A Vision for the Northern Appalachians
Our long-term vision is to restore an ecological balance to the greater Northern Appalachians, which includes: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We believe that by working together with a broad spectrum of individuals and groups from across the region, we can protect the land, air, water, plants, and animals of this magnificent region for generations to come.
What's the Problem?
Despite its predominantly wooded condition, the forests and fields of the greater northern Appalachian region suffer from a wide range of ecological problems. The forests we see today are far younger and less diverse than those that used to dominate the landscape, and the pockets of natural habitat that remain are too small, too isolated and represent too few types of ecosystems to maintain native biodiversity at all levels. In Vermont, for example, a state recognized for its natural beauty, five mammals and eleven birds are listed as threatened or endangered. In Maine, at least thirty-two native species no longer exist in the state with several "keystone" species, most notably large carnivores, considered extinct.
Compounding the problem is the increasingly rapid turnover in ownership of massive tracts of forestland brought on by changes in the global forest products industry. In many cases, quick action by conservationists has resulted in the long-term protection of thousand of acres of land. At the same time, however, these transactions have not always protected the most ecologically important lands because no overarching, science-based strategy exists to inform the conservation community on what lands area most in need of protection.
Wildlands Network Steps In
Recognizing both the need and opportunity to move large-scale, transboundary conservation planning forward, Wildlands Network is currently developing a large-scale conservation plan "a Wildlands Network Design" for the Adirondacks, Northern New England and ecologically linked portions of eastern Canada.
Our science-based proposal focuses on the ecological needs of several important species including wolf, lynx, and marten. By focusing in on these particular species, we also guarantee that most other flora and fauna in the region will have the room they need to survive and thrive. We are also studying critical natural communities to ensure that the widest possible range of ecosystem types are protected, as well as the unique characteristics that make an area particularly important, such as forested wetlands, steep slopes, and floodplains.
Networks of People Protecting Networks of Land
In addition to our scientific work, we are actively working on the ground to educate and inspire a broad-based coalition of wildlands supporters and advocates from both sides of the border.
These supporters include researchers at several universities and colleges, including Middlebury College, Dalhousie University, and the University of New Brunswick, conservation groups like the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada, The Nature Conservancy, land trusts, and several government agencies and donor organizations.
Wildlands Network also works closely with key networks of conservation groups: Two Countries One Forest (2C1F); the Northern Forest Alliance (NFA) and the Coalition to Restore the Eastern Wolf (CREW).
* Ancient Forest Exploration and Research
* Appalachian Corridor Appalachien
* Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
* Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-New Brunswick Chapter
* Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Nova Scotia Chapter
* Coalition to Restore the Eastern Wolf (CREW)
* Forest Watch
* Klamath Center for Conservation Research
* Northeast Wilderness Trust
* Northern Forest Alliance
* RESTORE: The North Woods
* Two Countries One Forest (2C1)
* Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
* Vermont Wilderness Association