Hiking in the Yukon. Image: Pat Morrow
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"I left inspired to protect the special places in my own backyard."
Sara Renner, Y2Y supporter

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Canmore community rallies for wildlife

Find out the role you play in helping connect key wildlife populations.

This spring, right in Yellowstone to Yukon’s home range, a community movement was born.

Faced with multiple development proposals that threatened to further pinch the already busy Bow Valley corridor in Alberta, an initiative called For the Love of Canmore was launched, eager to ensure a healthy balance for all living in the area.

For Canmorite Kay Anderson, that meant starting Facebook groups, attending meetings, donating when possible and educating others.

Kay was spurred into action when she saw the challenges faced by wildlife in the area and her own neighborhood.

Kay Anderson
Kay Anderson, co-organizer of the For the Love of Canmore initiative
“I felt an obligation to do whatever I could to help ensure the corridor is functional for all species of wildlife. I was proud to live in a community that values wildlife and its needs equal to its own, and strives to do what is right for our wildlife,” she explains.

“I was also dismayed and even angry that there were some developers who try to build everywhere instead of managing the jewel of this natural landscape and focusing on making it an epicentre of worldwide wildlife conservation.”

Empowered by scientific evidence provided by Y2Y, the volunteer-driven community-based group worked to make Canmore a better place for both wildlife and people.

The members advocated for wildlife, pressed for an environmental assessment, led education of the community and more. They also wrote letters to newspapers and government officials, circulated a petition with more than 21,000 signatures from around the world opposing the corridor developments, and showed up in large numbers to community meetings and public consultations. This group became a voice for wildlife and the drive behind their community involvement was extraordinary.

One thing’s clear — residents are passionate about protecting the space and habitat wildlife require. This is a community need that must continue to be addressed and evaluated.

Bow Valley Grizzly | Stephen Legault
Photo: Stephen Legault

Using our long-term vision and collaborative approach, we look forward to continuing to work with community members, policy-makers, industry partners and anyone invested in the values we all treasure.

We thank town residents for speaking up for the voiceless. We also thank town officials interested in maintaining the special values Canmore and the Bow Valley have for putting the decision to proceed with development on hold pending further assessment.

To Kay, that’s welcome news.

“If we remain firm in our values and principles, wildlife can thrive. If those in power do not adhere to our core values, they will destroy the jewel that Canmore is now and for future generations. We cannot afford to make the wrong decisions for our wildlife,” she says.