Dear Friend,

What a year this has been! Twelve months ago, we were admittedly pessimistic about the plausibility of federal wildlife corridor legislation. Now, we anticipate that The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, which we helped to craft, will imminently be introduced in the House by Rep. Don Beyer with bipartisan support—and given the new composition of the House, we think the bill has a very good chance of passing. Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Udall intends to introduce a similar bill in the Senate. And at the state level, we're working with conservation-minded legislators who are committed to introducing corridor bills in Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and perhaps beyond. Simply put, 2019 could be a big year for state and federal protections to advance wildlife connectivity across the United States.

Also last year, in light of climate change predictions and other threats to wild nature, we began to envision a map to identify critical wildlife corridors in our Pacific Wildway. We've since completed a comprehensive base layer map representing Washington, Oregon, and areas south to San Francisco Bay. Conservation colleagues and state agencies alike are taking notice of our accomplishments and want to assist with the map's next iteration. We expect that future layers and analyses will help inform transportation agencies in mitigating roadways for wildlife, and will prompt public and private land managers to make smart decisions about lands in need of protection. Our map will also help the conservation community focus its advocacy efforts on the most pressing protection priorities.

I could go on—about our inspiring work in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, our ongoing program to save the endangered red wolf, or our recent RumbleX gathering of conservation athletes. But instead, I urge you to read our newsletter. Visit our website. And, most importantly, please join us in rewilding North America!

For the Wild,

Greg Costello
Executive Director

 

Robert Long with a friend at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo: Woodland Park Zoo​

Rewilding Feature

Carnivores in the City: Making Friends with Our Wild Neighbors

We tend to think of large carnivores as creatures of the wilderness—and indeed, these wide-ranging animals need plenty of space to search for food and mates. But Dr. Robert Long, Senior Conservation Scientist with Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, reminds us that coyotes and other carnivores can play an important ecological role in our urban and semi-wild landscapes, too. In this exclusive essay, he shares insights on how some carnivores have adapted to living close to people, and how we can take small steps to promote a safe and mutually beneficial coexistence.

 

Photo: Katy Schaffer

Trusting Wildness

If you haven't had a chance to tune into Trusting Wildness lately, please visit the links below. These blog posts are intended to inspire thought and discussion around conservation and ethics. Please join the conversation!

 

Photo: Courtesy of Myles Traphagen

Apex Campaigns: Borderlands

Wildlands Network is facilitating connections between the U.S. and Mexico borderlands with the help of local conservation groups and national political leaders. Recently, Borderlands Program Coordinator Myles Traphagen attended a roundtable discussion with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) in Nogales, Arizona, to discuss issues facing both wildlife and people in the borderlands region. While the future of the borderlands might look grim under the current administration, there's still a ray of hope as long as we work together to create an equitable, inclusive future.

On the Mexican side of the border, Myles and our Mexico Program Director, Juan Carlos Bravo, are leveraging the work of local volunteers and conservation groups to steward the critical wildlife corridor that runs through Rancho El Aribabi. The ranch is an important core reserve in Northern Mexico and provides safe passage for jaguars, ocelots, and black bears. 

Photo: Ann Hough, USFWS

Wildlands Network Policy Update

In Washington, D.C., there's new hope for the future of wildlife corridors. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, which we helped write, will soon be reintroduced in the House and Senate by its lead sponsors, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). More than ever, we're seeing growing support across the aisle for wildlife corridor protections, and the Act is already supported by leading scientists, conservation organizations, and other constituents. If passed, the Act will direct unprecedented federal resources to protect such wide-ranging wildlife as pronghorns, monarch butterflies, and Florida panthers. 

You can help us support the Act by encouraging your representatives and senators to cosponsor this vital legislation. The more bipartisan support we can build, the better our chances of getting the Act passed into law. Let's not miss a rare opportunity to protect wildlife in the U.S.!

The Act could be reintroduced as early as the first week of December! Stay tuned for a special announcement.

Photo: Wildlands Network

Eastern Wildway Focus

In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) solicited public comments on their proposed plan to manage wild red wolves, which now number only about 30 individuals. The proposed plan restricts the recovery area to a small county—capable of supporting a mere 10–15 wolves—and allows citizens to legally shoot and kill any wolves who wander outside of this area. Our analysis of the thousands of comments submitted to the FWS found that the public nearly unanimously supports red wolf recovery, with an astounding 99.9 percent in favor of strong federal protections for these critically endangered animals. 

You can take action today to save imperiled red wolves. Please urge your senators and representatives to listen to the public's overwhelming support and to work with the FWS to increase federal protections for wild wolves. 

Photo: Courtesy of Kahtoola

Western Wildway Focus

In October, Wildands Network hosted RumbleX, our annual gathering of outdoor conservation advocates and athletes, at Utah's Bears Ears National Monument. Participants exchanged impassioned ideas about how best to protect public lands like Bears Ears, whose reduced borders—illegally shrunk by President Trump in an act of cultural and environmental aggression—left precious ancient structures and ancestral sites exposed to mining and other harmful practices. Learn more about how much the national monument means to indigenous peoples, who originally advocated for the monument's designation under President Obama, and then read one athlete's reflection of the gathering. 

For further Western Wildway inspiration, check out how we celebrated Public Lands Day in support of the places that form the backbone of our continental-scale wildlife corridors.

Photo: Richard Forbes

Pacific Wildway Focus

This summer, we enlisted two fantastic Pacific Wildway interns to support our burgeoning efforts to introduce wildlife corridor legislation in certain states. Read one intern's perspective on the forward momentum of the conservation movement, garnered even as she waded through dense administrative laws that regulate wildlife management. With more and more lawmakers progressively pursuing wildlife corridors as a key solution to the rapid loss in biodiversity, our intern found there is still hope for a wilder planet.

We officially launched the Pacific Wildway in October and introduced a draft map of the Wildway highlighting priority conservation areas. To those of you in Seattle who were able to join us for the successful launch (see photo above), thank you for standing with us as we begin our work to reconnect, restore, and rewild the Pacific region. We'd also like to thank the generous sponsors who helped to make the night a success, especially MiiR and Patagonia. For those who could not join us, please visit our website to learn more about our work in the Pacific Wildway. And don't hesitate to email our Pacific Wildway Director, Jessica Schafer, at jessica@wildlandsnetwork.org, with any thoughts or questions.

​Check out Greg's enthusiasm for the new Pacific Wildway work in the photo above!

Photo: William C. Gladish

Wildlands Network in the News

  • In this interview with the Carolina Public Press, Wildlands Network's Dr. Ron Sutherland advocates for reinvesting in North Carolina's wild red wolves after the FWS largely abandoned their efforts to recover this critically endangered species. 
  • Dr. Ron Sutherland also spoke with National Parks Traveler about the importance of national parks and other protected public lands to achieving connected and protected Wildways. As we expand our Half-East vision, Wildlands Network is stitching together such protected areas to provide wide-ranging animals like red wolves and Florida panthers enough room to roam—and survive.
  • In September, a female black bear was struck and killed by a vehicle on Mexico's Highway 2, tragically highlighting the need for wildlife crossing structures on this busy and deadly road. Read our press release and watch Mexico Program Director Juan Carlos Bravo's interviews on Televisa SonoraUniradio Noticias, and Proyecto Puente.
  • Following the tragic death of the black bear discussed above, Sonora's State Congress issued an exhortation to Mexico's federal transportation agency, urging them to build wildlife crossings on Highway 2. Our press release was picked up by El Sol de HermosilloAlgo Que Informar, and The Huffington Post.

Photo: Gail Hampshire

Upcoming Event

Please join us for a unique opportunity to support wildlife and conservation in Washington State. On December 12 from 4-6pm, Wildlands Network will cohost Wildlife for All. Our event will immediately precede the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Open House from 6:30-8:30pm. Both events are FREE and open to the public and will take place at Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Our gathering, cohosted by Western Wildlife Outreach, Endangered Species Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Wild Fish Conservancy, and Farmer Frog, will focus on sharing our conservation priorities as well as our concerns about WDFW's current management policies pertaining to Washington's wolf population, the ongoing orca crisis, and the Department's prioritization of so-called game species over other wildlife.

Later, at the WDFW Open House, we'll have the opportunity to express our concerns directly to WDFW's new director, Kelly Susewind. As a resident of a state with so much wildlife diversity and natural beauty, please make your voice heard to protect ALL Washington wildlife on behalf of all citizens.

Photo: Brian Powell

Take Action

Our Connected, Wild, and Free annual fall fundraising campaign raises the operating funds necessary for our ongoing success. We are reconnecting, restoring, and rewilding North America on a continental scale. But this audacious vision comes with a hefty price tag, and we need your support to continue laying the groundwork to save wild nature. We're 83% of the way to reaching our ambitious—but completely doable!—$740,000 goal for this year. Can you please help us make it to the finish line? There are many ways to give.

Also, sign this petition to urge Congress to halt all efforts and funding being directed toward building the wall along the U.S-Mexico border. Although existing border fencing hasn't stopped drug smuggling or human trafficking, it has hindered wildlife movement and migration—jeopardizing the future for wide-ranging animals like jaguars, Sonoran pronghorns, and desert bighorns. Urge your legislators to build bridges, not walls, along the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

Wild Image

In October, Wildlands Network staff gathered in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to strategize around reconnecting, restoring, and rewilding North America in 2019 and beyond. As staff bonded while hiking to the summit of Mount Mitchell, we paused to observe some crawling critters!

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

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