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Friends of the Eastern Wildway,

Last month I was fortunate enough to attend the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Though the weather made for less-than-ideal marching conditions, I was surprised, and at once inspired, by the thousands who came out to make their voices heard. Though rain-soaked, tired, and cold, protesters showed their unity and support for science, the need to use science for effective policy-making, for more -- not less -- funding for research, and the universal ties that bind each and every one of us to mother earth. I hope that no matter where you are in the world, you were able to participate in a local march or continue to advocate for science through your policy-makers. Effecting change in this political landscape will be difficult, but through collaborations such as this, I believe we can show the overwhelming favor for sustainable landscapes, coexisting in harmony between people and the wild.

Now, as much as ever, with you, for the wild,

Maggie and the Wildlands Network team

Have news or updates? Share them in our next newsletter by emailing maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 

Photo: Tracey Butcher

SAVE THE DATE: Eastern Wildway Summit, October 9-12, 2017

A gathering of conservation leaders and luminaries thinking ambitiously and strategically about a grand continental vision for wild nature restoration in Eastern North America.

Goals for this Summit include:

  • Review the past year’s mapping exercises and identify priority cores and corridors
  • Develop place-based campaigns to highlight and defend a selection of priorities throughout the Eastern Wildway
  • Strengthen support for Wildlife Corridor bills
  • Advance strategic discussions on collaboration with outdoor recreation and scenic trail groups
  • Fully incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation as a primary driver of the Eastern Wildway Network
  • Explore opportunities to restore ecosystem function through the reestablishment of top carnivores, such as wolves and cougars
  • Build a more inclusive and diverse collaborative network

Location of Summit: Wildacres Retreat Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland, NC

Invitation to follow

Florida panther kitten caught on Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's game cameras north of the Caloosahatchee River. Photo courtesy of Florida FWCC game cameras.

This past fall, conservationists were thrilled to hear the news of evidence of the first female panther making it north of the Caloosahatchee River since 1973. This spring, there is even more to be excited about – the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured images of a female panther and at least two kittens. After more than four decades of only male panthers north of the river, conservationists have renewed hope for natural recolonization of this endangered species. Read more here.

Artistic rendering of the proposed wildlife corridors throughout Florida. Photo courtesy of Florida Wildlife Corridor.

This past Earth Day, PBS nationally aired “The Forgotten Coast:  Return to Wild Florida” which follows three conservationists as they trek – by foot, bike, and kayak – from the headwaters of the Everglades north to the Okefenoke swamp in Georgia and the Alabama state line. The film raises awareness for the need to preserve natural lands and the importance of habitat connectivity. Find out more about the film at Florida Wildlife Corridor. Congrats on this great opportunity to raise national awareness for wildlife connectivity!

 

 

Upcoming events & conferences:

Cougars in the Maine Woods?

Residents of Maine are fortunate to live in one of the wildest states in the East, yet the beauty of the rocky coast, the network of wetlands, lakes, and rivers, and the extensive forests make it easy to forget we have lost some of our most important wildlife species. Over the centuries, human actions -- from outright hunting and trapping to clearing, development, and habitat degradation -- have eliminated or severely depleted Maine’s populations of cougar, wolf, wolverine, sea mink, great auk, caribou, and migratory fish, among many other species. More and more conservationists, natural historians, and others believe that there is an ecological and moral imperative to welcome home – or even to actively reintroduce -- the creatures we eradicated as we populated this region.

This event will feature a five person panel of environmental writers, scientists, and conservationists, with a moderator leading the discussion, followed by Q & A with the audience. Panelists include: Will Stolzenburg, author of Heart of a Lion; Chris Spatz, president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation; John Davis, wildways advocate and conservation athlete for Wildlands Network and the Rewilding Institute; Peter McKinley, research ecologist and conservation planner for The Wilderness Society; and Mark McCollough, endangered species biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Field Office. There will be a screening of the new documentary “Born to Rewild” in Brunswick at the Frontier Café on June 29th.

The forum will be held on Wednesday, June 28 at 7pm in Darrows Barn, at Round Top Farm, Damariscotta.  A reception will follow, with books available for purchase and signing. Tickets are $8/person in advance through Brown Paper Tickets, or $10 at the door.

Colorado River Rafting Trip

Join Jon Huertas, Wildlands Network, and Holiday River Expeditions for a 3 Night – 4 Day Colorado River Rafting Trip through Ruby/Horsethief and Westwater Canyons, August 10-13, 2017. Find out more about this incredible adventure here!

Have news or updates? Share them in our next newsletter by emailing maggie@wildlandsnetwork.org.

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