|Expand U.S. Natural Habitat Corridors|
The most fundamental form of animal cruelty is destroying their natural habitat so they have nowhere to live and nothing to eat. Deforestation, damming, industrial waste, highway expansion, overgrazing, and commercial development are key drivers of habitat destruction that forces animals into smaller and/or less favorable areas and in turn stresses the remaining populations or eradicates them outright.
As human activities encroach ever more widely on wildlife habitat of all kinds, it has become ever more urgent that we develop and implement policies and practices that allow for economic growth while at the same time protecting, preserving and even restoring the natural world that is the foundation requirement for the survival of Earth’s remaining animal species. How exactly to accomplish that is a great challenge but Think WI-SH is certain about one thing: We simply cannot continue the current polarized climate where habitat protection and economic growth are seen in large part to be mutually exclusive.
Fortunately, there are “early adopter” success stories of policies and practices designed to minimize and mitigate the impact of human activity on animal habitat. One example is the Australian government’s 2012 “National Wildlife Corridors Plan.” Its Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities created the corridors initiative to “support landscape connectivity—the capacity of the environment to allow natural ecological movement and functions in the landscape (and lay) the foundation for a new, collaborative, whole-of-landscape approach to conserving Australia’s native plants, animals and other organisms. It will help Australians reconnect with the environment and make our landscapes healthier through a long-lasting network of wildlife corridors.”
In the United States, the interstate highway system has long built wildlife underpasses beneath freeways both to mitigate habitat fragmentation and to improve highway safety by channeling animals away from the actual roadways. More recently, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and similar organizations started working with various government agencies, landowners and concerned citizens alike on the “Critical Paths Project” to build similar wildlife corridors in Vermont’s Green Mountains by “studying road crossings throughout the region and working with transportation officials to devise practical solutions to minimize habitat fragmentation, create wildlife corridors, and help wildlife survive climate change.”
These environmentally and economically sound policies and practices are a good starting point because roads and highways are among the most habitat-disrupting of human activities, but they need to be expanded everywhere else human activity threatens to disrupt or destroy the habitat necessary for animals of all kinds to live long and prosper. It will take foresight, creativity, political will and personal responsibility to do it, but it has already been done; we just need to do more and that’s where Think WI-SH comes in: Your generous donation to the Protect Natural Habitat for Wildlife initiative will help make it possible for Think WI-SH to bring together business and environmental interests expand the corridor concept of natural habitat protection, preservation and restoration. Please donate today: time is of the essence.