In 1993, lawyer and environmentalist Harvey Locke wrote the words "Yellowstone to Yukon" on a map while sitting around a campfire in what is now the Greater Muskwa-Kechika Ecosystem in British Columbia. Building on a myriad of longstanding efforts to protect the Northern Rocky Mountains, the idea of establishing new protected areas and wildlife corridors throughout the mountain ranges from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon became more formalized in December 1993 when a group of scientists and conservationists convened in Kananaskis, Alberta to pour over maps and examine critical landscapes in the region. The group came to the conclusion that a positive vision tying together conservation goals from Yellowstone to the Yukon was appropriate and necessary.
Out of the many influences leading to the Y2Y vision, one of the most inspiring was the story of a gray wolf named Pluie. In 1991, Pluie was collared with a satellite transmitter in Kananaskis, Alberta. Over the course of two years she traveled through two Canadian provinces and three American states - covering an area 15 times larger than Banff National Park. Pluie's movements showed scientists just how far and wide carnivores roam, and that small 'islands' of protected parks are simply not large enough to provide animals with the freedom to roam that they require. These islands need to be connected by safe migration pathways so animals can safely travel between them.