Target: John Stokes, Fort Collins Natural Area Department Head
Goal: Require all home development areas to provide local wildlife with protected open spaces.
The population of the United States is rapidly growing and the wildlife population is most affected. More and more land is being used for housing developments, leaving the wildlife with nowhere to go. National forests provide wildlife with habitat and refuge from the increasing population, but many wildlife populations aren’t as lucky. Smaller animals such as bunnies, rodents, birds and reptiles dwell close to human settlements. But with the increase of housing developments, these animals are left with no refuge.
The further people expand, the more animals they are going to come into contact with. Many neighborhoods are built near large populations of smaller animals that are adapted to live near humans. However, without designated open spaces, these animals will find themselves with nothing. They may be adapted to live near humans, but they cannot thrive in a neighborhood that offers no refuge from houses or cars. Rabbits are a rather common animal that can survive among human populations, but even these clever critters need some space to themselves.
Builders and business are trying to claim every last bit of open land they can find. There are some designated open areas that have been given the status of a nature reserve or natural area. These areas are generally located outside of city limits and in neighborhoods that have older residents.
Every neighborhood should be required to have at least one open space set aside to provide local wildlife with homes and sources of food. Depending on the size of the neighborhoods and the animals that are located there, each open space would be tailored to fit the needs of the animals. Not every neighborhood would be expected to provide enough open space for all types of wildlife. Please sign the petition below to help protect local wildlife.
Dear John Stokes,
As the population grows, animals are finding it harder to coexist with humans. While there are many national parks that protect thousands of species from too much human contact, there are animals that have adapted to living near humans but still require some open space that is human-free. As more and more housing developments are built, open space is rapidly declining. Houses are being shoved together like blocks and many small animals like rabbits are losing their homes.
In order for us to continue living among our local wildlife, neighborhoods need to provide animals with open spaces. These open spaces will vary depending on the location of the neighborhoods. Apartment complexes can have bird areas where tenants can put up bird feeders and provide the local squirrel population with food and housing. Larger neighborhoods can designate chunks of land for rabbit and rodent populations along with larger birds, and potentially, deer.
By requiring housing developments to create open spaces for animals, you would be promoting the importance of living in harmony with our local wildlife. Allowing each development to have an open space that worked with its current layout would also make people more likely to invest in the creation and maintenance of these spaces. I urge you to require all neighborhoods and housing developments to create open spaces that provide homes for the animals with whom we share our land.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Keven Law