“I’m here to recommit not only myself, but the state land office, to being a partner in ensuring that wildlife corridors, wildlife crossings, are part of all of our infrastructure plans, our land management plans, our animal management plans,” State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said at the summit.
Scores of people including tribal officials, federal land managers, state wildlife biologists, conservationists and ranchers gathered in Taos on Tuesday for a day-long discussion of how to identify and protect wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande watershed. The National Wildlife Federation organized the Upper Rio Grande Wildlife Corridors Summit event on behalf of the Upper Rio Grande Wildlife Initiative.
As Colorado’s population booms, Gov. Jared Polis announced an executive order directing wildlife and transportation agencies to work together to protect critical big game migration corridors.
Decades of research have shown wildlife corridors are an important part of species survival. But large contiguous plots of land are becoming increasingly rare as development pushes into new areas. There’s a need to protect those corridors if we want to limit impacts to those species.
The experience of the outdoors can bring a sense of healing and peace. A place of quiet and calm where veterans can relax and destress.
Protecting wildlife requires both managing the wildlife, which is the role of state fish and wildlife agencies and some federal agencies, and managing the habitat of the wildlife. Whil much important habitat is on national forest, bears and bighorn sheep don’t read signs.
I can do my best to try to protect the wildlife that lives in New Mexico. Protecting wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande is an important first step.
Tribal leaders shouldn’t have to look to the states for consideration of their wildlife conservation and corridor work. They should be full partners at the table—along with state and federal land managers, elected officials, private land owners and conservation groups—in making sure our wildlife heritage is protected for generations to come.
New Mexico’s wildlife is not just an integral part of who we are. Our wildlife is fundamental to our state’s history, culture and identity.
NationSwell, June 10, 2019
Wildlife crossings are more than custom-made ways to prevent roadkill: they can play a key part in stopping the biodiversity decline worldwide.