Winter view of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, a key protected area in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Image: Karsten Heuer
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Susan A. Holmes

“Washington, D.C. needs to hear the visionary thinking of groups like Y2Y. I’m excited to be part of the team and look forward to reporting back the progress made in the near term.”
Susan A.Holmes
Y2Y U.S. Connectivity Policy Coordinator

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Peel Watershed with People. Image: Juri Peepre
If protected, the Peel Watershed would be one of the largest protected areas in the Yellowstone to Yukon vision. Image: Juri Peepre
Policy determines what lands are protected, where development takes place, and how land uses are managed. These decisions affect our landscape beyond the administration of the day – they have enduring impacts. The issues that concern Y2Y, such as the survival of grizzly bears, reducing vehicle and wildlife collisions, and keeping some lands in a wilderness state for the benefit of both people and wildlife, could be more easily addressed if government policies were more favorable.


Unfortunately, the policies necessary to achieve large-scale conservation often are not in place. For example, there are very few legal mechanisms, either in Canada or the U.S., that facilitate the protection of wildlife corridors.


Baby Pronghorn. Image: Kent Nelson
In 2008, new policies were set in place to ease the 100-mile (160-km) migration route of the pronghorn through Wyoming. Image: Kent Nelson
Getting the right policies in place is a foundation for conservation success. Y2Y and its many partner groups are working with all levels of government in areas to create a shift in policy that will have long-lasting and multiplying effects for conservation. This includes municipalities (some of whom have adopted wildlife corridors into their municipal development plans), provinces and states (e.g. highway wildlife crossing initiatives), and federal jurisdictions like the U.S. Forest Service (which now considers connectivity under its new forest planning rules).


  • Influence Canada’s Yukon government’s land-use plan to protect 80% of the Peel Watershed.
  • Influence the Alberta government’s land-use plan to increase protection for Alberta Headwaters.
  • Encourage a national network of U.S. wildlife corridors.
  • Promote inclusion of wildlife corridors in U.S. National Forest plan updates.
  • Y2Y has co-authored with The Center for Large Landscape Conservation and Wildlands Network and published a guide for US groups working to ensure that connectivity is included in updated national forest management plans. Download the PDF of the guide here


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Thomas Berger Defends the Peel Watershed

— Posted on Oct 17, 2014 09:30 AM in: Updates from the Field
Thomas Berger Defends the Peel Watershed

Respected lawyer argued that the detailed land-use planning process legislated through Yukon land claims agreements was not followed by government.

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Not Quite What the Conservationists Ordered

— Posted on Oct 06, 2014 11:00 AM in: Updates from the Field
Not Quite What the Conservationists Ordered

Southern Alberta's final land-use plan, which will guide planning for the next 50 years, was a disappointment for Y2Y and other conservation groups.

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Protecting Alberta’s Headwaters

— Posted on Aug 07, 2014 03:30 PM in: Updates from the Field
Protecting Alberta’s Headwaters

As the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan enters the home stretch, here's what you can still do to influence a plan that works.

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Momentum in the Flathead Valley

— Posted on Aug 07, 2014 02:00 PM in: Updates from the Field
Momentum in the Flathead Valley

The American side of the trans-boundary Flathead watershed is only one step away from being permanently protected from future oil and gas leasing.

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Balancing Land Use in Alberta

— Posted on Aug 07, 2014 08:30 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Balancing Land Use in Alberta

Regional land use frameworks are being created across the province to resolve conflicts over land, but are these plans creating a real process to ensure balance in land development? Y2Y's Wendy Francis discusses with Bev Yee, Land Use Secretariat.

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