Proposed Federal Legislation Seeks To Protect Wildlife Corridors

New federal legislation aimed at protecting the country’s wildlife corridors was introduced last week by U.S. Representatives Rush Hold (NJ-12) and Jared Polis (CO-2). Wildlife corridors, expanses of land in which animals can freely move about and propagate, are under constant threat from urban sprawl and climate change.

The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would create a fund for the management and protection of essential wildlife corridors. It would also create an information program within the Fish and Wildlife Service to collect information about wildlife movement paths to disseminate to state and federal agencies. The bill would also require the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and the Department of Transportation to consider the preservation of migration paths in their management plans.

The bill seeks to encourage continued hunting and wildlife viewing activities that contribute over $68 billion annually to the economy. “The lives of the American people always have been interwoven with the movement of wildlife. Today, wildlife corridors are vital to the outdoor traditions that are a central part of our national character,” Holt said.

“When development limits wildlife movement, disastrous consequences—from genetic isolation and the spread of disease to over population and car-animal collisions—can occur. This legislation will ensure that our scientific knowledge of wildlife is central to federal planning and provides local communities with the tools they need to maintain healthy ecosystems and public safety” Polis said