Presentation: Balancing Public Access and Wildlife Conservation

The Bay Area Open Space Council's January 26 gathering was titled "Where the Wildlife Roam: The projects, issues, and opportunities for protecting wildlife corridors in the Bay Area." The gathering's goals were to highlight work happening around the Bay Area to facilitate, protect, and steward wildlife corridors, to come together as a regional community and discuss the language of corridors and the advantages of working together, and to identify ways that the Bay Area as a region can advocate for public policies and funding that support wildlife corridors.

Since the release of the Critical Linkages as part of the Conservation Lands Network in 2013, many efforts around the Bay Area have been launched to protect, steward, and facilitate wildlife corridors. These corridors – also called linkages – provide safe routes for the region’s fauna to access habitat. The corridors are critical if we are to protect biodiversity and maintain the wild aspects of this Biodiversity Hotspot we call home. 

The invited speakers at the Gathering were:
• State Assemblyperson Marc Levine, who shared what's happening at the state level to fund and support the work of protecting wildlife corridors
• Tom Robinson, Director of Conservation, Science, and Innovation at the Bay Area Open Space Council, who spoke about the importance of wildlife corridors and the language we use within the conservation community and with a wider audience
• Amy Golden, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Caltrans, who spoke about the challenges and opportunities a large state agency faces in facilitating road crossings
• Courtney Larson, a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University and researcher at the Applied Conservation Science Lab, who discussed human activity impacts wildlife, and how to balance public access with wildlife conservation.

The speakers' presentations are available for download: