GOLD2024

YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

aka Y2Y   |   Bozeman, MT   |  www.y2y.net

Mission

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

Notes from the nonprofit

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is on a steadfast mission to connect and protect habitat from Yellowstone in the U.S. to Canada’s Yukon Territory so people and nature can thrive. This unique region stretches across a 2,100-mile Rocky Mountain landscape. 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. And we're seeing success. Since 1993, the actions of Y2Y and partners have resulted in: • Overall protection increasing by over 80% • The average size of new protected areas growing by 56% • Protected areas being created nearly twice as quickly, far outpacing other regions • 117 wildlife highway crossing structures being built, with more in the works • Bear numbers more than tripling in U.S. designated grizzly recovery zones • Grizzly bear ranges starting to expand in the U.S., more than doubling in size

Ruling year info

2000

President

Dr. Jodi Hilty

Main address

3701 Trakker Trail, Suite 1B No. 22 PMB

Bozeman, MT 59718 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0535303

NTEE code info

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.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1993, a group of scientists, conservationists and dreamers recognized the need to keep the Yellowstone to Yukon region wild. New research showed that animals use habitats on much larger scales than previously thought; that protecting isolated blocks of public land was not enough to ensure healthy wildlife populations. As large mammal species retreated from their historic ranges into the Yellowstone to Yukon region, research into grizzly bears in particular showed a pattern of extinction as they were squeezed into islands of habitat surrounded by development and settlement. They set an unprecedented goal: to approach conservation at a scale that nature needs. To think beyond the traditional park system, to change how land is managed and conserved across a 2,100-mile Rocky Mountain landscape, stretching from Yellowstone in Wyoming to the Artic Circle in Yukon.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Habitat1

We work with hundreds of partners to make sure wildlife has secure places to call home so they can move, feed and reproduce.

Protecting core habitat
Our work identifies core wildlife habitat under risk of development and finds ways to protect it. Since 1993, we have increased protected areas in the region by 80 percent. This includes supporting three new Indigenous-led conservation efforts.

Restoring core habitat
We heal damaged landscapes to increase habitat available for wildlife. We have treated hundreds of acres of land for invasive plant species, decommissioned long stretches of road to restore natural habitat, planted tens of thousands of trees and shrubs, and restored miles upon miles of streams.

Population(s) Served

We help wildlife stay connected and remove barriers to their movement — essential to their ability to survive and thrive.

Enhancing connectivity between protected areas
By working with willing property owners, we have helped advance more than 550,000 acres of private land conservation in key wildlife linkages.

Making roads safer for people and animals
Y2Y advocates for infrastructure to keep wildlife connected. With more than 117 existing wildlife underpasses, overpasses and fencing, the Yellowstone to Yukon region now has more such crossing structures than anywhere else in the world.

Population(s) Served

We expand our impact by working with and supporting communities and partners across the Yellowstone to Yukon region in their conservation efforts.

Investing in the conservation community
We have helped bring more than $60-million of new conservation funding into the Yellowstone to Yukon region to keep conservation moving forward on the ground.

Helping people and wildlife share space
We have long supported the proven education programs and tools that keep communities and animals safe, including bear-proof food storage bins, bear spray education, wildlife-friendly fencing, and more.

Population(s) Served

We collaborate on and deliver the best available science and/or knowledge to power decision-making and expand understanding of species, in service of advancing habitat protection, connectivity, and nature-focused communities.

Advancing science
Y2Y has been referenced in more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles to date. This work guides our collective efforts and provides resources to support our partners’ work.

Influencing policy for conservation action
Y2Y has engaged in the creation of global guidelines for habitat connectivity, area-based conservation targets such as 30×30, and their use in law and policy to implementation.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative holds a bold and ambition vision of an interconnected system of wild lands and waters stretching from Yellowstone to Yukon, harmonizing the needs of people with those of nature.

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is the most intact large mountain landscape on Earth. As one of the few places in the world where large carnivores and hooved animals like bighorn sheep, elk, and moose continue to thrive, we know that keeping the region connected and protected is key to sustaining these animals and people now and into the future. To maintain the region in this intact state is an unparalleled global opportunity.

Recognizing that communities need equal opportunities and rights to thrive, we respect human diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental and social justice, and oppose actions and policies that undermine these principles within the projects and work that we do in advancing our vision on the ground.

Organizational goals:

Goal 1: Protect core habitat, such that wide-ranging wildlife has sufficient core habitat to thrive.

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is home to diverse ecosystems including alpine, forests, riparian and grassland, and as headwaters provide the source of clean, safe drinking water for millions in North America. Our current goal is to legally protect 14 million acres of priority areas within the 2,100 mile-region so that wide-ranging wildlife like grizzly bears and wolverine, and their key habitats, are protected in perpetuity.

Goal 2: Keep core habitat connected through functional wildlife corridors.

In addition to core protected areas, functional wildlife corridors are critical to maintain, enhance or restore ecological connectivity among and between those protected areas. We are focused on achieving landscape-scale connectivity in areas:
• where connectivity is already compromised
• where activities threaten to sever existing connectivity
• key to connecting core areas and supporting resilience to climate change

Our current goal is to secure 10,000 acres of private lands for ecological corridors, advance wildlife crossings on the four busiest roads in the region, and support key public lands in having management policies and practices that support connectivity.

Goal 3: Support thriving communities that live in harmony with nature, such that key communities are advancing nature-focused policies, implementing best practices, and advancing impactful co-existence strategies.

Our mission statement reflects our recognition that people and nature are mutually dependent. As mountain communities grapple with rapid population growth and development, many are challenged to envision more sustainable futures for people and ecosystems. We aim to help them be vibrant, inclusive and nature-focused. Our current goal is for at least six key communities striving to be wildlife-friendly by advancing nature-positive policies, implementing best practices, and advancing impactful co-existence.


Overview of Our Strategic Approach
Achieving the above goals will require overcoming key challenges/threats such that:
• Federal, provincial, Indigenous and local government agencies and decision-makers have the will, knowledge and resources to support (or at least not impede) conservation action
• Key stakeholders, rightsholders (including Indigenous communities), constituencies, decision-makers, and opinion-leaders are empowered, organized, and have the information and will to support (or at least not impede) conservation action
• Options for improving the sustainability of key communities are identified that are compatible with ensuring a connected and healthy Y2Y landscape that meets the needs of nature and people
• The NGO community and its supporters are able to respond at the necessary scale, scope and speed to crucial threats, focal challenges, and action priorities

Our Strategies:
We have identified five core strategies that we believe will help us achieve our goals, improve the status of our conservation targets, and advance the Y2Y vision:
1. Support advancement of indigenous-led new land protections and integrity of existing protected areas
2. Advance voluntary private land conservation in key corridors that matter at the Y2Y scale
3. Advance wildlife-road crossing structures across the busiest roads in the Yellowstone to Yukon region
4. Ensure management of unprotected public land in key corridors maintains connectivity
5. Promote nature-focused communities

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. To date, we have worked with over 700 partners rightsholders and stakeholders on conservation solutions that benefit nature and support human well-being. 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.

Today, the remarkable Yellowstone to Yukon landscape provides some of the highest biodiversity and largest intact wildlife habitat on the planet – and its wildest experiences. The bold vision formed in 1993 is an integral part of that success.

This unique region stretches across a 2,100-mile Rocky Mountain landscape. 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.

A peer-reviewed scientific paper shows not only is the uniquely collaborative Yellowstone to Yukon vision working, but that conservation would not have happened at the same rate without it.

Our track record is strong. Since 1993, the actions of Y2Y and partners have resulted in:
• Overall protection increasing by over 80%
• The average size of new protected areas growing by 56%
• Protected areas being created nearly twice as quickly, far outpacing other regions
• 117 wildlife highway crossing structures being built, with more in the works
• Bear numbers more than tripling in U.S. designated grizzly recovery zones
• Grizzly bear ranges starting to expand in the U.S., more than doubling in size

Moving forward, as we seek conservation solutions that benefit nature and support human well-being in the Yellowstone to Yukon region, we are focused on leveraging strategic opportunities, taking projects to scale, and using systems thinking to catalyze systems-wide change.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, We don't have a direct client base - we improve outcomes for nature, wildlife, and thus people.

Financials

YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON CONSERVATION INITIATIVE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

Board of directors
as of 03/14/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Pat Smith

Attorney


Board co-chair

Steve Baker

Chartered professional accountant

Bryan Hurlbutt

Attorney

Bill Guza

Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Valuation Analyst

Amy Vedder

Conservation biologist and lecturer

Craig Groves

Conservation biologist

John Donovan

Attorney, retired

Jonah Greenberg

Financial data analyst

Merrill Chester Gregg

Investment banker and asset manager

Lynn Scarlett

Conservation biologist

Robert Lapper

attorney, retired

Leslie Weldon

Conservation biologist, retired

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/29/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/25/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.