Indentifying and Protecting Wildlife Corridors

PATHWAYS
Wildlife Corridors of New Mexico
https://pathwayswc.wordpress.com/

Who we are:
Since 2006, we are the grass roots collective who has the vision to see that all animals who need to move between New Mexico’s mountains may do so freely and without harm. This in turn will, through our mission to recognize and protect our state’s vital wildlife corridors, maintain and improve the health of our New Mexico Mountains.

Our philosophy is: We take care of the wildlife, the wildlife takes care of the land, and from this we all benefit.

What we do:
Through community outreach and collaboration with other conservation organizations, we fulfill our misson of recognizing and protecting the health of wildlife corridors. We provide maps, information, and on the ground research by working with State, local and Federal agencies, private land owners and others.

We belong:
To a community of individuals and organizations including: New Mexico Wildways: New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Earth Works Institute, New Mexico Priority Wildlife Linkages,, Wildlands Network, Wildlife Habitat of NM, Trust for Public Land, Albuquerque Wildlife Federation,The Nature Conservancy, Las Placitas Association, Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA), Wildlife Tracking Southwest, and others.

Long term Goals and Commitments:
We are committed to protecting the last unobstructed wildlife corridor on Sandia mountain by supporting the USFS decision to close the NE corner of the Sandia Ranger District to motorized use. This goal has been achieved! ( Spring of ‘09)
We are embarking on a two year wildlife mural project along Hwy. 165 through Placitas which will involve community members, businesses, school children, and seniors to create a lasting, visible reminder of the wildlife connections we value.
The mosaic sign, “Protect Our Wildlife Corridors”, and 2, nine foot wide by six and a half foot tall animal panels have been completed (’08). Two more panels of the same size are to be completed this year, with the first one to be installed May 30-31 ‘09.
This was achieved on time! There are now 3 panels installed, plus the sign, with another panel scheduled to be installed by May of 2010.

We are commited to starting up a Citizen Scientist wildlife track and sign monitoring program which will provide scientifically valid data to local, state and federal governments. We have begun this effort and currently have 14 volunteers gaining field time and training to become qualified monitors in the Placitas area. A goal is to have 2 team leaders qualified at level 3 track and sign by this fall ‘09. This has been achieved! We now have 2 teams of qualified volunteers who are ready to gather official data starting in Jan. of 2010.

To work with NMDOT and other agencies to construct a bridge over Las Huertas Cr. at I-25 to replace the existing culverts. This will allow safer passage of wildlife under the interstate along a vital wildlife corridor. This goal will of course be tied to the reconstruction of this section of I-25.

Achievements include:
Producing maps and information describing the wildlife corridors between Sandia, Jemez and Sangre de Christo Mts. This raises public awareness and interest in protecting these vital connections.
Completion of three (of 7) mosaic mural panels, “Protect Our Wildlife Corridors”.
Two qualified team leaders who are training volunteers in wildlife track and sign monitoring in the Placitas area. Data collection and documentation of wildlife corridor locations and uses. Organizing the Citizen Scientist wildlife monitoring program in this area.
Providing a meeting place and schedule of regular monthly meetings. The 4th Tuesday of every month, 6:30 pm, at the Placitas Senior Center. Location: #41 Camino de las Huertas, Placitas, NM 87043.
Input to the U.S.F.S., B.L.M. and Sandoval County informing various land use decision making processes. A goal is to meet with Sandoval County and NMSGF by June of ‘10 to discuss a wildlife corridor study in the Placitas area. The Placitas Area Plan was just passed by the Sandoval County Commission in April ‘09 and includes the desire of the County for such a study.
Outreach to other communities to encourage an interest in forming additional wildlife corridor protection groups. (Pathways-Jemez and Wildlife Habitat of NM). We have met with interested parties in the Jemez and Galisteo area many times over the past two years, and a goal of Pathways is to support and encourage the formation of wildlife corridor identification and protection groups statewide. The workshop on June 10th with the Wildlands Network helped to further that goal by forming a coalition: New Mexico Wildways. See members above in “We Belong”

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