Hiking in the Yukon. Image: Pat Morrow
Top actions | ... | ...

Sign Up For Email News Updates

Be the first to know about news, events and successes.

"I left inspired to protect the special places in my own backyard."
Sara Renner, Y2Y supporter

Read More

Making history in the Flathead

New recommendations for protections in the U.S. portion of the Flathead River Valley spanning British Columbia (B.C.) and Montana have us cheering.

New recommendations for protections in the U.S. portion of the Flathead River Valley spanning British Columbia (B.C.) and Montana have us cheering.

For close to 15 years the Flathead Wild coalition, of which Y2Y is a member, has been diligently working to increase conservation in this key area.

This coalition includes five other groups: Wildsight, Sierra Club B.C., CPAWS B.C., Headwaters Montana and the National Parks Conservation Association who have, among other things, been working on enhancing the Flathead National Forest plan in the U.S.

Long-standing support from donors like you has allowed the coalition to make the case for long term protection to decision makers in this special valley.

“The Flathead is important continentally. It’s wild and it has the highest diversity of carnivores in the Yellowstone to Yukon region,” says Dr. Jodi Hilty, Y2Y's president and chief scientist.

"So much gets done here because of on-the-ground work by our partners and we thank you for your support that allows us to work in such great partnerships," she explains.

Courtesy: Flathead Wild
The Flathead River originates high in the southern Rockies of B.C. in the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people. It flows south through northwestern Montana, to its confluence with the Clark Fork near Paradise, MT. This valley is of great biological importance due to the incredible diversity of plants and animals found there.

It's also a critical corridor for wildlife — including grizzlies, lynx, wolverines and more — that move between world-renowned protected areas such as Banff National Park in Canada, and Glacier National Park in the U.S.

These animals play a vital, irreplaceable role in maintaining the stability and integrity of the Yellowstone to Yukon ecosystem.

Great Northern rises above Stanton Lake in Flathead National Forest. Photo: U.S. Forest Service/Chantelle Delay

In June 2014 scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) published a report titled Conservation Legacy on a Flagship Forest: Wildlife and Wildlands on the Flathead National Forest, Montana by John Weaver. This report made key recommendations to Congress on wilderness designations in the U.S. portion of the Flathead.

Following years of planning, public consultation and reports, the final plan for the Flathead National Forest was published in December 2017, and we are pleased to report the news is good.

The plan includes recommendations from WCS and other scientists and conservationists and represents a significant step forward for long-term conservation of lands, wildlife and water in the area.

The protections will provide greater security for wildlife and key lands adjacent to Glacier National Park, existing wilderness areas, and in B.C., now and for years to come.

This includes protection from threats to water quality and wildlife habitat that put this important wildlife corridor at risk.

We celebrate this progress and the important role the Flathead plays in the larger context of the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.

Thanks to your support, we and the Flathead Wild team will continue to advocate for increased conservation on both sides of the border.

"This progress is important for the integrity of the Yellowstone to Yukon landscape," says Dr. Hilty.

Mountain goat photo: Tim Rains, National Park Service

Species in the Flathead National Forest

A variety of wildlife live here, including but not limited to endangered and threatened species such as:
• Mountain goats
• Wolverines
• Grizzlies
• Cold water trout such as bulltrout and westslope cutthroat

Flathead River photo: Glacier National Park Service

Protecting rivers

The Flathead National Forest's final plan determined sections of
24 streams and rivers are eligible for designation as Wild or Scenic Rivers. These waters are protected from development and preserved for their remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other values.