How The Rewilding Institute is Supporting 30×30 and Half Earth
Growing support for the 30X30 and Half Earth initiatives requires that we define the role that TRI can play in moving from concept to accomplishment. The goal of 30X30 is to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 (and Half Earth is 50% by 2050), an inclusive and bold vision for safeguarding the planet’s lands, water, and wildlife that will help slow the loss of nature, ameliorate the impacts of climate change, and ensure all humans have access to the natural world. We are distinguished from other groups and individuals working on rewilding, 30X30, and Half Earth in several ways.
The Rewilding Institute is mapping North America using on-the-ground knowledge and expert judgment to design an area-specific network of protected core areas and connecting wildways. These areas are defined geographically, with clear protection standards, and include terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial ecosystems. They are expansive enough to meet the needs of even the widest-ranging species, be they top carnivores, ocean-going fish, migratory birds, or even insects like the monarch butterfly. Using GIS and all accessible datasets, our goal is to delineate precisely what should comprise the at least 30% of North America to be protected by 2030, and precisely what that protection should be; and likewise to delineate the at least half of North America that should be fully protected by 2050.
We are moving beyond advocacy of 30X30 and Half Earth, in North America, to outlining how this level of protection can be achieved. To that end, Dave Foreman is revising and updating his classic book Rewilding North America, which will provide a clear roadmap for conservationists to follow. There will be a new edition of Dave’s book, but also additional resources, maps foremost, that will show the way.
In this work, TRI emphasizes that it is imperative to protect and restore ecologically intact ecosystems in North America and globally, retaining all native species in natural patterns of abundance and distribution in order to sustain the planet’s diversity of life, including humans.
TRI promotes rewilding at all scales, from global and continental to local, and will work with other conservation groups pursuing the 30X30 and Half-Earth initiatives in any way possible.
We thank you for your interest in and support for TRI in this critical work. It is an immense challenge and a critical undertaking, but working together can lead to a new era in Conservation. TRI is dedicated to this work so that all our wild neighbors may thrive long into the future.
With you for a wilder world,
John Davis, Executive Director, The Rewilding Institute
John Davis is executive director of The Rewilding Institute and editor of Rewilding Earth. For Rewilding, he serves as a wildways scout, editor, interviewer, and writer. He rounds out his living with conservation field work, particularly within New York’s Adirondack Park, where he lives. John serves on boards of RESTORE: The North Woods, Eddy Foundation, Champlain Area Trails, Cougar Rewilding Foundation, and Algonquin to Adirondack Conservation Collaborative.
John served as editor of Wild Earth journal from 1991-96, when he went to work for the Foundation for Deep Ecology, overseeing their Biodiversity and Wildness grants program from 1997-2002. He then joined the Eddy Foundation as a board member and continues to serve as volunteer land steward for that foundation in its work to conserve lands in Split Rock Wildway. This wildlife corridor links New York’s Champlain Valley with the Adirondack High Peaks via the West Champlain Hills. John served as conservation director of the Adirondack Council from 2005 to 2010.
In 2011, John completed TrekEast, a 7600-mile muscle-powered exploration of wilder parts of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada—sponsored by Wildlands Network and following lines suggested in Dave Foreman’s book Rewilding North America—to promote restoration and protection of an Eastern Wildway. In 2012, John wrote a book about that adventure, Big, Wild, and Connected: Scouting an Eastern Wildway from Florida to Quebec, published by Island Press.
In 2013, John trekked from Sonora, Mexico, north along the Spine of the Continent as far as southern British Columbia, Canada, again ground-truthing Rewilding North America and promoting habitat connections, big wild cores, and apex predators—all of which would be well served by fuller protection of the Western Wildway he explored. John continues to work with many conservation groups to protect and reconnect wild habitats regionally and continentally.
John is available to give public talks on rewilding, conservation exploration, and continental wildways, as well as to write and edit on these subjects. He is also available for contract field work, particularly monitoring conservation easements, documenting threats to wildlands, and marking conservation boundaries. He can be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (for his land-care work).