A Corridor for Abundant Wildlife, Healthy People, and Safe Climate
A mother Black Bear with cubs waking from winter hibernation beneath a snow-covered spruce/fir thicket in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York may serve her family well by leading her young down and east toward the fertile, equable Champlain Valley, on the west coast of the Northeast’s longest lake and the eastern edge of the East’s largest park.
She will be wise to find a safe sunny spot for her cubs to nap while she climbs the tallest nearby tree to scout a broadly forested route from the cold snowy mountains down to the valley, where wetlands are already mostly melted and plants are putting out new growth. If the big Yellow Birch she climbs has the right vantage point, she may choose a path from the High Peaks Wilderness east through smaller mountains to the North Branch of the Boquet River, thence down-river to one of the few relatively safe crossings on I-87 (the river’s span under the highway being broad and free of houses), east to the saddle-like pair of hills known as Boquet Mountain, southeast to the oaky bumpy ridge called Coon Mountain, and east again to the wildest part of Lake Champlain’s lengthy shoreline, Split Rock Wild Forest.
Mother bear and cubs will thus have traversed Split Rock Wildway – a critical wildlife corridor linking the highly productive (for wildlife and people) Champlain Valley with the rugged High Peaks to the west.
Split Rock Wildway and the much larger Adirondack Park of which it is a part are bold moves in both reconnecting wild habitats and stabilizing climate. The ten or more conservation and recreation groups helping protect Split Rock Wildway are working for wildlife, quiet recreation, and a safe climate.
They are also working for safe food and vibrant economies. The Champlain Valley on both the Vermont (east) and New York (west) sides of Lake Champlain is enjoying a revival of organic and family farms. On the Adirondack (New York) side especially, small-scale farming is seen as complementary to wildlands preservation and as integral to achieving sustainable natural and human communities.
Continue reading this series:
- Where is the Split Rock Wildway?
- Split Rock Wildway: Protecting Biological Riches
- More Work to Do at Split Rock Wildway
Note: The content in this blog post was repurposed and a revised version is included in John Davis’s book Split Rock Wildway: Scouting the Adirondack Park’s Most Diverse Wildlife Corridor published by Essex Editions on Nov. 21, 2017. Learn more about the book and where to buy it at essexeditions.com. Watch the book trailer below.
- Serpentine Splendors: Snakes of Split Rock Wildway (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock Wildway: Creating and Protecting a Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Skinks at Split Rock Wildway (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- The Eddy Foundation Protects Adirondacks (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Songbird Mysteries (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)