Y2Y helped establish Nahanni National Park Reserve in 2009. Huffington Post calls it "one of the best national parks in the world." Image: Peter Mather
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"Protecting habitat (area) is as important as maintaining connectivity. In some cases the best way of preventing isolation is to protect large areas."

 

Mark Hebblewhite
Biologist and Y2Y Board Member

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Protected Areas & Public Lands

THREAT

Protected areas, such as national, state and provincial parks, managed to support wildlife and ecosystems are critical to maintain healthy ecosystems throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Unfortunately, large sections of habitat on which wildlife depend to survive remain unprotected and vulnerable to development.

Coal Mining Flathead. Image: Garth Lenz iLCP Flathead Rave
Open-pit coal mining continues to threaten certain regions in the trans-boundary Flathead River Valley. Image: Garth Lenz iLCP Flathead Rave
Approximately 20 per cent of the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region is private or tribal land. The rest of the landscape is most often owned by the federal government in the U.S. and by the provinces or territories in Canada. Despite these ownership levels, only some 20 per cent of the entire Yellowstone to Yukon landscape is protected in parks, wilderness or private conservancies.

Most public land is open to multiple uses, including mining, drilling, forest harvesting, energy development and associated infrastructure such as roads and pipelines. Public motorized access adds to the cumulative impact on wildlife, ecosystems and our ability to deal with a changing climate. Additionally, few lands – protected or not – are managed to prioritize wildlife’s need to use and move through that landscape. This jeopardizes continental connectivity.

OPPORTUNITY

Grizzly bears crossing one of the many water systems found in the Yukon's Peel Watershed. Image: Peter Mather
Grizzly bears crossing one of the many water systems found in the Yukon's Peel Watershed. Image: Peter Mather
There are a number of key unprotected core habitats that have been identified as strategically valuable for supporting wildlife and critical ecosystems. Many, like Yukon’s Peel Watershed or British Columbia’s (B.C.) Flathead River Valley, remain untouched, with low populations and few roads. Keeping these places wild is vital for the future of hundreds of species. Additionally, many governments are engaged in land-use planning processes that open the door to improved management to support wildlife connectivity.

WHAT Y2Y IS DOING

Y2Y is leading, partnering and supporting our partners to gain additional protection for a number of strategically valuable landscapes in the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

GOALS & CURRENT PROJECTS


Themes.Protected Map with legendPeel Watershed
: Seven times larger than Yellowstone or Jasper national park, Y2Y is supporting our partners to protect 80 per cent of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed.

Alberta Headwaters: Y2Y is leading an initiative to ensure that Alberta’s land-use plans, which will determine the area’s land use for the next 50 years, protect Alberta’s headwaters.

Flathead Wild: As one of the last unsettled valleys in southern Canada, Y2Y aims to secure a national park in the upper Flathead River Valley of B.C. and a Wildlife Management zone that connects two protected areas.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Donate: Make a donation to help protect essential habitat in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and ensure nature has what it needs to sustain life. See how we use your donation dollars.

Add Your Voice: Sign up to receive our Action Alerts and add your voice to important conservation causes.


Related Information:

Policy

Private Lands

Greater Mackenzie Mountains

Central Canadian Rocky Mountains

Crown of the Continent


GET THE LATEST: Protected Area & Public Lands News

Alberta’s Government prioritizes conservation of Castle

— Posted on Feb 21, 2017 02:25 PM in: Updates from the Field
Alberta’s Government prioritizes conservation of Castle

“The first call to protect this land came in the late 1970s,” says Stephen Legault, Y2Y’s program director for Crown, Alberta and Northwest Territories.

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Hidden gem in Idaho attracts attention, support

— Posted on Feb 16, 2017 11:21 AM in: Updates from the Field
Hidden gem in Idaho attracts attention, support

On the border between northern Idaho and western Montana exists a special place.

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Promise for the Peel

— Posted on Feb 16, 2017 10:58 AM in: Updates from the Field
Promise for the Peel

Recently a historic change occurred in Canada’s Yukon Territory, one that promises to protect one of North America’s most ecologically important and pristine landscapes, the Peel Watershed.

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Perseverance pays off with protection of wild places

— Posted on Jan 30, 2017 08:39 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Perseverance pays off with protection of wild places

In this oped for the Calgary Herald, Y2Y's Stephen Legault says Albertans must persevere to protect the Castle.

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Castle protection edges Alberta closer to international conservation milestone

— Posted on Jan 20, 2017 10:32 AM in: Media Releases
Castle protection edges Alberta closer to international conservation milestone

Setting the boundaries of the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the new Castle Provincial Park in southwestern Alberta bring one of the most biologically diverse areas in the province under provincial protection.

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