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Western Wildway

Rewilding the Wild West

In western North America, Wildlands Network envisions the world’s most extensive network of protected, connected lands: the 6,000-mile Western Wildway. Achieving this grand vision will require coordinated conservation across international borders to the north and the south.

Planning boundaries for the Western Wildway.

For more than 2 decades, we have been working with partner groups from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to establish a contiguous network of private and public conservation lands along the spine of the Rocky Mountains and associated ranges, basins, plateaus, and deserts—from Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental to Alaska’s Brooks Range.

Protecting and connecting key core areas is crucial to rewilding the Western Wildway, where wildlife habitats have been destroyed and fragmented by centuries of human development and resource exploitation. As in the Eastern and Pacific Wildways, we’re reconnecting the Western Wildway by promoting the restoration and protection of pivotal wildlife corridors in the region.

The Western Wildway will ultimately provide wide-ranging wildlife like wolves, cougars, and other animals with Room to Roam©, while also sustaining important ecological processes like pollination and carbon storage, and safeguarding our natural heritage for future generations.

We have worked with our partner organizations to identify the most ecologically important and vulnerable landscapes in the Western Wildway. The resulting Wildlands Network Designs (WNDs) serve as blueprints for conservation action.

Western Wildway Network

Partner groups in the Western Wildway are gathered under the umbrella of the Western Wildway Network—a coalition of some of the most respected conservation organizations in western North America.

Map of North America with location dots and group names
Map showing locations for Western Wildway collaborators.

Each member of the Western Wildway Network spearheads habitat connectivity projects within their respective home region. Collectively, these projects are designed to connect a series of conservation planning areas that form the vast, continental-scale wildlife corridor we call the Western Wildway.

But in order to be successful, we need the support of more private landowners, policymakers, citizen scientists, and local conservation groups. Please contact Western Conservation Director Kim Crumbo, crumbo@wildlandsnetwork.org, to get involved.

TrekWest

In early 2013, Wildlands Network’s John Davis began a 5,000-mile, person-powered journey from Sonora, Mexico to Elk River Valley, British Columbia. He had already completed a 7,500-mile TrekEast in 2011, and was ready to hike, bike, and paddle his way north again in the name of conservation.

John Davis and friends hike in canyon country during TrekWest. Photo: Kristen M. Caldon

John blogged extensively about his experiences along the way, describing many places in urgent need of protection. He also met with conservationists, scientists, outdoor recreationists, and others to strategize around how, together, we can bring the Western Wildway to fruition. For more information about TrekWest, email John Davis, john@wildlandsnetwork.org.

Award-winning adventure cinematographer, Ed George, accompanied John during much of TrekWest. George filmed John’s story of ground-truthing wildlife corridors across the West, while weaving in footage of regional conservationists, scientists, and other citizens working to reconnect and protect the landscapes they love. Though George himself is now sadly deceased, his resulting film, Born to Rewild, will premiere in February 2017.

TrekWest Trail Map

Contact

To learn more about the Western Wildway Program, please contact Katie Davis, Public Lands Advocate, k.davis@wildlandsnetwork.org.