Side-by-Side Example: So What? Section

See the full side-by-side of Kathy's Message Box here.

  • By not accounting for connectivity between protected areas, many species of wildlife will become endangered—adding to an already overburdened ESA/USFWS and making the ESA even more contentious than it already is

  • For example, my dissertation work is focused on mountain lions in southern California. This is one of the most populated areas in the country  with a projected human population of 40 million people by 2050. Mountain lions here are getting hammered by roads and human development. In fact, my population is one of the most isolated in the US and is showing troubling signs of inbreeding. We are scrambling to identify and restore connections to this population, when, if some forethought and planning was done as development was increasing, this situation could have been avoided. This is one example of one population and one species, just multiply this across the country and # of species and you can start to see what a problem this can become. And how a visionary corridors plan at the national level would be key. Healthy populations less likely to get into conflict with people

  • Another example that may hit closer to home—our kitchens and human health is of pollinator species. By not providing connectivity for these species it can hinder the maintenance of wild plan diversity, narrow ecosystem stability, and reduce crop production. Pollinators contribute more than 24 billion $$ to the US economy. It has been shown that providing just one strip of pollinator vegetation can promote their movement between crops and foster pollination.


This includes a lot of detail, such as statistics on human population growth in one region of the country, inbreeding in mountain lions, the issue of land use planning, a variety of impacts on pollinators, and some acronyms that her audience might not understand. The essence of why her audience should care can get lost in the details.

Initial Feedback


  • Wildlife provide recreational, aesthetic, spiritual, and economic value to Americans and support healthy ecosystems. Each year, wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing pump over $145 billion into the US economy. 

  • Wildlife survival depends on day-to-day movements, seasonal migration, or the shift of a species' geographic range in response to climate change. This includes species such as elk, pronghorn, mountain lions, salmon, and more.

Refined Feedback

Here, Kathy makes two main points: that wildlife are important and that their survival depends on their ability to move across landscapes. In discussing why wildlife are important, she frames her message in a way that includes a diverse range of values that members of Congress and their constituents might care about, including economic, recreational, aesthetic and spiritual.

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