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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Legislation Introduced to Protect Flathead Watershed

— Posted on Oct 05, 2011 12:30 PM in: General News
Legislation Introduced to Protect Flathead Watershed

On October 4, 2011, the BC government introduced the "Flathead Watershed Area Conservation Act" that prohibits the exploration and development of mining, oil and gas and coal in the Flathead Valley.

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Grizzly Bear Allies Blast Alberta's Foot Dragging

— Posted on Sep 19, 2011 03:00 PM in: Y2Y in the News
Grizzly Bear Allies Blast Alberta's Foot Dragging

Y2Y and other conservation groups, including Alberta Wilderness Association, CPAWS and the Sierra Club of Canada, urged the Alberta Government to put a moratorium on new road construction to save the endangered grizzly bear.

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UNESCO Report Calls for "Conservation and Wildlife Management plan” for Flathead

— Posted on Jun 26, 2010 12:30 PM in: General News
UNESCO Report Calls for "Conservation and Wildlife Management plan” for Flathead

The report recommends a new management plan for the Flathead River Valley that “gives priority to natural ecological values and wildlife conservation.”

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