Big River Connectivity is Unique

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by Roger Ross Gipple

We are grounded in Deep Ecology and the belief that all life has intrinsic value separate from its usefulness to humans.

Our primary focus for Reconnecting, Restoring, and Rewilding large landscapes is on river corridors: Rivers Connect and Rivers Must Live.

We take a total watershed approach to Rewilding beginning at Ground Zero in Central Iowa and spreading outward across 32 states.

For us, the Cs are Cores, Corridors, Crossings, and Coexistence. Great challenges lay ahead as we strive to create a wilder, more beautiful, more biologically diverse, and a more enduring Mississippi River Watershed.

We begin the Rewilding benefits conversation with reduced soil/nutrient loss and improved water quality (big problems in the Corn Belt) rather than wolves. Additional Wild Places (woodland, wetland, grassland) provide a healthier environment for humans along with increased opportunity for biodiversity. States bordering Iowa have breeding populations of bear, cougar, and wolves. Water will be cleaner and large carnivores will move in as these newly appreciated and respected areas develop adequate perennial ground cover.

The BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY Rewilding plan calls for:

  • Large core habitat areas and connecting corridors mainly on steep slopes and frequently flooding river bottoms typically unproductive for agriculture.
  • Wildlife crossings over and under human transportation routes.
  • Human coexistence with wild things.

We believe change is a constant, that attempts at Rewilding large landscapes to mimic some idyllic time in history are counterproductive, and that Passive Rewilding will be liberating for all life as we learn to trust natural systems and natural processes.

Wildness is defined here as self-reliant, spontaneous, self-willed, self-regulating, local, authentic, and free. We value these qualities and attempt to demonstrate our values through actions.

TRUSTING WILDNESS is our holy grail.

Inspiration for BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY comes from BeWildReWild…a loosely-knit group of volunteers with a passion for wild things.