essential paths—protecting grizzlies and drivers from dangerous wildlife-vehicle collisions, and helping to reduce conflicts with people by giving grizzlies a safer route around cities and towns.
Each winter, pronghorn make a grueling, 150-mile migration from Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin to Grand Teton National Park. Without this migration, pronghorns would not be able to find feeding grounds to get them through such harsh winters. Unfortunately, many of our roads, fences, and cities block pronghorns from making this critical migration. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would make it possible for pronghorn to reclaim their migration route and secure it for future generations.
Wildlands Network responds to the USFWS’s 5-year review of the Florida panther’s endangered status: The Florida panther’s recent population growth in south Florida is encouraging, and almost certainly speaks to the genetic rescue effect generated by introduction of cougars from Texas. However, urban development continues to quickly erode prime Florida panther habitat across Florida and in other southeastern states as well. This unmitigated pattern of urban development across the region is one of several signals that the current efforts to recover the panther are inadequate for achieving the goal of recovering the Florida panther to the point where it is no longer threatened with extinction in the wild.
Wildlands Network responds to the USFWS’s draft plan for Mexican wolf recovery: Our immediate concern is the draft plan falls far short of the mark needed for recovery of these critically endangered wolves, and that these shortcomings are driven by politics rather than the science of wolf recovery. If implemented, it would allow fewer than half the number of wolves in the wild that most of the previous recovery team scientists say are needed in the U.S. for recovery—with another small isolated population in Mexico—at which time the states would assume full management responsibility for Lobo survival. The prospect of premature downlisting and delisting, exacerbated by the relevant states’ record opposing wolf recovery discussed below, affords a recipe for extinction—not recovery— for one of the most critically endangered wild mammals in North America.
In this group sign-on letter, Wildlands Network and 13 other conservation groups express concern about transparency and timely notification issues by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW/Department) on wolf news. The signees ask the Department to take immediate steps to ensure transparency and timeliness going forward.
Wildlands Network signed on to this letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them to vote no on funding for the continued construction of the border wall. Not only is the wall an ineffective tool at managing border migration, it will also irreparably harm biodiversity in the Rio Grande Valley. Nearly 90 environmental, faith, immigration, and civil rights organizations signed on to the letter opposing the border wall.