Returning a subdivision back to nature - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Returning a subdivision back to nature

An aerial view of the Wild River Estates. (Scott Rulander/Gem Vision Productions)
An aerial view of the Wild River Estates. (Credit: Scott Rulander/Gem Vision Productions)

Your support provides hope for grizzly bears’ long-term survival

For decades, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area have been squeezed into protected ‘islands’ surrounded by mines, railways, highways and houses, where they face potentially fatal threats and ongoing habitat challenges caused by a changing climate. 

Isolation is a death sentence for grizzly bears. To have a future in the lower 48 states of the U.S., grizzlies must connect to the populations along the border between the U.S. and Canada. 

Thanks to your support, a key corridor is now more than 90 percent secured to provide a permanent pathway to protect grizzly bears. 

Your generosity helped Y2Y and our partner Vital Ground secure the final piece of the Wild River Estates subdivision near Troy, Montana. Occupying the largest space in the corridor, purchasing the properties in this subdivision was a decade-long endeavor.  

The Wild River area is crucial for connectivity. It acts as a natural funnel for grizzly bears and other animals. Without your help, future development would have blocked their ability to travel through the area. You’ve safeguarded essential wildlife habitat, and safeguarded land for local communities, outdoor enthusiasts and other groups. 

The final land purchase amounts to saving more than 130 adjoining acres in this corridor! This major undertaking involved landowners, community groups, Indigenous groups, and partner organizations. 

Helping grizzly bears survive (and thrive) in the long term

It took more than 10 years, and millions of dollars, to advance this one corridor. It means more grizzly bear populations will be able to expand their ranges to protect their long-term survival! 

None of this progress would be possible without our supporters, who held the long-term vision and provided critical funding for research, community-building, multiple land purchases, and on-going monitoring. Thank you! 

While we celebrate this incredible milestone with you, there’s always more to do. 

Y2Y and our partners have identified 19 additional key corridors and pinch-points that need your attention and generous support.

The success of the Wild River corridor project was thanks to Y2Y’s ability to be nimble and responsive when rare opportunities arose. That’s why we’ve created a special Nimble Private Land Fund to help us act swiftly on new opportunities to conserve land.

If you’re curious about contributing to this fund, contact Renée, Y2Y’s director of donor relations at renee(at)y2y(dot)net.

Thank you for safeguarding critical wildlife corridors and grizzly bears!