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Monday, April 15, 2013

Be the Change for Animals -The Spine of the Continent

Save the Wolves. Help the Cougars. Protect the Prairie Dog. Preserve the Lynx. Bring Back Bison. Keep the Condor. 

And so it goes. Fragmented. Black bears in one National Park, isolated from all other black bears, disappear, die out, due to inbreeding and the inherent risk of their low numbers. Wolves protected in their "island", are shot when they unknowingly leave the Park. 

Protecting little "islands" of habitat was once believed to be the answer. Ecologists slowly, painstakingly, pieced together the scientific evidence that ecosystems don't work in isolation. Horrified, it dawned on them. That you can't save species from extinction, even by keeping them in little blocks of pristine space.

You end up with noted scientists weeping in front of author Mary Ellen Hannibal during book interviews.

And she ends up writing an eloquent book, The Spine of the Continent.

Because those weeping biologists are joined by dozens of environmental groups in knowing how to save many of the species we are wiping out.

The solution? Join all the islands into one huge protected area. Connect the dots. Build an enormous wildlife corridor right down the western mountains of the continent.

In one stroke, give the creatures genetic variation, room to roam, and larger populations.

Yet most ordinary Americans have never heard of this idea.

Are you intrigued? Would you like to know more about who supports this idea? Are you interested in the scientists and evidence that led the wildlife community to advocate passionately for the SOC?

I read this book. I thought I knew about ecology: I have a B.A. in Biology and taught A.P. Bio and Marine Ecology to high schoolers. I learned a tremendous amount from this book. 
Even better - I felt HOPE.

Today is "Blog the Change For Animals" Day. 
I encourage you to:
2. Get The Spine of the Continent from the library or Amazon and read it.
3. Google "spine of the continent initiative" and learn more.

"Sure, we could live without grizzlies and jaguars... for a 

while... but do we want to?"


Cathy Keisha said...

This sounds like an amazing book. I worry about our country, its landmarks and its creatures big and small. Have you read that they closed parts of Joshua Tree National Park in CA because jerks were vandalizing it to post pictures on Social Media sites? By the way, don't tell Ted Nugent about the spine of the continent or he'll be killing him some game.

Amy said...

I had not heard about Joshua Tree. Amazing. I hope they were prosecuted for their stupidity.

Sue Kottwitz said...

Thank you! This book is definitely one I want to read. Add the mustangs to that list. You know, though, it seems wherever we humans go, we create misery for other species.

Amy said...

Thanks for the reminder about the mustangs.
You know, I think part of the problem is denial. It is REALLY hard to face the way some of our actions cause harm, especially because most normal people love animals and want to protect them. Think of the outcry protesting the Humane Society commercial that forced people to think for a minute about the fate of shelter animals. I'm as guilty as anyone. I have eaten meat for years, knowing that I love vegetarian food, and knowing about factory farming...until recently I got a shove that pushed me to stop eating so much meat and dairy.

Maxwell, Faraday and Allie said...

How interesting! We had never heard of this initiative before. Our faith hold a concept dear - it's called Tikkun Olam - repair the world. Great post for BTC4A day - thanks for sharing!

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! Interesting and my mom is very intrigued. She'll definitely check it out. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Amy said...

I love that concept - Tikkun Olam - Repair the World. We should try to be good stewards of the Earth.

Amy said...

Thank you for visiting Sugar!

GizmoGeodog said...

What a fascinating idea...If asked I would support this project but of course it's unlikely I'll ever be asked...In my world I'd be allowed to determine which projects my taxes fund ...There was a similar concept floated here in Florida about 5 years ago centered around the proposed Heartland Expressway...But that's on indefinite hold right now so odds are not good

Cascadian Nomads said...

Thank you for blogging about and bringing attention to this awesome idea. I have friends at the Nature Conservancy & the Sierra Club who turned me on to this great project and book. It's great for it to continue momentum and gain support!

Amy said...

I haven't heard of the Heartland Expressway. I need to find out about it :)

Amy said...

Yes I'm a longtime member of Nature Conservancy and I love their approach to conservation, especially in developing countries. Thank you for commenting.

Kim Clune said...

I need this book. Nothing we're doing as human beings, with a crazy influx of political and economical driving factors, makes sense to me. Money can't protect spaceship Earth, only well thought out actions can, and we only get one ride. It's time we start treating every bit of our reason for being with respect.

Thanks for sharing!
Kim Clune

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