Frog-Bear Land Acquisition
Over a decade of collaborative work, on behalf of Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), led to the acquisition of 306 acres (124 hectares) of land in British Columbia’s (BC) Creston Valley.
The private property, now known as Frog-Bear Conservation Area, falls within the trans-boundary Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor, where Y2Y leads a collaboration of over 60 groups who work to keep small grizzly bear populations connected to each other. The Creston Valley bottom is a key linkage area for grizzly bears and mountain caribou, and provides critical habitat for endangered northern leopard frogs.
Movement of grizzly bears through BC’s Creston valley was first detected by radio-collared bears that are part of the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, a research project conducted by an international group of biologists focused on recovering threatened trans-boundary populations and funded in part by Y2Y.
The research showed that grizzly bears and other wildlife species actually go out of their way to move through the identified Highway 3A linkage area (as noted in the picture below). By purchasing this private land that is adjacent to the linkage area and securing it from future development, the acquisition ensures all wildlife can continue to move between the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains, an area that suffers from fragmentation.
The value of the property was further enhanced when amphibian researchers discovered that it was the only known breeding ground for the endangered northern leopard frog within BC.
NCC led the acquisition of the properties from Creston-based Wyndel Box and Lumber, and will retain ownership of the land. In total, $1.1M was raised for the purchase and ongoing management of the site, of which Y2Y raised over half. Additional funders include the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Donner Canadian Foundation and other private donors.
Conserving this linkage is strategic step toward achieving the goals outlined in the Collaborative Conservation Framework for the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor that was created by Y2Y and its partners in 2008. The success of the Collaborative Conservation Framework is crucial to restoring wildlife movement between Idaho, Montana and British Columbia and throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Additionally, this acquisition demonstrates Y2Y's ability to advance our conservation efforts through successful partnerships.