The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) is another, very well funded, conservation initiative, or non-governmental organization (NGO) similar to Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), based in Montana. In spite of being based in Montana, like an octopus, it has far reaching arms through its partnerships, influencing agendas and policies. Generally, 501(c)3 organizations are prohibited from engaging in lobbying or attempts to influence public policy.
Revision of the Salmon-Challis Forest Management Plan was specifically targeted in 2014 by GYC. Following is the an excerpt from the 2015 tax form, page 44 in the PDF.
"THE NEW CONGRESS SEEMS POISED TO MAKE CHANGES TO NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT, WHICH WILL DICTATE THAT WE WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR NATIONAL PARTNERS TO ENSURE IMPORTANT CONSERVATION MEASURES ARE NOT UNDERMINED GYC CONTINUES BUILDING STRONG SUPPORT FOR PROTECTING PUBLIC LANDS IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA SUCH AS THE GALLATIN RANGE AND LANDS TO THE WEST IN THE HIGH DIVIDE IN WYOMING, WE WILL CELEBRATE A SIGNIFICANT WIN AS WE FINALIZE THE SHOSHONE NATIONAL FORESTS NEW FOREST PLAN, WHICH WILL PUT ALMOST ONE MILLION ACRES OFF LIMITS TO OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT OTHER PRIORITIES WILL BE THE BLMS BIGHORN BASIN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND ENSURING KEY FOREST LANDS ARE PROTECTED FROM EXPANDED MOTORIZED USE AS THE SHOSHONE LAUNCHES A TRAVEL PLANNING PROCESS IN EASTERN IDAHO, WE HAVE HELPED BUILD SOLID MOMENTUM BEHIND A PARTNERSHIP THAT IS SEEKING TO PROTECT CRITICAL WILDLIFE HABITAT ON PRIVATE LANDS IN THE HENRYS FORK WATERSHED GYC CONTINUES EFFORTS IN IDAHO TO INFLUENCE THE BLMS FORTHCOMING UPPER SNAKE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN, THROUGH WHICH WE SEE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SECURE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE LAND PROTECTIONS"
GYC is registered as a 501(c)3 in Montana. In general, a non-profit is prohibited from engaging in lobbying or attempting to influence public policy. However, on page 22 of the tax form, there is a section titled, "Complete if the organization is exempt under section 501 (c)3." This suggests GYC is exempt from activities that influence public policy or legislative bodies. Quite a bit of money was contributed to lobbying by GYC.
Citizens often ponder, and are frustrated by their voice in decisions being ignored. With the amount of money these non-profits have, and political influence, it is no wonder why our government has been recalcitrant to our words.
Below is a map of the area that Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) is targeting in the High Divide (HD), using this area for connectivity between the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to another area they are targeting, the Crown of the Continent. The goal is the same, placing as much land into protection as possible.
The Y2Y partner working group is the High Divide Collaborative. The coordinating committee includes Y2Y Program Director, Kim Trotter, Rob Cavallero, Idaho Fish & Game, and members of the forest service, BLM, GNLCC, along with many other federal and state agencies, and organizations.
Y2Y recently hired an individual as Project Coordinator to specifically work on their objectives in the HD area, Nick Clarke, not even living in Idaho. He was a previous member of Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation and is a member of the Sierra Club. His responsibilities are "to help develop and implement conservation projects in Idaho...complete existing conservation projects...identify opportunities for future conservation projects...further connectivity conservation...protect habitat connectivity across private and public lands in the High Divide...increase safe wildlife passage on highways in Montana and Idaho...and...develop and maintain positive relationships with community partners", which doesn't appear to include citizens.
In 2008 the HD launched the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTR) (pg 32) which is a land trust partnership that includes land trusts from Canada, Nature Conservancy, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington. Conservation easements are held in land trusts. Using data they work with "...with agency and independent scientists to identify emerging data and make it available to land trusts and conservancies at scales needed for conservation action." They have a conservation atlas which the general public doesn't have access to.
These groups do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries between states or the representation of citizens by elected officials at a local level.