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Hello fellow wildway Wildway activists!

This edition of the Western Wildway Network e-newsletter is devoted to a number of pressing policy issues and on-the-ground actions happening right now that we hope you will take the time to review and share with your networks. The Network was designed to facilitate collective action toward common goals. Your continued support of partners is critical to the success of our shared vision. I hope you will make time to consider and act on these pressing issues.

For the wild,

Katie Davis

 

Photo: Alex Pullen

Help Stop the Village at Wolf Creek Pass Road’s Access Project in Colorado

The Forest Service intends to give the Village of Wolf Creek road access. The Rio Grande National Forest announced its intention on July 19 to circumvent a federal court ruling that invalidated prior approvals for the controversial Village at Wolf Creek real estate development.

A Colorado federal district court set aside the Forest Service’s approval of a land exchange to facilitate the development in May of last year. Now, the Forest Service hopes to use the same artfully dodged analysis, previously deemed in violation of multiple federal laws, to approve a different means of providing the developers access.

The Forest Service is also trying to severely limit who can comment on this action, but everyone should have the opportunity to comment on changes to their public lands. Wildway partner Rocky Mountain Wild encourages everyone to submit their objections, and they have some resources to help you do it. Objections are due Wednesday, September 5.

For more information, how to submit, talking points, and advice on writing comments that stick, click here

 

Help Adventure Scientists’ Wildlife Connectivity Study Reach 10,000th Roadkill Record

With extensive observations made throughout the U.S., especially in Texas and California, and with individual observations made in locations as disparate as Guam, Gabon, and French Guiana, the Adventure Scientists Wildlife Connectivity Study is revealing a portrait of the human vehicular impact on animals throughout the world. It's also giving transportation departments the critical data they need to make informed decisions and plans for collision mitigation.

In the coming days, someone in the worldwide cadre of volunteer nature observers will make the 10,000th roadkill record in the project's page on iNaturalist. As likely as not, that observation will be made by Toby Hibbitts, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles, Texas A&M University. At 137 observations, Toby has recorded more different species than anyone else in the project, and he sits in second place for overall sightings with 812. 

When asked about what pushes him to record so many of his observations, Toby said,

"Most of my life I have been stopping for dead snakes on the road. I found that iNaturalist (and the projects within) was a great way to store these observations so they are usable by researchers and organizations––much better than just being buried in my field notes. And getting more citizens involved increases the total number of observations and therefore adds that much more data to all of the projects."

To learn more or to begin contributing to the project yourself, click here.

 

Comments Needed to Push Back on Utah National Monument Changes

While numerous lawsuits contesting President Trump’s attempt to shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments continue to move through the courts, the administration is moving forward with planning processes for the smaller monument units. Public comments on the draft plans will close November 15th.

While these comment periods can be used to advocate for specific protective management actions, they are also an opportunity to declare your support for the original boundaries and request that the Bureau of Land Management abstain from monument management planning until the lawsuits are resolved. Already, public pushback to alternatives that would prioritize selling public lands has caused the administration to revise its proposed actions, so the more eyes on these plans, the better!

Submit a comment to support Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument here.

Submit a comment to support Bears Ears National Monument here.

You can also get more information, including talking points, photos and social media language here.

 

Public Support Needed for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Wildway friend The Wilderness Society has been working to secure permanent reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which will expire—again—at the end of September without positive Congressional action. TWS recently had a videographer visit some of the LWCF-beneficiary parks in Arizona and shoot some person-in-the-park videos, which they are making available to partners.

More videos will become available for other states in the West over the next few months. The videos are viewable and downloadable here, and they are not TWS-branded. You can also find out more about LWCF-funded projects in your backyard here.

For help promoting these videos on your own website or through social media, please contact Katie Davis at, k.davis@wildlandsnetwork.org.

 
Tree silhouettes line the bottom of the image with a sky covered in golden clouds illuminated by a setting sun.

Photo: Bob Wick, BLM California

Raise Your Voice for a Southern Arizona Gem

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, commonly known as SPRNCA, sits in the heart of the Sky Island Region. It was originally designated to protect 40 miles of the San Pedro River, a rare perennially flowing desert river that flows across the U.S.-Mexico border.

The BLM is currently in the process of revising the Resource Management Plan for the area, and they are considering proposals to increase consumptive uses. Wildway partner Sky Island Alliance is asking people to raise their voice to protect this “riparian gem.” Comments are due September 27.

Learn more about the area and how to submit comments online here.

 
An older white man in a suit shakes hands with another man in a suit. A man and a woman stand on either side of the older gentleman.

Sen. Tom Udall, Dr. E.O. Wilson, Andrea Seabrook, and Rep. Don Beyer discuss wildlife corridors at Wildlands Network’s Half-Earth Day event in Washington, D.C. Photo: Peter Hershey

National Corridor Bill Introduction Expected This Fall

After many months of negotiations and outreach, the Wildlife Corridor Conservation Act, commonly known as the “Corridor Bill” among our allies, will soon be reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, and formally introduced for the first time in the U.S. Senate.

We are waiting on final confirmation on the dates of introduction for both bills, but you can be sure that we will be reaching out to all our Wildway partners for help amplifying the messaging and support for the bill as soon as we have dates. The bills will also contain updated language from the 2016 version, and we will provide an opportunity for all interested parties to learn more about the updated text and opportunities to support the bill from Wildlands Network’s policy director, Susan Holmes, likely on a conference call.

Stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can learn more about the Corridor Bill here.

 

 

Connect with the Network

WILDLANDS NETWORK
1402 3RD AVE
SUITE 1019
SEATTLE, WA 98101
206-538-5363

Katie Davis
Western Director
801-560-2414

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