Designating Wildlife Corridors on the Public Lands: Protection through BLM's Land Use Planning Process

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ecologists have long recognized that the loss of core habitat and habitat connectivity pose the greatest threats to species persistence and overall biodiversity. As the federal land management agency responsible for the majority of our western public lands, the Bureau of Land Management is in prime position to take the lead on identifying and protecting wildlife corridors to ensure that usable habitat and migration pathways remain.

This brief describes the BLM’s authority and obligation to designate and protect corridors that connect crucial habitat areas on the public lands for the benefit of wildlife, and details the agency’s existing management tools that can be applied to wildlife corridor protection. Especially in the face of a rapidly changing climate, it is essential for the health of wildlife, wildlands and human communities that the BLM develop a policy and analysis framework for defining and preserving wildlife movement patterns across the landscape in order to safeguard habitat connectivity.