Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

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The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative or Y2Y is a joint CanadaUnited States charitable organization that connects and protects habitat along the mountain ecosystem from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon. Y2Y works collaboratively with multiple partners - including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, businesses, government agencies and Aboriginal communities - to encourage conservation throughout the region, and to highlight and support local initiatives that support its large-scale objectives.

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]


Connecting and protecting habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive.

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 2015, Y2Y provided 15 partner grants totaling $50,000 to organizations in support of their conservation efforts within the Yellowstone to Yukon region.[2]


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.


To achieve the Yellowstone to Yukon vision, Y2Y protects core habitats, keeps these habitats connected, and inspires others to engage in similar work. Y2Y highlights and focuses on local issues that have implications for the region as a whole, and works with key people to stitch together this landscape.

Stretching 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometres) along the Rocky Mountains of North America, this vast, trans-boundary landscape demands a multi-pronged approach. As a result, Y2Y undertakes a variety of projects within the following eight themes:

Private Lands

Y2Y works with willing property owners to secure land and maintain key connections for wildlife. [3]

Protected Areas & Public Lands

Y2Y identifies core habitat under risk of development and finds ways to protect it.[4]


Y2Y is a voice for the Yellowstone to Yukon region in advancing policies and practices that support the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.[5]


Y2Y helps make roads safer for both human travel and wildlife movement.[6]


Y2Y supports education programs and tools that assist people to share space with wildlife.[7]

Appropriate Development

Y2Y assesses whether development is consistent with its vision and speaks out when it brings more damage than benefit.[8]

Habitat Restoration

Y2Y heals damaged forests and streams to increase the habitat available for wildlife.[9]

Promoting the Vision

Y2Y spreads its vision for a connected Yellowstone to Yukon landscape via its ever-growing networks.[10]


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.[11] 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]


  1. ^ IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Mountains Biome Theme Newsletter, edited by Dr. Larry Hamilton.
  2. ^ "Competitive Partner Grants". 
  3. ^ "Private Lands". 
  4. ^ "Protected Areas & Public Lands". 
  5. ^ "Policy". 
  6. ^ "Transportation". 
  7. ^ "Co-existence". 
  8. ^ "Appropriate Development". 
  9. ^ "Habitat Restoration". 
  10. ^ "Promoting the Vision". 
  11. ^ Wilcox L, Aengst P (October 1999). "Yellowstone to Yukon: Romantic Dream or Realistic Vision of the Future?". Parks. 9 (3): 17. 

External links[edit]