Canadian Rocky Mountains - Collaborative Projects
The Canadian Rocky Mountains (CRM) Priority Area is composed of four mountain national parks (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho), a number of provincial parks and wilderness areas, as well as areas of unprotected Crown and private lands in Alberta and British Columbia.
Maintaining habitat security within this protected landscape and increasing it on adjacent provincial landscapes and private lands are critical to ensure that this region continues to act as a safe haven that supports source populations and allows movement in response to changing climates and habitats.
Within the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Y2Y is engaged in a number of important efforts to ensure safe and secure habitat for fish, birds, and wildlife.
Photo: Paul Horsley
Canadian Rocky Mountain Collaborative Network
A number of organizations and agencies are focused on conservation issues in the CRM; however, these programs could be more effective if they were better coordinated. The Y2Y Initiative has begun to build a collaborative network of government agencies, scientists, conservation organizations, land trusts, and community organizations committed to working together on behalf of the conservation of the CRM ecosystem. Together, the Y2Y Initiative and the CRM partner network share a common goal to ensure that the Canadian Rocky Mountains region continues to function as a protected core, within which wildlife populations are maintained or increased.
The collaborative is developing consensus-based strategic goals and strategies that will serve as a guide to prioritize actions for on-the-ground implementation and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of everyone's efforts.
Partners involved in this project include Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Alberta Parks and Protected Areas, Alberta Wilderness Association, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Bow Valley Naturalists, Bow Valley WildSmart, Dr. Brad Stelfox, Chinook Institute for Community Stewardship, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Southern Alberta & Northern Alberta Chapters, Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta, WildCanada Conservation Alliance, Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Fraser Headwaters Alliance, Jasper Environmental Association, Miistakis Institute for the Rockies, Niki Wilson, Parks Canada, Sierra Club Canada, Dr. Steve Herrero, Trout Unlimited Canada - Bow Headwaters Chapter, UTSB Research, Upper Bow Basin Cumulative Effects Study, Water Matters, Athabasca Watershed Bioregional Society, Wildsight.
Improve the Aquatic Integrity of the Upper Bow River Watershed
The Y2Y Initiative, in conjunction with Parks Canada and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, commissioned a study to assess the health of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout populations in the
Photo: Michael Ready
Upper Bow Basin Cumulative Effects Study (UBBCES)
The Y2Y Conservation Initiative is an active partner in this project, which seeks to influence land use planning in southern Alberta's Bow watershed from Banff National Park downstream past Calgary to the Carseland dam.
Phase 1 of the study used ALCES© computer modeling to project the condition of the watershed in 70 years if current growth and development trends continue. The Upper Bow River is the most densely populated river basin in Alberta and the once wild, free flowing Upper Bow River is the province's most controlled river, with numerous dams and water diversions. These changes have had unplanned and unexpected effects on water quality, groundwater, wildlife, fish and natural areas. The agriculture, energy, residential, and transportation sectors are the main human activities that have impacted water and wildlife values in the Bow basin over the last century. Model simulations suggest that continued population growth and demand for homes and resources will reduce available agricultural lands and the extent of natural areas over the next 70 years. We must change the way that we manage communities, agricultural lands and roads so that water quality, water supply, wildlife and fish, and working farms and ranches can be preserved. Click to read the UBBCES brochure and here to read the project's Executive Summary.
Private Land Conservation in the Bow Valley
The Y2Y Initiative has identified the Bow Valley as a critical link for wildlife and an important target for conservation efforts. A concerted effort is being developed to complete the identification, protection, and responsible management of private lands important for large carnivore connectivity and wetland/riparian conservation. The Private Land Conservation Opportunities in Alberta's Bow Valley report sets the agenda for private land acquisition and stewardship that, when implemented, will secure wildlife connectivity between Alberta's Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park.
Tools for the appropriate stewardship of private lands may include educating landowners about management practices, the placement of conservation easements, or purchase of land by land trusts or conservancies.
Partners involved in this project include Alberta Sustainable Development, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Bow Valley Land Conservancy, MD of Bighorn, Miistakis Institute for the Rockies, Town of Canmore.
Photo: Joe Riis
Alberta Grizzly Bear Campaign
An updated Status of the Grizzly Bear in Alberta report released March 3, 2010 by the Alberta government confirms that roughly 691 grizzly bears roam the province. Of those, 52%, or 359 bears are considered to be breeding adults.
Y2Y staff members are actively involved in a campaign to recover grizzly bears in Alberta. To address Alberta's small grizzly bear population, the report A Grizzly Challenge: Ensuring a Future for Alberta's Threatened Grizzlies, released on May 28, 2010 analyzing current recovery efforts in Alberta, indicates that the provincial government is not doing enough to protect one of the most threatened grizzly bear populations in North America. Within the same week, the Alberta government announced the listing of the grizzly bear as “Threatened.” In concert with our partners in this campaign, we will now be pushing for road density management and motorized vehicle reductions in core grizzly habitat. For more information on this campaign click here.
Partners involved in this project include Sierra Club Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Southern Alberta and Northern Alberta Chapters, Alberta Wilderness Association, WildCanada Conservation Alliance, and Natural Resources Defence Council.
Funding for the Y2Y Initiative's work in this Priority Area is graciously provided by Alberta Lottery Fund - Community Spirit Program, Bunting Family Foundation, Bow Valley Land Conservancy, Clara Jeffery Charitable Trust, Fanwood Foundation, Lafarge, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Volker Stevin Contracting Ltd, Wilburforce Foundation, Woodcock Foundation.