Welcome to The Rewilding Institute!

“To be effective, conservation must be guided by a vision that is bold, scientifically credible, practically achievable, and hopeful.”  -Dave Foreman

Welcome To The Rewilding Website…

The essential resource for conservation vision, values…and action!

A Welcome Message from Dave Foreman…

There is no way to sugarcoat it…

Earth is in the throes of a mass extinction event that is caused solely by the population explosion of six-and-a-half billion human beings.  If Nature lovers hope to minimize or stop The Big Killing, we must be bold and think big: Big in terms of space, time, and vision.

The Rewilding Institute is committed to doing whatever we can to stop The Big Killing. Our work is grounded in traditional conservation values—that Nature and species have inherent worth—and in recognition that strictly protected areas are the best tool to defend and restore wild Nature.

We stress the vital role of large carnivores in maintaining and restoring ecological health and the need for a continental-scale approach to conservation in North America.

The Rewilding Website is a service provided to Nature lovers and the conservation community by The Rewilding Institute. It is designed to educate, connect, and activate conservationists by explaining key conservation concepts and giving access to essential resources: groups, books, websites, papers, and so on.

About The Rewilding Institute…

Wild Nature in North America is attacked on two fronts and threatened on a third. The last wild places are being invaded and ravaged by logging, livestock grazing, off-road vehicles, road building, market hunting and fishing, mining, energy exploitation, and a host of other assaults by governments, industry, and thrill-seekers. The greatest remaining wildernesses in North America are imperiled by this juggernaut, even in the Arctic.

The second front attacking wild Nature is the coordinated effort to tear down over a century of bipartisan conservation law, policy, and tradition in the United States. This assault is directed by extractive industry, anticonservation extremists, and politicians guided by an ideology that exalts corporate profits and anarchistic business practices above all else. The same forces thwart effective conservation actions in Canada.

Third, conservationists and conservation groups are being softened by some of our leaders, consultants, and funders who do not share our love for wild Nature or our steadfast support for protected areas.

Conservationists throughout North America, including many working for government agencies, are as worried as they have ever been. And with good cause.

The Rewilding Institute believes that for conservation on all levels to be more effective, it must be guided by a grand conservation vision, which is at once bold, scientifically credible, practically achievable, and HOPEFUL. Without a vision, without hope, Nature lovers become distraught, depressed, and without the spark to fight effectively.

The concepts, ideas, and strategies behind continental conservation and a hopeful vision used by The Rewilding Institute are:

  • The importance of strict protected areas
  • The need for continental-scale conservation
  • The vital role large carnivores play in maintaining or restoring ecological health
  • Ecologically effective populations of large carnivores and other highly interactive species as the goal of species recovery plans and management
  • Rewilding (large carnivores, large wild core habitats, and landscape permeability between cores) as an overarching conservation strategy
  • Landscape permeability (wildlife movement connectivity) as an underlying principle of public land management
  • Four Continental MegaLinkages (Pacific, Spine of the Continent, Atlantic, and Arctic-Boreal) as the foundation for Rewilding North America
  • Selection and design of Wilderness Areas and other protected areas based on ecological principles
  • Need to better integrate continental-scale conservation into day-to-day conservation work
  • The importance of a hopeful vision underlying conservation campaigns
  • Biocentric values: we strive to protect and restore wild Nature and wild species for their own sake, not just because they are of use to humans

The Rewilding Institute (TRI) is a 501(c)3 conservation think tank dedicated to the development and promotion of ideas and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation in North America and to combat the extinction crisis. Think-tank though it may be, The Rewilding Institute is engaged in and dedicated to activist conservation work with real successes on the ground. Dave Foreman and the Board of Directors of the Wildlands Project established the Rewilding Institute in August 2003 as an independent organization.

Mission | Vision | Programs | Rewilding North America by Dave Foreman

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John Harrison - January 20, 2009

I already own a copy of “Re-wilding North America” and am about half way through it. I contribute to several conservation organisations in Britain and I wish you all the best in what you are trying to do. I am particularly intertested as similar ambitions are being enacted here on our very crowded island. There is a guy who wants to introduce wolves back to an area of Scotland- that will be a battle. He’s started more modestly with moose and wild boar though. There are also plans to reintroduce the European beaver to places in England and Scotland this Spring. From what I read, it sounds like you need to enlarge the protected area north of Yellowstone. Apparently a a third of the bison were shot last year when they strayed north to prevent the spread of brucellosis. It hope an answer can be found eventually to this.

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Michael Rudolph - December 19, 2010

Hey Dave,

I’m an educator and a father and I’m very concerned about the future. It’s sad that more people aren’t getting the picture and even taking small steps to get us all on the right path. I have a lot to say but I’ll keep it brief:

As a science teacher at a k-8 school I think I can make a difference with the younger generation. Do you guys have any plans to get some educator resources or lesson plans up on the site?

I just discovered the Rewilding Institute and I’m surprised more people aren’t reading and commenting.

I’m researching more and looking forward to helping out in whatever way I can.

Thanks for being an inspiration and fighting the good fight.

Mike Rudolph
Fairfax, CA

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