Hiking in the Yukon. Image: Pat Morrow
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"I BELIEVE in connected landscapes; so connected that my children can walk from one point to another."
Chris Bunting, Y2Y Supporter since 2007

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Candace Batycki: A Sense of Place

From her home base in Nelson, Candace Batycki will lead Y2Y's conservation projects in the Yukon and British Columbia, including the Flathead River Valley that extends into Montana.

When it comes to her passion for conservation, Candace Batycki says it’s all about having a sense of place.

As Y2Y’s newly appointed Program Director for British Columbia and the Yukon, that “place” for Batycki just got a whole lot larger. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I am so thrilled at the opportunity to help connect and protect these beautiful landscapes,” says Batycki, who lives in Nelson, a historic town nestled in the Selkirk Mountains of southern British Columbia (B.C.), on the western edge of the Yellowstone to Yukon region. “I have lived, worked and played in these mountains for 25 years,” she says. “They are home to me in a way that words cannot describe.”

A crisp hike in Monica Meadows, way up in B.C.'s Purcell Mountains. Photo: Claudette Burton.

In her new role, Candace will oversee all of Y2Y’s conservation projects on the west side of the Continental Divide, from southern B.C. right up to the northern Yukon, including campaigns to stop B.C.’s Site C dam and to protect the Yukon’s Peel Watershed.

For Candace, connecting and protecting intact ecosystems is not just about the landscapes, it’s about the people too. “It’s all about relationships, and making connections and meeting other partners,” she says. “I am truly excited to be working alongside colleagues old and new for the long-term conservation of these mountain ecosystems, from the Flathead River Valley in southeastern B.C., to the vast wild lands of the Yukon.”

Cherishing the great views on Huayna Picchu, Peru.

It’s a big job with a huge area of focus, but Candace has already proven she’s up to the task. She brings more than 25 years of experience on large-scale (and successful) conservation campaigns—from local, grassroots efforts to national and international initiatives that have led to lasting positive effects on conservation throughout North America.

As the Director of Forest Programs for ForestEthics, Batycki played a key role in shifting the U.S. market toward sustainable wood products, which has helped preserve old-growth forests throughout B.C. She played a leading role in the campaign that led to the protection of 2 million hectares of mountain caribou habitat in the B.C.’s inland temperate rainforest and over 1 million hectares of endangered and high conservation value forests across the province’s East Kootenay region.

She also served as a city councillor in Nelson from 2011 through 2014, which has deepened her knowledge of working with government agencies. “I wanted to know what it was like on the other side of the desk,” she says with a laugh.

Candace will join Stephen Legault, who will lead conservation efforts on the east side of Canada’s Rockies, including the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, as well as all projects in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Both Canadian program directors will officially begin their new roles on December 1.

Once she settles into her new role, you can reach out to Candace at candace@y2y.net.

On the Skyline Trail in Yoho National Park, with Takakkaw Falls in the background.
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