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TrekWest -- A Vision for Wildlife Connectivity Across the North American Continent

One man's muscle-powered journey of discovery

across the North American Continent

10 months, 7,000 miles

Backpacking -- Horse Packing -- Biking -- Whitewater Rafting

The Western Wildway is a 6,000-mile-long tri-national wildlife corridor identified through more than a decade of science-based conservation mapping and research in the intermountain West. Protecting the Western Wildway represents North Americas best chance to ensure the survival of many threatened keystone species that require long-distance movement pathways, including grizzly bear, lynx, mountain lion, wolves, jaguars, and ocelots all faced with growing pressure from development-based habitat fragmentation and climate disruption.

John Davis is the former editor of Wild Earth, one of the finest environmental journals in the world, with an emphasis on the National Wilderness Preservation System and the science of conservation biology..

Across many issues of Wild Earth the greatest conservation biologists of our time laid out a daring idea: that the populations, habitat and migration routes of many species of wildlife are continental in scale, that certain species such as large predators play an unusually important role in maintaining the integrity of whole ecosystems, and therefore that to protect ecosystem integrity and biodiversity, America (and other countries) should build wildlife reserve systems that are equally large scale, consisting of large core natural areas of public (and private) land, together with connecting links that are "permeable" to migrating wildlife.

Across the north American continent dozens of regional environmental and wilderness advocacy groups rose to the challenge. Each group researched, field-checked and mapped a wildlife connectivity reserve system spanning its own region of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. And the smaller regional reserve systems connected along geographical and topographical lines to form still larger hypothetical reserve systems that would span the continent. Called "megalinks" or "wildways", three north-south trending reserve systems followed North America's three major cordilleras: the Appalachian mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada range, running across the U.S. from Mexico to Canada. A fourth mega-reserve system, called the "Boreal Forest"

In 2010 John decided to explore the eastern, or Appalachian, in an epic 5,000 mile adventure by foot, bike, horseback and boat.

After completing "Trek East" he immediately began planning to walk the length of the "Western Wildway", a proposed reserve system spanning the Rocky Mountain cordillera from Mexico to the Canadian Yukon, a journey of 7,000 miles across 10 months.

This photo gallery documents just one week in the action-packed life of Trek West, following John from Bryce Canyon National Park across the Aquarius Plateau, into the tiny town of Boulder, Utah, population 200, and on to meetings with wildlife experts, wilderness activists, and new west entreprenuers in Boulder and Escalante.

 

TrekWest exlplorer John Davis climbing to the Summit of the Aquarius Plateau, Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aquarius Plateau summit climb, March 18, 2013, c. 2013 by Ray Wheeler

 

TrekWest route map:

Trek West Route Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Restoration Network director and publisher Ray Wheeler spent a week with John as he climbed the uppermost stair of southern Utah's 9,000 foot high the "Grand Staircase", summiting at 11,000 feet at the rim of the Aquarius Plateau.

Check out Ray's photo log for one week with the TrekWest team in the canyonlands and high plateaus of Southern Utah:

Photo gallery and TrekWest report by Earth Restoration Network writer Ray Wheeler

For more information:

Trek West Web site

Trek West blog

The Western Wildway

Western Wildways Partner Groups Map

 

Recently Updated
TrekWest Does Utah Last Updated on 2015-02-07 08:59:03 all photos c. Ray Wheeler except where otherwise noted in the caption NOTE:  To see photo captions place the cursor over the image   To pause the slide show, either click on the "pause" icon at the lower right corner of the screen, or click on the image number in the bottom menu bar   One man's muscle-powered journey of discovery across the North American Continent   10 months, 7,000 miles   Backpacking -- Horse Packing -- Biking -- Whitewater Rafting     The Western Wildway is a 6,000-mile-long tri-national wildlife corridor identified through more than a decade of science-based conservation mapping and research in the intermountain West. Protecting the Western Wildway represents North America’s best chance to ensure the survival of many threatened keystone species that require long-distance movement pathways, including... More »