Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification


  • Bozeman, MT
  • www.y2y.net

Mission Statement

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

Main Programs

  1. Science and Action Conservation Program
  2. Communications Program
  3. Private Lands Program
Service Areas



Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative conservation efforts encompass five US states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington), two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia), and two Canadian territories (Yukon and Northwest Territories).

ruling year


President since 2015


Ms. Jodi Hilty



conservation, environment, grizzly bears, wildlife, nature, land, climate, species, animals

Notes from the Nonprofit

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is about more than conserving grizzly bears or habitat; it is about caring for life. Stretching some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers), the Yellowstone to Yukon region is big, diverse and intact enough to support wildlife, nature and millions of people. To maintain this area is an unparalleled global opportunity.

Y2Y is the only organization dedicated to securing the long-term ecological health of this entire region, and the first to consider conservation in this landscape at a continental scale. Our vision goes beyond land and wildlife — it includes every aspect of the interconnected web of life, and Y2Y is the backbone to that vision.

Y2Y’s big-picture perspective makes our approach unique. We highlight and focus on local issues that have continental-scale implications. Once these issues are identified, we work with key people toward outcomes that stitch together this landscape.

Since its inception in 1993, the Yellowstone to Yukon vision has grown from an innovative idea to a recognized global model that reconciles the needs of nature with the needs of humanity.

We invite you to learn more about the work we have undertaken by reviewing our 2013 Case for Support, found at: http://y2y.net/about/annual-and-financial-reports. We welcome your feedback on what we we aim to achieve in our efforts to protect and connect the spectacular Yellowstone to Yukon landscape.

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Also Known As







Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Y2Y protects core habitats, keeps these habitats connected, and inspires others to engage in similar work. In 2013 the impact we had across our 2,000 mile/3,200 km long landscape included:

- Under Y2Y's leadership, diverse stakeholders endorsed the direction of Y2Y's draft conservation plan for northern British Columbia's Peace River Break—the first ever of its kind.
- The Yukon government renewed its mining moratorium in the Peel Watershed, an area more than seven times the size of Yellowstone National Park.
- The efforts of Y2Y and community partners led to the withdrawal of a development plan that would have restricted a continentally-significant wildlife corridor through Alberta's Bow Valley.
- Y2Y helped negotiate a $19 million, 17,668-acre (7,150-ha) private land deal in B.C.'s Flathead and Elk River valleys, bringing us closer to our goal to connect Glacier-Waterton and Banff National Parks.
- Y2Y removed and restored forestry roads in the Yaak watershed of northern Montana, helping to heal fractured wildlife corridors and waterways.
- We secured another two parcels of critical valley bottom private lands in the Frog Bear Conservation Corridor in British Columbia that are high on the list of most important private lands for conservation in the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region and which will help reconnect grizzly bears in Montana with those in Canada.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Science and Action Conservation Program

In its Science and Action Conservation Program, Y2Y studies habitat needs of wildlife in the Rocky, Purcell & Mackenzie mountains to determine which configuration of habitats & linkages between them are needed for wildlife populations to survive over time.

Y2Y has researched and designed for publication conservation strategies for specific species, such as grizzly bears and specific priority landscapes such as Cabinet Purcell Mountain Corridor. The organization collaborates with other organizations to address land use, transportation and wildlife conflict issues through education, community engagement and research.

Y2Y is also collaborating on the issue of climate change and the role of landscape connectivity in climate change adaptation. Y2Y produces & disseminates maps & narratives on an ongoing basis describing wildlife & human needs. The organization makes Y2Y science products available for land management decisions and conservation work of partners. It provides networking services (website, listserve, electronic news, workshops), organizes meetings and science workshops.


Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Population(s) Served





Program 2

Communications Program

In its Communications program, Y2Y works to ensure healthy coexistence of wildlife and communities within the Y2Y region. Y2Y develops tools and messages to effectively communicate with foundations, businesses, governments, and members of the general public.

The organization produces publications, makes visual presentations, attends & participates in public events, collaborates on producing museum exhibits, maintains a website (www.y2y.net) and online news service for public education. It communicates and responds to inquiries from various audiences regarding wildlife needs of the region.


Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Population(s) Served





Program 3

Private Lands Program

Wildlife need to roam to find food, habitat and mates. The land wildlife must traverse to meet these needs includes private properties, where they may encounter impassable roads, fences, towns, subdivisions and other development. These can act as movement barriers that limit connectivity between local wildlife populations.

Scientific research is revealing key corridors that support wildlife movement in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Many of these passages cross undeveloped private lands. Y2Y works with partner land trusts to conserve these lands using tools such as purchases or conservation easements that compensate willing landowners to forego development in these areas. In critical locations, this maintains continental connectivity that is central to the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.

Please see https://y2y.net/work/how-protect-connect-inspire/private-lands for more information on our Private Lands Program.



Population(s) Served


Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Yellowstone to Yukon region remains one of the last intact mountain ecosystems on Earth; it is home to the full suite of wildlife that were present when Europeans first arrived to North America; and it is the source of 13 major rivers, all of which provide clean, safe drinking water for more than 15 million people. Y2Y's goal is to keep it this way.

    The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative carries forth the big-picture vision, and helps bring together the right people in the right places to develop and implement regional, scientifically- grounded conservation strategies at the right time. These strategies focus on four main objectives: protect core habitats; keep these habitats connected; restore them where necessary; and inspire others to engage in similar work, both in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and beyond.

    We break our goals up into regions across the Yellowstone to Yukon landscape:

    In the northern portion of our region (northern BC, Yukon and the North West Territories), our goal is to Keep It Wild. The northern third of the Yellowstone to Yukon region is the most intact, with few roads, little settlement and modest development. Our best defense against climate change is to keep it this way.

    In the center (Canada/US Border north to northern BC) our goal is to Keep It Connected. The area from northern British Columbia to Alberta's Central Rockies contains one of the largest contiguous blocks of protected lands in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and provides essential habitat for wildlife.

    In the south (Canada/US border south to Grand Teton National Park) our goal is to Restore and Reconnect Degraded Habitats. The landscape from Canada's Highway 3 to Grand
    Teton National Park has more private lands than the northern and central regions, and a greater density of trails, roads, highways and railroads.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We employ seven key strategies to to reach our conservation goals:

    - Protected Areas: We IDENTIFY core habitat under risk of development and find ways to PROTECT it.

    - Private Land: We work with willing property owners to SECURE land and maintain key connections.

    - Policy: We act as a VOICE for the Yellowstone to Yukon region in decision-making processes that affect our goals.

    - Transportation: We FACILITATE human travel and wildlife movement to allow for the safety of each.

    - Co-existence: We work with the community to provide people with the TOOLS and KNOW-HOW to share space with wildlife.

    - Smart Development: We SUPPORT development that is consistent with our vision and we SPEAK OUT when it brings more damage than benefit.

    - Promoting the Vision: We SPREAD OUR VISION for a connected Yellowstone to Yukon landscape via our ever-growing networks.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    One of our greatest strengths is our ability to form and lead powerful collaboratives that avoid duplicating skills and use resources efficiently. There are few comparable efforts operating at the scale of Y2Y, and there are even fewer that engage in such widespread collaboration. Everything Y2Y does, we do with our partners. Whether it's other conservation groups, local landowners, businesses, government agencies, funders and donors, Native American and First Nations communities, scientists, or otherwise, these partners are the force behind our momentum. Y2Y's role is to bring the partners, the matter and energy, together to achieve as a network what none of us can accomplish alone: a conservation initiative that sees the world as nature sees it. We knit together the landscape from one jurisdiction to the next.

    Within the Y2Y Team, Y2Y's Board of Directors contributes to our strategic planning and fiduciary oversight from a rich combined experience in the fields of law, science, government, fundraising, finance and the arts. Our team's staff and strategic advisors are responsible for some of the most important conservation achievements of our time. Our network of funders, donors and other supporters believe in the Yellowstone to Yukon vision, and know that we have the creativity, determination and collective experience to break new trails in conservation.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Y2Y's strategic plan sets out to resolve current threats to the region and to prepare for those risks that science shows us have yet to arise. Some of our programs are completed in one year; others last decades, but persistence gets us to where we need to be. The following milestones will be used in the coming years to measure the progress we are making:

    We Will:

    - Improved federal, state, provincial and territorial policies in the United States and Canada that will advance well into the future the conservation of biodiversity at a large-landscape scale.

    - Implement wildlife crossing measures to make key highways like Montana's Highway 2, Alberta's Highway 3, and BC's Highway 97 are wildlife friendly.

    - Secure wildlife movement routes that cross undeveloped private lands in Montana and BC.

    - Coordinate efforts to restore connectivity across the High Divide to help wildlife move between Yellowstone National Park, Idaho's Salmon-Selway-Bitterroot and Montana/BC's Crown of the Continent.

    - Establish the Yukon's Peel Watershed as a protected area.

    -Identify and secure protected areas and linkage zones in the Peace River Break to ensure wildlife are able to move between the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and the Muskwa-Kechika area in BC.

    - Manage headwaters in Alberta and B.C. to provide clean and abundant waters, flood and drought control, and adequate wildlife habitat.

    - Ensure Canada's mountain national parks are managed primarily as safe havens for wildlife.

    - Establish Alberta's Castle watershed as a park.

    - Protect B.C.'s Flathead with a national park and Wildlife Management Area.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our track record is strong. Since 1993 Y2Y, together with our partners, has:

    Secured Core Habitat
    - Facilitated the conservation of 17,660 ac (7,150 ha) in B.C.'s Flathead and Elk River Valleys.
    - Established two new national park reserves, Nahanni (2009) and Naats'ihch'oh (2013), that together are equivalent in size to four Yellowstone National Parks.
    - Collaboratively purchased 460,000 ac (186,15 ha) of private lands, which secures key wildlife movement routes.
    - Established the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, a 16-million-acre complex of protected lands and special management zones.

    Helped Make Roads Safer
    - Inspired the addition of wildlife overpasses on Highway 1 through Banff National Park. These structures have decreased wildlife-vehicle collisions by 90 per cent, and to date have detected more than 140,000 animal crossings.
    - Advocated for Montana Department of Transportation to require wildlife-friendly fencing along state highways in places recommended by state biologists.
    - Today more than 600 mi. (1,000 km) of highway across Alberta, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are in the process of becoming wildlife friendly.

    Helped People and Wildlife Live in Harmony
    - Helped fund more than 40 projects that help people coexist with wildlife.
    - Influenced Policy for Conservation Action Contributed to efforts that led to the Alberta government listing the province's grizzly bear population as “Threatened", opening the door to greater protection.

    Invested in the Conservation Community
    - Helped bring more than $45 million of new conservation funding into the region.

    Advanced Science
    - Authored or commissioned more than 30 technical research studies that provide the scientific rationale to guide conservation work in the region.

    Inspired Millions to Care for Keeping Nature Healthy
    - In 1998, sponsored then wildlife biologist Karsten Heuer, who hiked the Yellowstone to Yukon region. His book has enamored, inspired and educated thousands of readers.
    - Inspired countless print, art and film projects that highlight the beauty of the Yellowstone to Yukon region and its need for protection.
    Y2Y media exposure has reached more than 60 million people and underscored the value of the Yellowstone to Yukon vision.
Service Areas



Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative conservation efforts encompass five US states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington), two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia), and two Canadian territories (Yukon and Northwest Territories).

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Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation initiative
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.




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Ms. Jodi Hilty


Dr. Jodi Hilty is an internationally recognized wildlife corridor ecologist and conservationist, with over 20 years of experience managing large-scale conservation programs.

Prior to joining to Y2Y, Dr. Hilty served as Executive Director of the North America Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, based in Bozeman, Montana, where she led the work of more than 50 staff working remotely across the continent. Through proven leadership, and her ability to work collaboratively with other organizations, she was able to address a range of conservation challenges related to natural resource extraction, ecosystem connectivity and climate change.

Dr. Hilty has spearheaded several ground-breaking initiatives, including developing the scientific basis for expanding Canada's Nahanni National Park, guiding policy toward protecting the “Path of the Pronghorn," the first U.S. federally-designated wildlife corridor, and conducting the science that proves the need for expanded land protections in the trans-border Crown of the Continent area linking Montana with Alberta and British Columbia.

A prolific researcher and writer on topics related to large landscape conservation, connectivity and climate change, Dr. Hilty has been co-editor or lead author on three recent books, most recently Climate and Conservation: Landscape and Seascape Science, Planning, and Action (2012).

Through all of her conservation work, Dr. Hilty has remained committed to protecting large, interconnected landscapes, and has offered that visionary leadership on several boards, committees and government agencies, including her role as advisor on the NAFTA North America Council.

She was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, and loves to explore the region's wildlife and wild places with her husband and two children.


"The year 2012 was a milestone in the evolution of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). Since the first moment the words Yellowstone to Yukon were scribbled on a map back in 1993, we've known our vision to be strong, compelling and big. So big, in fact, that the question of how to connect this landscape could have stopped us before we even began.

But, it didn't. Instead, in those early days, we built connections and inspired others. That vision was embraced by a coordinating committee of 40 individuals who represented a council of dozens of organizations. In 1997, a ground-breaking conference gathered 300 delegates to inspire action through regional conservation collaborations. Leaders of influence in the conservation community aligned and supported Y2Y financially, while also working to develop and implement the programs necessary to allow this grand vision to unfold.

For the next 15 years, we—Y2Y and its partners—looked at the landscape as pieces of a puzzle that needed to fit and be kept together. Step by step, we leaned into that work, inspired by the same vision from 1993, united in our values and guided by science. From 1997-2012, $45 million in conservation funding was invested in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Lands managed for conservation doubled to 20 per cent, and includes 460,000 ac (186,155 ha) of private lands that were purchased to secure key wildlife movement routes. New science at the Yellowstone to Yukon scale included shaping grizzly bear conservation strategies and informing dozens of trans-boundary conservation plans across national, provincial and state borders. In addition, transportation authorities built wildlife overpasses and underpasses throughout the region.

Y2Y has reached a new phase in the conservation journey—one that is moving forward with great momentum. We hope you are as proud of Y2Y's achievements as we are, and that you join us as we forge ahead.

Bill Weber Montana Board of Directors Chair"



Bill Weber


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