The Plan to "Rewild" the American West
We're joined by Mike Phillips of the Turner Endangered Species Fund. He's one of the authors of a recent Viewpoint article in BioScience entitled, "Rewilding the American West," which describes a plan for repopulating areas of the US with beavers and gray wolves, two species whose presence in ecosystems tends to have wide-ranging effects.
As the effects of climate change mount, ecosystem restoration in the US West has garnered significant public attention, bolstered by President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful plan to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030. Writing in BioScience, William J. Ripple and 19 colleagues follow up on the Biden plan with a proposal for a "Western Rewilding Network," comprising 11 large reserve areas already owned by the federal government. The authors advocate for the cessation of livestock grazing on some federal lands, coupled with the restoration of two keystone species: the gray wolf and the North American beaver. For this episode, we're joined by Mike Phillips of the Turner Endangered Species Fund, one of the Viewpoint's coauthors.