The south fork of the Two Medicine River, looking towards Glacier National Park. Photo: Stephen Legault.
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Y2Y Achievements

Achieving the Yellowstone to Yukon vision demands multiple approaches and the joint efforts of many local groups. Here are some examples of outcomes that the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative along with its partners, have realized:

SECURED CORE HABITAT

  • Nahanni National Park Reserve. Image: Peter Mather
    Nahanni National Park Reserve is one of two parks Y2Y helped. Image: Peter Mather
    Established 
    two new national park reserves, Nahanni (2009) and Naats'ihch'oh (2013), that together are equivalent in size to four Yellowstone National Parks.
  • Collaboratively purchased 550,000 ac (200,000 ha) of private lands, which secure key wildlife movement routes.
  • Collaboratively helped influence the B.C. government to officially ban oil or gas development on 400,000 ac (161,874 ha) of land in B.C.’s Flathead River Valley.
  • Facilitated the purchase for conservation of 17,660 ac (7,150 ha) in B.C.’s Flathead and Elk River Valleys.
  • Established the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, a 16-million-ac (6.5-million-ha) complex of protected lands and special management zones.

MADE ROADS SAFER

  • Banff Overpass. Image Josh Whetzel
    The wildlife over and underpasses in Banff National Park have decreased wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80%. Image: Josh Whetzel
    Inspired the addition of
    wildlife overpasses on Highway 1 through Banff National Park. These structures have decreased wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80%, have enabled more than 140,000 animal crossings, and have been proven to promote gene flow.
  • Influenced Montana Department of Transportation to require wildlife-friendly fencing along state highways in places recommended by state biologists. 
  • Since 2013, more than 600 mi. (1,000 km) of highway across Alberta, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are in the process of becoming wildlife friendly.

HELPED PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE LIVE IN HARMONY

  • Grizzly fishing beside man. Image: Northern Focus Creative
    Image: Northern Focus Creative
    Funded more than 40 projects that assist people to coexist with wildlife, including erecting electric fences, reducing wildlife attractants, supporting bear spray rental programs and more.

INFLUENCED POLICY FOR CONSERVATION ACTION

  • Persuaded the Alberta government to list the province’s grizzly bear population as “Threatened”, opening the door to greater protection.
  • Influenced a new southern Alberta Land-Use Plan that creates new parks and sets the stage for legislated connectivity zones in the province.

HELPED ENSURE APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT

  • Commissioned essential research that informed a review panel’s assessment that negative impacts of the proposed Site C dam on wildlife and other values, in the critical connection along the Peace River in northern B.C., are not justified.

RESTORED CRITICAL HABITAT

  • Restoring Streams
    Students help to restore damage streams in the Yahk to Yaak region.
    Decommissioned 25+ mi (40+ km) of road and returned it to natural habitat.
  • Restored 41+ mi (66+ km) of streams to their natural state.
  • Treated 1,706+ ac (690+ ha) of land for invasive plant species to allow the growth of native species.
  • Planted 1440+ native trees to restore habitat to its natural state.

INVESTED IN THE CONSERVATION COMMUNITY

ADVANCED SCIENCE

  • Authored or commissioned more than 30 technical research studies that provide the scientific rationale to guide conservation work in the region.

INSPIRED MILLIONS TO CARE FOR KEEPING NATURE HEALTHY

  • Heuer with Y2Y Flag
    Karsten Heuer walked the entire 2,000-mile (3,200-km) length of the Yellowstone to Yukon region.
    In 1998, sponsored then wildlife-biologist Karsten Heuer, who hiked the Yellowstone to Yukon region. His book Walking the Big Wild has enamored, inspired and educated thousands of readers.
  • Inspired countless print, art and film projects that highlight the beauty of the Yellowstone to Yukon region and its need for protection including: a story on CBC’s The Nature of Things, a National Geographic book Yellowstone to Yukon, Yellowstone to Yukon Freedom to Roam and an internationally acclaimed art exhibit Yellowstone to Yukon: The Journey of Wildlife and Art to name a few.
  • Y2Y media exposure has reached more than 90 million people and underscored the value of the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.

*This was last updated December 2014