By Tehri Parker, Executive Director
Sometimes in the nonprofit world you work so hard, and so quickly, that you don’t take the time to look back and celebrate what you have accomplished. Here, at Rocky Mountain Wild, the last three years have been an ongoing struggle to simply maintain the conservation protections that we achieved over our 20-year history. But, in the midst of all the turmoil, our staff and coalition partners have continued to make real progress toward protecting the wildlife and wild lands that we all love.
Here is a brief look at our “greatest hits” from 2019:
1 more year without bulldozers on Wolf Creek Pass.
39 proposed federal actions were reviewed for wildlife impacts – from the border wall construction to fuel reductions in our local forest.
170 pounds of trash were removed from the side of I-70 at our research site on Vail Pass.
222 volunteer citizen scientists visited American pika research sites and collected data on climate change impacts.
1,816 people signed our petition in support of wildlife crossing structures.
4,626 people learned about endangered species, habitat connectivity, and public lands through our outreach and educational events.
45,759 mule deer successfully crossed State Highway 9 using the wildlife crossing structures we help to monitor during the first three years of the project.
426,339 photos of wildlife on Vail Pass were classified by volunteers on Zooniverse to help us advocate for and design wildlife crossing structures on I-70.
800,000 acres of public land were proposed for wilderness protection.
1,002,000 acres of public land were deferred from oil and gas leasing as a result of greater sage-grouse plans.
4,500,000 acres of public land proposed for oil and gas development was evaluated for conflicts with wildlife.
Whew! That’s a lot of activity, and it’s all made possible through the generosity of donors and foundations that support us. Our work is completely reliant on the support of people like you! So, on behalf of all of us here at Rocky Mountain Wild and the awesome critters we protect, I would like to say thank you. Together, we will continue to produce the “hits” that will protect our regional biodiversity for decades to come.