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Rewilding North America
Rewilding North AmericaA Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century
Island PressWashington Covelo London
Copyright 2004 Dave Foreman
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Nopart of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission inwriting from the publisher: Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Ave., Suite 300, NW, Washing-ton, DC 20009.
ISLAND PRESS is a trademark of The Center for Resource Economics.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data.
Foreman, Dave, 1946-Rewilding North America : a vision for conservation in the 21st century / Dave Foreman.
p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 1-55963-060-4 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 1-55963-061-2 (pbk. : alk. paper)1. Wilderness areasNorth America. 2. Biological diversity conservationNorth
America. 3. Extinction (Biology)North America. I. Title. QH77.N56F66 2004333.9516097dc22
British Cataloguing-in-Publication data available.
Printed on recycled, acid-free paper
Design by Brighid Willson
Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
TO MICHAEL SOUL AND DOUG TOMPKINSfor blazing the trail to 21st century conservation
List of Maps xi
PART I. BAD NEWS 91. The Extinction Crisis 11
2. The Pleistocene-Holocene Event: Forty ThousandYears of Extinction 25
3. The First Wave 31
4. The Second and Third Waves 45
5. Ecological Wounds of North America 1: Direct Killing and Habitat Loss 61
6. Ecological Wounds of North America 2: Fragmentation, Loss of Ecological Processes, Exotic Species, Pollution, and Climate Change 87
PART II. GOOD NEWS 1097. Conservation Biology 111
8. Rewilding North America 128
9. Selecting and Designing Protected Areas: The Early Days 144
10. Selecting and Designing Protected Areas: The PastTwo Decades 157
11. The Importance of Wilderness Areas 168
PART III. TAKING ACTION 177
12. Putting the Pieces Together: Building a North American Wildlands Network 179
13. An Ecological Approach to Wilderness Area Selectionand Design 191
14. Land Management Reforms for Implementing the North American Wildlands Network 202
15. Hope for the Future 223
For More Information 231
About the Author 00
List of Maps
8.1. The Four Continental MegaLinkages 138
8.2. Pacific and Spine of the Continent MegaLinkages showingwildlands complexes 140
10.1. Sky Islands Wildlands Network and classes of units 166
12.1. New Mexico Highlands Wildlands Network with priority barriers 180
15.1. Endangered Linkages in the Spine of the Continent MegaLinkage 226
Since 1972 I have been blessed with mentors and coworkers of the firstrank. My ideas and strategies have been sparked and shaped in thesmithy of these friendships. I could never begin to tally all the folks whohave contributed to my conservation thinking, so I wont try. I will onlyhighlight a few who have made a particular contribution to RewildingNorth America.
I have dedicated Rewilding North America to two conservation vision-aries and doers who have shaped the foundation for effective conserva-tion in this new century. Michael Soul, the father of conservationbiology, has perhaps done more than any other individual to bringtogether scientists and citizen conservationists to defend and rewild thediversity of wild nature. He has also brought uncompromising, fearlessvision to the science of conservation biology. Michael has influenced memore than anyone else has.
Doug Tompkins is no scientist, but he is a marketing and designgenius who throughout the 1990s has used his wealth to fund the mosthard-charging conservation groups through his Foundation for DeepEcology. He has also set a new benchmark of wildlands philanthropythrough his awe-inspiring work in buying and preserving the wildest pri-vate lands in Chile and Argentina. He and his wife Kris now are protect-ing private lands in Argentinas Patagonia as newly designated nationalparks. Doug has been an inspiration to me and a great backer of my work,including during some of my darker times. His unflinching support hasallowed me to do things I otherwise wouldnt have been able to do.
Mark Twain wrote that thunder is spectacular and it grabs yourattention, but that it is the lightning that really does the work. I want tohold up four of my closest collaborators over the last three decades asbolts of lightning working effectively behind the scenes without a lot of
thundering notoriety. Their wise counsel and hard work have not onlyadvanced conservation on many fronts but have also made my thunderfar more effective. David Johns, Bob Howard, John Davis, and NancyMorton have supported me and worked with me even at my worst. Idoubt that I would have accomplished very much without their friend-ship, counsel, and backing.
I have benefited in writing Rewilding North America from havingleading conservationists review and comment on specific chapters. JohnDavis copyedited the manuscript (some chapters through several ver-sions) and vastly improved my prose as he long has. His challengingquestions made my ideas more solid.
Others who read and commented on one or more chapters are TomButler, Bob Howard, David Johns, Paul Martin, Brian Miller, SusanMorgan, Reed Noss, Brian ODonnell, Dave Parsons, Michael Soul,and John Terborgh. I owe them much gratitude.
In addition, several of my chapter reviewers and other colleaguesread and commented on material in Rewilding North America as itappeared in my Around the Campfire column in Wild Earth, in otherarticles, or as material in the Sky Islands and New Mexico HighlandsWildlands Networks. They include Matt Clark, Kim Crumbo, KathyDaly, Barbara Dugelby, Jennifer Esser, Andy Holdsworth, JackHumphrey, Leanne Klyza-Linck, Rurik List, Paula MacKay, KurtMenke, Craig Miller, Rod Mondt, Paul Rauber, Todd Schulke, and KimVacariu.
I thank Kurt Menke and Todd Cummings for preparing the finalmaps. I have been awed by their talents while working with them overrecent years.
My agent, Joanna Hurley, has toiled for the last several years to getme published and to keep me published. I thank her for how well she hasworked for me. It has been wonderful to have real editors like BarbaraDean and Barbara Youngblood at Island Press. Their encouragementand wise suggestions were key for turning a bunch of text-laden pagesinto a book. And, finally, Id like to thank my copyeditor, Erin Johnson,for the top-notch job she did with the manuscript.
All of these folks helped to improve the material presented in Rewil-ding North America. Of course, none of them are responsible in any wayfor my mistakes and opinions. My coauthor, Chama, caused all the mis-takes in this book by sitting on my lap while I typed on the keyboard.
DAVE FOREMANFoothills of the Sandia Mountains
From my earliest days, I have been drawn to the heart of wildness, towild lands and wild rivers and wild things, to the places and beasts out-side the rule of humankind. Long before I learned the ancient Englishmeaning of wildernessself-willed landI looked up at the SandiaMountains, rising above the city of Albuquerque, and saw a world wherewe were not masters of all. Long before I had heard of the Beowulf-timeword, wildeorself-willed beastI watched the horny-toads andbluetails scurry through the grama grass and rabbitbrush of the highdesert and knew that they ran their errands on their own time in theirown way, not on human-time or in human-way.
As I grew older, I began to sense a loss of what was no more, of once-upon-a-time wildernesses and once-upon-a-time wild animals, as I readErnest Thompson Seton and Mark Twain, as I read about Kit Carsonand Buffalo Bill. Unlike many other boys, I did not yearn for the smok-ing buffalo gun in my hands, but