Your update on Y2Y news

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative


August 19, 2019

You’re part of the caribou’s journey to recovery

The story of caribou in the Yellowstone to Yukon region

Mountain caribou are an important part of what makes the Yellowstone to Yukon region so special. Some even consider caribou to be an iconic representation of the region.

The word "journey" suggests a passage from one place to another. Often, that journey isn’t a straight path; rather, it contains periods of plodding alone, times when nothing much is happening at all, and the marking of milestones along the way, sometimes collectively. Things don’t always go as planned, either.

Caribou in the Yellowstone to Yukon region reflect not only the literal ups and downs of a journey, but also the bumpy steps in the road to recovery.

Wildlife signage on Highway 40 in Alberta

Creating connections for wildlife matters

Why not to overlook over- and underpasses

We are often reminded of the profound support that exists for wildlife crossings on highways, and this support is shown in many ways. You call us, share it on social media, write powerful letters to your local politicians and even give your hard-earned money to leverage these projects (thank you).

But we’re not surprised. If you have ever endured the experience of colliding with an animal in your vehicle (we hope you never have to), or even feel uneasy driving on highways where wildlife roam, you’ll relate to how serious of an issue this is.

An elk struck by a vehicle lies on Highway 1 near canmore

Show your support for safer wildlife passage in Alberta

Send a letter now

Each day, an average of 22,000 vehicles travel the Trans-Canada Highway through Alberta’s Bow Valley. This number is expected to increase in the coming years, along with a potential increase in wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Y2Y’s work on a wildlife overpass and fencing east of Canmore is a first step in a bigger plan to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions in the Bow Valley east of Banff National Park to Highway 40 — a plan that includes a wildlife overpass and fencing.

Your voice is powerful, and is needed to bolster action on this issue. Send a letter to the Alberta government supporting an overpass and fencing project to move forward in the Bow Valley without further delay.

Cuckoo Bumblebee/Bombus sylvestris by Gail Hampshire

Bees are badass

How pollinators help wildlife — and you — thrive and survive

There's been a lot made recently of bees and other pollinators being vital parts of a healthy ecosystem, including those from Yellowstone to Yukon. These tiny badasses of the wild are a pretty popular topic, as they should be! Pollinators’ impact on all species — including people — is nothing short of incredible.

Driving down Alberta's Icefields Parkway

Have a late summer road trip planned?

Put some conservation in your ears

Summer is the time for adventures, whether they are hours away from home in a new-to-you mountain range or the kind that involve relaxing on your patio. Now, you have an additional entertainment option to accompany those adventures, as Y2Y’s work and staff have been featured recently in three podcasts.

Grizzly crosses landscape

A bear new to the Bitterroot

Grizzlies moving south because of you

For years, Y2Y and partners, including Vital Ground, have been working to recover the local grizzly population and improve wildlife corridors in northwest Montana and northern Idaho. The hope was that a healthy population would expand their range and find their way south into the unoccupied Bitterroot Wilderness of central Idaho.

Now, a grizzly bear has been recorded in a spot where grizzlies haven’t been seen in a long time.

Y2Y's 2019 summer interns

Sharing the Y2Y vision

Summer interns inspired to share our mission

“I love that Y2Y takes a transboundary approach to conservation." — Annie C., Columbia Headwaters outreach intern

This summer, Y2Y hosted seven interns in various programs and roles in British Columbia, Alberta, Wyoming and Idaho. We were thrilled to add their expertise and energy to our work on large-landscape conservation. Now, you can hear what it is about the Yellowstone to Yukon vision that inspired them and attracted them to work at Y2Y in this short video.

Watch the video now

Hanging food in Glacier National Park

Responsible recreation: 8 ways to share space with wildlife

Keeping all species safer

Maybe we’re biased, but we think that the Yellowstone to Yukon region has some of the most incredible places to explore. Our team loves to get out in the many wild places that Canada and the United States has to offer. When we ski, hike, bike, canoe and climb, these activities inspire our appreciation for and drive us to protect the landscape the most. Do you feel the same?

It’s important to remember that most of these fun activities occur in and around the places that wildlife call home — sometimes, without even knowing it.

Here are eight ways you can continue to explore and recreate responsibly, no matter where you are or what you’re doing:

  1. Heading out on a road trip? Don't exceed posted speed limits and ideally, avoid driving at dusk or dawn when wildlife is most active.
  2. Getting ready to conquer a hike? Bring your friends and family! It’s best to hike in groups of four or more and most importantly, use that outside voice and make lots of noise.
  3. Want to go on a pup-venture? We don’t blame you. Keep your dog on a leash, especially in areas where wildlife such as bears and cougars frequent. This will keep you and your furry friend, as well as wildlife, safer.
  4. Found a new trail that you want to try? Check for closures, bear warnings and other advisories before heading out. These can usually be found on your local parks website.
  5. See an animal on the side of the highway? It’s best to give the animal space and slow down but not to stop, unless it’s right in front of your vehicle, of course.
  6. Finally found a place to go camping for the weekend? Make sure you don’t leave out attractants such as food, a dirty barbecue or even personal hygiene products. Depending where you’re camping, you can store them in your vehicle, on a bear-pole or in a designated bear-proof food storage locker.
  7. Want to try your skills at mountain biking? Bike in groups, be aware of your surroundings, make lots of noise and slow down in areas with more vegetation or near loud water sources.
  8. Heading out in bear country? Make sure to pack your bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible (i.e., don’t store it in your bag).

Photo credits —
Banner: Klinse-za maternal pen caribou, Wildlife Infometrics
Inset photos: Highway wildlife signage, Kelly Zenkewich | Dead elk on roadside, Kelly Zenkewich | Cuckoo bumblebee: Gail Hampshire via CC by 2.0 | Icefields Parkway, Kelly Zenkewich | Grizzly, Jim Peaco/National Park Service | Y2Y's 2019 summer interns, Kelly Zenkewich | Bear pole: Jacob W. Frank, National Park Services