Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor Collaboration
What seems like an obvious concept now—the cooperative framing of conservation goals for the whole Cabinet-Purcell region—was a novel idea when Y2Y first brought together the many diverse groups already working in the area.
Now, some 65 organizations are part of the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor project, which meets twice a year.
“The process is not so much about creating new projects as it is building on existing ones in a way that adds value,” says Philip Hough, Executive Director of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.He knows this firsthand. At the spring 2011 Cabinet-Purcell collaborative meeting, Hough shared a big surprise from a carnivore study in which his organization was involved: fishers (cousins of the pine marten and wolverine) are living in the west Cabinet Mountains! These rare forest carnivores hadn’t been seen in the area for two decades.
Robert Rasmussen of the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) heard Hough’s striking news, and used the findings to support TPL’s funding request for a 6,850 acre (2,772 ha) conservation easement on which he was working in the McArthur Lake corridor area of Idaho.
“Being able to point to fishers in the area really strengthened our funding proposal,” says Rasmussen. “Without this opportunity to meet and share information, I wouldn’t have known they were out there. Through this collaboration, we can build on one another’s efforts and work toward achieving Y2Y’s continental-scale goals.”
In 2006, Y2Y invited a number of organizations, agencies, and researchers working in the Cabinet-Purcell region to discuss issues and needs. Together, the group developed a collective conservation strategy and framed specific goals.
Today, Y2Y continues to facilitate and lead the collaboration toward achieving those goals.