aka Y2Y   |   Bozeman, MT   |


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 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: We welcome your feedback on what we we aim to achieve in our efforts to protect and connect the spectacular Yellowstone to Yukon landscape.

Ruling year info



Ms. Jodi Hilty

Main address

PO Box 157

Bozeman, MT 59771 USA

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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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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

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.

Population(s) Served

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 ( and online news service for public education. It communicates and responds to inquiries from various audiences regarding wildlife needs of the region.

Population(s) Served

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 for more information on our Private Lands Program.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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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 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.

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.

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.

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.



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


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 9/20/2016
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Bill Weber

Board co-chair

David Thomson

Charles Chester Lecturer

Brandeis University, and The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Peter Aengst Senior Regional Director (Northern Rockies)

The Wilderness Society

Bill Weber

International Conservationist

Jeremy Guth

Woodcock Foundation

Josh Whetzel

Scientist, Conservationist and Philanthropist

Debby Carlson Vice President

Trilogy Ventures Corp.

David Johns

Portland State University

Mark Hebblewhite Associate Professor

University of Montana

Mike Brennen Lawyer

Conservation Law and Policy

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