Understanding wolverines helps us develop conservation strategies. Image: Steven Gnam
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Cabinet-Purcell Collaborative

Cabinet-Purcell Collaborative
Photo: Kent Nelson
A trans-border network working to recover grizzly bear populations in the vital Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor.

A trans-border network featuring Y2Y and other conservation groups, scientists and government agencies working to recover grizzly bear populations in the vital Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor.

THREAT

The trans-border Cabinet-Purcell region, which stretches from Missoula, Montana north to Golden, B.C., encompasses roughly 20 percent of the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region, and is one of only two remaining travel routes for grizzly bears in Canada to connect with endangered populations in Montana and Idaho.

Although this priority linkage zone features some significant protected areas, prime habitat and crucial wildlife corridors remain unprotected. Many wildlife species persist in small, isolated pockets of land fragmented by roads and small communities, and a long history of industrial development, threatening their ability to move and stay connected.

Scientists have also long warned about extremely low grizzly bear numbers in the region. In 1975, when U.S. grizzlies were first listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act, as few as 10 bears were estimated to live in Montana’s Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, core habitat just south of the Canadian border.

OPPORTUNITY

Y2Y’s goal is to restore and reconnect these islands of habitat so grizzly bears and other animals can safely roam between Canada’s Purcells and the Cabinet Mountains in the U.S. We are also working to restore watersheds throughout this region for salmon and native trout, and all other species that depend on them.

Doe Creek Drainage
Work on road number 460 in the Doe Creek drainage in Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Photo: Rebecca Lloyd.

WHAT Y2Y IS DOING

In 2006, Y2Y initiated the Cabinet-Purcell Collaborative—a trans-border network of more than 60 conservation and community groups, government agencies, scientists and individuals working together to connect and protect this vital corridor.

Y2Y and partners are conducting ongoing scientific research to find out where bears are living and moving, and spearheading the on-the-ground work to restore and protect core habitats and wildlife corridors—everything from de-activating old logging roads to encouraging safe wildlife movement over major roadways.

Recontour Lochsa Road
Recontour Lochsa Road in Clearwater National Forest. Photo: Rebecca Lloyd

After 10 years of collective action, researchers estimate bear numbers have increased in the endangered Cabinet-Yaak grizzly population by more than 160 percent, up to 50 bears. Evidence also suggests that northern grizzly populations are making their way south, meaning that these collective conservation efforts are making a difference to our ultimate goal. (See Our Progress.)

Co-existence programs: Y2Y supports programs in the Cabinet-Purcell corridor that will help people live peacefully with wildlife, including engaging local landowners in animal-awareness campaigns, and encouraging them to use effective fencing and using bear-proof garbage bins to minimize human-bear interactions.

 

Electric Fence Installation. Image: Defenders of Wildlife
Russ Talmo of Defenders of Wildlife putting up electric fencing to protect livestock and reduce conflicts with wildlife.

Yahk to Yaak: Y2Y is coordinating efforts to restore degraded habitat in this important trans-boundary section within the Cabinet-Purcell priority region, which links two key areas in B.C. and Montana.

Private Lands: Y2Y is working to secure private lands in the Cabinet-Purcell corridor, which could be used by wildlife for moving between core habitats.

Private Land Purchase Creston
Wildlife can continue to move between two mountain ranges near Creston, B.C. thanks to private land purchases for conservation. Photo: Steve Ogle

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Donate: Make a donation to help support our collective work in the trans-border Cabinet-Purcell region. 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.

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