The Challenge: The Human Footprint Is Growing
The Mountain West is the fastest growing region in the U.S., and the main threat to wildlife and wildplaces is the rapidly expanding human footprint and resulting habitat destruction and fragmentation. Growing water scarcity, increasing risks of catastrophic wildfire, oil and gas development, the unchecked growth of outdoor recreation, and the intensifying impacts of climate change also pose dangers.
The result? Many top predators, grazers and other keystone species critical to the health and function of the Rockies ecosystem have disappeared from their former ranges, and recovery in areas where they remain are threatened because of increased human impact and the decreased availability of the connected, high quality habitat they need to survive and thrive. The cascade of ecological effects associated with these disturbances threatens the long-term health of many critical species and ecosystems.
This “de-wilding” of the Rocky Mountains is not just a problem for nature; it also poses serious threats to human communities—in terms of access to life-sustaining clean air and water, the economic and health impacts of increased fires and industrial pollution, and the cultural and psychological effects of our increasing disconnection from cultural traditions and practices as well as our millennia-long relationship with the natural world.
The Solution: Protect, Reconnect, and Rewild the Rockies’ Natural Strongholds & Their Stewards
WCS’s vision is to rewild the Rockies, driving self-sustaining, climate-resilient recovery at scale, focusing on priority landscapes in the Northern Rockies, Southern Rockies, and Southwest Borderlands.
SCIENCE - Draw on and braid diverse knowledge systems to generate and translate scientific data and cultural knowledge that advances the protection, connectivity, and rewilding of the Rocky Mountains.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS - Work collaboratively with pivotal influencers, decision-makers, and stewards toward a set of co-produced conservation goals and strategic solutions that are relevant, resonant, and deliver large-scale impact.
MOBILIZATION & MOVEMENT BUILDING - Inspire, elevate, and mobilize a new and diverse set of conservation voices that build the power needed to influence and sustain the conservation of the Rockies’ wildlife and wild and working landscapes and watersheds.
POLICY- Direct Rockies’ science, strategic partnerships, and civic engagement to securing the policy and economic incentives needed to Rewild the Rockies.
COMMUNICATIONS- Elevate an inclusive conservation story that draws from head, heart, and spirit, advancing the notion that humans are inextricably intertwined with the more-than-human.