We campaign hard against baiting and hounding of predators, contest kills, captive hunts, trophy hunts, poaching, the trade in wildlife parts, and so many other human-caused problems for wildlife. But arguably the greatest anthropogenic threat to wildlife is destruction of habitat. That’s one reason why the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust works so hard to protect the living environments of wild creatures.
Since 1993, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 2 million acres of wildlife habitat in 38 states and eight foreign countries.
I am so pleased to report that we’ve just added a 1,122-acre wilderness property in Sonoma County, California to our quilt of protected lands. Located in the southern extension of the Pacific Northwest’s temperate rainforests, this sanctuary has spectacular views of Buck Knoll Ridge to the north and Marble Mine Ridge to the south. It is bisected by a free-flowing perennial stream that provides critical habitat for the foothill yellow-legged frog and steelhead trout. Mature forests — including redwoods, oak woodland, Douglas-fir and tanoak forests — cover nearly 90 percent of the sanctuary, and portions of the property provide habitat for the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet (a small North Pacific seabird), both species listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
The landowners we work with via HSWLT tell us how thankful they are to find a land trust that shares their concern and compassion for wildlife, one that cares about all wildlife, whether endangered or not, as HSWLT does. On these lands, we’ll allow no sport hunting or trapping, won’t sell off lands for McMansions or strip malls, or cut down trees or mine the earth for minerals or energy. It’s a special role, and it’s one we’re honored to fulfill for those who want to ensure such protections.
This shared sense of humane values is what led trustees of the Thelma Doelger Animal and Wildlife Preserve Trust to select HSWLT to permanently protect this beautiful patch of nature – which supports an estimated 160 wildlife species. Originally used as a family retreat, the property also became a sanctuary for primates formerly used in research. Thelma Doelger kindly took them in, providing safe, healthy housing and caregivers for their remaining years. Thelma Doelger’s deep interest in animals, and in particular, her sensitivity for research animals who had suffered abuse, as well as her desire to ensure that wildlife would continue to have the habitat they need to survive, makes HSWLT the perfect match for her vision for the land and wildlife.
We are here to carry forward Thelma Doelger’s compassionate vision, and we are deeply grateful to both her and the trustees for the opportunity to be responsible for protecting this significant landscape and all of its wildlife. Learn more about our habitat protect efforts at hswlt.org.