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 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.
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
- Wildlife Corridors and Crossings NCEL Fact Sheet
- State Action on Wildlife Corridors and Crossings NCEL Power Point (Aug. 2017)
- Center for Large Landscape Conservation: Large Landscape Conservation : A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action
- Federal Highway Administration report on costs of WVCs
- NM Game and Fish/Transportation/State Police 2012 report to legislature on wildlife crossings
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.
- 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.
- Oregon bills:
- Fact Sheet: Oregon Task Force on Fish, Wildlife and Related Outdoor Recreation and Education
- Oregon’s Joint Interim Task Force Report (Dec. 31, 2016)
- Washington Wildlife Leaders Forum: Executive Summary (Nov. 2016)
- A federal bill, H.R. 5650 – Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (Young (R-AK)), would provide matching funds to states
- Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources – Fact Sheet
- Funding for Fish and Wildlife NCEL Power Point (Aug. 2017)
- OR Rep. Ken Helm Power Point on Oregon experience (Aug. 2017)
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
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.
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Download a presentation on recent state legislation for wildlife trafficking given by NCEL Conservation Coordinator Ruth Musgrave at NCEL’s 2017 Great Lakes Forum.
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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.
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On December 4, President Trump drastically reduced the size of two national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. The reductions equalled roughly two million acres and is the largest rollback of federal land protection in history. “The administration shrank Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut […]
A new study published in Frontiers evaluated the effectiveness of wildlife crossings along highway US 93 North in western Montana. To measure effectiveness, the researchers compared animal movements on 15 crossings with similar designs to movements within the surrounding area. They then compared the movement of the crossings against each other. Results found that animals […]
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new program to help agricultural producers inform consumers that they are farming in a way that benefits bees. From the press release: Funded by a grant from the USDA, the Xerces Society partnered with Oregon Tilth to develop and launch the Bee Better Certified program. The […]