Rugged alpine peaks and premier geologic features, open prairie, and critical riparian valleys extend across this region making it instrumental for wildlife. The Southern Rockies contain some of the most sublime wild areas on the continent, where grizzlies and wolverine could once again call home. In a changing world, towering peaks, such as the San Juan Mountains and Sawatch Range in Colorado, contain the best “safe houses” for alpine species seeking refuge from a warming climate, like wolverines. Exponential growth in recreation, rapid urbanization, and the growing effects of climate change—decreased water quantity, quality, and increased fire risks– threaten the Southern Rockies.
WCS is working to tackle these challenges head on by understanding the effects of recreation on wildlife and how to protect them, advancing strategic partnerships, deploying nature-based solutions to address the effects of climate change, and rewilding the Southern Rockies with culturally and ecologically significant species, such as beavers, buffalo, native fish, and other wildlife.