The following statement from WCS Scientist, Colorado State University Faculty Affiliate, and Nature in the City Initiative member Sarah Reed, was issued today in response to the adoption of the Nature in the City Strategic Plan by the Fort Collins City Council:
“WCS applauds last night’s announcement of adoption by the Fort Collins City Council of the Nature in the City Strategic Plan, and in particular, of the long-term monitoring policies, which encourage the development of specific environmental targets and biodiversity monitoring programs to help the City assess whether it is on track to achieve the goals established in the plan.
“The ecological inventory and assessment, which documented a remarkable 88 species of birds and 33 species of butterflies, provides baseline information to which future data can be compared, and used to identify potential impacts to the environment resulting from City growth. This is a critical step in maintaining Fort Collins as a place where nature remains accessible to its residents, provides habitat for native plant and wildlife species, and contributes to the City’s economy and quality of life.
“In addition, several proposed policy areas—especially LT1 which sets a citywide biodiversity goal, and LT5, which establishes a long-term monitoring program using citizen science—set exciting precedents for preserving native wildlife and habitats into the future. Beginning in summer 2015, these citizen science projects will get City residents further involved in caring for nature and help people to feel invested in where they live.”
Along with fellow members of Nature in the City, including WCS and CSU colleagues, Reed worked with the City of Fort Collins on a program aimed at creating and sustaining access to nature as Fort Collins grows. The project team helped to implement the City’s first biodiversity assessment—the results of which will inform the design guidelines, policies, and actions that will result from the Strategic Plan.
About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org;http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.