Rewilding the American West
August 31, 2022
After taking office, President Biden signed an executive order announcing his America the Beautiful plan to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030. He challenged Americans to collaboratively “conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend” at a national scale (US Departments 2021, p. 9). Here, we take a major step in advancing President Biden’s plan by envisioning a bold and science-based rewilding of publicly owned federal lands (hereafter, federal lands) in the American West. Beyond concerns for human survival and flourishing, a principled commitment to the natural world and a sense of moral urgency underpins the motivation for our proposal.
Author(s): WILLIAM J. RIPPLE, CHRISTOPHER WOLF, MICHAEL K. PHILLIPS, ROBERT L. BESCHTA, JOHN A. VUCETICH, J. BOONE KAUFFMAN, BEVERLY E. LAW, AARON J. WIRSING, JOANNA E. LAMBERT, ELAINE LESLIE, CARLY VYNNE, ERIC DINERSTEIN, REED NOSS, GEORGE WUERTHNER, DOMINICK A. DELLASALA, JEREMY T. BRUSKOTTER, MICHAEL PAUL NELSON, EILEEN CRIST, CHRIS DARIMONT, AND DANIEL M. ASHE