Land purchase protects grizzlies and frogs near Creston
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is proud to announce its role in the purchase of 306 acres (124 hectares) of private property near Creston, B.C. that will help save an at-risk population of grizzly bears as well as the endangered Northern Leopard frog.
The property was purchased by Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), toward which Y2Y raised over half of the acquisition funds. The lands, now known as Frog-Bear Conservation Area, were purchased from Creston-based Wynndel Box and Lumber, and include two properties that are adjacent to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.
“These valley bottom lands are a key linkage area for grizzly bears and mountain caribou and provide critical habitat for endangered leopard frogs,” explains Harvey Locke, Y2Y Strategic Advisor. “They are high on the list of the most important private lands for conservation in the entire Yellowstone to Yukon region.”
The project exemplifies Y2Y’s collaborative approach to conservation. The area falls within the trans-boundary Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor, where Y2Y leads a collaboration of over 60 groups who work to keep small grizzly bear populations connected to each other. In this case, scientists, land trusts, conservation groups and a private land owner came together to complete this project.
Movement of grizzly bears through the property was first detected by radio-collared bears that are part of the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, an international group of biologists focused on recovering threatened trans-boundary populations and funded in part by Y2Y.
NCC led the acquisition of the properties, and will retain ownership of the land. In total, $1.1 million was raised for the purchase and ongoing management of the site. Additional funders include the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Donner Canadian Foundation and other private donors. Y2Y raised the other half of the purchase price from private donors who were persuaded about the value of the parcel to Y2Y’s continental-scale vision.
“It takes this kind of cooperation among multiple collaborators to undertake such a project,” says Wendy Francis, Program Director for Y2Y. “By working together to identify and protect this parcel, we are creating a tapestry of lands along the Canada-U.S. border through which bears and other animals can move safely,” she adds.
“Protecting this land in the valley bottom is vitally important for the long-term prospects of the South Selkirk grizzly bear population,” said Nancy Newhouse, Canadian Rockies Program Manager for the NCC. “These lands are also incredibly important for agriculture. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to be able to work hand in hand with local producers to protect both wildlife habitat and our farming heritage.”
Y2Y is a joint U.S.-Canada organization that works to ensure that wild animals are able to move through and around human communities and activities throughout the 1.3Mkm2 region stretching from Yellowstone National Park to Yukon Territory.