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Stitching the West Back TogetherConservation of Working Landscapes$
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Susan Charnley, Thomas E. Sheridan, and Gary P. Nabhan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226165684

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226165851.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Biodiversity That Protected Areas Can’t Capture

The Biodiversity That Protected Areas Can’t Capture

How Private Ranch, Forest, And Tribal Lands Sustain Biodiversity

(p.33) 3 The Biodiversity That Protected Areas Can’t Capture
Stitching the West Back Together

Richard L. Knight

Susan Charnley

University of Chicago Press

National parks, wilderness areas, preserves, and other areas designated for species protection are often too small or not located in areas of highest biodiversity, most productive soils, or most favorable water resources to support viable populations of area-sensitive species. Private and tribal lands in large working forest and ranch landscapes provide significant additional support of wild biodiversity while still retaining their productive capacity. Examples from the Colorado Plateau, the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion, and the Oregon Coast Range illustrate the biodiversity benefits of private and tribal working lands. Species diversity is typically greater in the lower elevations where working ranches and forests operate, rather than in higher elevations where designated protection areas often are established. Private ranchlands with grazing leases on adjacent public lands provide a buffer. A mosaic of public, private, and tribal forests and rangelands that includes protected areas may be the most effective for maintaining biodiversity.

Keywords:   biodiversity, productive capacity, Colorado Plateau, Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion, Oregon coast range, species protection

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