Scientists Propose Rebuilding the American West by Reintroducing Grey Wolves and Beavers
The calls come amid an “unprecedented period of converging crises in the western United States, including prolonged drought and water shortages, extreme heat waves, massive fires caused at least in part by climate change, and loss of biodiversity”.
Faced with growing threats to ecosystems from climate change, US scientists have put forward an “ultra-ambitious” proposal to rebuild parts of the American West by reintroducing wolves and beavers.
His plan follows President Joe Biden signing an executive order for his America the Beautiful policy that involves a conservation effort to save 30% of the water and land in the US by 2030.
The administration’s plan is to address “a catastrophic extinction crisis that threatens our planet’s biodiversity and the health of the natural systems that supply our food, water and other resources.”
It comes as NASA satellite images have revealed the impact on the largest reservoir of water in the US, Lake Mead, from the most severe drought in decades.
In a journal article published in BioScience, titled Rewilding the American West, 20 scientists propose redeveloping large areas of reservation owned by the US federal government to address these concerns.
They have two main calls. First, stop cattle grazing on some federal lands, and second, restore two key species: the gray wolf and the North American beaver.
According to the letter, the challenges of avoiding grazing on these lands are not too serious.
Ranchers may simply be reimbursed for lost grazing allotments Reintroducing Grey Wolves, and meat derived from forage on federal land accounts for only about 2% of that produced in the US, they say. Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.