Friday, February 8, 2008

Freedom to Roam - A 21st Century Vision to Protect and Connect North America's Wildlands

(Reproduced courtesy of Patagonia, an outdoor-apparel company that places environmental conservation high at the top of its priority list.)

Climate change threatens to drive more than a million land species to extinction, according to the Extinction Risk from Climate Change study. Habitats for mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, and butterflies will become warmer. If these species remain trapped in warming habitats due to human development, one-quarter of them could disappear by the end of this century.

Global warming is forcing wild animals to shift habitats. If migration is blocked by human development (suburbs, highways, gas and oil rigs), many species may not survive into the next century. Providing species (like this grizzly) with greater freedom to roam between shifting habitats can do much to support their survival. In North America, this means protecting and restoring wildlife corridors along the Pacific Crest, the Continental Divide, the Appalachians, and several other smaller, but equally important, locales.

Freedom to Roam is a partnership of conservation organizations, recreation groups, and corporations dedicated to establishing migration corridors between protected areas. To learn more about this partnership's goals, please read Patagonia's current article on the subject. You can also check out Patagonia's recommended resources page.

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