Together we continue to make an impact 25 years later - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Together we continue to make an impact 25 years later

Jumbo Valley, Jumbo Pass in fall Aerin Jacob photo
Photo credit: Aerin Jacob.

You’re helping put our vision into action 

When the idea of an interconnected system of wild lands and waters stretching the 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) between Yellowstone National Park and Canada’s Yukon was proposed in 1993, some people were incredulous.

The idea of a vision that big and a mission that bold seemed impossible: linking healthy landscapes, connecting wide-ranging wildlife and an idea that spans five American states, two Canadian provinces, two Canadian territories, and the traditional territories of at least 75 Indigenous groups.

Yet others connected with the concept deeply and were inspired — including me … and you!

When I became Y2Y’s President and Chief Scientist, I was (and remain) excited to continue this grand mission and add to our collective legacy. And here we are, beginning Y2Y’s 25th year together.

The progress Y2Y staff and partners have made since 1993 did not happen without many hands, and many voices. As a Y2Y supporter, you should count yourself among them.

From restoring and reconnecting degraded habitats in the southern parts of the Yellowstone to Yukon region to keeping the great tracts of wilderness of the northern parts intact, there is still much to be done. We’re grateful for the passion, time, talent and resources you have invested so far.

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is North America’s geography of hope. Something that is becoming increasingly apparent as the effects of climate change are realized in our daily lives.

The science continues to point towards an increased need for large connected landscapes. That’s why we’re grateful for your continued support of the Y2Y vision to keep the Yellowstone to Yukon region protected and connected.

It encompasses a wide diversity of ecosystems including alpine, forests, parkland, and grassland. This dynamic landscape is home to the full suite of wildlife that were present when Europeans first arrived to North America; and it is the source of 13 major rivers that provide clean, safe drinking water for millions of people.

Y2Y’s goal is to keep it that way and with you, that “impossible” bold vision born in 1993 is even more tangible today.

Making strides together

A paper published in 2021 lays out evidence that our big audacious vision has led to measurable on-the-ground conservation across the almost 3,400-kilometer-long region.  

The study, published in Conservation Science and Practice, uses five conservation metrics to evaluate progress. Data shows an 80.5 percent increase in overall protection from 1993 to 2018 in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. This success is even more striking when compared against areas elsewhere in the continent, places protected areas remained constant, or even declined. 

Read more now

We continue to forward on solving conservation problems together.

Your gifts and voices have allowed us to put ideas into action and turn action into progress.

This progress includes celebrating:

  • Increasing numbers of parks and protected areas in Alberta;
  • Sharing solutions to decrease wildlife-human conflicts and help communities live with wildlife;
  • Bringing people together to share information ensuring thriving mountain communities;
  • Restoring priority corridors for isolated populations of bears in northwest Montana and north Idaho; 
  • Creating new parks for Yukon territory;
  • Protection of critical habitat for caribou and other wildlife in British Columbia;
  • Launching a project to restore a wetland habitat at the Idaho-B.C. border;
  • Improving wildlife migration across fractured landscapes;
  • Researching the science that can power political decision making;
  • And more. Learn about our recent progress in our latest annual report.

As we forge ahead into the next 25 years, the pursuit of this mission is even more vital.

The Y2Y team and I are committed to ensuring we have clean water, pure air, rich forests and abundant wildlife. I invite you to continue to be part of this bold mission and to inspire others to join.

Written by Dr. Jodi Hilty