It seems wildlife overpass advocates are throwing a temper tantrum over the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) selecting Alternative 3 in the Targhee Pass (TP) Environmental Assessment (EA). Since Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) was exposed for their deep involvement with both ITD and Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) in pushing for overpasses they have chosen to recuse themselves from the tantrum, instead turning to their counterparts to cry foul. Those counterparts include the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF), and Idaho Conservation League (ICL).
All of these groups partner with Y2Y. Kathy Rinaldi is the Idaho Conservation Coordinator for GYC, Brian Brooks is the IWF Executive Director which not only partners with Y2Y but also with the National Wildlife Federation, and Rick Johnson is the ICL Executive Director. These groups and individuals are organizing to challenge ITD and the EA decision for the no overpass Alternative 3, but in doing so have used inaccurate information which they are disseminating to the public and media. Here are the facts.
Mr. Brooks began his article with the statement, "Idaho Transportation Department’s own data, which was never publicly distributed, directly contradicts their preferred alternative of the expansion of Highway 20...". The report link for the "ADS do not work" comment is inaccurate, the report did not state that. It was a survey of various ADS uses in Canada and other states, on a variety of species, and different geologic areas, while also recognizing the limitations of some survey information affecting the ability to determine if the system was efficient.
Mr. Brooks most egregious claim was that ADS costs more than an overpass. Alternative 2, including the road upgrade with overpasses, would cost $25-30.5 million. The selected Alternative 3 with upgrades and no overpasses would cost $15-19.5 million. Certainly an $11 million dollar savings is enough to maintain an ADS system for many years. The Federal Highway Administration even recognizes "...animal detection systems have the potential to permit safer crossing opportunities for large wildlife anywhere along the outfitted roadway..." and the variables that interfere with effectiveness. In his quest to convince you to believe what he wrote is accurate, a pre-written comment supporting his position was also provided in the article to be sent in to ITD.
Brian Brooks stated Hwy 20 "...is set for a 4-lane expansion and 1.5 million more cars in the next ten years." The only section of Hwy 20 being evaluated right now is at Targhee Pass (TP) which does not include a 4 lane expansion. He did not identify his source for knowing how many cars would be traveling Hwy 20 in ten years, this opinion is a guess, not a fact.
The collar report he references is the 2014 US 20 Road Ecology Report. In that report there was nothing substantiating his claim that "Existing collar data shows that elk spend weeks traveling alongside Highway 20, spooked back into the woods due to traffic and noise." The collar study was on Moose and Elk and only where they crossed Hwy 20, studying different times of the day, and in the spring and fall during their migratory times. There was also nothing reported about their inability to reach food sources or Hwy 20 causing herd isolation.
While Mr. Brooks claims Highway 20 "...runs through migration paths of big game herds to and from Yellowstone...", the truth is the Sand Creek herd is not a migratory herd that must cross Hwy 20 for migration to and from Yellowstone, staying primarily on the west side of the highway which does not result in fragmentation. These herds summer in high country around IP and in Harriman State Park and both Sand Creek and Northern Yellowstone herds are far more threatened by Wolves and Grizzlies. Mr. Brooks failed to mention that Elk wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) at TP fail in numbers to support any overpass.
As to his claim that ITD did not use their own data that supported overpasses, that is incorrect. The link in the article to the report is under "the cost-benefit analysis that favors crossings". He is referring to a report by Renee Seidler for the TP project that was completed during an unknown time in 2018, however it is cited in the EA report, appears on the TP project website, and was released the same day as the EA. On page 136 the EA states, "1.0. Reasons for low benefit-cost ratios are the low number of crashes overall and relatively low costs of property damage per crash." and "Another ITD-funded study of wildlife safety solutions (Cramer, 2016) also found benefit-cost ratios lower than 1.0 for wildlife crossings for the Targhee Pass segment (Alternative 2)."
In the article Mr. Brooks argues there would be no restrictions in Alternative 2. However, there are several restrictions listed in the EA including restricted access through gates, snowmobile restrictions, barriers with fencing, and exclusions to recreationists. Most important of all, the ability to build overpasses was impossible because no agreements on easements had been obtained from private land owners, and with easements come restrictions on use and development. Multiple other documentation supports restriction of activity and development near wildlife overpasses.
These conservation groups are reliable in using the media to advance their message. In the February 4, 2019 edition of the Idaho Falls Post Register, the IWF again gave the same erroneous information, the other groups not identified. However the statement included in this article really reveals the truth behind why overpasses are desperately wanted, “To date, no highway design elements can increase wildlife connectivity except crossing structures...with fences,” the Fish and Game assessment stated." It is about connectivity, not anything to do with WVC numbers, overpasses, or ADS. An unsubstantiated 30 large animal deaths may have occurred but Elk were the focus of the project, not all animals.
In the Rexburg Standard Journal, published January 28, 2019, Kathy Rinaldi "...argued about the effectiveness of the animal detection systems...". In truth the low number of WVC do not justify the cost of an overpass. As stated in the EA, page 136, "ITD also did not include the unreported accidents from law enforcement and reported carcass information from the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System. However, the results are not sensitive to the wildlife-related annual crash rate or efficacy of measures. This is due to the overall low magnitude of crashes, low cost per crash, and comparatively high cost of mitigation measures."
It is truly remarkable that Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) is paid to work for Idaho citizens, yet their work is primarily accomplished with the federal government such as the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) and non-governmental organizations (NGO). Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), having such a heavy presence in Idaho with their connectivity agenda, is one of those NGOs in which IDFG has a partnership.
In northern Idaho a project is currently being run as a joint venture by IDFG and Y2Y, called the Bees to Bears Climate Adaptation Project. It is a project to restore "250 acres of forested lowland habitat to improve landscape climate resiliency for 6 Species of Greatest Conservation Need on the Boundary-Smith Creek Wildlife Management Area." Jessie Grossman, Yellowstone to Yukon Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor Coordinator and Lacy Robinson, Y2Y, CPMC Project Coordinator serve on the project as well. Part of the project funding comes from the Wildlife Conservation Society. This project aligns with their joint Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor Collaborative as well, using Grizzlies as justification for "transboundary" conservation for connectivity which the IDFG employee mentions in the video. Citizen involvement is actually members of an IDFG group called the Master Naturalists.
These partnerships with NGOs must end, IDFG is paid to represent Idaho citizens. Until this relationship is untangled and IDFG gets back to representing Idaho, their agenda for landscape conservation and connectivity will only continue.
Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) relies heavily upon foundations to fund their agenda, along with government grants and donations by individuals. One huge Y2Y donor is the Wilburforce Foundation, which hails Y2Y as the "...worldwide model for large landscape conservation." Below are some graphics of who Wilburforce gives their money to, what the money is for, and under which program serving the omnipotent Y2Y.
This first graphic shows that Future West is a recipient for $135,000 to "protect landscapes and build conservation capacity for the...". The end is cut off but the purpose is for the High Divide area that encompasses Salmon and Challis. Building capacity means getting as many people as possible to join their efforts, and provide " ‘back office’ training", which means teaching people how to sell their message and convince others to join the bandwagon. Future West even has the training for this. "Direct investment (small grants) in their operations..." is another way in which to spread the money around. Meddling in Island Park affairs is another Future West activity. When the Y2Y created Henry's Fork Legacy Project fell apart, Future West was there to champion it on. Don't be fooled, it is a front group for Y2Y, try and find who belongs to it.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is another recipient of this money, $150,000, again to be used in the High Divide for wildlife and habitat protection.
Below is the second graphic. Again in the High Divide area, a total of $110,000 was given to the Salmon Valley Stewardship from 2016-2018, for "general support". This group has many projects they work on which can be seen in their newsletters. It is probably by no coincidence that the Executive Director, Toni Ruth, "...was the High Divide Coordinator for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers". Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a heavily engaged partner with Y2Y, all the way into Canada. Another backdoor Y2Y influence in local "community" organizations.
The last graphic reflects some of the other money sent to their program in Canada. All totaled, $11,906,633 dollars. That is just a small fraction of the amount of money being used against us by Y2Y. Regardless of how much money they have, they cannot defeat the strength and bonds of local citizens who have pride in the ares they live in, nor can they escape the law under which we are governed. Engage with your local and state representatives and let them know that these groups are not welcome in your backyard, or the questionable activities they promote with their money.
There will be a "National Summit For Gateway Communities" in West Virginia this December. While this may look like a benign get together, it really is an ominous forecast of what plans lay ahead for communities like Island Park.
The sponsors and planning committee of this summit include the Federal Highway Administration, Future West, several federal resource agencies, conservation groups, and Urban Land Institute. Some of the topics for this summit include:
Now just exactly what is a gateway community? According to this website, PlannersWeb, a gateway community is "Americans...heading for the communities that serve as the gateways to our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands", "are important not just because they provide food and lodging for Americans on their way to visit national parks and other public lands"..."are also portals to our most cherished landscapes." and "define the park experience for many visitors." As with every other phony crisis being thrown our way, now allegedly, so are small rural communities close to protected areas, described as being overwhelmed by "haphazard growth, feeling "helpless" with change, and development ruining habitat.
With this phony crisis, of course there has to be some experts from the outside swooping in to rescue these poor communities. So this website is for city planners to learn the proper tools on how to help their community cope with the travesties laid out for them by these experts. That is the essence of the summit's purpose, these organizations planning how to swoop in and lead small communities in the right direction. Transportation is a major key to this and is why the Federal Highway Administration is one of the sponsors. Wildlife overpasses are part of this transportation plan because in order to get people to their tourist destination, in Island Park's case Yellowstone, a safe passage must be built. Future West is involved because they are the expert for the "future where communities have a shared sense of place, robust economies, and sound stewardship of natural, cultural, and community assets." The citizens of those communities are lacking those abilities? Of course not, but they can be led to believe they are by the marketing tactics of organizations like Future West. Selling their "product" also garners them money. The Federal Highway Administration has their own ideas on how a gateway community should be developed, thus their involvement. Never mind letting the citizens who live there make the decision.
This summit is about laying plans for your future community, what it should look like, how it should operate, how you should be allowed to live. Island Park is one major target for this agenda.
Much has been written about the true end goal of Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) which is regulating land use, and controlling how land is used. Canada is heavily attacked by Y2Y and recently, because of Y2Y's partnership with the Alberta government, just as it is here, Alberta citizens will lose all control over how they are allowed to use their land.
Just announced was the intent of the Alberta government to create a park "system" that will overtake all land that is not currently designated as protected. It essentially implements Y2Y's goal of using that land for their connectivity agenda. This plan will include a wildland park, three provincial parks, and four public recreation areas. Forty million dollars will be spent on designing how that land can be used and creating regulations on how it can be used. That is what this is about, it isn't about protecting anything. Of course, Y2Y is drooling over this announcement. All of their hard work has come to fruition, dictators over land use.
To really get a sense of what this means one just needs to take a look at the phony government survey being put out for comments. In reality, the majority of Albertans oppose all of this. The survey is available to look at in the above link, but here are some highlights on which they want comments, specifically how one feels about what they would be allowed to do in each of the newly designated "parks". Try to imagine if these questions were being asked about Island Park and what your thoughts are to redesign how it is used. These are just some of the examples pulled from the survey. Notice all the designations for everything you would do, what you would be allowed to do, where you would be allowed to go, and how you would be allowed to stay. If this were an Island Park survey would you approve?
Tourism facility and visitor attraction development is not compatible with the backcountry-wilderness experience and management intent of a Wildland Provincial Park. However, small-scale rustic facility opportunities may be compatible.
What would be your level of support for the following outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism experiences and services?
a). Designated backcountry trail networks
b). Designated backcountry non-motorized camping areas including equestrian camping areas
c). Backcountry travel opportunities (e.g.guided tours, hut to hut)
Opportunities for tourism and facility development would be identified through planning. These may include camping, small-scale eco lodges, and comfort camping which may be associated with visitor services facilities (such as food and beverage service).
a). Designated backcountry "un-serviced camping areas"
b). Designated “limited serviced camping areas”
c). Designated frontcountry and vehicle accessible facilities and staging opportunities
e). Small-scale eco-lodges, Comfort Camping
f). Tourism attractions (e.g. via ferrata)
c). Designated backcountry non-motorized camping areas including equestrian camping areas
d). Backcountry travel opportunities (e.g. guided tours and activities)
a). Range of Fixed Roof accommodation (e.g. comfort camping, lodging, cabin opportunities, etc.)
c). Visitor services (e.g. retail, food sales, rentals, etc.)
d). Front country, vehicle accessible facilities and OHV staging opportunities
a). Range of Fixed Roof accommodation (e.g. wall tents, cabins)
There is more in the survey explaining the necessity for this, after all, it must be all about conservation and protection, not use. If you noticed the reference to "...meeting global standards for protected areas" by Y2Y they are referring to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) of which they are a member. Global standards for how we are allowed to use our land. No more going into the back country, seeing a sight without a guide, having a local business provide what you need, just think amusement park or zoo. That is what this is all about.
Take note from Alberta, they are suffering from the destructive Y2Y agenda. This is what it will look like for us if we do not stop it. And don't think it can't happen here, it can, and we are seeing some of it with the overpass issue, the agenda is the same. Non and regulated use.
Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) and its U.S. Program Director, Kim Trotter, having previously created the Island Park Safe Wildlife Passage Initiative (IPSWPI) in 2016, has now created a new front group, Fremont County Citizens For Safe Highways (FCCFSH). Allegedly, this group is comprised of Fremont County citizens, when most likely a large portion is comprised of individuals who spend the summer in Island Park but are not Fremont County residents full time. This group is listed on the State of Idaho campaign finance reports as Citizens For Safe Highways but there is nothing for a scanned report. Lobbying efforts by this new group can be more easily accomplished than Y2Y because of its prohibited lobbying status, in addition to being eligible for donations.
The purpose of this group is promoting wildlife overpasses, which apparently the IPSWPI group hasn't been able to achieve. Taking a look at the FCCFSH FAQ page, it is a continuation of the misrepresentations that has been promoted by other Y2Y front groups over the last year. Here are some of those misrepresentations.
Why are driver-safe highway crossings necessary?
Sadly, wildlife-vehicle collisions have increased sharply.
Truth: Under the Research tab it is clear that Idaho deer collisions have gone down in the last two years. What type of collisions are they referring to? They have manipulated roadkill data by including small animals to embellish numbers, the actual Elk numbers are not that high. The original purpose promoted for overpasses was the poor Elk. Because those numbers DO NOT substantiate the Elk deaths, Y2Y and their front groups are now shifting, or at least trying to shift the focus to other small animals and deer. Don't fall for this ruse, the truth is still the same, Elk WVC are low, and non-existent at Targhee Pass.
Do driver-safe highway crossings work?
Across Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Canada, driver-safe wildlife crossings have PROVEN to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 90 percent.
Truth: To compare different geographical areas to Island Park is illogical, and the 90% is also an elevated percentage. It takes years to offset 20-30 million dollars of overpass costs, in addition to the massive cost of maintaining these overpasses and fencing which has never been answered as to who will pay for it. The overpasses they are referring to are in isolated, primarily flat areas with no development.
Are there cheaper alternatives? Like slower speed limits?
No. Unfortunately, alternatives like flashing lights, wildlife detections systems and highway signs are proven NOT to be adequately effective.
Truth: Studies have shown lower speed limits do reduce not only accidents but also the severity of injuries in accidents. Y2Y refuses to acknowledge this. The Fremont County Commissioners, Sheriff, and citizens have repeatedly asked the Idaho Transportation Department for a speed reduction which they consistently refuse to do. (See Speed Limits article under the Articles tab.)
Who pays for building and maintaining these structures?
Modern, driver-safe wildlife crossings typically account for 10 percent of the entire highway modernization project. They are paid for by federal fuel taxes, which are already collected for this purpose. When crossings are built with road construction, the Federal Highway Administration pays for 93% of total project costs. It’s important to understand that county taxpayers do NOT pay for these highway improvements or for maintaining them.
Truth: The Targhee Pass road upgrade is $12 million dollars, with the addition of overpasses the cost increases to 20-30 million dollars, this is not a 10% increase (See alternative 3). How does this group know the FHA pays for 93% of the total project costs? Is there something in writing that states this, especially since no final approval decision has been made by FHA on this project? Sorry, but the truth is that every taxpayer, including Fremont County citizens, pay for the astronomical costs of overpasses and the ongoing maintenance costs. County taxpayers DO pay for these highway improvements through their federal taxes. The burden for this does fall on every taxpayer, nothing is free.
Will the crossings be unsightly?
Professional engineers and landscape architects design tunnels and fencing are designed for minimal visual impact. Fencing is minimal necessary to do the job – usually about 8 feet tall and ONLY where necessary.
Truth: As reflected, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are many who find the overpasses and associated fencing offensive to the land, in addition to the forced hazing of wildlife. There is something that could be considered cruel to force wildlife to abort their natural habitat into something a human wants them to do. As suggested by minimal visual impact, there is visual impact and fencing is necessary to force wildlife to change their path where ever a overpass is located.
Will fencing keep people off public lands or limit hunting opportunities?
No. The Forest Service, Idaho Department of Transportation and Idaho Fish and Game all agree that access to public land is paramount....
Truth: It is very well documented that traffic, recreational use, and development are a "threat" and "disturbance" to wildlife by Y2Y and other large conservation groups. By creating a false wildlife corridor via overpasses, this area will become off limits to all activity by people who currently enjoy it. While ITD and IDFG, and even the USFS make these claims now, it will change as it has in other areas where overpasses have been built, no use.
Will driver-safe wildlife crossings impact property values?
Driver-safe wildlife crossings have been built across the West and there has been no corresponding change in property values.
Truth: While these overpasses have been built in other areas, the majority of them are NOT located in developed areas, they are in isolated and flat land, and often on public land, therefore there can be no changes in property values. There is much development and recreation at Targhee Pass, which is NOT the case in their reference on property values.
Will overpasses will funnel animals for predators?
Biologists in other states say this is not a problem. Wildlife usually keep moving near narrow pinch points, preventing significant increases in predation. Studies have looked at wildlife crossings worldwide and found no significant changes in predation patterns.
Truth: Few studies have been conducted on predatory activity near wildlife overpasses (pg 283). In fact, this is how wolves take an Elk down on an overpass. Like this article points out, wolves can engage in "surplus killing" which was an attack on Elk in a feeding area. Forced into confined area by fencing, there is reason to believe wolves may learn overpasses are a feeding area, for them. Too many variables are in play to make a generalized statement about predatory activity, it hasn't been studied and geographical areas are different. In fact, wolf predatory activity is so devastating to Elk, they have to be destroyed. WVC are NOT the primary cause of Elk mortality, predatory activity is, and to build an overpass for them is illogical. Another reason Y2Y and their front groups are so desperately moving to deer and small animals.
Beware wild exaggerations and misinformation
Unfortunately, we are seeing wildly inaccurate information about the costs of the project, the extent of fencing, and other claims.
Truth: Every statement made on this website and in published articles is verified through links. As one example, false information regarding the costs of overpasses was blatantly published by a IPSWPI member in an Island Park newspaper and had to be corrected the next week with the factual cost graphs from ITD. Here are the factual costs. The data on WVC and numbers of roadkill has also been misrepresented requiring correction. All information on this website is for the very purpose of validating the truth, contrary to the claims by Y2Y, IPSWI, and now this new front group.
While this group claims "...a vocal in Island Park worked to convince the public and decision makers that wildlife crossings aren’t in Island Park’s interest, spreading fear of losing access to public lands, reduced property values, and loss of business.", the truth is many voices have written their objections to overpasses and over 3,000 have signed a petition in opposition of overpasses in Island Park. That is a far greater number than "one" voice. Plus, overpasses do lead to loss of public access, reduced property values, and loss of business because of the eventual "protected" status that eventually comes with migratory corridor designations. All of this is validated documentation on this website.
Also missing within this new group is the fact that overpasses are used for the purposes of connectivity. To be fully transparent, it would behoove them to bring this aspect to their argument. In spite of repeated requests, spokespersons for Y2Y, and Kim Totter, have repeatedly failed to address this. Overpasses are only used for their connectivity agenda, by having the area within the overpass declared a migration corridor for protection and land use regulation following the placement of the overpass. Y2Y understands there is opposition to this and avoids discussing it for that reason.
The truth is, there is a small number of individuals who are attached to Y2Y for overpasses, many of which who do not live full time in Island Park. They have never responded to requests for full disclosure of the connectivity agenda. Most likely, it is because they know Island Park residents would oppose this with a vengeance much like what happened with the national monument issue. Those who truly love Island Park don't want these changes.
However, it appears this group has registered as a 501(c)3, even though it cannot be found on the Idaho non-profit website, and are now soliciting money from you to promote their agenda for overpasses. This is Y2Y operating as there are restrictions on how they can lobby to influence legislation and policies. It is up to the Federal Highway Administration to make the final decision per the Environmental Assessment. The FCCFSH is using your money to influence your vote. That is why they were created.
In both Canada and the U.S., our governments are betraying citizens with their long term partnerships with Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y). Below is a document by Jody Hilty, Y2Y President and Chief Scientist, that clearly outlines how both governments have been working with Y2Y, "...driven by a group of conservationists...", "...for a vision of a protected and connected Y2Y region". These partnerships are heavily embedded and why there is no response to citizens who object in both countries.
This is a violation of the U.S. Constitution which elected officials are sworn to uphold. Our right to land use is being systematically taken from us as Y2Y implements their objectives for putting land into protective status for connectivity.
What has not been covered on the Great Northern Large Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (GNLCC) is the fact that without any congressional approval the Department of Interior (DOI) engaged the Canadian government into the same cooperatives. Canadians are experiencing the same difficulty as us with regard to their land use being restricted or banned, and it is the same non-governmental organizations (NGO) with front groups that are implementing the GNLCC agenda for connectivity. This article is intended to educate Canadians on the GNLCC, the involvement by their provincial government agencies, and also educate U.S. citizens that our government is participating in this activity with a foreign country without any congressional approval or citizen involvement. Under the Library tab, at the bottom left corner, Alberta is listed as a category with information for your area.
This article is the first in a series to alert Canadians to a scam that also involves the United States, a plot involving both our governments to place our land into large landscape conservation and take our right to use our land away from us. Sound unbelievable? Read on.
In 2010 the Obama administration, via a memorandum, directed the US Department of Interior (DOI) to create large landscape cooperatives. Twenty two cooperatives were created in the US. For purposes of this article, the focus will be on the Great Northern Large Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) and Alberta. As seen in the map below, the GNLCC stretches from Colorado into British Columbia, including western Alberta, where many aggressive land use restrictions are being sought and other agendas for connectivity.
These cooperatives are a "regional" approach to landscape conservation that ignore the boundary between our countries and jurisdictional authority. Both of our countries are under attack by the GNLCC. Meant to be an "international network", the GNLCC covers 300 million acres, a network of US federal agencies, Canadian provincial and federal governments, and conservation initiatives. Just naming a few, GNLCC members include Alberta Land Trust Alliance, Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia, Y2Y Initiative, Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation. These LCCs were initiated without our knowledge, involvement, or consent and give tremendous authority to conservation initiatives. Concealed from us, this is the primary force behind our land being taken from us for use and why conservation initiatives have such influence over our governments, including Alberta. The Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC (PPPLCC) covers the southeast portion of Alberta. These partnerships are listed on the Alberta Environment and Parks website, but they don't tell you about them or what they are doing.
The players are all the same, Harvey Locke, Gary Tabor, Kim Trotter, Candace Batycki, Stephen Lagault, and others all work towards achieving GNLCC goals. In this document you will see the Government of Alberta, Environment Canada, and British Columbia are members of the GNLCC. There is also a map of the Crown of the Continent (COC) that includes the western portion of Alberta, but primarily engulfs British Columbia, and a map of connectivity targets. The Government of Alberta - Environment and Sustainable Resource Development is an active participant with the COC but when GNLCC and COC is searched on their website there is no information. They hide it from you.
Crown Managers Partnership (CMP) members include Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, US federal agencies, and ENGOs. Brad Jones, Robert Sissions, and Megan Evans represent various Canadian government agencies on the COC leadership team, and the GNLCC has funded them. They have a "Transboundary Conservation Initiative" that does not include involvement by Canadians or Americans. Alberta is in the crosshairs for their Strategic Conservation Framework. This is just one hidden group Canadians are fighting.
Basically, GNLCC believes land is "fragmented" by development, impeding the movement of wildlife. Protected areas such as national parks and wilderness areas are "isolated" from each other, meaning the land in between must be placed into forms of conservation so that there is a "link" between the protected areas for "connectivity". Unprotected areas are targeted for linkage using wildlife, habitat, aquatic, riparian, and ecological as the ruse. The British Columbia Ministry of Environment participated in a study to identify linkage areas in 2012 and 2015. As a partner, Y2Y also works to identify linkage zones. This short video explains connectivity.
To eliminate fragmentation the GNLCC and its partners target unprotected land with conservation easements, banning use such as for OHV and snowmobile users, and wildlife overpasses. They work to put land into various categories of corridors such as for wildlife and habitat. If an area can be declared a corridor (pg 11), it is then used as a basis for protection for wildlife movement. With that protection comes restrictive or banned use, and also justification for restrictive land use policies, including how a private property owner can use their land. According to Y2Y, "Areas which are identified as core and connectivity habitat, are the focus of restrictive management practices on public lands, and are the focus of land acquisition and conservation easements on private lands." While this article is about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem the same concepts apply to all GNLCC land for restrictive land use policies. Once a corridor is designated the next objective by GNLCC partners is requiring restrictive land use practices on adjacent land, including private property, attempting to extend the corridor, or procure a conservation easement. Anything goes for linkage.
Both of our governments are working on targeting species at risk, or species of greatest conservation need. The species and their habitat will be used as justification for conservation, taking more land use away from us, and affecting private land owners.
There are many initiatives working with the GNLCC which will be discussed later. But all of the objectives are the same. While distracting our attention with local issues that involve taking away our land use, behind the scenes they are diabolically plotting an agenda to put large landscapes into conservation that will take our land away from us and our ability to use it, and redesigning how we are allowed to use it, called landscape conservation design.
The SIPWO website has conducted research on this problem for a couple of years. It is time for Canada to join hands with the U.S. to fight and expose this corrupt governmental takeover of our land that erases our boundaries and sovereignty, strips us of our right to use our land, obliterates our right to representation, and in essence has created a shadow government that is in collusion with conservation initiatives. This is where the fight lies for both of us.
Much folly has been made towards those who speak about the eventual restrictive and regulatory control over private lands, or that corridors will lead to regulated land use. Here is the validation that this is the Yellowstone to Yukon agenda.
"Using appropriate techniques, computer habitat suitability model results can be an effective first step to identify core and connectivity habitats in order to direct land development, highway construction, and mitigation so that wildlife are protected as they move across the landscape to meet their daily, seasonal, and lifetime needs."
"Areas which are identified as core and connectivity habitat, are the focus of restrictive management practices on public lands, and are the focus of land acquisition and conservation easements on private lands."
Targhee Pass is an identified area with connectivity habitat, the Elk. Once they gain this objective with overpasses, a migratory Elk corridor designation will follow, and regulatory land use requirements over that area will be pursued for implementation, including all private land in and adjacent to that corridor. The facts are in their own words.
Sign the petition that you do not want wildlife overpasses in Island Park.
This is wildlife overpass construction East of Wells, Nevada. Note the environmental destruction that it takes to create these monstrosities. Also, these particular overpasses are being built in a barren, flat, uninhabited area unlike the Targhee Pass terrain that does have residential areas and businesses. Picture in your mind how much of Targhee Pass would be destroyed forever with this type of land destruction. How would this construction affect the wetlands in the area? Is that what you want?
A couple of weeks ago Patsy and I took a long (3000 miles) road trip to Denver, Colorado and then to San Ramon, California. Much of the drive was on Interstate 80. East of Wells, Nevada we encountered three wildlife overpasses and miles of tall mesh fencing. All of these crossed Interstate 80 and were in the middle of nowhere in the high desert. There were no homes in the area. The first was in a very large sage brush covered valley and was very noticeable because there was nothing else there. The second was just a few miles away in a rock canyon. This overpass certainly disturbed the view scape. The third was also just a few miles from the first and second overpasses. It was under construction. The pre-stressed concrete arches had already been placed and there was a large track hoe on the side of it moving soil around. This was causing allot of blowing dust and dirt. The wind blows in Nevada. However, the thing that stuck me most was the large staging area at each end of the overpass. These areas were being used by heavy equipment. Dump trucks were delivering soil to each end of the overpass. The natural environment was totally destroyed for well over 100 feet on each side. There were no wet lands in the area that could be destroyed or a creek that could be damaged with sediment. This is not the case at Targhee Pass on US 20 in Island Park. The potential for damage is very great, especially with heavy rains like we have encounter on the past few weeks. It could be an environmental disaster.
We encounter the last three overpasses, on the return trip, North of Wells on US 93. Again, they were in the middle of nowhere, a few miles apart, no homes present in the area, and miles of tall, mesh, wildlife fencing. Part of this area gave me an appreciation for Joe Sielinsky’s comments about the wildlife fencing in the Banff area of Canada. Where the tall fencing was close to the road, you felt like you were in prison. I hated it. It was very confining and not welcoming.
There are probably appropriate locations for wildlife overpasses, but US 20 in Island Park is not one of them. The people of Island Park should fight the desecration on our beautiful and inviting recreation area. Island Park is not a high desert, in the middle of nowhere, with no homes present. Quite the contrary.
Reprinted with permission from the IP News June 28, 2018 issue