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Conservation Initiative

Yellowstone to Yukon

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The Y2Y brand is rooted in connection, landscape, wildlife and people. The Yellowstone to Yukon region and vision are big and expansive, and a network of partners stretching across this landscape has come together to achieve it. Our visuals and messaging emphasize this sense of space, landscape and partnership.

Kananaskis Country

  • At 4,200 square kilometres, Kananaskis Country is five times bigger than the City of Calgary.
  • Kananaskis lies within Treaty 7 lands in the territories of Ĩyãrħé Nakoda (Stoney), Tsuut’ina, Kainai (Blood), and Siksika (Blackfoot) Nations, and within Region 3 of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
  • Kananaskis Country is often mistaken for a single park, similar to Banff National Park, but in actuality it is 4,200+ square kilometres of mixed-use lands. It is comprised of a ‘patchwork quilt’ of parks, protected areas, and public land use zones that accommodate a variety of uses, such as preservation, heritage appreciation, outdoor recreation, tourism and industry.
  • Although it is a vital headwaters region and one of Canada’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation, significant portions of Kananaskis are open to industrial development such as logging, coal mining, and oil and gas development.
  • Kananaskis Country and the nearby Ghost watershed hold the unprotected portion of the Bow River’s headwaters.
  • Kananaskis also includes the headwaters of the Sheep, Elbow, Pekisko, Spray and Kananaskis Rivers, forming a significant piece of the Bow and South Saskatchewan River watersheds that provide drinking and irrigation water for millions of people in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, including Calgary.
  • The region provides the habitat needed for wildlife like cougars, wolves, grizzly bears, elk, cutthroat trout and other sensitive species to survive. It is also an important wildlife movement corridor that allows these animals and others to get where they need to go.
  • The Kananaskis Conservation Pass was introduced in 2021, with all funds collected allocated to conservation, public safety, and services as well as facilities to help keep this special part of Alberta beautiful and protected for generations to come.


  • Alberta’s headwaters are found in the mountains and foothills that line the province’s western border. This area is known as the Eastern Slopes.
  • More than 90% of Alberta’s drinking water comes from the headwaters of the Rocky Mountains.
  • When the Eastern Slopes ecosystems are healthy, the landscape works like a sponge: holding, filtering, and carrying water.
  • We can’t have good beer, good food and good times without clean water.
  • Water is a treasured resource that we shouldn’t take for granted.


  • It’s important that wild animals are able to travel safely through the lands adjacent to and between parks.
  • Grizzly bears are a focus of Y2Y’s work because they are considered an ‘umbrella species’ — if we can preserve and maintain well-managed, good-quality grizzly bear habitat, other animals and plants within that habitat will benefit.
  • Keeping grizzly bears and other wildlife in Kananaskis Country connected and protected will help ensure they and other wildlife can survive and thrive far into the future.
  • Recreating responsibly in Kananaskis includes respecting wildlife, obeying any trail or area closures, carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it, and following Leave No Trace principles including packing out any garbage.

Y2Y Region

  • The Yellowstone to Yukon region:

    • spans 3,200 kilometres from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Yukon Territory in northern Canada
    • is around twice the size of Alberta
    • spans five American states, two Canadian provinces, two Canadian territories, and the traditional territories of at least 75 Indigenous groups
  • Our mission: Connecting and protecting habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive.
  • To achieve our vision and mission across a massive stretch of diverse landscapes, Y2Y protects core wildlife habitats, keeps those habitats connected, and inspires others to engage in similar work.
  • Since 1993, Y2Y has worked with more than 460 partners across the region to help further our mission on the ground.
  • People and nature are interconnected. By helping wildlife thrive, we support healthy ecosystems, which is critical for people’s well-being too.

Get Involved

  • Your donation to Y2Y supports Alberta’s headwaters conservation, helps wildlife survive and thrive, and protects the places you love.
  • Your donation to Y2Y will help keep Kananaskis wild.
  • Preserving wild places means preserving the memories we make in them, and the stories we tell about them.
  • Subscribe for Y2Y’s newsletters to stay in the know on what’s happening in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and how you can help:
  • Write the Minister of Environment & Parks and your local MLA to let them know you support further protections for Alberta’s headwaters.

Pledge to share space with wildlife. 

Sign Y2Y’s pledge to carry bear spray! 

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