As environmental conditions shift in response to climate change and development, connected landscapes that allow wildlife to move between protected places are increasingly important. Additionally, hundreds of millions of animals are killed on roadways each year, including amphibians, birds, mammals, and other vertebrate species. Infrastructure like underpasses or overpasses can safely guide wildlife over and under roadways. However, such projects are only effective–and often only possible–if land on either side of the crossing project is protected. Land trusts play a vital role in integrating private land into landscape connectivity. This session focuses on the role of land trusts in contributing to landscape connectivity and conserving private land at pinch-point locations for wildlife movement. We’ll discuss the challenges, lessons learned, best practices, and emerging science and spatial products for connectivity conservation. We'll talk about the importance of private land conservation at discrete locations: on either side of a roadway where wildlife must move and are frequently hit by vehicles. We’ll discuss the role land trusts can play in the land security component of successful wildlife infrastructure projects, which are poised to receive a major funding boost under the new federal infrastructure law. Finally, we’ll include examples of landscape-scale conservation with land trusts and how they secured land adjacent to roads and helped mitigate the barrier to wildlife. There will be opportunities for participants to share experiences and examples of how they have engaged in these issues.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Marriott New Orleans