Policies and Principles - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Policies and Principles

Y2Y has created guiding principles that we use to plan and prioritize our work and to guide the evolution of the organization.

Y2Y Policies and Statements

If you have any comments or questions about these policies or statements, please email us at info (at) y2y (dot) net.

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Last revised: November 2020

The Yellowstone to Yukon region encompasses the traditional territories and lands, reserves/reservations, and land claim settlement areas of many Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous nations have title to and/or rights and/or cultural interests within traditional territories and often have decision-making powers on land use and resource allocation.

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) seeks to protect and connect the region’s lands and waters so that people and nature can thrive. One of the ways we do this is through engaging and supporting a variety of partners to advance the Y2Y vision on the ground, including Indigenous governments, people, and organizations.

The purpose of this document is to guide Y2Y in building and strengthening effective and respectful working relationships with Indigenous governments, people, and organizations.

Read our principles for working with Indigenous Peoples.

Last revised: Spring 2019

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) solicits and accepts gifts in many different forms that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. All prospective donors are advised to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including tax and estate planning.

Y2Y follows the Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights. In addition, the following restrictions and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to Y2Y for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services. Y2Y reserves the right to refuse gifts assessed in accordance with this policy, without providing a reason to the donor.

Read our full gift acceptance policy.

Last revised: Spring 2023

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is committed to the long-term ecological health of wildlife populations and wildlife habitat within the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

Within this context, Y2Y supports hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering, recognizing that these activities:

  • are an important part of social, cultural histories and traditions
  • are part of the economy and food security of the Yellowstone to Yukon region
  • can help to maintain or manage fish and wildlife population health
  • are generally sustainable when:
    • the rules and regulations of federal, Indigenous, and provincial/state/territorial governments concerning access and harvest numbers are informed by the best available evidence, including science and Indigenous and local knowledge, and
    • hunters, trappers and anglers follow applicable rules and regulations.

With respect to Indigenous Peoples, Y2Y recognizes that hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering are long-standing cultural and spiritual practices that are the subject of treaty and/or constitutionally protected rights.

With respect to hunting by non-Indigenous Peoples, Y2Y:
supports fair chase principles as an important part of an ethical framework for hunting and opposes hunting of captive game animals.

Y2Y also recognizes

  • the legitimacy of temporarily or permanently setting aside selected areas in which hunting, fishing, or trapping are not permitted, based on science and Indigenous and local knowledge, to help protect wildlife populations and their genes, and to act as source populations for the broader landscape
  • that ecologically healthy landscapes should generally be able to support sustainably managed and regulated hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering.

Last revised: December 2020

Y2Y recognizes that energy production is an essential part of society, contributing to human well-being; however, it also can have significant negative impacts on ecosystems and societies, largely determined by the type, location and scale of development.

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is one of the most ecologically intact mountain ecosystems in the world and its natural values are core to the well-being of communities within and beyond the Y2Y region because of their intrinsic value and the benefits they provide to people.

Energy development, including fossil fuel exploration and development, wind farms and many hydro electric dams, has already heavily impacted some parts of the Yellowstone to Yukon region, resulting in wildlife habitat loss and fragmentation, and in some cases, inequitable distribution of benefits to and negative impacts on local and Indigenous communities.

Within this context, energy development within the Yellowstone to Yukon region needs to be very carefully considered to ensure it does not further undermine the region’s important ecological, social, economic and cultural values.

Climate change and habitat loss and fragmentation are the most significant threats to the ecological integrity of the Yellowstone to Yukon region and of earth itself, they are interrelated, and both result in negative impacts on human and ecological well-being, now and in the future.

Y2Y believes that energy development in the Yellowstone to Yukon region should generally emphasize renewable energy sources to contribute to the transition away from fossil fuels needed to mitigate climate change, and recognizes the important role that wind, solar, geothermal as well as some run-of- river hydroelectric energy can play in this transition.

However, we note that poorly designed, operated, or sited renewable energy infrastructure also can have significant negative impacts on ecological integrity.

Proactive planning and impact assessment of all energy developments is essential to avoid negative impacts on wildlife, ecosystems and communities.

For this reason, Y2Y has developed the following guidance for energy development in the Yellowstone to Yukon region:

  • Proactive regional assessment of cumulative impacts should be completed before policy decisions are made for any proposed energy developments. These assessments should consider wildlife habitat and connectivity, climate change including adaptation and carbon contributions, as well as economic and community values and well-being.
  • Assessments should be based on the best available multi-disciplinary scientific information and Indigenous knowledge and should be transparent and engage potentially impacted communities.
  • Energy projects should avoid areas of high natural and cultural value and prioritize already disturbed areas.
  • Maintaining or restoring the ecological and cultural integrity of the Yellowstone to Yukon region should be a priority objective in all energy project-related plans and assessments.

Last revised: December 2020

This policy applies to how we moderate comments on Y2Y’s social channels, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

We appreciate many may have different approaches to and opinions on conservation and we encourage comments, healthy debate and thoughts to be shared on our social media channels. However, please keep in mind we will not tolerate comments that are offensive, rude in tone, or abusive. Messages with racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting, or life-threatening comments, as well as serious or inaccurate accusations, will be removed. We also reserve the right to ban and remove repeat offenders.

Last revised: Fall 2017

Y2Y’s approach

Find more details about the Y2Y approach to large landscape conservation and how our work addresses the needs of wildlife and people.