Nov 9
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 10:00 am - 2:30 pm Online, Zoom webinar

Roads are a major reason for habitat fragmentation across the Yellowstone to Yukon region. In fact, one of the greatest threats to safety and connectivity of both wildlife and people in this area are busy roads that are unsafe and difficult to cross.

This webinar will explore four of the busiest roads in the region near the U.S.-Canadian border: Interstate 90, Highway 93, Highway 1, and Highway 3. Panel discussions will share how both countries can work together with Indigenous Peoples, conservation organizations, scientists, and others to make roads safer for all.

Perspectives will be shared from Indigenous Peoples, conservation organizations, scientists, and state, provincial, and federal agencies working to make roads safer for people and wildlife. This event is free and open to all. A Q&A will follow the presentations.

Webinar Agenda:

November 9, 2021. Times listed are in Mountain Time.

10-10:20 AMWelcome and setting the stage  
Sarah Palmer (moderator) and Jodi Hilty, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative 
10:20 – 11:10 AMPanel 1: Roads and Indigenous Peoples 
Moderator: Pat Smith 
• Whisper Camel – Means, Wildlife Biologist, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes 
• Jarret Twoyoungmen, Filmmaker, Nakoda AV Club 
11:10 AM – 12:30 PMPanel 2: Federal, State and Provincial Government Perspectives 
Moderator: Robert Petty 
• Trevor Kinley, Environmental Assessment Scientist, Parks Canada’s Highway Engineering Services team 
• Tom Martin, Environmental Services Bureau Chief, Montana Department of Transportation 
• Duane Wells, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure 
• Stephen Legaree, Highway Environmental Specialist, Alberta Ministry of Transportation 
12:30 – 1:00 PMBREAK
1:00-2:00 PMPanel 3: Science to Action  
Moderator: Candace Batycki 
• Clayton Lamb, Lamb Ecological Research & Emily Chow, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations 
• Cecily Costello, Grizzly Bear Researcher, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, & John Waller, Wildlife Biologist, Glacier National Park 
• Elizabeth Fairbank, Center for Large Landscape Conservation 
• Anthony Clevenger, Senior Research Scientist, Western Transportation Institute 
2 – 2:30  PMClosing thoughts and next steps – Sarah Palmer 

Presenter Information:

Sarah Palmer is the Director of Conservation Programs at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. Prior to joining Y2Y Sarah was a consultant in environmental law and policy. Over the course of her legal career, Sarah provided advice to clients on a wide variety of matters. These included: land use planning; remediation of contaminated lands; conservation and reclamation; the environmental assessment process, corporate environmental systems; environmental compliance and management of environmental risks and liabilities; climate change; and new environmental legislation and policy. Sarah is committed to working towards protecting one of the last intact mountain ecosystems in the world; the Yellowstone to Yukon region. She is from Calgary and is passionate about Alberta’s incredible wilderness and mountain parks. Sarah enjoys hiking, cycling and skiing in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. 

Dr. Jodi Hilty is an internationally recognized wildlife corridor ecologist and conservationist, with over 20 years of experience managing large-scale conservation programs. She enjoys applying science-based solutions to complex conservation challenges and works to advance conservation by leading science and community-based and collaborative conservation efforts. She has co-edited or been lead author on four books, her most recent release is 2019’s Corridor Ecology: Linking Landscapes for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Adaption

Whisper Camel-Means is an enrolled member of and working as a Tribal Wildlife Biologist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Wildlife Management Program. The Flathead Reservation is located in west-central Montana and is a major seasonal transportation corridor between I-90 and recreational opportunities around Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. She started her career with CSKT as a biologist trainee while attending Salish Kootenai College, and began working as a full-time wildlife biologist after completing her Master’s of Science degree in Wildlife Management from Montana State University. While at Montana State, Whisper was awarded a fellowship from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the MSU-Western Transportation Institute to conduct a project on US Highway 93 preconstruction wildlife monitoring. Upon completing her degree and returning to the Flathead Reservation, she continued to work on wildlife and highway projects as US 93 was being constructed and completed. She now monitors constructed underpasses and the overpass, works with federal and state agencies on all highway related issues, and works toward the future of road ecology on the reservation and across the country. 

Jarret Twoyoungmen is a storyteller whose passion is his community. He has training and experience in animation, camera operation, sound engineering, voice acting, editing, and directing. He co-founded the Nakoda AV Club which is dedicated to helping people tell their own stories through film animation and storytelling arts. He is a director for the Club, and is instrumental in the organization’s ability to connect with youth and Elders, and to tell stories in a uniquely Îethka way. His award winning films have shown at ImagineNative, the First Nations Film and Video Festival, and the American Indian Film Festival among others. His first language is Nakoda (Îethka).  @nakodaav 

Trevor Kinley is an environmental assessment scientist with Parks Canada’s Highway Engineering Service.  His current and previous work includes planning, building and evaluating wildlife crossing infrastructure for large and small animals on roads managed by Parks Canada.  His home is in the upper Columbia Valley. 

Tom Martin is the Environmental Services Bureau Chief for the Montana Department of Transportation, a position he has held for 14 of his 28 years at the Department.  He is licensed as a professional engineer in Montana and a graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman.  He enjoys spending time with his family and various outdoor pursuits across the Big Sky State. 

Duane Wells is the Regional Manager of Environmental Services for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the southern interior of British Columbia.  In his role as the Regional Manager he has overseen the environmental aspects of hundreds of projects including connectivity projects for species ranging from the threatened Western toads to rattlesnakes to grizzly bears.  The Highway 3 Reconnecting the Rockies project is the largest connectivity project he has worked on to date.  In his spare time he enjoys hiking, skiing, and paddling. 

Stephen Legaree is an Environmental Specialist with Alberta Transportation and the program manager for Alberta Wildlife Watch. The Alberta Wildlife Watch Program is a safety initiative that aims to improve driver safety by reducing Animal-Vehicle Collisions while reducing the impacts our highways have on wildlife populations. 

Clayton Lamb is a Wildlife Scientist at the University of British Columbia and works on understanding and mitigating challenges to wildlife movement and demography in working landscapes. Through collaborations with First Nations, Governments, NGOs, and scientists Clayton works to bring evidence through to action on the ground that has meaningful benefits for people and wildlife. Clayton lives in southeast British Columbia where he leads a long-term grizzly bear coexistence and collaring study, and also is the lead scientist on the Reconnecting the Rockies: BC initiative. 

Emily Chow has worked for the Government of British Columbia for the past six years in various positions in wildlife and habitat management. In her current role as a Wildlife Biologist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development she represents the Ministry in the “Reconnecting the Rockies” project, a highway mitigation initiative along Highway 3 in the southeastern corner of BC. Her favourite aspects of the work are collaborating with project partners and sifting through remote camera images for a rewarding view of how wildlife are using the mitigation structures.  

Dr. Cecily Costello has worked as a Wildlife Research Biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks since 2015.  She supervises the Grizzly Bear Trend Monitoring program in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and is a member of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Her professional career has been devoted almost entirely to the study of black and grizzly bears, previously working for the University of Montana, Hornocker Wildlife Institute/Wildlife Conservation Society, the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Western Ecosystems Technologies. She earned a BS from Florida State University in 1986, an MS from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1992, and a PhD from Montana State University in 2008. She has been an Associate Editor for the journal Ursus since 2006 and she served as Treasurer for the International Association for Bear Research and Management during 2007-2013. 

Dr. John S. Waller is the Carnivore Ecologist at Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. He has 30 years of experience researching transportation and wildlife connectivity issues in the Rocky Mountains of the USA and Canada and in Southeast Asia. His doctoral dissertation was the first to use GPS technology to examine the impacts of transportation infrastructure on grizzly bears. While much of his work has been on grizzly bears, he has overseen a myriad of wildlife research projects on species ranging from bats to wolverines. He continues to advocate for wildlife connectivity by delivering applied research and promoting collaborative decision-making processes.  

Liz Fairbank is currently a road ecologist with The Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) in Bozeman, MT. Liz got her start working on wildlife and transportation issues in 2011, as a research assistant monitoring wildlife crossing structures on US Highway 93 in Montana during her time in graduate school. After completing her Masters in 2013, Liz continued to work as a road ecology research technician for the Western Transportation Institute and the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, where she has contributed to studies in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska. Since joining the CLLC team in 2018, her work has continued to focus on finding solutions to increase habitat permeability and reduce wildlife-vehicle conflict through research, community engagement, education, fundraising, and legislative and administrative policies seeking to integrate wildlife considerations into planning processes across multiple scales and jurisdictions. Liz is a member of Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage, and sits on the Montana Wildlife and Transportation working group developing an interactive mapping tool to identify areas of greatest need for wildlife crossing infrastructure across the state. 

Dr. Anthony Clevenger is currently a senior research scientist at the Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University (Bozeman, Montana). His research the last 25 years has focused on developing science-based solutions to the increasing problem of expanding road systems and the conservation of landscapes and animal populations. He was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Effects of Highways on Natural Communities and Ecosystems. He has published his results in leading international scientific journals (over 90 articles) and co-authored three books including the seminal work Road Ecology: Science and Solutions (Island Press, 2003) and Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife and Habitat Connectivity (Island Press, 2010). Dr. Clevenger has expertise in directing road ecology research, having served as Principal Investigator on projects planning, designing and evaluating the use of wildlife fencing and crossing structures in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide.  In working on these projects, he has gained insight into the needs of land managers and transportation practitioners responsible for environmentally sustainable transportation systems. 

Header photo: Shutterstock