Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

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The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative or Y2Y is a joint Canada-US charitable organization that seeks to preserve and maintain the wildlife, native plants, wilderness and natural process of the mountain ecosystem from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon. Y2Y works with local communities, through education and stewardship programs, to encourage conservation of the area. Y2Y takes a scientific approach to conservation and has been named by the IUCN-World Conservation Union as one of the planet's leading mountain conservation initiatives.[1]

Vision[edit]

People working together to maintain and restore the unique natural heritage of the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

Primary Role[edit]

Y2Y connects and supports a network of organizations, agencies, and individuals doing on-the-ground conservation work in the region. Y2Y facilitates collaboration among those groups to advance an integrated conservation agenda for the entire region.

In 2008, Y2Y provided 13 grants totaling $38,000 to organizations in support of their conservation efforts within the Yellowstone to Yukon region.[2]

History[edit]

In 1993, Harvey Locke, a lawyer and environmentalist, had an idea for a vast wildlife corridor encompassing the mountain ranges from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon. Locke, along with other concerned individuals, wanted to link protected wildlife areas to each other so that wildlife species – especially wide ranging mammals like grizzly bears – could move safely between them.

Y2Y was officially established in 1997 by conservationists and scientists. Today, Y2Y has two offices located in Canmore, Alberta and Missoula, Montana.

Priorities[edit]

Wildlife Corridors 
Ensuring wildlife have safe migration pathways to move through the lands adjacent to and between protected areas such as national parks.
Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy 
This is the most extensive, large-landscape grizzly bear conservation effort in the world.[3] The goal of the strategy is to make sure that grizzly bears have adequate core habitats to sustain viable populations, and that bears – and other wide-ranging wildlife – can move safely between core habitats.
Avian Conservation Strategy 
The Y2Y region is a critical migratory pathway for birds. 275 species of birds spend all or part of their life cycle in the Y2Y region.[4] This strategy, which is currently being finalized, uses 20 focal species to represent the needs of 109 species of concern.
Aquatic Conservation Strategy 
Nearly 40 percent of fish species in North American streams, rivers and lakes are now in jeopardy, according to the most detailed evaluation of the conservation status of freshwater fishes in the last 20 years.[5] Y2Y is in the process of establishing a watershed-based approach to conserving the river ecosystems and fishes of the Y2Y region.

Challenges[edit]

One of the most significant challenges to conservation is the region’s vast scale. The Y2Y region traverses two countries, five American states, two Canadian provinces, two Canadian territories, the reservation or traditional lands of over 30 Native governments, and a number of government land agencies.[6] In addition, there are social, economic, historical and cultural differences between the many human communities within or near to the region.

Other challenges for conservation in the region include human development, resource extraction, negative human-wildlife interactions, climate change, and transportation (roads and railways).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Mountains Biome Theme Newsletter, edited by Dr. Larry Hamilton.
  2. ^ "Y2Y Announces 2008 Partner Grant Recipients". Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy". Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Avian Conservation Strategies and Efforts". Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Silent Streams? Escalating Endangerment for North American Freshwater Fish: Nearly 40 Percent Now At-Risk". United States Geological Survey. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  6. ^ Wilcox L, Aengst P (October 1999). "Yellowstone to Yukon: Romantic Dream or Realistic Vision of the Future?". Parks 9 (3): p 17. 

External links[edit]