Private Land Acquisition
The Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor (CPMC) Project, a Y2Y-led initiative dedicated to restoring the Cabinet-Purcell region to a healthy conduit for wildlife movement, identified private land acquisition as one of its top strategies. The region is of considerable importance to the Y2Y vision. Not only was it identified as a critical corridor in the 2005 , but it also was highlighted as the key for restoring continental connectivity among grizzly bear populations. in the Y2Y region
A two part investigation process led to the identification of private lands in the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor suitable for acquisition. In the first phase, a working group with members from Y2Y, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Vital Ground, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project spent four years mapping, planning and analysing the region to select areas valuable for conservation. Three such areas were noted: two in the U.S. (the Yaak Mountain region near Troy, MT and the Rice Draw near Noxon, MT ) and one on the Canadian side of CPMC (Kidd Creek, east of Creston, BC).
In the second phase, land specialists were hired to identify landowners in Montana's Yaak Mountain and Rice Draw areas and in Canada's Kidd Creek region who were potentially willing to sell their land for conservation purposes. A multi-year grant from Y2Y to Vital Ground, one of our U.S. partners, allowed them to hire the full-time lands specialist in the U.S., while a scientist on contract to Y2Y performed the same function in Canada.
Since 2007, Y2Y has invested $1.7 million USD ($1.8 million CAN) in land acquisition in the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor, and has enabled its partners successfully to acquire three parcels of private land:
- three in Canada (Kidd Creek 1 and Kidd Creek 2), acquired by the Nature Trust of BC, and (Frog-Bear Conservation Area), acquired by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and
- one in the U.S. (Yaak Mountain), acquired by Vital Ground.
Each of these parcels is frequently used by wildlife as a means to travel from one core habitat to another. This movement ability is vulnerable to fragmentation from possible development. Now in the possession of Y2Y's partners, these lands will not be commercially or residentially developed and will remain available to facilitate wildlife movements between Idaho, Montana and across the Canadian border into British Columbia.
Y2Y and its partners will continue to identify private lands within corridors used by wildlife and will seek out owners willing to sell those lands so that their future use by wild animals is secured.
Y2Y Land Acquisition Stories:
When Does 71 Acres Matter? - December 2013