OOS 31-4 - From Yellowstone to Yukon: Ecological, social, and economic benefits of large-landscape conservation

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 2:30 PM
D136, Oregon Convention Center
Aerin Jacob, Yellowtone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Canmore, AB, Canada
Background/Question/Methods:  One of the conceptual challenges in large landscape conservation is that action often occurs locally but science and vision are often at larger scales. This begs the question as to whether having a much larger vision can impact and guide cumulative localized efforts in a meaningful way. Furthermore, an important aspect of securing public support for large-scale conservation is demonstrating how protecting habitat and wildlife can also benefit people. Community engagement and holistic research approaches that evaluate and communicate linked social, economic, and ecological objectives can help support effective, resilient conservation plans. Conceived more than 20 years ago, the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) mission is to connect and protect habitat so that people and nature can thrive. Stretching across 1.3 million sq km of the Rocky Mountains, Y2Y was one of the first very large, collaborative missions for landscape-scale conservation in the world.

Results/Conclusions: This talk will explore the social, political, and scientific context for large-landscape conservation across the Y2Y region that creates opportunities for both people and nature to thrive. Successes incldue designating new protected areas that conserve biodiversity, water catchment and filtration, and designing and locating crossing structures to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and connect wide-ranging species. New work to plan wildlife and habitat conservation under different scenarios of land-use, development, and climate change, and evaluate synergies and trade-offs among biodiversity and tourism, recreation, timber, energy will be discussed. By iteratively engaging with partners, Y2Y co-develops and implements conservation tools and plans that promote large-scale habitat connectivity and local livelihoods.