Government of Canada contributes more than $1.9M to support ecological connectivity in southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta

News release

The contribution from Parks Canada will support the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative with important research and wildlife crossing projects to allow animals to move safely across Highway 3

August 10, 2023                        Gatineau, Quebec                          Parks Canada

Ecological corridors are key in connecting protected and conserved areas, which will help halt and reverse biodiversity loss and help species to adapt to climate change. By properly linking protected and conserved areas, natural processes can take place and species can move, interact, and find habitat across vast landscapes and coastlines.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, together with President and Chief Scientist Jodi Hilty from Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), on behalf of the organization and its partners, announced a contribution of more than 1.9 million dollars to improve ecological connectivity in southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta.

This collaboration between Parks Canada and Y2Y supports the Highway 3 Wildlife Mitigation Initiative by enabling infrastructure projects, communications, research, and Indigenous engagement activities. The funding, originating from Parks Canada’s National Program for Ecological Corridors, will minimize the impact of Highway 3 on wildlife in the area, particularly by decreasing collisions and linking habitat currently fragmented by the highway. This funding will also help support Reconnecting the Rockies, a project the Province of British Columbia has prioritized, and is already underway which includes a series of wildlife crossings, fencing, and signage along this busy road to improve connectivity at a critical point along the 3,200 kilometre Yellowstone to Yukon wildlife corridor.

This series of crossings will help many species best supported at the large transboundary landscape scale, especially the grizzly bear and wolverine. This section of Highway 3 is in proximity to the boundaries of the world’s first International Peace Park, and therefore, this connectivity work helps to maintain the integrity of this area.

Parks Canada and those engaging on the ground are committed to protecting biodiversity and helping to support species at risk. A team of experts comprised of individuals from Y2Y, British Columba Ministry of Forests, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Teck Resources, Ktunaxa First Nation, Biodiversity Pathways, Miistakis Institute, Wildsight, Stantec, community groups and more, is working to advance the shared goal for landscape level connectivity through this project.


Additional multimedia

Corporate Logos of Partners making this announcement


“The new Highway 3 Wildlife Mitigation initiative is an excellent example of how our recently launched Ecological Corridor’s program is protecting nature in key wildlife corridors. Expanding our network of connected habitats is a vital step in tackling both climate change and biodiversity loss. This would not have been possible without the strong partnerships of Parks Canada and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative who together are ensuring that species can thrive and move freely across the land and water in western Canada.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“This project keeps both people and wildlife safe along the Highway 3 corridor and is continentally significant as it helps restore and enable wildlife to move between Canada and the United States. The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative is delighted to work with key partners, like Parks Canada, to help maintain connectivity across the Yellowstone to Yukon region, one of the wildest mountain regions in the world”.

Jodi Hilty
President and Chief Scientist, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative


“The Ktunaxa Nation is committed to reducing impacts to wildlife and improving ecological connectivity throughout ʔamak̓ʔis Ktunaxa and to supporting the work of projects such as the Highway 3 Wildlife Mitigation Initiative to provide protected passage along this key ecological corridor. We are pleased to work alongside our partners to lessen wildlife collisions to provide a safer environment for us all.”

Jaime Vienneau
Operational Director, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Lands and Resources Sector

“Wildlife highway collisions are a danger to people and animals. By building more safe ways for wildlife to cross highways, we are making our infrastructure safer for drivers on Highway 3 and helping to restore connected habitat.”

Rob Fleming
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, British Columbia

“Teck is proud to be joining the Ktunaxa Nation, governments, and our other partners to protect people and wildlife. The Reconnecting the Rockies Project aligns with our goal of becoming Nature Positive by 2030 and will reduce wildlife collisions in the Elk Valley and create a safe crossing for many species including bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bear, and wolverine.”

Jonathan Price
CEO, Teck Resources Limited

Quick facts

  • This project plays a key role in connecting wildlife populations east-west over the Rocky Mountains and north-south across the Canada-U.S. border and between the large, protected areas of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and Banff National Park. This corridor connects the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain and Crown of the Continent ecosystems.

  • This portion of the project is Phase 2 of the Government of British Columbia’s six phase wildlife protection project Reconnecting the Rockies. The province of British Columbia is installing a series of underpasses and overpasses connected by fencing that will provide wildlife with safe passage across Highway 3.

  • Canada helped lead the world to agree on the monumental Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework at the largest ever Conference of the Parties for biodiversity conservation, COP15 in Montréal. The Framework integrates ecological connectivity within one goal and three targets, including Goal A which states that the integrity, connectivity, and resilience of all ecosystems are maintained, enhanced, or restored, substantially increasing the area of natural ecosystems by 2050. 

  • In April 2022, Parks Canada launched a new National Program for Ecological Corridors to help support efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss across Canada. As part of this effort, Parks Canada is working with a diverse range of partners and experts to develop national-level criteria to define ecological corridors, and to conduct mapping exercises to determine priority areas across the country where corridors could have the greatest benefits.

  • Within the last year, Parks Canada’s National Program for Ecological Corridors also contributed to the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System Ecological Corridor Pilot project to collectively increase connectivity between Cootes Paradise Marsh, Hamilton Harbour, and the Niagara Escarpment; to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to help maintain and improve the Forillon Ecological Corridor; to the Indigenous-led West Coast Stewardship Corridor to improve the ecological connectivity and cultural connectivity along the west coast of Vancouver Island; and to the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative to support a road ecology study to determine wildlife protective measures around Ontario’s busy roadways.

  • Guided by science, Indigenous Knowledge and local perspectives, Canada is committed to conserving 30 percent of lands, freshwater, and oceans by 2030.

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary     
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada

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