Conservation Clearinghouse NCEL works on a variety of conservation issues. Explore below for more information on everything from wildlife trafficking to pollinator health. 

Issue Pages Extensive pages dedicated to prominent environmental issues

Emerging Issues Briefings on important topics currently being discussed

Wildlife Overpass

Wildlife Corridors

Wildlife corridors and crossings are a vital and cost effective way to maintain resilient landscapes for fish and wildlife, to protect watersheds, and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities. Crossings can be in the form of highway and road overpasses, underpasses, or culverts, which provide safe crossing for animals and recreation. Corridors are large areas of undeveloped habitat that connect isolated habitat and allow for ecosystem and genetic connectivity for plants and animals.

 

  • States have recognized the importance of connectivity in both the 2008 Western Governors Association corridors initiative and 2010 report,  and the 2016 Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ resolution recognizing the importance of ecological connectivity . A number of state legislatures and agencies have also championed wildlife corridors and/or crossings.

    Quick facts:

    • Wildlife corridors can provide critical habitat, watershed health, clean air and water, and enhanced property values and outdoor recreation for nearby communities
    • Many plant and animal species are relocating due to changes in temperature, water cycles and seasons, yet habitat loss is accelerating across the U.S., creating bottlenecks for animals and wildlife-vehicle collisions with human injury or death
    • Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) cost over $8 billion per year, thus wildlife crossings generally pay for themselves quickly in costs saved for emergency and medical assistance, property damage and value of animals lost

    State Action:

    Corridors Legislation:

    • New Hampshire SB 376-An Act Relative to Wildlife Corridors (2016)
    • California AB 498-Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife Corridors (2015)
    • New Mexico HJM 4-Share Information About Wildlife Corridors and Crucial Habitat (2009)

    Crossings Legislation:

    • New Mexico HM 1/SM 1-Wildlife Safety Workshop and Awareness Day (2013); HJM 10-Pilot Traffic Safety Project (2011);
    • Colorado HB 1238-Establishment of Wildlife Crossing Zones (2010)
    • Maine HP 1224-Restoring Stream Crossings (2010)

    Resources:

oregon state capitol

Fish and Wildlife Funding

A large portion of wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are carried out by states, yet fish and wildlife funding levels have been falling in nearly every state. These funding declines impact both the environmental and economic vitality of local communities. Bipartisan federal funding may be forthcoming in the near future, but will likely be contingent on state matching funds.

  • State fish and wildlife and other natural resource agencies are experiencing greatly increased responsibilities as a result of habitat loss and degradation, climate change, invasive species, and increased recreation on state and federal public lands. At the same time, fish and wildlife agencies have historically been funded in a large part by hunting and fishing licenses, yet licenses are declining in every state. States are actively seeking new funding sources and opportunities, and Oregon in particular has worked hard to find new sources of funding for nongame, game wildlife and recreation.

    Quick facts:

    • States “own” the wildlife within their borders, and as such are responsible for managing and maintaining wildlife and ecosystems, but animals and habitat are stressed as never before because of factors such as development, pollution and climate change.
    • State fish and wildlife and other agencies are losing funding from state, federal and license sources; most agencies’ budgets have fallen 15-40% in the last few years.
    • Nongame wildlife in particular needs help, but often few funds are designated for nongame wildlife or even endangered species. States need to examine, recommend and support new funding sources and partners, including a potential federal match for states’ work on habitat and species of greatest conservation need.

    State Action:

    Resources

Resources NCEL fact sheets, briefing books and more

NCEL Wildlife Trafficking Briefing Book with a fact sheet, FAQ, and examples of legislation is available for download here

NCEL Outdoor Recreation fact sheet with strategies and resources is available for download here

A collection of NCEL Conservation Briefings highlighting a variety of state issues is accessible here

NCEL Wildlife Corridors and Crossings fact sheet is available for download here

NCEL Pollinator Briefing Book with a fact sheet, examples of state strategies, and more is available for download here

Presentations NCEL presentations outlining specific issues

Download a presentation on recent state legislation for wildlife corridors and crossings given by NCEL Conservation Coordinator Ruth Musgrave at NCEL’s 2017 Great Lakes Forum.
Download the PDF

   

Download a presentation on recent state legislation for wildlife trafficking given by NCEL Conservation Coordinator Ruth Musgrave at NCEL’s 2017 Great Lakes Forum.
Download the PDF

A presentation by Dr. Marla Spivak from the University of Minnesota on factors impacting bee decline, and potential protections. The presentation was given at the NCEL 2016 National Issues Forum.
Download the PDF

Recent News

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For more information contact NCEL Conservation Coordinator Ruth Musgrave

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