In 2004, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a document, Securing Protected Areas In The Face of Global Change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated in this report. Some of the issues covered were habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, global norms of conduct, and new forms of governance. Protected areas include national parks, wilderness areas, conservation easements, and national monuments. Putting as much land as possible into a protection status for conservation is one goal of the IUCN.
The IUCN keeps a World Database on Protected Areas, and believe there aren't enough. Therefore, their plan is to expand the numbers by "Selecting additional protected areas" with more attention paid "to connectivity and, therefore, to strategies for conservation in landscapes between existing protected areas where people live and work." For Island Park, this means it would be captured as an unprotected area needed for connectivity since it is in close proximity to Yellowstone National Park, and there is a plethora of information on initiatives working on connectivity.
The IUCN also has different ideas on how all of this land is governed. They would love to see the removal of our form of government with governance shifted to "global environmental institutions; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other institutions of “civil society”; and decentralization of governance."
Another area of focus is influencing legislation to achieve their goals for protected areas. More specifically, Matthew McKinney, who is is Director of the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy (CNREP) at The University of Montana, and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), brings IUCN ideology and objectives back to policy makers, your representatives, promoting expansion of protected areas. He is also a Senior Associate at LILP teaching these ideologies to young minds.
On page 143 in the document, Box 4.2 list guidelines the IUCN thinks should be included in legislation. A few of those include: a strategic plan for the national protected area system; a process for enacting policies, laws and regulations; defining management categories, much like what they have; legal processes to establish or modify protected areas and their management categories; policies regarding privately owned lands; delineate roles of national, regional and local government agencies, private landowners and NGOs; define penalties for violations of protected area laws and regulations; establish framework provisions to facilitate co-management of public protected areas by public and private organizations; define legal instruments to facilitate improved stewardship of buffer zones, biological corridors, and other private lands adjacent to and connecting publicly owned protected areas; and establish mechanisms to ensure flows of government funding to implement all provisions of the legislation.
This is what Mr. McKinney is bringing back to our elected officials. A change in the foundation of our government to include regionalism, and network governance over land.
Harvey Locke, member of Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and Jodi Hilty, President and Chief Scientist at Y2Y, are two other individuals who have ideas on how land in the Island Park area should look, co-authoring "A Wilderness Approach under the World Heritage Convention". It is important to remember that Y2Y is an initiative partner to the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) which is a partner to federal agencies that are "setting priorities for or supporting on-the-ground landscape conservation."
Both of these individuals purport the idea that the World Heritage Convention should expand their heritage sites to include "World Heritage Wilderness Complexes". Their idea is that the complex would include a World Heritage site with buffer zones, having connectivity between them, with areas outside of the sites included to provide connectivity and have specific protection policies to assure connectivity is maintained. That would be Island Park and the agenda to use it for connectivity to Yellowstone. Here is the area they think should be included in their World Heritage Wilderness Complexes.
This would inscribe "new wilderness sites to fill gaps on the List" since Yellowstone is already listed as a heritage site and "constitute a logical extension of existing wilderness conservation efforts under the Convention, and enable the Convention to show leadership in connectivity conservation practice."
This Cody News Company article explains it more simply.
These individuals, who are members of the IUCN, have full intent to capture Island Park into some form of conservation by a variety of methods. While wildlife overpasses are seen only as a benign project everyone must realize, and accept, that there are far greater agendas and strategies being discussed to take over Island Park. Overpasses are just one small piece of implementing a full scale takeover on how land is categorized and used.