Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondacks Program Offers Guidance for Wildlife-Friendly Development

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SARANAC LAKE (July 2, 2013) –A new brochure developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program is available as a resource to landowners in the Northern Forest to promote wildlife-sensitive decisions in managing property and building a home.

The graphically rich brochure, which introduces concepts to landowners such as potential use of their property by animals as habitat or as a travel corridor, understanding a residence’s “wildlife shadow,” and bear-proofing residences, is informed by science conducted by WCS in the Adirondacks.

In one example, the brochure references a recent WCS study showing that development can impact wildlife up to 600 feet away from a house due to factors related to lawn care practices, free-roaming pets, noise and physical changes to the forest zones.

“We’ve shown that these impacts bring more common generalist species to the area and may ultimately displace the rarer species that make the Adirondacks a unique destination,” said WCS Adirondack Program Science Director Michale Glennon. “Visitors can see blue jays and raccoons anywhere. But they come to the Adirondacks to see our icons such as loons, moose, gray jay and boreal chickadees. Activities on private lands will influence the future of these species in the region.”

The Northern Forest is one of the great forested landscapes in the US. At 26 million acres, it is the largest continuous forest east of the Mississippi River. It is home to human and wildlife populations that live across a mosaic of forests, wetlands, mountains, and rivers. Among its iconic wildlife are ecologically viable populations of bear, moose, bobcat, marten, and other species that roam among its public and private lands.

WCS hopes the brochure entitled, Make Room For Wildlife: A Resource for Landowners in the Northern Forest, will be distributed by conservation advocates, real estate agents, and by local municipalities in the Adirondacks and across the Northern Forest of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

“Many people come to live in the Northern Forest because of its spectacular natural beauty and abundant and unique wildlife,” said Adirondack Program Director Zoe Smith. “Whether a landowner is considering building a home, or simply maintaining a home that they already own, there are easy steps that they can take to make their property more beneficial and less damaging for wildlife. We hope that this brochure will help inspire them to take these steps. ”

This brochure was made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the International Paper Foundation. The brochure is printed on donated paper made at International Paper’s Ticonderoga Mill, from trees harvested in working Adirondack forests managed in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council.

For further information on this story, contact Scott Smith at 718-220-3698 or email ssmith@wcs.org.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.