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western New York Wildway

A Bold Initiative

The Land Conservancy is beginning an ambitious new initiative— to create the Western New York Wildway. The Wildway will be an extensive series of protected lands that connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great lakes, through to the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and beyond. It will form part of the Eastern Wildway which runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wildway will allow plants and animals to migrate across the land as they once did, to move as climate changes, and to expand their ranges and ensure their survival.

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Preliminary Map of the Wildway

The Changing Climate

As the climate changes, plants and animals will require corridors that enable them to move to more hospitable landscapes and core habitat areas to make their home. 

Due to our region’s plentiful fresh water, productive agricultural soils, and cool climate, experts suggest that Western New York will become a destination for climate migrants in the 21st century. Given this ever-increasing pressure on our natural resources, protecting our region’s natural habitats is more important than ever.

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Protecting Biodiversity 

In his influential 2016 book Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, biologist and author E.O. Wilson argues that if humans conserve half the land and sea, we can save 85% of the world’s biodiversity from extinction. To achieve this goal, we must reduce habitat fragmentation and build corridors of connection between large, wild, protected areas that will allow plants and animals greater movement between them. This will help ensure ecosystems—and everything that lives in them—can thrive in the face of climate change. The Western New York Wildway will deliver on our region’s goal of maintaining healthy natural habitats, while also increasing carbon capture and storage. That’s what we call a win-win.

Let's Get Started Together

Our Conservation Team is working now to create the Wildway by working with willing landowners to permanently protect their land. 

Right now, you can ensure that future plants and animals will find their way home to our region—and beyond—by migrating across the Western New York Wildway. Will you consider donating today with the link below?

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