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(Re)Newed Connections, Stephen Legault, Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative Coordinator

This winter saw another connection renewed at Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative – Stephen Legault has started as the Initiative Coordinator for the Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative, and is based in Y2Y's Canmore office. Stephen is now revitalizing connections across the Crown region, between conservation groups, landscapes and communities.

Stephen's connection to Y2Y runs deep. He first became involved with Y2Y in 1996. In 1997 he became a founding board member, serving through to 2004. He chaired the successful Connections conference that publicly launched Y2Y in 1997. With more than twenty years of conservation experience, Stephen is now working with non-profit and community partners in the Crown of the Continent to help complete an ambitious conservation agenda for the region, helping secure a critical climate change refuge.

“This is one model where conservation partners working within the Yellowstone to Yukon region can team up to make the vision of interconnected wildlands a reality,” says Legault. “Working on priority areas like the Castle Wilderness north of Waterton Lakes National Park, the Flathead Valley in BC, and the Whitefish Range in Montana's North Fork region help put the Y2Y vision on-the-ground.”

StephenStephen's work is hosted by Y2Y, while he works with conservation partners across the 18 million acre Crown region, and reports to the Executive of the CCCI Steering Committee. Other CCCI partners include the National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Nature Conservancy in the United States.

In the past Stephen was the founder and Executive Director of Wildcanada.net, Vice-President of the Alberta Wilderness Association and a board member of Conservation Voters of BC. Stephen's conservation achievements include helping to pass Canada's first Species at Risk Act and its new National Parks Act, as well as working on dozens of protected areas campaigns, including the creation of new park lands in Alberta's Kananaskis Country, Bow Valley and southern foothills.

He has worked as the Senior Development Officer (Sustainability) at Royal Roads University, and ran his own consulting firm from 2005 through January of 2011 called Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications. He is the author of three books, and has three more due on bookstore shelves by the spring of 2012. His book Carry Tiger to Mountain: The Tao of Activism and Leadership has been called “an important book for anyone who dreams of a better world” by Rex Wyler, one of the founders of Greenpeace. Stephen is also the author of two “environmentally themed” murder mysteries, and has three more novels being published in 2011 and 2012.

Stephen is husband to Jenn Hoffman and father of Rio and Silas. Together they live in Canmore, Alberta. He is an avid runner, Nordic skier, backpacker and photographer. After living in Victoria, BC for nearly six years he is wildly enthusiastic to be back in the Rocky Mountains.

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