NATURAL RESOURCE INDUSTRIES
The response to Y2Y from industry varies with the sector, the company, and the individual.
For example, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) played a key role in supporting and shaping the recent set-aside of 11 million acres of protected and special management areas in northern British Columbia. This process embodies the Y2Y vision and offers a procedural template for further Y2Y work.
In Calgary, the CAPP response to Y2Y is to prepare their own map of the region containing information on where they can and cannot operate under current guidelines and restrictions. When the Y2Y map of protected areas, transition zones and wildlife connections hits the table, CAPP will be in a good position to immediately identify areas of no conflict, and those that will require negotiation.
On the other hand, Fording Coal and Forest Alliance of British Columbia recently issued newsletters and reports that badly misrepresent Y2Y's vision and its approach to conservation. Most of their arguments against the initiative centred around the false assumption that Y2Y proposes to completely protect the entire Y2Y study area. In truth, the study area is simply the focal region within which Y2Y hopes to establish a recognized system of protected areas and multi-use corridors across a proportion of the landscape.
While some in the natural resource sector do not support Y2Y, many industry representatives, once they come to understand the initiative, are intrigued with the idea and open to further conversations about it. The response of the senior managers at LaFarge Canada, a multi-national corporation with a cement plant in the Bow Corridor of Alberta, is one example: after learning about Y2Y and the importance of wildlife corridors, the plant managers abandoned plans to install a number of fences that would restrict wildlife movement through the corridor, a critical north-south link in the Y2Y chain.
Ranching can not only be compatible with Y2Y's goal of wildlife connectivity, but the two can complement and support each other.
Private ranchlands currently provide important lower elevation habitat for a variety of wildlife species and an increasing number of ranchers are experimenting with "wildlife friendly" technologies and practices. Y2Y respects private property rights and is exploring ways to work with ranchers to prevent something that many who have spent a lifetime building their operations fear: fragmentation of land and subdivision of large working ranches.
An effective partnership that Y2Y promotes is the use of conservation easements whereby a charitable organization provides tax or financial incentives in exchange for subdivision or development rights. The response to this initiative is that a good percentage of the large working ranches in the Y2Y region already have conservation easements on them.
HUNTING AND FISHING
Y2Y supports hunting and fishing and the initiative will ensure that viable populations of game species continue to exist.
Hunters and anglers have historically played an important role in the conservation of wildlife populations and are important to the evolution and implementation of the Y2Y vision. Such pursuits help individuals connect with the natural world and generally respect the viability of local wildlife populations and habitats.
Elders and other native representatives have participated in Y2Y meetings and are currently working to exchange information and ensure active involvement and cooperative efforts in the Y2Y process.
Y2Y acknowledges First Nations/Native American tribes as constituting a level of government and supports their rights to self-determination on their traditional lands and recognizes that ecological integrity includes the well-being of native people dependent on the land for subsistance and traditional ways of life.
One of the benefits of protected areas and corridors for First Nations tribes is that there will always be places where traditional knowledge can be practiced and passed on to the next generation.