Category: 2019, Current, Grant, Land Use, Major Project


Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative



The vast majority of the water we drink and use for agriculture in southern Alberta comes from the Eastern Slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Specifically, Kananaskis Country and the Ghost watershed host critical habitat for wildlife and fish including grizzly bears, bull trout and west-slope cutthroat trout, all three of which are listed as threatened species. These areas are favoured by a diversity of recreational users and much of the land base allows industrial activity such as clear-cut logging and oil and gas exploration, but currently contain a patchwork of land designations with various management intents. The resulting cumulative impacts on these areas are having negative effects on habitat quality and long-term ecosystem health in certain areas. As a result, improved conservation and recreation management is needed.


In the second year of this project, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative will continue to collaborate with a diversity of groups to call for better conservation and recreation management of these lands. Connections and collaborations developed in the first year comprise a strong base of community members, grassroots groups, recreationists, landowners, ranchers, outfitters, business owners, conservation organizations including the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta Chapter, scientists and many others. Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative will also work to engage other locals as well as the Government of Alberta, seeking conservation and recreation management objectives that ensure long-term ecological health of the East-Kananaskis-Ghost region.


Ultimately, ensuring this thin band of foothills and mountains of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes is managed for ecosystem health is critical to ensuring the long-term ability of these lands to provide clean and abundant water supplies, flood mitigation, critical habitat for wildlife and fish, as well as quality recreation for all Albertans for generations to come.


Learn about Year 1 of this project.

Photo Credit: Adam Linnard