NOT MANY BARRIERS TO WILDLIFE MOVEMENT
In the first 2000 km of the 3400 km journey, Heuer encountered fewer barriers to wildlife movement than expected. Traveling one of a number of potential routes along the mountains from Yellowstone, Wyoming to Jasper, Alberta, he crossed:
- 35 FENCES representing 14 private land holders. Eight of 86 days were spent on private lands.
- 8 MAJOR ROADS -- (four two-lanes, the remainder twinned 4-lane freeways).
- 100's of MINOR ROADS-- forestry, oil & gas exploration, 4x4 and jeep roads were encountered in the trek's first 2000 km. The majority are concentrated around the eight major roads above. A small proportion have been closed to motorized vehicles and are being reclaimed.
- 4 RAILWAYS -- bisected the first 2000 km of the Hike.
MORE THAN HALF OF HEUER'S 2000 KM ROUTE LAST YEAR WAS THROUGH PARKS, LEGISLATED WILDERNESS AND DESIGNATED ROADLESS AREAS
Much of the Y2Y region exists today as protected areas with vast tracts of public land between. Eighty-six days (2000 kms) were spent walking an average of 20 km/day on trails and bushwhacking between drainages from Yellowstone to Jasper.
- 40 of the 86 days were in legislated wilderness areas or national parks
- 27 days were on public lands managed for multiple use
- 11 days were on public lands designated roadless areas
- only 8 days were spent crossing private lands (many of which are held in conservation easements that prevent subdivision and development).
Of the 86 days on the trail, there were only 14 days when tracks, scat, rub trees, digs, or the bears themselves were not observed.
PHYSICAL CHALLENGES OF SYMBOLIZING WILDLIFE
In the first 2000 km and 86 days of the Hike, Heuer had to:
- negotiate 72 mountain passes
- climb more than 154,000 vertical feet (the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest from Base Camp to the top 15 times!)
- navigate & route-find using 63 topographical maps
- carry a pack weighing 50-60 pounds with tent, stove, first aid and survival gear, as well as dried foods for up to 10 days of foot travel.
In 1999, the Hike will head into even more remote country north of Jasper, where Heuer and companion Leanne Allison expect to be out for longer periods of time between resupply points. The ski portion of the trip, scheduled to leave Jasper on March 15, 1999, will travel for 30 days to Monkman Provincial Park in north-east British Columbia without support. Food caches (stored in metal buckets to keep out wolverine and scavengers) have been placed along the route using skidoes, snowshoes and skis.
- For more information contact:
- Erica Heuer, Publicist
- Phone: (403) 540-6446 Fax: (403) 244-1662
- Email: y2yhike @telusplanet.net
- Y2Y Website: www.rockies.ca/y2y
Y2Y with users encountered on the trail was
an important component of the Hike. Many had
heard of the Y2Y through their local media,
but more importantly, the talks revealed that
people using the land as a source of livelihood
the concerns of scientists and conservationists
about the loss of broad connections between
protected areas. Above: a guide outfitter's
camp in the Clearwater Drainage, Alberta. Right:
Brian Hilger, lifetime rancher in central Montana.