Establishment of the National Wildlife Corridors System

Number 2018-10

WHEREAS, native fish, wildlife and plant species in the U.S. are a significant basis of the outdoor economy and component of the natural heritage we wish to pass on to future generations; and

WHEREAS, many terrestrial and aquatic species in the U.S. are facing unprecedented declines from new and changing threats including, but not limited to, climate change, habitat fragmentation and degradation, land use changes, invasive species, and disease; and

WHEREAS, protecting and restoring migration corridors on public and private lands for wildlife, including megafauna such as ungulates and dominant predators, is a critical component to wildlife conservation in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that conservation of biological diversity through a wildlife corridor system should give primacy to voluntary, collaborative, and incentive-based approaches with private lands; and

WHEREAS, we have a responsibility to provide for the protection and restoration of native fish, wildlife, and plant species and their habitats in the United States; and

WHEREAS, protecting biological diversity and aquatic systems in connected landscapes is a broadly accepted strategy to conserving native fish, wildlife, and plant species and ensuring ecosystem resilience in a changing climate.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation at its annual meeting assembled June 6-9, 2018, in Chantilly, Virginia, recognizes that enhancing habitat connectivity and improving native fish, wildlife, and plant movement, including the exchange of genetic information, through maintenance and restoration of landscape-scale wildlife corridors, is a top federation-wide conservation strategy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that transportation projects include enhancements of wildlife crossing system design and implementation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NWF urges Congress to establish a National Wildlife Corridors System in the U.S.; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation strongly encourages cross agency coordination on management of this National Wildlife Corridors System between, but not limited to, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Transportation, state and local governments and in consultation with tribal nations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NWF urges Congress, states, and local and territorial agencies to provide dedicated funding for strategic land acquisition, hydrologic restoration, wildlife crossings and other management and mitigation efforts to help sustain the nation’s unique biological diversity.