Heart of the West Planning Effort
The goals of the Heart of the West wildlands network design project are based on over-arching reserve design goals prescribed by The Wildlands Project and generally accepted in the field of conservation biology. These include:
1.) Protect enough habitat, in a connected configuration, to ensure viable populations of native plants and animals
2.) Plan for land management at regional scales, and over a period of centuries, so as to provide ecosystem resilience, and to ensure that species and ecosystems may continue to evolve.
3.) Allow for human use that is managed in deference to ecosystem needs.
4.) Ensure strong support for the wildlands network among land management agencies, the local public, and other stakeholders, to ensure that the Heart of the West Conservation Plan is the basic framework that guides future land management decisions.
Below are key objectives that apply to the above project goals:
1.) Maintenance of focal species populations via the protection of core reserves and important landscape linkages, as well as species-compatible matrixes in buffer zones
2.) Representation of all major vegetation types in the region within the conservation network
1.) Insure that core wildland zones are large enough to accommodate natural disturbance regimes and a full complex of interacting species and communities
2.) Educate public on importance of long term conservation measures and initiatives
1.) Develop specific management recommendations to guide forest plan revisions, oil and gas development proposals, habitat conservation plans, state wildlife agency management plans, and various development proposals in the region
2.) Work with land managers and private landowners to carefully define compatible use zones
1.) Recruit numerous conservation partners and other stakeholders to develop and implement a larger campaign for the Heart of the West Region, and to simultaneously help us develop and implement the conservation plan as a tool of the wider campaign
2.) Make our products, even initial ones, available to our conservation partners. Examples include roadless areas, focal species habitat analyses, and oil and gas development maps