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How Will Y2Y Be Realized?

BUILDING A MAP

Over the next two years, Y2Y participants will work on a series of regional map-based proposals for a reserve network of core protected areas, wildlife corridors, and surrounding transition zones for the Y2Y study area.

The proposed cores, corridors and transition zones will allow for a gradation of human development as one moves from the protected to the unprotected lands. In many cases, much of the proposed network will include areas that are already protected at some level (see enclosed backgrounder - "The First 2,000 km").

SIZE OF PROTECTED AREAS AND WILDLIFE CORRIDORS

There is no simple recipe for determining the correct size for protected areas and wildlife corridors. For example, the widths of wildlife corridors depend on the species in question, the distance between protected areas, the amount of vegetation available for cover, the season of use and the amount of human activity in the area. Their dimensions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The focal or indicator species for the Y2Y Initiative is the grizzly bear. Because of their large habitat requirements and demand for relatively wild areas, a reserve network designed for them will meet the needs of most other species. In general, effective wildlife corridors in the Y2Y system will be those in which grizzly bears can live and survive. Save for a few constrictions such as wildlife overpasses and underpasses across highways, such connections will be in the order of tens of kilometers wide.

LOCALLY DRIVEN

Each regional plan will be developed by locals, and because of regional differences in wildlife habitat, human use and politics, will vary from place to place.

The end goal, however, is to have all the local plans stitch together into a cohesive network of reserves and connecting corridors from Yellowstone to the Yukon.

SCIENCE AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

The process of developing the map-based proposals will incorporate principles of conservation biology, the best available wildlife habitat and population data, and the knowledge of those locals who know the land and its wildlife best (e.g. biologists, hunters, trappers, outfitters, ranchers, First Nations and naturalists).


IMPLEMENTING THE PROPOSALS

Once the proposals have been developed, inclusive discussion will begin with local and regional stakeholders that include government, resource extraction industries, recreationists, and private landholders. Wildlife underpasses and overpasses across busy highways, co-operative management agreements that allow for limited resource extraction in wildlife corridors, land acquisition and exchanges, conservation easements, and municipal growth plans are just some of the tools that could be used to implement the Y2Y proposal for a reserve network.


INCLUDE EXISTING PLANNING PROCESSES

To minimize the need for new laws and plans, Y2Y will incorporate the results of existing land-use processes in its proposals, granting that they reflect the needs of wildlife and support ecosystem integrity. For example, the recently completed Land Resource Management Process round tables in the northern Rockies of British Columbia demonstrate how a planning process can dovetail with the spirit and intent of Y2Y. (see "Example of How Y2Y Will be Realized: A Model" for more information).


Why Y2Y


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