Habitat conservation is one of the most important issues facing wildlife today. Just like humans, wildlife need safe and ample places to forage, shelter, and raise young, otherwise they cannot thrive. AWA recognizes that, in order to have functioning ecosystems, we must conserve the habitat upon which our iconic wildlife species depend. As such, AWA also advocates to protect and, if necessary, restore healthy ecosystems for Alaska’s wildlife. We defend against anthropogenic threats that would result in the degradation, fragmentation, or destruction of their habitats, and protect those habitats from activities detrimental to the wildlife that inhabit them.
Protecting existing wildlife habitat
The best way to protect wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations is to protect their habitat. We do not believe in the polarizing argument wildlife vs. development. With ingenuity, creativity, and thoughtful consideration, we can sustainably develop Alaska while conserving habitat. However, development projects that focus exclusively on profits without balancing the needs of wildlife result in serious degradation, fragmentation, or destruction of essential habitat. We believe that, by protecting wildlife habitat, we are also protecting our own futures, because healthy watersheds and forests are essential to providing us with the resources we all depend on, such as clean water, clean air, and plentiful salmon.
Restoring degraded wildlife habitat
There are few ecosystems that haven’t been damaged by human activities. In Alaska, we are fortunate to have some of the last remaining wilderness areas in the world. However, even in the last frontier there are instances where the damage has been done and we weren’t able to protect vital habitat. This is evident in the number of endangered, threatened and declining species. With more people understanding and promoting wildlife conservation, and recognizing the value that healthy wildlife and functional ecosystems provide, there is hope that we can work to restore damaged habitats back to functioning ecosystems. There is no homeowner’s insurance policy for wildlife if their home gets destroyed – we have to be that policy.