B.C.'s Peace River. Image: Larry Peterson
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Juri Peepre
“The Peace River Break is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. For decades is has been B.C.’s environmental sacrificial lamb, where rampant industrial development in the form of oil and gas, shale gas, coalbed methane and mining, wind farms and dams are changing this area into a highly industrialized landscape.”


Juri Peepre – Former Y2Y Project Manager

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Peace River Break


Located in northeastern British Columbia (B.C.), the Peace River Break is the lifeblood of a diverse ecosystem. One of the most important geographical features of this region is the east-west traveling river, which is the only river in the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region that cuts through the Rocky Mountains. As a result, it creates a continental climate that supports diverse ecosystems, acts as a sanctuary to a number of threatened and endangered species, and provides rich soils that could feed up to a million people.

PRB PA Map No Hill

Value to Yellowstone to Yukon Vision

The Peace River Break is situated at the narrowest point in the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region. This narrow stretch of landscape enables wildlife to move between two big islands of protected habitat: the Muskwa-Kechika Ecosystem area to the north and the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains, to the south. Keeping this connection intact is critical to the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.

Peace River flows east-west cutting across the Rocky Mountains. Image: Larry Peterson
Peace River flows east-west, the only river to cut across the Rocky Mountains


This key connection is under great pressure. According to Global Forest Watch Canada , the Peace River Break is experiencing industrial-caused disturbances at rates that are greater than those found in Alberta’s oil sands region. Oil and gas development, coal and coalbed methane development, forestry, mining, and wind energy development, as well as the recently approved Site C hydro dam, act as barriers to wildlife movement and threaten the integrity of the landscape. These barriers could create a pinch-point that effectively cuts the Yellowstone to Yukon region in two.

Y2Y Goals

Goal: Y2Y is working with several partner groups, including Treaty 8 First Nations, to connect and protect wildlife habitat in the region.

What We Are Working On Now

Healing the Break – Y2Y is working with regional stakeholders to implement a conservation vision for the Peace River Break to heal its damaged landscape and to ensure it is a functional area for wildlife connectivity.

Site C Dam – The $9-billion Site C dam would be the third dam on the Peace River and threatens the long-term survival of wildlife and fish populations. Y2Y is working with its partners to stop the dam.

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Related Information:

Appropriate Development

Muskwa-Kechika Ecosystem

Central Canadian Rocky Mountains

Our Progress