A look back on a memorable year: 2020 in review - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

A look back on a memorable year: 2020 in review

Wolverine looking into distance
Wolverine looking into distance, Photo: Vincent Van Zalinge/Unsplash

People like you power our work

As an organization, Y2Y carefully prioritizes project areas and activities based on threats and barriers to connectivity, timely opportunities, activities being undertaken by others, and our niche expertise and capacity.  

In 2020, thanks to our generous donors and funders, we spent US$3.49 million bringing our large landscape vision steps closer to being realized — protecting core habitats including our precious headwaters, keeping them connected through wildlife corridors, and inspiring others to engage in similar work.  

And because we believe in deep collaboration and authentic partnership, that included distributing US$1.3 million to partners, who helped to further the Yellowstone to Yukon vision across the 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) that make up the region to enable people and nature to thrive. 

Some of the important conservation wins that your support of Y2Y and its partners in 2020 made possible: 

2020 Impact Report Infographic

Why connectivity? 

Communities create conservation progress 

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is one of the world’s last strongholds for nature, but science tells us that protected “islands” of habitat are not big enough to ensure the survival of iconic species such as grizzly bears and wolverines. They need large-scale protected areas connected through viable “corridors” to avoid genetic isolation, so that they can survive and thrive.  

Our vision is of an interconnected system of wild lands and waters stretching from Yellowstone to Yukon, harmonizing the needs of people with those of nature. 

Our overarching goals helping us to realize our vision, are to protect core habitats including our precious headwaters; to keep those habitats connected through functional wildlife corridors — or to restore them where necessary; to support thriving communities that live in harmony with nature; and to inspire others to engage in similar work.  

The Yellowstone to Yukon region spans the Yukon and Northwest Territories, British Columbia (B.C.) and Alberta in Canada; Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming in the U.S.; and the territories of at least 75 Indigenous groups.  

Since 1993, the actions of Y2Y, our community of supporters like you, and more than 460 partners, have resulted in a more than 80 percent increase in protected area growth.  

Banff National Park overpass and wildlife crossing
Banff National Park overpass and wildlife crossing. Credit: Allie Banting, Parks Canada, 2014

In the last year alone, thanks to the generosity of our donors and funders, we spent more than US$3.49 million on our collaborative work — driven by 26 staff, but working with our many partners — advancing conservation in the Yellowstone to Yukon region, including: 

  • 2.1M acres (~850,000 ha.) of Indigenous-led protections established for core wildlife habitat 
  • 13 wildlife overpasses and underpasses underway that will support connectivity across roads 
  • Direct engagement of more than 137,600 people in learning about the roles of Y2Y and large landscape conservation — and their own — in protecting the nature we all love, with thousands of them already taking action 

…and many other successes that you can read about in the following pages, along with insights into some of our challenges and lessons learned. 

It takes a community to make enduring conservation progress. Every project we outline in this report is only made possible by support from donors and funders, collaboration with partners, and the advocacy and action of community members. 

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