In western North America, Wildlands Network envisions the world’s most extensive network of protected, connected lands: the 6,000-mile Western Wildway, also know as the Spine of the Continent. Achieving this grand vision will require coordinated conservation across international borders.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get involved.
In early 2013, Wildlands Network’s John Davis began a 5,000-mile, person-powered journey from Mexico to Canada, ground-truthing the Western Wildway during TrekWest. The obstacles he overcame—from the border wall to impassable roads—prove the need for the a continental wildlife corridor in Western North America that provides protections for myriad creatures. Filmmakers Ed George and Bryan Reinhart filmed most of John’s journey to produce Born to Rewild.