Y2Y and our partners have achieved many conservation successes over the years. Below are a few examples of the progress that has been made across the Yellowstone to Yukon region.
- Y2Y has been recognized twice by the prestigious World Conservation Union (IUCN) as one of the leading conservation initiatives on the planet. With Y2Y, “the dream has been fulfilled more than any [other continental-scale initiative] that I know of,” says Larry Hamilton, Vice Chair for Mountains, The World Conservation Union.
- Through the efforts of a coalition of organizations, including the Y2Y Initiative, the Alberta Government in June 2010 listed the province’s grizzly bear population as “Threatened”, opening the door to greater protection.
- In 2009, the Land Acquisition team secured the Kidd Creek 2 priority parcel, totaling 396 acres, a significant second success for connectivity in the project area.
- In 2009, efforts paid off as the Nahanni National Park Reserve was expanded to six times its previous size, making it the largest core protected wildlife habitat in the entire Yellowstone to Yukon system. This extraordinary accomplishment was enabled by the vision and determination of the Deh Cho First Nations and a seven year public campaign led by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and support from funders such as the Wilburforce and Kendall Foundations, and the Canadian Boreal Initiative and Mountain Equipment Co-op.
- In 2007 and again in 2009, male grizzly bears were found south of Interstate 90 in central Idaho, farther south in that state than the bears had been seen since the early 20th century, proof that the efforts of Y2Y and its partners to restore habitat and create human tolerance to bears in the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor are effective.
- In 2007, Vital Ground, the , and Y2Y each contributed matching funds to secure a purchase option agreement on the of MontanaKidd Creek land, totaling 83 acres. Y2Y and Vital Ground then raised the remaining funds needed to buy the parcel, closing the deal and transferring the property to Nature Trust of British Columbia.
- In 2007, Y2Y worked with others to raise money for an underpass on Highway 206 east of Kalispell, Montana. The location of the underpass is part of an important corridor along which deer, elk and the occasional grizzly bear can move from Glacier National Park and the Swan Range down to the Flathead River.
- Sixty partner organizations participated in the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor Collaborative.
- Y2Y and partners worked to close and recover six hundred miles of forestry road.
- A recent study shows that seventy percent of rural residents now support grizzly bear recovery in the Cabinet-Purcell project area.
- Florian Schulz's stunning coffee table book Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam, published in 2005, beautifully illustrates the precious and sometimes indescribable nature of the region. Y2Y helped fund this worthwhile project, which has been featured at both the Burke and Field Museums.
- Two Y2Y board members helped develop the progressive Muskwa-Kechika management plan, which enables sustainable economic development while also protecting a predominantly roadless wilderness in northern British Columbia.
- In 2002, Y2Y coordinated the first trans-boundary gathering of Native American tribes and Canadian First Nations. The Exploring Common Ground conference led to aboriginal representation on the Y2Y board.
- Researchers based in Banff have spent over a decade studying wildlife movement on the 24 wildlife crossing structures along the TransCanada Highway. Their work, which Y2Y supports, has resulted in an 80 percent reduction of road-killed animals along the highway while maintaining wildlife movements throughout the region.
- From 1997 to 2007, Y2Y has helped channel $45 million into the region, in large part by securing committed supporters like the Kendall Foundation, Woodcock Foundation, and Wilburforce Foundation.
- In 1998, wildlife biologist Karsten Heuer set out to hike, ski, and paddle across the 3,200 kilometer Yellowstone to Yukon region. His book, Walking the Big Wild, has enamored, inspired, and educated countless readers.
With so many diverse successes by so many champions of the region, it's appropriate to be optimistic - even in the face of mounting challenges like increasing development pressures and climate change. We know good things take time, which is why Y2Y holds a 100-year vision for the region. That said, there's no time like the present to celebrate what we have here and now, in this incredible landscape.