When one thinks of wildlife conservation, it’s tempting to think of non-profit organizations and government agencies. After all, that’s who does much of the front-lines conservation work. Biologist Ron Pulliam is trying something different: a for-profit company.
Through his company Wildlife Corridors LLC, Pulliam and his colleagues are preserving land within a vital wildlife corridor near the United States-Mexico border.
This stretch of land in the American Southwest is a crucial travel route for jaguars moving between Mexico and the U.S., as well as habitat for many other species. Unfortunately, its integrity is threatened by – among other things – the possibility of housing developments.
Wildlife Corridors and their larger conglomerate – Borderlands Restoration L3C – are attempting to counter this threat by creating a “restoration economy.” Essentially, they’re trying to make wildlife conservation as economically viable as extractive industries like mining.
Through ventures like ecotourism and acquiring grants, Borderlands Restoration is hoping to create jobs while simultaneously protecting key habitats in the Southwest. Pulliam also stresses the value of getting local people directly involved in conservation, rather than blocking them out through “fortress conservation” approaches.
Of course, this has been a brief summary of Amy Matthews Amos’ excellent article. Please see The Revelator for more!