Moose surrounded by snow

Credit: Chris Gale

“To us snow and cold seem a mere delaying of the spring. How far we are from understanding the value of these things in the economy of Nature!"  -- Henry David Thoreau (Journal -March 8, 1859: Vol.XII)

Friends of the East,

More so than the start of the New Year, each new snowfall is a reminder to me of the opportunity to start fresh. As a child, I loved the unbroken, white canvas of newly fallen snow, but as I’ve gotten older, what I’ve come to love even more is when that canvas is punctuated—by a glimmer of a green branch, the tracks of wildlife, and the bright red of a male cardinal flying by. It is a reminder that while many of us like to stay inside, nature continues to move and inspire. I hope you all have a happy winter, with the wind biting your cheeks, the crunch of snow under foot, and the evidence of wildlife nearby.

For the wild,
Maggie and the Wildlands Network team

Have news or updates to share? Email Maggie at Maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 

Network Updates

We are gearing up for an exciting 2018! Stay tuned for more information on:
            Formalizing Eastern Wildway Network membership
            Kick-starting our quarterly Training Series webinars
            Creating a stunning online Story Map
To get involved in these new initiatives, reach out to maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org for more info!

 

Take Action

***Virginia & Pennsylvania Participants***
We have interest from Virginia and Pennsylvania state legislators to introduce their own Corridor Bill legislation. We are pulling together groups interested in a grassroots campaign to show support for the bill to these legislators. If you are interested in getting involved, contact maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org or susan@wildlandsnetwork.org.

***All Participants***
We are anticipating the federal Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act to be reintroduced sometime in the next few months by Rep. Beyer (D-VA) and Rep. Graves (R-LA). Please be on the lookout for sign-on letters of support!

Additionally, if you are interested in getting involved in this effort, please contact susan@wildlandsnetwork.org. Thanks!

 

News from the Eastern Wildway

Frog crossing implemented in Ontario. Credit: Tony Saxon/Guelph Today

Ontario adds underground frog crossing
Reconstruction of a local intersection in Guelph yielded a new traffic light, new turning lanes, and most importantly, a brand new underground wildlife crossing. The crossing is aimed at facilitating safe passage for small animals, like frogs and other amphibians, which often attempt to disperse from a provincially important wetland to another nearby creek. An EIS completed last June recommended the inclusion of a crossing to reduce harmful environmental impacts to the local wildlife.

 
Evergreen trees with mountains and sky in the background

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Credit: Little Outdoor Giants

Yankee Magazine writes in-depth portrait of Lucas St. Clair’s efforts to see Katahdin Woods & Waters designated a National Monument
Lucas St. Clair, son of Roxanne Quimby, led the fight to see the 87,500-acre Katahdin Woods & Waters be designated a national monument. This piece charts this conservation success story, what comes next, and what is now being threatened by the Trump Administration’s review of national monuments.

 

NatureServe prepares new report of the conservation status of rare plants in the North Atlantic LCC region
In a recent report prepared by NatureServe to the North Atlantic LCC, the region’s rare plants were assessed and prioritized for their conservation status. Identified in the analysis were 431 vascular plants categorized as Regionally Critically Imperiled, Regionally Imperiled, or Regionally Vulnerable. These identified rare plants were determined to be the highest conservation priority for the North Atlantic LCC.

 

Vermont Land Trust protects 1,000 acres in Elmore
Vermont Land Trust recently protected 1,000 acres in Elmore with the generous help of Oneal “Sunny” Demars, Jr. The parcel is mostly forested with two ponds of undeveloped shorelines. The parcel is a key part of a 19,000-acre area of Worcester and Elmore that is critical for wildlife movement. This addition contributes to an important wildlife corridor connecting the Adirondacks to the Gaspe Peninsula.

 
Map of a section of the Delaware River Basin

Hiawatha Hunting & Fishing Club will now help to connect protected lands throughout the Delaware River Basin. Credit: Delaware River Watershed Initiative/OSI

Conserving land in the Poconos Kittatinny Region through carbon markets
The Delaware River is the longest free-flowing river in the eastern U.S. To ensure its water quality is clean, the Delaware River Watershed Initiative has focused on conserving forests in its headwaters. Most recently, a partnership between the Open Space Institute and the Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund will conserve 1,300 acres of the Hiawatha Hunting & Fishing Club through the use of carbon credits. A new report outlines how they achieved this, in addition to the challenges and opportunities afforded by a carbon market.

 
Fox next to building with trees in the background

Fox seen outside the National Gallery. Credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

D.C.’s network of wildlife corridors highlighted on NPR
NPR’s local affiliate WAMU aired a recent segment on Washington, D.C.’s urban wildlife populations, highlighting the integral role wildlife corridors have played. Identifying open spaces, including the C&O Canal, Rock Creek Park, and Anacostia Park, D.C. has developed into a hub of urban wildlife activity, with 24 unique habitats, 240 species of bird, 78 fish, 32 mammals, 21 reptiles, and 19 amphibians.

 

Mountain Valley Pipeline & Atlantic Coast Pipeline are issued certifications
In early December, the Virginia State Water Control Board issued a water quality certification for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, though conservationists argue this was an illegal move to grant certifications without all the necessary information to ensure water quality parameters are met. In response, Appalachian Mountain Voices has sued, along with Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, and Wild Virginia. In addition, the State Water Control Board also issued a certification for the even bigger and longer Atlantic Coast Pipeline. However, due to an overwhelming response at their public meeting, they have taken the unusual step of postponing the implementation of the certification until final Environmental Impact Statements are completed.

 

The link between the Great Dismal Swamp and the Underground Railroad
Often our cultural and natural resources are inextricably linked. In the first in a series of posts analyzing the historical impacts of certain landscapes, the South Atlantic LCC delves into the intersection of culture and nature with a short video on the Great Dismal Swamp and its use during the time of the Underground Railroad. Because this area was large, undeveloped, and considered by most as impenetrable, it provided a key refuge during this turbulent time in American history.

 
Red wolf with trees in background

Red Wolf in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Robert Orndish

Senate Appropriations Committee adds pressure to end Red Wolf Program
At the urging of Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), tucked away in the recent Senate Appropriations Committee spending bill for the Department of Interior was a directive for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to end the 30-year reintroduction program of red wolves in eastern North Carolina. In an explanatory statement with the bill, the Committee acknowledged that the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has sought to end the program since 2015. If ended, red wolves would once again be declared extinct in the wild, wiping away their historical role as top predator in eastern forests. A decision on the agency’s proposed revision to the 10j rule is expected any day. Conservationists fear the agency, under continued pressure, will stick to their earlier plan of drastically reducing the wild red wolf population, even though a recent analysis of public comments showed 99.8% were not in support of this plan.

 
Bull elk surrounded by green foliage and trees

Bull elk in Cataloochee Valley. Credit: Lori's Outdoor Photography

Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy adds 147 acres
The Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy recently protected 147 acres next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country. Protecting this parcel will benefit elk, black bear, turkey, and other wildlife in the area. The tract is near the Cataloochee Valley, and conservationists believe it will be integral to the continued expansion of elk, which were reintroduced to the area in 2001.

 
Rocks lining one side of the creek with trees and mountains in the background

A view of Fires Creek, recently added to the Nantahala National Forest. Credit: Mainspring Conservation Trust

New land added to the Nantahala National Forest
Mainspring Conservation Trust purchased a 50-acre parcel of undeveloped forest to add to the 500,000-acre Nantahala National Forest this past November. After many years of contention, an agreement was reached between landowners and conservationists, which will result in the creation of new hiking, fishing, and hunting resources for the area. Fires Creek is considered an Outstanding Water Resource, and its protection will ensure clean water for generations to come in western North Carolina.

 
Longleaf pine surrounded by flowers and foliage with sunlight peeking through the trees

Longleaf pine at Francis Marion National Forest. Credit: Maggie Ernest

Longleaf pine grant opportunity
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to expand and enhance longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management across its historical range. This grant opportunity is funded through the Longleaf Stewardship Fund, which is a public-private partnership. Proposals must be submitted by February 8, 2018 via NFWF’s online application system.

 

North Florida Land Trust protects 522 acres as part of Osceola to Ocala Corridor
A 522-acre donation to the North Florida Land Trust will protect a key parcel in Columbia County, feeding into a larger wildlife corridor initiative called Osceola to Ocala (O2O) Corridor. This initiative has received up to $3.6 million in federal funding to protect land in the sprawling 1.6-million-acre corridor. When reconnected and protected, the O2O Corridor will benefit Florida black bear, red cockaded woodpecker, and indigo snake, in addition to supporting efforts to preserve habitat for the imperiled longleaf pine ecosystem.

 

Events

Wild & Scenic Film Festival hosted by Wild Virginia
            Sunday, April 22nd in Staunton, VA at Visulite Cinema
            Wednesday, April 25th in Charlottesville, VA at Violet Crown Cinema
            Friday, May 4th in Harrisonburg, VA at Court Square Theater
            Help sponsor this great event!

Appalachian Trail Days Festival
May 18-20 in Damascus, VA

Have news or updates to share? Email Maggie at Maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 

Contact Us

Wildlands Network
1402 3rd Ave.
Suite 1019
Seattle, Washington 98101
206-538-5363
info@wildlandsnetwork.org

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