We’re proud of our relationships with our donors and appreciate their support. Hear what they have to say about why they support Y2Y’s mission and work, and why they believe in the power of a big, bold vision for nature and people living in harmony with the natural world.
Jeremy G., Ontario
“I love Y2Y for the sheer scale of its vision. Its size forces us to rethink what it means to care about and live with nature.”
“I grew up in the much tamer, rural environment of upstate New York, but, even there, nature found me and was my first inspiration and mentor.
Even the bears inspire me. Just knowing that you might encounter one is both terrifying and thrilling – there is no better way I know of to deepen our relationship with nature than to be reminded that we are part of its food chain! Of course, we are far more threatened by climate change and the loss of biodiversity than we have ever been by predators.
I love Y2Y for the sheer scale of its vision. Its size forces us to re-think what it means to care about and live with nature. We can’t just put it in a box (such as a park) and only experience it when we visit it. We must incorporate it into our everyday wild or urban landscapes, and into our everyday consciousness.
I see the timescale of Y2Y as being as large as its landscape. It will take generations to build both a vibrant and protected landscape and a culture that honors and integrates human life with nature, so that both live together sustainably and meaningfully.
As a long-term Board member, I want to inspire others to consider Y2Y in their estate planning. We as individuals may not last forever, but nature will, and we can help it thrive with what we leave behind.”
“I’ve made a legacy pledge to Y2Y, because I know that you’ll take care of a lot of smaller organizations and community projects. I love what you do.”
“I majored in animal science and industry, and wrote farm loans for many years in Illinois. I moved to Montana when I retired. I live in the mountains now, totally surrounded by pine trees.
It might seem ironic for someone who grew up raising cattle to love grizzlies so much, but I do. The first time I saw a grizzly was in 2003. My husband and I were in Yellowstone looking at wolves, when a grizzly came out and just stood there, looking like the king of the world.
Now I go to all the bear meetings in my area that I’m able to. The bears are returning to their ancestral home. I’m 65, and I’m trying to get the next generation to look after grizzlies when I’m gone.
Some years back, I felt like I was ‘losing the battle’ to save wildlife when I went to hear [Y2Y co- founder] Harvey Locke in Kalispell. He relayed a message that there was still hope. That huge link from Yellowstone to the Yukon – I think it’s the most marvelous idea I’ve ever come across.
People talk about grizzlies being an umbrella species – protect them and you’ll protect 80 percent of other wildlife. I correlate that to Y2Y. I’ve made a legacy pledge to Y2Y, because I know that you’ll take care of a lot of smaller organizations and community projects. I know a lot of the organizations you’ve worked with. I love what you guys do.”
“I’ve left a legacy gift because I’m able to. In our own small world, sometimes we have an opportunity to do something more.”
“As a child I lived in the U.S. for 11½ years. Our neighborhood on the edge of the city gave me a chance to go for walks to a kind of semi-desert area where the housing stopped.
But I really connected with nature when my family began spending summers in the West Kootenay area of B.C. There was a seasonal pond near our place. The discovery of life in that pond and around its edge was an eye-opener for me. The nearby forest also opened up a sense of connectedness with nature, while learning about species of trees not known in Alberta. Those experiences, combined with a required course in biology in grade 10, led to the decision to major in biology in university.
Then there was Waterton Lakes National Park after university where I worked as a naturalist for a season. It was a defining summer. Later, after settling in Calgary, hiking in the nearby parks like Kananaskis Country became a frequent activity.
Nature is dominant in my life now. I have covered the entire distance of the Y2Y corridor over the years on many individual trips, which has enabled me to see what a stunning and important landscape it is.
Throughout my life, I have tried to stand for environmental values. Many people take wildlife, clean water and air for granted. It is imperative that values like wildlife protection are not lost. My hope is that my modest current and future donations will assist Y2Y in some small way, to continue their work of protecting the very special place that is the Yellowstone-to-Yukon corridor.”
John M., Montana
“It gives me hope that there are organizations such as Y2Y that are focused on preserving the nature world and wilderness areas. Unless we preserve them today, they’re not going to be available to anyone going forwards.”
“I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona – a desert rat, if you will. My family didn’t camp or really experience the outdoors – for me that only began when Sue and I started to live our lives together. We did a lot of climbing in our thirties and forties. These days we’re more likely to travel by boat or bush plane – those things really light our fire.
What attracted me to Y2Y was the concept of corridors, and the fact that land and accessibility, especially for large carnivores, is such a focus – that’s incredibly important. If we don’t seize the moment now, what we lose we will never recover.
Implementing more and more wildlife crossings [over and under roads] goes hand in hand with protecting the land. It’s essential to educate people about them. It’s not trying to tell people how to lead their lives, but an effort to save the lives of humans and animals.
Knowing that the staff and leadership of Y2Y have the utmost respect for native peoples, and stakeholders, is incredibly important. Both Sue and I have a great appreciation for the caliber and expertise of the staff and board. We have been nothing but impressed by how everyone is so focused on Y2Y’s mission and vision – and how these long-term objectives guide your daily decision making.
My message to the leadership of Y2Y is to stay the course, and continue doing what you’re doing. And I would hope that the legacy for the world will be to have protected areas, and that kids in the future still have an opportunity to see and experience these places and their wildlife.”
“Standing on a summit above the tree line, feeling the wildness and its beauty, you realize how small and vulnerable you are – the power of nature. It gives you perspective… As a teacher, I know what a benefit it would be if every kid could have this type of exposure.”
“I’m an avid hiker. As a child, family camping trips to Acadia National Park, as well as road trips from Seattle to Boston, inspired a passion for nature and adventure. It’s what later led me to explore the Rockies both in Colorado and Canada. There, I had the same feelings, but the experience was bigger – more expansive. There’s something unique about that environment, especially the alpine.
The raw, wild vistas move me. Standing on a summit above the tree line, feeling the wildness and its beauty, you realize how small and vulnerable you are – the power of nature. It gives you perspective. I love the alpine meadows and tiny delicate flowers, the insects – how small they are, yet they endure the most extreme elements.
As a teacher, I know what a benefit it would be if every kid could have this type of exposure. When kids spend time outside, they experience something essential that can’t be taught in a classroom. We need to emphasize connectivity and sustainability in our education; to teach kids where food and other resources comes from; that they are part of nature and they depend on it.
The Yellowstone-to-Yukon region is the one that calls me the most — Banff, Jasper, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier — so I want to help preserve it. It makes sense to connect the whole corridor and not just little pockets, especially with climate change, giving animals and plants the space to move to respond to their needs.
My environmentalism is personal: my passion. When you think about all the needs and challenges in today’s world, there is a never-ending list. It feels overwhelming and there is only so much one person can do. But this has to be the number one priority, because the other issues won’t matter if we don’t save the environment. I want to make sure my giving has the greatest impact possible.
I hope I have a positive impact on the environment and on other people. As an educator that is certainly my goal. As a citizen of the world, I want to help preserve the natural environment and spread the word. If you’re considering a gift to Y2Y I’d say, ‘Do it!’ The most important work Y2Y does is changing mindsets — with the concept of long-term sustainable conservation and partnerships — and trying to find solutions that work for everyone.”
“My employer offered the staff a life insurance policy and we could name the beneficiary. In considering the beneficiary, we decided to name Y2Y, because it was life insurance we didn’t expect to have and we felt our family would benefit with Y2Y as beneficiary as much as themselves.”
“I first learned about Y2Y through a mailer that my client received. Later, Y2Y was looking for a volunteer board member treasurer. I was intrigued, so I called the Canmore office and the initial discussion led to my attending a Bozeman, Montana meeting. Other board members thought the fact that a fellow from Louisiana was drawn to the idea of Y2Y was noteworthy and signaled the power of this vision. I was known at the tourist board given my vast lack of knowledge about the region but enthusiasm for it.
We have a great outdoor landscape in Louisiana – great salt and fresh water fishing – but conservation, generally, has taken a backseat to industry. When I was a kid four or five years old, Saturday morning was about fishing. We’d even fish in a ditch! My dad grew up doing it with his dad. You didn’t have to catch much – it was about the nature process and you didn’t get in any other manner but to leave the house.
When you think you’ve done a sufficient amount…you haven’t. Because the next day someone will want to put up a condominium. You also have to be satisfied with incremental gains. Over time these gains will have large returns.”