Wildlands Network is committed to providing you with up-to-date information about our on-the-ground efforts to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America. To that end, we've started a new series of monthly newsletters focused on a different Wildway each month.

Below, you'll learn about our new Pacific Wildway, as well as what some of our Pacific Wildway partners are doing to support continental conservation. Collaboration is key to Wildlands Network’s success, so we hope you enjoy hearing these stories as much as we enjoy living them!

 

Launching the Pacific Wildway

In 2018, we are launching our most ambitious project to date: the Pacific Wildway campaign to reconnect, restore and rewild the Pacific region of the continent, from British Columbia (BC) to Baja, California (Mexico). Our goals are lofty: we seek no less than to change how humans living in the Pacific Wildway relate to nature such that biodiversity can continue to thrive. Although our goals are lofty the objectives are concrete: 1) create a science-based blueprint to guide conservation efforts and prioritize projects; 2) develop new policy tools applicable at the local, state and federal levels to provide more enduring protections for core habitats, wildlife corridors and all species, not just game species; 3) promote healthy, functioning regional collaboratives of diverse stakeholders working together to reach our goals; and 4) develop a growing dialogue that reaches everyone in the region and engages them in rethinking our relationship with nature.

We are excited about our newest Wildway initiative and ask you to join us in making this effort a success. If you are interested in learning more about our Pacific Wildway, please contact our Pacific Wildway Director, Jessica Walz Schafer, at jessica@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 

Pacific Northwest Wildway Mapping

Wildlands Network is beginning the first phase of our Pacific Wildway project by working with a team of scientists at the University of Washington to develop a map of the Northwest that highlights areas in the region vital for providing connectivity for both the current and expected future needs of wildlife. Our Pacific Wildway Map will use existing connectivity modeling efforts from Washington, Oregon, and Northern California, overlaying those with modeling expressly focused on facilitating climate-driven shifts in wildlife range. We will use the output of this effort in conjunction with mapped protected areas to identify gaps in the current network and where connectivity could be greatly enhanced.

Our desired outcome is a precise, comprehensive, transparent, and readily available mapthat highlights high priority areas for conservation. If you or your organization has modeled connectivity in the Pacific region, we would love to showcase your map layers and data in our efforts. Please reach out to Pacific Wildway Director, Jessica Walz Schafer, if you have information you would like to share, and she will coordinate the transfer of data. Thank you for working with us to create a comprehensive Pacific Wildway Map.

Please stay tuned to our website for updates on our efforts and the unveiling of our draft map in fall or winter of this year. We can’t wait to share it with you!

 

Wildlands Network staff with our celebrity ambassador, Jon Huertas from NBC's This Is Us.

National Caucus of Environmental Legislators

On July 27 and 28, Wildlands Network staff attended the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators annual meeting, which brings together environmentally progressive state lawmakers to share ideas and information. At this year’s gathering in Los Angeles, Wildlands Network was invited to sit on a panel regarding wildlife corridors and connectivity.

On the panel, our executive director, Greg Costello, gave a presentation on the Pacific states’ experience with wildlife corridors and connectivity. Our Wildlands Network celebrity ambassador, Jon Huertas from NBC’s This Is Us, led the panel.

This presentation was part of Wildlands Networks efforts in the Pacific to work with state legislators in Washington, Oregon and California to protect wildlife corridors through state legislation. These collective efforts leverage state initiatives, including the Western Governors Association’s Wildlife Corridor Initiative of 2007 and the 2016 resolution passed by the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers recognizing the importance of ecological connectivity for the adaptability and resilience of their region’s ecosystem, biodiversity, and human communities in the face of climate change. Wildlands Network is working with this collaborative group to develop model laws and policies, and we are working with state legislators across the continent to begin the work to pass state bills protecting wildlife corridors.

 

Our interns are working on drafting model connectivity legislation for states, which will help protect species like the Pacific gray wolf. Photo: William C. Gladish

Introducing our Summer Law and Policy Interns

Wildlands Network is excited to host our first summer Law and Policy internship at our headquarters in Seattle. We are happy to have brought on board 2 very talented and smart individuals working toward a career in environmental policy and law: Erin Yoder Logue and Dakota Rash.

Erin is working with Wildlands Network this summer after finishing her first year of law school at the University of Oregon. Erin was born and raised in Rhode Island but moved out West to study environmental and natural resource law. Erin is focused on drafting model state wildlife corridor legislation for the Pacific states, as well as working with us on a Freedom of Information Act request and comments on the recent Endangered Species Act regulations.

Dakota Rash comes to Wildlands Network after finishing his first year at the University of Washington School of Law. Dakota, raised in Kenmore, is a native Washingtonian. Dakota is working with Erin to draft model state wildlife corridor legislation, focusing on New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Colorado. He is also researching how the Real ID Act can impact environmental legislation in the border and coastal states.

Building Bridges in the Pacific Community

Wildlands Network is growing a foundation of support in the Seattle area through community outreach and education events. Over the summer, we’ve been engaging audiences with the importance of local species and unique environments of the Pacific states through our event series in Seattle.

In partnership with Patagonia Seattle, our Wolverine Evening in Seattle featured the rare and elusive Pacific Northwest carnivore, with presentations from researchers Dr. Robert Long, senior conservation scientist and carnivore specialist in the Living Northwest Program at the Woodland Park Zoo; Paula McKay, writer and field biologist who runs a camera trapping program with Dr. Long; and Caitlin Littlefield, PhD student studying climate adaptation models in Dr. Josh Lawler’s Creative Conservation Lab at the University of Washington. Our presenters’ enthusiasm for the wolverine was shared by event attendees, with more than 45 letters signed in support of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Actto protect the wolverine and other species who need room to roam in Washington.

Building Bridges in the Pacific Community (continued)

In August, our Beers and Bears Wildlife Trivia Night at Redhook Brewlab was a blast! Sporcle Live, the leading pub trivia provider, created a live wildlife trivia game just for Wildlands Network. Longtime supporters and new friends in Seattle turned out to compete for the wildlife trivia crown, learning about their local species and how Wildlands Network’ Pacific Wildway campaign will benefit the species they know and love.

We’re looking forward to our official Pacific Wildway launch event in October 2018, where we’ll unveil our preliminary map of the region. In addition to seeking funding for our short film, Rewilderness, we are looking forward to beginning formal curriculum development for hands-on connectivity lessons to share with King County middle schools! For more information on upcoming events or opportunities to get involved with our outreach in the Pacific states, please contact Rebecca Hunter at rebecca@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 

Partner Highlights from the Pacific Wildway Network

Wildlands Network fosters connections between on-the-ground conservation organizations, all of us working toward the common goal of reconnecting, restoring and rewilding North America so that life in all its diversity can thrive. By stitching together the conservation efforts of regional organizations, Wildlands Network is better able to build Wildways across the continent. Here are a few highlights from some of our partners in the Pacific Wildway Network.

American beaver. Photo: William C. Gladish

Cascade Forest Conesrvancy Begins Beaver Reintroduction Project

Cascade Forest Conservancy (CFC) has been working with Cowlitz Tribe on a multi-year beaver reintroduction project to restore beaver populations and aquatic habitat in the southern Washington Cascades. After determining which sites are suitable for reintroduction using habitat modeling and recommendations from beaver experts, CFC and Cowlitz Tribe will begin the process of acquiring nuisance beavers from surrounding lands and translocating them to release sites in and around the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 2019.

Read more about how CFC is determining suitable sites and why beavers are critical to maintaining healthy riparian ecosystems.

Blanca Lopez, outreach and education intern at ¡Team Naturaleza!

Wildlands Network and Partners Are Building a More Inclusive Conservation Movement

In the first blog post of our new People of the Pacific series, we profiled Susan Bonfield, founder of Environment for the Americas, and Blanca Lopez, Education & Outreach intern at ¡Team Naturaleza! in Wenatchee, WA to talk about diversity and Latino representation in the field of bird conservation.

Read the full interview, conducted by our Education and Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Hunter, on our blog to learn more about the important work of both organizations to make conservation more accessible to all.

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

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