Conservationist enters final stretch of international journey

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, at 10:25 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 13, 2011, at 10:57 a.m.

FORT KENT John Davis is about to accomplish what no other outdoor adventurer has ever achieved — and he isn’t finished yet.

In 36 weeks, the wildlands enthusiast has now walked, biked, and paddled without a break from the Florida Keys north through the wilds of virtually every state in the eastern U.S. to the Canadian border at the tip of Maine.

According to his colleagues at Wildlands Network, the organization sponsoring his journey, Davis’ expedition to promote the creation of an Eastern Wildway — connected wildlife habitat from Florida to Canada — has now zig-zagged through more than 6,500 miles through every type of terrain in the East’s last remaining wilds, according to a press release.

Davis will leave the U.S. at Fort Kent, walking across the international Clair-Fort Kent Bridge into New Brunswick, Canada on the final leg of his record-breaking trek. That leg will lead him through the “Three Borders” region important as a landscape linkage for Canada lynx and woodland caribou, then along the International Appalachian Trail through Gaspesie Provincial Park in Quebec (where he may have to rely on his cross-country skis traversing the Chic Choc Mountains).

He will then continue on to his final destination at Quebec’s Forillon National Park at the tip of the wild and remote Gaspe´ Peninsula, he hopes to arrive on Nov. 14 – almost 7,000 miles from his starting point in Key Largo, Fla.

Asked why people should care about the incredible effort he has put into his wildlands pilgrimage, Davis is answers: “To learn and communicate conservation lessons … The main point of my expedition is to learn about wild places and how to connect them, for it is only larger landscapes that will protect our great natural heritage.”

Those lessons — that tell the compelling story of the East’s last remaining wildlands and the threats to wildlife habitat connectivity they face — are being heard. Since the launch of TrekEast last February, Davis’ adventures and observations on the need to create an Eastern Wildway have received national attention through hundreds of regular posts and blogs on his social networks and through major media coverage, including all the major television networks, 70 print and online stories, and dozens of radio interviews including NPR and Voice of America.

Follow Davis’ daily movements and blogs here.

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