“I’m here to tell you about the power of bottom-up, grassroots conservation,” Jodi Hilty, President and Chief Scientist with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, told a small group of volunteers and supporters with the Safe Wildlife Crossings Campaign yesterday morning. She was in town for the Alliance Winter Speaker Series to deliver her talk titled “Making the Case for Large Landscape Conservation.” At her lecture, Jodi discussed the importance of, challenges to, and success stories from large landscape conservation efforts, emphasizing the need for locally based approaches.
We streamed the talk on Facebook Live. If you missed it, you can view it here.
The Yellowstone to Yukon vision, which is now being emulated around the world, imagines an intact ecosystem that allows for wildlife to move freely and thrive. Too often, new development or roadways fragment wildlife habitat, a trend that if continued, will eventually lead to a loss of biodiversity in an area. Through creative development plans and innovations like wildlife crossings, we can avoid such outcomes.
The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative’s vision is one shared by conservationists throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, including those at the Alliance. We have been advocating for a network of safe wildlife crossings in Jackson Hole for years in order to keep intact this portion of the larger corridor and protect our area wildlife – while making our roads safer for everyone.
Wildlife crossings are bridges and tunnels designed to help wildlife safely cross the road. Combined with fences along roads to funnel animals to the crossings, wildlife crossings have proven to be the most effective measure to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve habitat connectivity across America and around the world. While it’s helpful to slow down and pay attention for wildlife, the facts, data, and our own experiences in Jackson Hole show us this just isn’t enough.
Thank you again to Jodi for joining us, to the 60+ community members who joined us at the talk, to Hole Food Rescue for providing snacks, and to our Speaker Series sponsors: Sinclair Communications; Long, Reimer, Beppler, and Winegar; and Silver Star Communications.