Y2Y is excited to announce the addition of Pelah Hoyt to our rapidly growing team as director of Landscape Connectivity. A strategic conservation leader, Pelah sees opportunity in challenges and brings people together to meet our shared conservation interests.
Growing up on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana, Pelah learned about caring for the land and people from the Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Previously, she directed Five Valleys Land Trust’s land conservation program where she led a team that protected 37,000 acres (150 square kilometers) of priority wildlife habitat and agricultural land with diverse partners.
She founded the Montana Land Trust Farm Bill Team and bolstered its successful efforts to improve federal policy and scale up conservation implementation across Montana. In collaboration with disability advocates, Pelah improved access to nature for people of all abilities.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock twice appointed Pelah to Montana’s only state-tribal fish and wildlife commission. Recently at the State’s water resources program, Pelah worked in partnership with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to establish the first unified state-tribal water rights agency in the United States.
As Y2Y’s director of Landscape Connectivity, Pelah will bridge political divides and work across scales to ensure key wildlife corridors connect core habitats within priority areas of the Yellowstone to Yukon landscape.
“I first learned about Y2Y while tagging along with my mom as she interviewed early partners for a public radio story. The vision of a connected landscape from Yellowstone to the Yukon inspired me. I am honored to join the talented Y2Y team as it seizes the great conservation opportunities ahead,” says Pelah.
Dedicated to public service, Pelah mentored emerging Southeast Asian professionals as a Fellow with the U.S. State Department and the Mansfield Center. She supports the development of affordable housing across Montana as an advisory board member of Homeword. Pelah earned a Master’s in resource conservation from the University of Montana and worked with communities in Ecuador on cloud forest conservation as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Always on the lookout for big trees and cute critters, Pelah, her husband, and their twin boys get out to explore the natural world every chance they get.