America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act: Moving America Closer to 30×30 and Enhancing Wildlife Connectivity
Featured Image: Wildlife Corridors Benefiting from Passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (Map)
New publications issued by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance highlight the importance of protecting lands that increase landscape/wildlife connectivity as part of the 30×30 initiative. The organization argues that while the 30×30 campaign appropriately focuses on the need to protect more land in a natural condition, the benefits to ecosystem health, biodiversity, and climate mitigation increase dramatically when lands are protected that enhance connectivity, or in other words, help to maintain or create linkages between ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
The 9 million-acre “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act accounts for 1.5% of the remaining land that needs to be conserved to reach the goal of protecting 30% of land in the United States by 2030,” writes SUWA. “Equally important, passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act will increase landscape connectivity in the region, providing a critical link in the chain of predominantly natural landscapes known as the Western Wildway.”
The documents highlight how protecting lands in ARRWA would conserve parts of five key wildlife corridors which serve as lifelines connecting regional ecosystems, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National parks. Elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, black bear, mountain lion, and wolf rely on these corridors for their survival.
See SUWA’s brochure: The role of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in protecting biodiversity and mitigation the climate crisis. This brochure distills materials from a research paper by Kim Crumbo, wildlands coordinator for The Rewilding Institute: America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act: Moving America Closer to 30×30 and Enhancing Wildlife Connectivity.
The mission of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans.
SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region’s unique wilderness character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Wilderness Preservation System, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation. Learn more at suwa.org.