In her new book, "The Spine of the Continent," Mary Ellen Hannibal looks at what she calls the "most ambitious wildlife conservation project ever undertaken." The initiative is an international effort to employ people to protect a network of 5,000 miles worth of conservation lands from northern Alaska's Brooks Range down through the Canadian and American Rockies into northern Mexico.
The so-called Spine is indeed alive:
Grizzly bears to the north, jaguars to the south, and the habitats of caribou, elk, beaver, fox, mink, coyote and more - all now in trouble where they remain and all to be protected by this initiative. The Bay Area writer seems to have seen them all during her many journeys into the wilderness with their fierce human protectors.
And that protection is not only designed for today, when wildlands are increasingly threatened by sprawl, mining and timber cutting. Remarkably, the Spine's sponsors hope to protect those territories more strongly for the future, because so much of today's wildlife will be forced to migrate there as climate change makes today's habitats unlivable.
Hannibal will join The Daily Circuit Friday to discuss her work for the book. During her research, she traveled the length of the project learning more about the people working on the effort.
Kenyon Fields, strategy director for Wildlands Network, will also join the discussion.
VIDEO: Hannibal on 'The Spine of the Continent'