Statement of support from New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands on the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act
Americans love and value our wildlife and natural heritage. Wildlife watching generates over $30 billion in consumer spending each year, fishing over $35 billion and hunting over $27 billion. These industries support local economies in rural America and generate state and local taxes.
Marking the most significant step toward national wildlife conservation in decades, the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 was introduced today in both houses of Congress.
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 National Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would provide for the protection and restoration of our native wildlife by identifying connectivity and corridors within public lands across the country.
Many species in the US are declining. Scientists estimate that one in five species are at risk of extinction. One of the greatest threats to species survival and diversity is the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of natural habitats. America’s landscapes are losing species, becoming biologically unproductive and unhealthy because native habitats have become islands, cutoff from other landscapes and waterways, unable to sustain vital natural processes, such as: dispersal, migration, genetic exchange, acquisition of resources, population stability, and climate adaptation, among others.
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, Wildlands Network, along with 222 other NGOs, express our strong support for the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019.
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.
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.”
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.