We manage a registered charity in both the United States and Canada, registered in Montana and Alberta respectively, and endeavor to operate seamlessly between the two countries.
Board of directors
Steve Baker is a chartered professional accountant residing in Vancouver, BC. Steve articled with one of the large accounting firms in Vancouver before moving to Europe for three years. Here he worked for a US multinational in finance and operations as well as a start-up in the high-tech industry. In 1994 he returned to Vancouver and has been self-employed since. He has worked as a financial consultant and operated two successful start-up companies. Currently he is the President of United World Transportation, a company he founded in 2003.
Steve has worked as the Treasurer for two other non-profit organizations in the past and has extensive experience volunteering. He and his wife have tried to instill that same act of giving into their two teenage boys.
Steve is involved in various sports and enjoys the outdoors, whether it is on the ocean or in the mountains. He also enjoys travelling in his spare time.
Colleen Brennan is a Canadian Professional Accountant, currently living in Canmore, AB.
After she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, in 1988, Colleen lived and worked in Toronto, Bermuda, New York and London, England. When working internationally, she worked in finance in the insurance and reinsurance industry with both large multi-national companies and start-up reinsurance companies.
In 2012, Colleen returned to Canada and chose the Canadian Rockies to be her home.
Colleen is a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors and holds the ICD.D designation. She enjoys hiking and skiing all over the world and is delighted to be able to live in the Rocky Mountains and have such wonderful country to be explored so close to home.
Geoff is the CEO of the Consecon Foundation, an environment-focused private charitable foundation.
He was previously the Executive Director of the Centre for Security Governance, a think tank specializing in global security and conflict issues. He was a co-founder of a private sector consulting firm whose clients included the US Department of State, the Government of Canada, and many international organizations and NGOs. Geoff also worked on security issues as a researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
He received an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, as well as an MA in International Relations from the University of Toronto.
Jonah Greenberg is a Data Strategy and Operations Associate at Two Sigma, a quantitative finance company based out of New York City. Jonah focuses on building out and executing the strategic vision for the Data organization within the firm, applying both a technical and business-oriented skill set.
Before joining Two Sigma, Jonah spent 16 months at Citi as a Shareholder Advisory/M&A data scientist and investment banking analyst. In this role, he designed, built, and maintained scalable Python and SQL-based analyses to enable bankers and/or clients to leverage the big data capabilities of the firm in an advisory context.
As an undergraduate researcher in the Williams College SMALL REU Knot Theory Group (2018), Jonah conducted research with a team of seven students and co-authored two research papers. Jonah co-authored an additional paper that came out of his Thesis work researching multi-crossings of knots and virtual knots. Jonah holds a degree in Mathematics from Williams College (2019).
In his free time, Jonah loves to ski, spending north of 40 days this year on snow. Jonah recently has found an interest in ski mountaineering, sparked by an experience ice climbing in Huntington Ravine off of Mt. Washington. He hopes to further explore this in the winters to come.
Merrill Chester Gregg is the Conservation Finance and Legacy Giving Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation based in Dallas. The foundation raises private funding for critical habitat restoration, support for native species and strategic land acquisition.
Before transitioning her career to pursue a longstanding passion for conservation, Merrill spent nine years in the investment banking and asset management industry in New York City and Hong Kong.
In her current role, Merrill works with private partners, nonprofit organizations and public agency stakeholders to maximize funding opportunities for conservation.
An outdoor enthusiast from a young age, Merrill developed a love for the Greater Yellowstone region during childhood summers spent with her family in southwest Montana and as a camper and counselor at Teton Valley Ranch Camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In addition to being avid skiers, Merrill and her husband, Josh, enjoy hiking, fly-fishing and horseback riding in Big Sky country. Merrill graduated from Princeton University with a degree in History.
James (“Jay”) Cross is scientist, veterinarian and rancher in the foothills of Alberta recognized internationally in the areas of reproductive and developmental genetics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Jay is currently President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and Chief Instigation Officer of the McEachran Institute, a think tank focused on protecting the shared health of animals, people and ecosystems.
Jay will join the Canadian board in September 2023.
John received his A.B. degree from Harvard, and his J.D. from Fordham Law School. He spent his career as a trial lawyer at Skadden Arps, handling major domestic and international cases.
Although born and raised in New York City and later a resident of Southern California, John eventually succumbed to the call of the wilderness and moved to Essex, Montana with his wife Dana.
He has an abiding interest in supporting wilderness education, in the hope that we can raise the next generation of committed stewards for our special wild places. For 15 years, John and Dana ran a Wilderness Leadership Program for high school seniors out of their Montana home which borders Glacier National Park.
John is a long-time member of the board of the Glacier National Park Conservancy and its immediate past Chair. He is also a member of the board of Defenders of Wildlife. John and Dana enjoy spending time in wild places and photographing wildlife.
Craig Groves currently serves as the volunteer Series Editor for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Best Practice Guidelines.
He recently retired as the Executive Director for the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), a collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), The Nature Conservancy, and the National Center for Ecological Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California Santa Barbara. SNAPP funds and facilitates multi-disciplinary working groups to address problems at the interface of nature conservation, human well-being, and economic development.
Prior to the SNAPP initiative, Craig directed the Conservation Methods Team in The Nature Conservancy. From 2002-2007, Craig worked as a conservation biologist and planner for the Wildlife Conservation Society, both in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and in selected international projects.
Earlier in his career, Craig launched the Idaho Natural Heritage Program (a cooperative biodiversity inventory program between TNC and state government), worked as a nongame and endangered species biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and served as the Director of Conservation Planning for TNC from 1997-2002 where he led the efforts to develop ecoregional biodiversity plans.
He has written and published a book on conservation planning (Drafting a Conservation Blueprint, Island Press 2003) as well as numerous popular and scientific articles on conservation planning, climate adaptation, and on the ecology of at-risk species in the Rocky Mountains.
His second book, Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healthier Planet (with co-author Eddie Game) was published in January 2016. He recently served on a National Academy of Science Panel to evaluate US Fish and Wildlife Service Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
In his leisure time, Craig loves to trail run, backcountry ski, and raft wilderness rivers.
William (Bill) Guza is a certified public accountant and entrepreneur. Bill retired from his public accounting firm of Guza, Hubley and Phillips, PLLP in 2015. He is the treasurer of Yellowstone to Yukon Montana.
Bill has served on the Gallatin Valley Open Lands Board since 2003 and is the current chair. Since 2000, the Gallatin County Open Lands program has helped secure and protect conservation easements of over 50,000 acres of the valley’s open lands and riparian areas.
Bill volunteers as a mentor in the Child Advancement Project in the Bozeman school system. Along with his wife Jean, he delivers meals to residents through the Meals on Wheels program. He has lived in Montana his entire life, is a graduate of the University of Montana, Missoula, and has lived in Bozeman since 1988.
Bill, along with his family and friends, enjoy the recreational opportunities provided by the public land and waters that belong to all of us.
Richard Harrison is a practicing lawyer with Wilson Laycraft and is based in Calgary, Alberta. Richard graduated from the University of Calgary with a Juris Doctor in 2013 and practices as a civil litigator with a focus on Environmental Litigation, Municipal Litigation, Collections, Construction, Employment and Fraud.
Richard has experience litigating municipal and provincial environmental compliance and is experienced with the provincial Water Act, Wildlife Act and Forests Act and the federal Species at Risk Act and Canada National Parks Act.
An avid hiker and backcountry camper, Richard also enjoys cross country skiing and snowshoeing with his wife.
Bryan Hurlbutt is a Staff Attorney at Advocates for the West, a public interest environmental law firm based in Boise, Idaho. Bryan primarily represents the Idaho Conservation League in federal court litigation to restore and protect Idaho’s rivers, public lands, fish, and wildlife.
An Idaho native, Bryan grew up in Twin Falls, playing in the SnakeRiver canyon and mountains around Sun Valley. In 2004, Bryan graduated from Colorado College with a BA in physics. Bryan left the West to attend law school in New York City and graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010.
Bryan spends as much time as he can outdoors with his wife, two children, dog, and friends. In 2018, Bryan mapped and ran a trail marathon every month—January through December—visiting all 15 protected “wilderness areas” in Idaho by year’s end. He continues to plan and run an adventure marathon every month as a way to enjoy and bring awareness to beautiful, fragile ecosystems throughout the Western U.S. and wherever his travels take him.
Born in the Peace River Country of Northern Alberta, Robert Lapper was raised in Banff, Alberta where he enjoyed a childhood of regularly exploring and enjoying mountain wilderness, and becoming active as a “junior naturalist” supporting adults who sought to retain the wilderness values of the Rocky Mountain National Park system.
Following his high school graduation in Banff, Robert pursued an undergraduate degree in Honours Political Science and the University of Victoria, and then a Bachelor of Laws Degree at UVic. He clerked for the BC Supreme Court, and then spent twelve years in private practice as a litigator and commercial lawyer.
He joined the Ministry of Attorney General Province of British Columbia to do counsel work for the province on emerging treaty negotiations and aboriginal issues. He served as counsel on several leading aboriginal law matters, including the negotiation of the Nisga’a Final Agreement. In 1996 he was appointed Senior Solicitor, Aboriginal Law. In 2000, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Attorney General Legal Services – heading all of civil side legal services to government. In 2007 he became Deputy Secretary to the British Columbia Cabinet, and Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Relations. In 2010 was appointed Deputy Minister of Labour.
In 2012, he left the service of the Province of B.C. to become Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) — a position he held until his retirement in 2017.
Currently Robert is continuing his active volunteer engagement, working with Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and related human rights organizations to address pressing human rights and rule of law issues in developing countries, and is continuing his passion for working on climate change and wilderness preservation matters. He and his partner Heather are relocating back to British Columbia to be closer to their roots, and their children and grandchild.
Robert was honoured with an appointment as Queens’ Counsel in 2001, and was recently named a “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Victoria (Faculty of Law).
Scott Niedermayer grew up in Cranbrook, BC, where he enjoyed hiking, biking and skiing all over the Kootenays of southeast British Columbia.
His hockey career took him to Kamloops, B.C. to play junior hockey for the Blazers. He was drafted in 1991 to the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. He played in New Jersey for 13 years during which time they won three Stanley Cup championships. In 2005 he signed to play with the Anaheim Ducks where he played for five years and won the Stanley Cup in 2007.
He also had the good fortune of playing for Team Canada internationally, with the highlights being winning gold medals in the 2002 and 2010 Olympic games. In 2013 Scott was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Scott and his wife Lisa have four sons.
Nancy is a CPA, and before she retired, was an executive with one of Canada’s largest banks. She and her husband Greg Cote moved to Canmore full-time eight years ago (they were part-time for five years before that). They love the Bow Valley, and the opportunities that it provides them — they enjoy hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. They love travelling and photography. Nancy’s recent passion is birding after seeing and photographing a boreal owl.
Nancy has completed the CPA Not for Profit Certificate I.
Lynn Scarlett is Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy. In this role, she influences climate and conservation policy in the United States and the 72 countries and territories in which TNC operates.
Prior to her role at the Conservancy, Lynn was the Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she also served as Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006.
Lynn is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She was a co-convening lead author of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. She chaired the Science Advisory Board of NOAA from 2014-2020, chaired the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Council from 2014-2017, and serves on the Advisory Board of the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, as well as on the advisory board of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Pat holds an undergraduate degree in history and political science and a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana. His law practice specialized in Indian law where he represented Indian tribes for 31 years, based out of Montana, and where he also assisted the Montana Native Vote effort.
In 2013, he was appointed by Montana Governor Steve Bullock to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and also to represent Montana on the Columbia River Treaty’s Sovereign Review Team.
Pat has also served: on the 2010 Montana Redistricting Commission as an appointee of the Democratic leader of the Montana Senate; on the University of Montana School of Law’s Board of Visitors; and as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Pat is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, where his family has operated a wheat farm. He and his wife Michelle live near Missoula, Montana.
Amy Vedder has worked in applied conservation for more than 30 years, using ecological and social science to conserve wildlife and wildlands. She currently teaches in the graduate program of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, focusing on the practice of international conservation.
Formerly, Dr. Vedder served as Senior Vice President for Conservation at The Wilderness Society (TWS), Vice President at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Director of the WCS Africa Program, and senior advisor to the Rwandan Environment Management Authority. Known for her pioneering ecological studies of mountain gorillas in Rwanda during the late 1970s she co-founded the Mountain Gorilla Project with her husband Dr. Bill Weber — an interdisciplinary program that addressed diverse local, national, and international interests. She co-authored the critically acclaimed book “In the Kingdom of Gorillas,” and co-edited “African Rainforest Ecology and Conservation,” published by Yale University Press.
While at WCS, she launched the Living Landscapes Program, which focused on the conservation of large and complex landscapes designed to address both wildlife and human needs.
Leslie is an experienced leader in natural resource management and organizational development. For 41 years, Leslie served in a diversity of senior executive and field-based positions within the USDA Forest Service in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Washington, DC. From 2018-2022 Leslie was Chief Executive for Work Environment and Performance tasked with this new mission area of the Forest Service which emphasized leadership in organizational performance and support of employees through policies, accountability practices, and programs focused on a safe and productive work environment, leadership development, and emphasizing the agency’s core values of Service, Conservation, Interdependence, Diversity, and Safety.
Leslie served for over seven years as Deputy Chief for National Forest System with the USDA Forest Service. In this role, Leslie guided national natural resource policy, oversight and strategic direction for the natural resource programs for managing the 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands so they best demonstrate sustainable multiple-use management, using an ecological approach, to provide benefits to citizens.
Leslie has participated in numerous international technical and policy review activities with natural resource managers from China, the Congo Basin, Argentina, Brazil, and Russia. Her work has involved identifying shared goals and working closely with partners from academia, conservation, as well as environmental and community groups, local government, and natural resource-related businesses. She is committed to workforce diversity, equity in program delivery, and leadership development.
Most recently Leslie served as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the United States Department of Agriculture, tasked with establishing the department’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Office and served as the champion for USDA’s ongoing efforts to support a workforce that represents the citizens we serve, who have a sense of value and belonging, and who can thrive in their public service mission. She retired from federal service in March 2023. Leslie is married to Mike Weldon. They have twin adult sons both of whom are pursuing careers in natural resource fields.
Leslie will join the U.S. board in September 2023.
Alison Woodley worked for 17 years with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), most recently as National Conservation Director. Alison is currently on secondment from CPAWS to an IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Task Force looking at global biodiversity conservation targets beyond 2020.
Over the past decade Alison has played leadership roles in many successful CPAWS conservation campaigns, including for the 2009 massive expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve in the northern Y2Y region. More recently she led the Green Budget Coalition’s successful efforts to secure a $1.3 billion federal investment in nature conservation in Budget 2018. In 2017 she was appointed to a National Advisory Panel tasked with recommending how Canadian governments can achieve our international commitment to expand and improve Canada’s protected areas system. She has also been a member of the federal Species at Risk Advisory Committee, and an advisor to the federal Auditor General’s office on national park issues.
Alison holds a BSc in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick, and an MA in Geography from the University of Waterloo, specializing in parks and protected areas. She lives in Chelsea, Quebec, and is happiest out enjoying nature with her husband and two young adult daughters in nearby Gatineau Park, and other wild places around the world.
Pam is a faculty member in the Ecosystem Science and Management program at the University of Northern British Columbia where her research and teaching focuses on conservation-based approaches to protected areas design, planning and management; managing and monitoring the ecological integrity of protected areas; and protected areas management effectiveness evaluations. More recently her focus has been on developing approaches for climate-conscious systematic conservation planning in British Columbia.
Pam was Vice-Chair of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada’s National Parks and along with fellow panelist received the J.B. Harkin Award for Conservation in 2010. She held a Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science (2017-2018) and served on one of the expert task teams developing guidance for the Pathway to Canada Target 1. She co-chairs the BC Protected Areas Research Forum an organization dedicated to strengthening the linkages between research and protected areas planning and management.
The Yellowstone to Yukon Council brings together a core team of individuals with a passion for the Y2Y region, extensive conservation and organizational experience, and the capacity to bring specialized assistance to Y2Y staff.
Currently, the Y2Y Council comprises five members with particular expertise in law, investments, science, and conservation implementation, among other topics.
Charles C. Chester teaches global environmental politics at Brandeis University and at the Fletcher School of Tufts University.
He serves on the board of Bat Conservation International and is Chair of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Council. He is currently building the website, GEP-guide.net, an online guide to global environmental politics.
Charles co-edited the volume Conservation and Climate Change: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning and Action (Island Press 2012) and authored Conservation Across Borders: Biodiversity in an Interdependent World (Island Press 2006), which examined the global phenomenon of transboundary collaboration for conservation biodiversity protection, with a focus on the Sonoran Desert (USA-Mexico) and the Northern Rockies of Canada and the United States (Yellowstone to Yukon).
Previously, Charles served on the board of Root Capital and consulted for the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Henry P. Kendall Foundation.
He is currently researching a book on the interwoven histories of gorilla conservation, American taxidermy, European royalty, protected area philosophies, and climate change.
Joe Lougheed is a Partner in the Calgary office of the global law firm Dentons, where he has practised since 1992 and currently focuses on general corporate matters.
An active community volunteer for many years, Joe is currently the Honorary Consul for the Government of Sweden in Southern Alberta. He is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Governors of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and is a Past Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Joe has also served as a Director of the United Way of Calgary and Area, where he also served as Chair of their Public Policy Committee.
Joe is also a former director of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Kids Help Phone (Alberta Advisory Board); the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre, the Heritage Park Foundation and the Alberta Lung Association. He is also a former member of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees. Joe was educated at Queen’s University, the London School of Economics and Political Science and Dalhousie Law School.
A fourth generation Calgarian, Joe is proud of his Métis roots with a great-grandmother, Isabella Lougheed (nee Hardisty), who grew up in a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading family in the McKenzie District of the North West Territories.
Joe is married to Vivian with two children, James and Cleo. His family has a long connection to the creation and protection of parks and conservation in Alberta.
Coral Lukaniuk brings a passion for Y2Y along with extensive business and engineering experience. She has 25 years’ experience in energy, and she is recognized as a visionary leader in developing and executing large-scale programs that build strong relationships between the industry and stakeholders.
Over the last five years, she has led the development of Integrity First, a performance improvement program for the pipeline industry and prior to that she developed and led the Public Awareness Program at TC Energy, which reaches more than one million stakeholders in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Over the years, she has founded and led several initiatives.
Coral’s skilled in making complex information meaningful to broad audiences. As a council member, she’ll help bridge some of the complex conversations between Y2Y and the energy industry. She recently founded coRoc Solutions Inc., a boutique firm focused on strategic planning and achieving positive sustainable solutions.
Born and raised in Alberta, she has been visiting the Rocky Mountains her entire life. As an advocate for wildlife, she’s excited to join the Y2Y Council and thoroughly enjoys her role as WildSmart Wildlife Ambassador. She loves spending time with her family, travelling and photography.
Cameron graduated with degrees in Construction Engineering from Arizona State University, as well as, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT). He began his real estate career in the U.S. as a Real Estate Representative for Safeway. Upon his return to Canada in 1999, he joined Cameron Corporation, and previously held the position of Executive Vice President, overseeing the development of over 5 million square feet of active development projects. Cameron was named President of Cameron Corporation in the summer of 2018. He is also an integral part of the strategic direction of the family company which has expanded into Residential Land Development, Multi-Family Residential (Cameron Lifestyles) in addition to its Home Building business, Cameron Homes.
Cameron has been involved in several industry related Boards and Committees over the past years and continues this service today by serving on the Board of BOMA Edmonton. He is an active member of the Urban Development Institute (UDI), the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC), Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), and has recently joined YPO. He currently serves-on the Board of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) as well as the Canadian Mental Health Association Housing Committee.
In 2005, Cameron received The Spirit of NAIT Award in recognition of success early in his career. He was also honored with the Business in Edmonton 2015 Leaders Award recognizing people in the business community who contributed to making Edmonton a great city.
Cameron is married and has four boys to keep him active.
Jill is a long-term Yukoner, with a northern career that has included being a wildlife biologist, naturalist, conservation planner, natural history writer/photographer, outdoor educator, and wilderness tour operator. She has owned her own wilderness tourism business, Sila Sojourns since 1992, leading paddling and hiking trips throughout the Yukon.
Jill has been involved with the Peel watershed protection campaign since its inception, initially guiding conservation-focused trips into the watershed, and then more actively engaged as the chair of the CPAWS-Yukon board for 10 years, followed by a short stint as executive director during a critical juncture in the legal campaign.
She has also been actively involved with the Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon since its inception in the early 1990s, determined that the Association be a strong conservation voice in the Territory. Jill has travelled overseas extensively and worked on a variety of wildlife, conservation and tourism projects in different regions of the world. She has chosen however to keep the Yukon as her home base due to her passion for its abundant wild lands and waters, and is committed to staying involved with efforts to protect it against the forces of industrial development that have so ravaged many other parts of the globe.
Jill is also connected with a number of the First Nations communities in Yukon and northwestern Northwest Territories, having been involved with guiding river journeys for First Nations youth and elders in the Peel watershed, and through collaborative efforts with the community chiefs on the Peel legal campaign.
Header photo: One of the wildlife overpasses in Banff National Park, Shutterstock