Dear Friend,

Wildlands Network has had quite the exciting summer! 

Earlier this year, we launched our first law and policy internship with two dynamic interns focused on exploring state opportunities for wildlife corridors. 

Our education and engagement coordinator in the Pacific Wildway has worked tirelessly to connect with wild friends in Seattle through fun and inspiring special events. (We hope to bring our public engagement program to other Wildways soon, but in the meantime, our Wildlands Network regional staff are always happy to talk with you.)

Our field office staff have also done tremendous work to protect wildness on the ground. Ron Sutherland is spearheading crucial efforts to save wild red wolves—at risk of extinction thanks to a sorely lacking management plan proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Take action today to protect red wolves by commenting on this inadequate plan. 

Meanwhile, as summer winds down and we see the colors of fall on the horizon, our Connected, Wild, and Free campaign is kicking off our most ambitious fundraising effort of the year a bit earlier than usual. Your general support builds the foundation that allows us to achieve our high-level conservation goals, and there are several urgent matters in need of our attention right away—concerning red wolves, national corridor legislation, and wildlife protection in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands (learn more about these burning issues below and on our website). 

We invite you to visit our website for a list of fantastic resources and gifts that could be yours when you give a gift of $250 or more on or before August 27th. Please, dig deep and give early this year so that we can protect what we love for those we love. 

Thank you for your continued support in our shared effort to reconnect, restore, and rewild—because we all need wild places to thrive!

For the Wild,

Jessica Schafer
Pacific Wildway Director

 

Photo: Paula MacKay

Rewilding Feature

We Only Protect What We Love: Michael Soule On The Vanishing Wilderness

In April, The Sun magazine published Leath Tonino’s probing interview with Michael Soule, preeminent conservation biologist and co-founder of Wildlands Network. While visiting Soule at his home in Colorado, Tonino invited his esteemed host to wander the wilderness of his mind and share his astute insights on wild nature, human nature, and the perilous ground where the two conflict in the modern world. Here, we share a substantial excerpt from Tonino’s interview—a raw and honest exploration well worth your emotional energy and focus. 

 

Photo: Catherine Badgley

Trusting Wildness

Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to tune into our blog series, Trusting Wildness—our forum for thought-provoking writings about wildness and conservation in the 21st century. Recent posts include:

Pull up a chair and join the conversation!

 

Photo: Ron Sutherland

Apex Campaigns: Red Wolves

In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released their plan to manage (or mismanage) eastern North Carolina’s wild red wolf population, which comprises only about 40 animals. Under the proposed plan, recently reopened for public comments until August 28, hunters can shoot any wolves who wander outside the newly reduced recovery area, which, by the agency’s own estimation, can support only 10-15 wolves. Read more about Wildlands Network’s efforts to save endangered red wolves by redirecting the misguided efforts of the federal agency charged with their protection. 

For further reading, check out this blog post about the history of red wolves in North America.

Photo: William C. Gladish

Wildlands Network Policy Update

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) will soon reintroduce the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act in Congress. If enacted into law, this life-saving bill will establish a National System of Wildlife Corridors, restoring habitat and protecting America’s native wildlife, from pronghorns to monarch butterflies to grizzly bears. Please support this critical legislation by urging your representatives to co-sponsor the bill, and be sure to remind them that wildlife corridors are critical to protecting America’s rich and stunning biodiversity for future generations. Let’s raise our collective voices to sustain our nation’s unparalleled natural heritage!

Photo: Tracey Butcher

Eastern Wildway Focus

While human land use practices, like logging and urbanization, have severely fragmented the unique landscapes of North America’s East Coast, we still have the opportunity to reconnect, restore, and rewild them for the benefit of both wildlife and people. One of our most important tools for creating this on-the-ground reality in the Eastern Wildway is our new Half-East Map. The map shows us that we could choose to protect enough land and water from development to save our unique Eastern wildlands and wildlife from mass extinctions. In the process, we could also create a near-paradise of outdoor recreation opportunities, for the enjoyment of both people and wildlife. Learn more about why it’s critical that we reconnect our broken Eastern landscapes, and how our map will help us achieve our ambitious goals.

Read Dr. Ron Sutherland's compelling overview of our cutting-edge efforts to reconnect the Eastern Wildway. Not only will you get an intimate look at the draft Half-East Map, you'll also learn about our early wildlife corridor models, an epic journey to ground-truth the Eastern Wildway, and how you can help us improve the map.  

Photo: Chuck Szmurlo

Western Wildway Focus

On July 1, Mexicans elected leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador as their new president, signaling a positive shift in Mexican politics as he promises to root out corruption across the country. While Obrador hasn’t yet established a firm environmental agenda, many of his policies and cabinet members could provide a much-needed boost to Mexico’s conservation movement—and his focus on cleaning up the federal government will hopefully help protect environmental advocates and journalists, many of whom have been victims of attacks (directly or indirectly) perpetrated by the federal and state governments. Read on to learn more about why this election gives Juan Carlos Bravo, director of our Mexico Program, hope for Mexico’s conservation movement.

For further inspiration, you can also learn more about our efforts to restore the Grand Canyon condor, as well about a workshop we conducted to train partners to deploy camera traps along Mexico’s Highway 2—a dangerous hotspot for wildlife-vehicle collisions. The workshop was part of our ongoing efforts to make Highway 2 safer for people and wildlife.

Photo: Rebecca Hunter

Pacific Wildway Focus

We’ve launched 2 new blog series to help you explore the Pacific Wildway. In our new People of the Pacific series, learn more about the partners and friends helping us rewild the Pacific region.

You can also read our Places of the Pacific series, which profiles several important Pacific Wildway habitats, including Washington’s Enchantments area and the Pasayten Wilderness, and California’s Yosemite National Park. Such large protected areas are critical building blocks in our continental-scale wildways, providing room to roam for wide-ranging species and exceptional recreation opportunities for people.

Finally, read about how the American public influenced Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to keep our national parks accessible to more people by compelling him to reconsider his proposed entrance fee increases at several of the most popular national parks across the country, which could have made visiting parks cost-prohibitive for many American families. 

Photo: Becky Bartel, FWS

Wildlands Network in the News

  • In response to FWS’s recent red wolf management decision, Wildlands Network has voiced our concern in several media outlets, urging the agency to reinvest in red wolf conservation. Our opinion was featured in Blue Ridge OutdoorsThe Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer. Dr. Ron Sutherland, who manages our red wolf program, also spoke with North Carolina TV stations, including WCET and Raleigh TV. Finally, USA Today covered our press release about FWS’s troubling 5-year review of the Red Wolf Recovery Program.
  • KRWG TV, a local New Mexico NPR affiliate, shared our press release about our newly designed maps demonstrating the importance of maintaining landscape connectivity between northern Arizona and the Gila National Forest for Mexican wolf recovery.
  • The Albuquerque Journal interviewed Mexico Program Director Juan Carlos Bravo and Borderlands Coordinator Myles Traphagen about the border wall’s disastrous effects on wildlife. 

Photo: Karsten Heuer

Upcoming Event

Join us in Eugene, Oregon for the Eugene Environmental Film Festival from October 5-7, 2018. Our film, Born to Rewild—which chronicles John Davis’s 5,000-mile trek from Mexico to Canada to ground-truth the Western Wildway—will make its Oregon debut at the festival. We’re thrilled to share the film with a broad audience. Stay tuned for more details about the festival and our plan to unveil the film on our website.​

If you can't attend the festival, you can still check out the trailer for Born to Rewild on our website and learn more about the film. Following John’s epic adventure along traditional species movement pathways along a 5,000-mile stretch of the Continental Divide, Born to Rewild highlights the challenges wide-ranging species, including pronghorns, cougars, and grizzly bears, encounter on their migratory routes, and how those challenges might be mitigated by a continental-scale Western Wildway

Photo: Brian Powell

Take Action

You can help protect red wolves, who are at risk of extinction thanks to FWS’s failure to conserve the last remaining wild red wolves in eastern North Carolina. Submit your comments on FWS's proposed management plan for red wolves, urging them to forgo their current plan, also known as Alternative #3, and instead adopt Alternative #2, which reinvests in red wolf conservation.

Sign this petition to urge Congress to halt all efforts and funding to build the wall along the U.S-Mexico border. While existing border fencing hasn't stopped drug smuggling or human trafficking, it has hindered wildlife movement and migration—putting the future of wide-ranging animals like jaguars, Sonoran pronghorns, and desert bighorn sheep in jeopardy. Urge your legislators to build bridges, not walls, along the border.

 

Wild Image

Check out this still image from Dr. Ron Sutherland’s red wolf video, which features images collected over the last 3 years from his camera traps in the Red Wolf Recovery Area. Originally published on Facebook, the video debunks the widely held myth that wolves don’t coexist with other wildlife, including black bears, turkeys, and deer—of which you’ll see plenty in the video. Click the image above to view the video on YouTube, and read more about the efforts behind the video here.

 

Coming Next Issue

Dr. Robert Long, Senior Conservation Scientist at Woodland Park Zoo, tells us about his research with urban carnivores and why it’s important to know our wild neighbors.

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

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