The Ever-Changing Political World
I want to take a moment to discuss what this election and elections more generally mean for Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y).
Many of you paid a great deal of attention to the U.S. political elections. With regard to the U.S. election outcomes, we don't really know what a Trump Administration and a Republican controlled House and Senate means for our priorities in the Yellowstone to Yukon region.
We do know that thanks to two decades of collaboration with many organizations, indigenous entities, and government leaders, we are well-placed to continue to drive forward conservation on-the-ground and to promote a shared vision of a connected and protected landscape in the Rockies and as a concept globally. We should all keep in mind that no president is as powerful as he or she is perceived (or promises) to be; particularly in the United States of America. With the exception of a few "splash" issues, it takes years of sustained effort working both with Congress and the Executive branch to achieve significant change in focus.
Of course, elections can have impacts on conservation. The election outcome earlier this month in Canada's Yukon Territory resulted in a large step forward for Y2Y's commitment to ensure appropriate protections in the Peel River watershed, as the incoming government committed to implementing recommended protection of more than 70 percent of the Peel watershed.
As elections at the national, regional, and local level occur, we must remember that conservation is not and should not be a single-party issue. We must find new and different ways of sharing that message. Clean water, clean air, and the conservation of our natural heritage, including wildlife and wild places, are quality-of-life concerns that all parties need to support.
Conserving the Yellowstone to Yukon region for our children's children requires continuing collaborations and finding common ground with diverse stakeholders. As a partnership organization, Y2Y strives to inspire and engage with many others to conserve one of the world's most intact mountain ranges! Now, more than ever, we must move forward together.
Warmest regards and be at peace as we strive to move forward,
Jodi Hilty, Ph.D.
President and Chief Scientist
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y)