The Critical Linkages: Bay Area And Beyond Project

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Con­ser­va­tion Lands Network:

Cal­i­for­nia is now sub­ject­ed to cen­tral­ized land use con­trol. (AB32 SB375 SB1 and oth­er Sacra­men­to and NGO ini­tia­tives.) The envi­ron­ment is usu­al­ly the excuse. Pri­vate prop­er­ty is under mas­sive attack and the prop­er­ty own­ers are being set up to lose. The attached will give you a great view of how the Gold­en state has lost any tra­di­tion­al sense of being part of Amer­i­ca as it region­al­izes itself in con­for­mance to Agen­da 21 goals.

Habi­tat loss and frag­men­ta­tion are the lead­ing threats to bio­di­ver­si­ty. Coun­ter­ing these threats requires main­tain­ing and restor­ing con­nec­tions between our exist­ing nat­ur­al areas to form a region­al wild­land network.

Such an inter­con­nect­ed sys­tem of wild­lands would allow nat­ur­al eco­log­i­cal processes—such as migra­tion and range shifts with cli­mate change–to con­tin­ue oper­at­ing as they have for millennia.

Crit­i­cal Link­ages: Bay Area & Beyond (Crit­i­cal Link­ages) iden­ti­fies 14 land­scape lev­el con­nec­tions that togeth­er with the Con­ser­va­tion Lands Net­work pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive plan for such a region­al network.

Critical Linkages: Bay Area & Beyond

Crit­i­cal Link­ages: Bay Area & Beyond

Critical Linkages MapCrit­i­cal Link­ages was designed to pre­serve land­scape lev­el process­es and main­tain con­nect­ed wildlife pop­u­la­tions from Men­do­ci­no Nation­al For­est in the north to the beach­es of the San­ta Lucia Range on Los Padres Nation­al For­est and Hearst Ranch in the south, and east­ward to the south­ern end of the Inner Coast Range. These 14 link­ages of cru­cial bio­log­i­cal val­ue could be irre­triev­ably com­pro­mised by devel­op­ment projects over the next decade unless imme­di­ate con­ser­va­tion action occurs. These land­scape link­ages and the wild­lands they con­nect are meant to serve as the back­bone of a region­al wild­lands net­work to which small­er wild­lands can be connected.

The Crit­i­cal Link­ages effort was led by Sci­ence and Col­lab­o­ra­tion for Con­nect­ed Wild­lands (SC Wild­lands), a non­prof­it focused on con­nec­tiv­i­ty con­ser­va­tion. SC Wild­lands was asked to expand upon the work of the Bay Area Open Space Council’s Con­ser­va­tion Lands Net­work. The prod­ucts devel­oped for Crit­i­cal Link­ages are meant to fine tune the Con­ser­va­tion Lands Net­work to ensure func­tion­al habi­tat con­nec­tiv­i­ty at a land­scape scale. SC Wild­lands col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Bay Area Open Space Coun­cil and numer­ous oth­er part­ner­ing agen­cies, orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als to devel­op the Crit­i­cal Link­ages con­ser­va­tion strategy.


Crit­i­cal Link­ages launched in 2010 with two habi­tat con­nec­tiv­i­ty work­shops where sci­en­tists, land man­agers and plan­ners iden­ti­fied a suite of focal species to lay the bio­log­i­cal foun­da­tion for link­age plan­ning. Two more sym­po­sium were held in the sum­mer of 2012 and gave inter­est­ed stake­hold­ers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to review and com­ment on the Draft Link­age Net­work. Over 175 peo­ple attend­ed and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the symposiums.

For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it the SC Wild­lands web­site or con­tact Kris­teen Pen­rod at (877) WILDLAND.