By Sunshine Jowell
This month’s Red Rock Audubon Society monthly meeting was held virtually on Saturday, March 13th. We were treated to a presentation on Boreal Forest Conservation by Dr. Jeff Wells, the Audubon Vice President for Boreal Conservation and Norman Barichello, an award-winning biologist and author working with Indigenous Nations in the Yukon.
The Boreal Forest in North America is one of the largest ecosystems left on Earth. It is a source of climate stabilization—integral to regulating the global climate—and a cradle of biodiversity. Considered North America’s “bird nursery”, it contains 399 bird species and over 3.5 billion individual birds during the breeding season. The Boreal is the source of continental-scale migrations that link the Americas, with many birds visiting here in Las Vegas, as well as areas of South America.
Yet, less than 12% of the Boreal is considered protected, and under constant threat from climate change, roads, mining, and forestry.
In the past, it was considered safe to protect only 10% of our forests. New science is showing us that, in reality, we need to care for and protect over 50%.
s part of the Boreal Conservation Strategy, the Canadian government is working with Indigenous Leadership to provide federal funding for the Kaska Dena tribe to reclaim stewardship of these lands. Known as “The People”, the Dena have lived in these forests for over 7500 years. Not only do the Dena have comprehensive knowledge of the Boreal, but this will allow them to manage and receive benefits, and allow their youth to reconnect to their land and culture.
The RRAS has already donated binoculars to the Guardians of the Boreal in order for them to help monitor migrations, and below you’ll find a number of links to additional information about the Boreal Forest, the Kaska Dena tribe, and ways you can support the effort to prevent climate change in our lifetime.
To learn more and stay connected with Boreal Conservation check on the below links :
1. Audubon Boreal Conservation: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/boreal-forests
2. Pimachiowin Aki: https://pimaki.ca/
3. Boreal Conservation Website: https://www.borealconservation.org/
4. Indigenous Leadership Initiative: https://www.ilinationhood.ca/
5. Land Needs Gaurdians: https://landneedsguardians.ca/