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Born to Rewild

Graphic shows "Wildlands Network's trekwest." There is a map of the western United States.
The TrekWest trail map. Click the magnifying glass to view a larger version. Map: Wildlands Network

In 2013, wildways trekker John Davis undertook a 5,000-mile, person-powered journey from Mexico to Canada to ground-truth the Western Wildway. During his TrekWest campaign, John observed wildlife in their natural habitats, studying how they moved and lived as part of the landscape. He made special note of areas where wildlife corridors could be most useful.

Award-winning adventure cinematographer Ed George followed along during much of John’s journey, filming his story of ground-truthing wildlife corridors across the West and weaving in footage of regional conservationists, scientists, and other citizens working to reconnect and protect the landscapes they love.

After George’s passing in 2016, filmmaker Bryan Reinhart took over the project, completing the film based on George’s original vision and presenting it all over the West. Kelly Burke, who manages our Conservation in Motion program and strategic partnerships with outdoor brands and ambassadors, is the film’s producer. The film premiered at the Sedona International Film Festival to rave reviews, with subsequent showings in Flagstaff, ArizonaSanta FeAlbuquerque, and Gallup, New Mexico; Salt Lake City, UtahMill Valley, California; and Eugene, Oregon.

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Check out the trailer for Born to Rewild below. For more Born to Rewild viewing, you can check out a sneak peek and a rough cut. Stay tuned for the full version, coming soon! We can’t wait to share it with you.

Following John’s epic adventure along the traditional movement pathways of species needing room to roam along a 5,000-mile stretch of the Continental Divide, Born to Rewild highlights the challenges wide-ranging species—including pronghorns, cougars, grizzly bears, and Mexican wolves—encounter on their migratory routes, and how those challenges might be mitigated by a continental-scale Western Wildway. The film captures the stresses John endured to achieve his outdoor adventure masterpiece, stresses experienced by wildlife every single day.

A grizzly bear walks across a meadow covered with flowers.
Grizzly bears, featured in Born to Rewild, can benefit from protected and connected wildlife corridors to find food, mates, shelter and other resources. Photo: William C. Gladish

As he brings conservation groups, public land agencies, and private landowners together to create a continuous wildlife corridor across the spine of the continent, John demonstrates that wildlife in the area are in dire need of these priority conservation corridors, which must be protected and connected to preserve the diversity of life.

Inspired by Born to Rewild? You can help us create a National System of Wildlife Corridors by urging your legislators to cosponsor the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. You can help us bring the vision of Born to Rewild’s continental-scale Western Wildway to other places across the continent, providing safe migratory pathways for the survival of myriad species.

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If you’d like to arrange a showing of Born to Rewild, please contact Kelly Burke at kelly@wildlandsnetwork.org for more details.