#63: Connecting Habitats and Hearts: The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative with Kelly Zenkewich

#63: Connecting Habitats and Hearts: The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative with Kelly Zenkewich Nature's Archive


Kelly Zenkewich, Senior Communications and Digital Engagement Manager at Y2Y. Photo courtesy Kelly Zenkewich

Are you ready for an in-depth look at the challenges and solutions of wildlife connectivity? The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, or Y2Y, is working on a grand scale to connect and protect habitats from Yellowstone to the Yukon, for the benefit of both people and nature.

Today, we’re joined by Kelly Zenkewich, Senior Communications and Digital Engagement Manager at Y2Y. We delve into the unique challenges of both the region and the scale of Y2Y’s vision.

As you’ll hear, even if thinking about this area conjures up images of vast open spaces, there are still numerous highways, cities, fences, railroads, ranches, farms, and other human infrastructure that fragments the landscape.

We discuss the charismatic animals of the area – from grizzly bears and wolverines to caribou and pronghorn – the diverse challenges faced by these animals, and the ways Y2Y is working to conserve them.

We’ll also learn about the unique approach of Y2Y, which works across 5 states, and 4 Canadian provinces and territories, as well as the territories of at least 75 indigenous groups. Kelly describes how they positively engage people across these communities using communication techniques such as asset framing and community-based social marketing.

You can find more about Y2Y at y2y.net, and find them on instagram and facebook.

Did you have a question that I didn’t ask? Let me know at naturesarchivepodcast@gmail.com, and I’ll try to get an answer! I’ll add these Q&As to my monthly newsletter, so if you aren’t already subscribed, go here. I promise, no spam. I share the latest news from the world of Nature’s Archive, as well as pointers to new naturalist finds that have crossed my radar, like podcasts, books, websites, and more.

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People, Animals, and Organizations

Anat Shenker-Osorio – created approach similar to “Asset Framing”

COP15 – recent biodiversity agreement was announced at COP15

Doug McKenzie-Mohr – creator of community-based social marketing

Jodi Hilty, PhD – corridor ecology and connectivity expert

Mark Hebblewhite, PhD – studies ungulates including mountain caribou

Michael Proctor, PhD – studying grizzly bear movements in BC

Pluie The Wolf

Stoney Nakoda Nations

Tony Clevenger, PhD – wolverine researcher

Trabian Shorters – creator of Asset Framing

Books and Other Things

Note: links to books are affiliate links

Article about the new Trans-Canada Highway wildlife overpass that Kelly mentions

Beth Pratt discussing P-22 and Wildlife Crossings (Nature’s Archive Episode 38)


Emily Smith provided rough cut editing for this episode.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Spellbound by Brian Holtz Music
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/9616-spellbound
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://brianholtzmusic.com


Transcripts are automatically created, and are about 95% accurate. Apologies for any errors.

[00:00:00] Michael Hawk: Kelly, thank you so much for joining me today.

[00:00:02] Kelly Zenkewich: Hi Michael. It’s really great to be here. Thanks for having me on your show.

[00:00:06] Michael Hawk: So I just as a little context, I first heard about Yellowstone to Yukon at a nature connectivity seminar probably, oh, I don’t know how many months ago that was. And I was so impressed at the audacity of a scale of what it is that you’re trying to do, that I knew that I had to have you and your organization on the podcast.

[00:00:28] So that day has come and we can figure out how you manage that kind of.

[00:00:32] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah we’re often called big and bold, so I’m happy to hear that made an impact with you, Michael, and happy to hear it was on connectivity. That’s something that we really spend a lot of our time working on at why to, why

[00:00:42] Michael Hawk: yeah. And that’s something that I’m happy to see is getting more traction in the nature community in the press. And it’s something that has been so overlooked, but so much data now. And we’ll hopefully get into some of that today as to why this is so important. And speaking of big and bold, when I heard why, to why, of course, my brain started thinking how could I top that?

[00:01:01] Just, facetiously not, not in reality. And I was like what about BC to bc Baja California to British Columbia? Like that, that might come close.

[00:01:10] Kelly Zenkewich: There, there’s actually Baja to bearing which is a really great movement. A, b a b2b there’s an A to a there’s one in Australia. I can’t remember the acronym for right now it’s gathering steam as an acronym, but also as a spatial idea, I think, which is great.

[00:01:23] Michael Hawk: Baja to Baring is even much much bigger than BC to bc, okay. Tell me a bit about what, why do Y is and what is the mission and vision?

[00:01:32] Kelly Zenkewich: Sure it’s right in the name right. So Yellowstone Yukon Conservation Initiative Champions Connectivity and Conservation. And we inspire solutions that benefit both people and wildlife. So we’re basically a joint Canada, US not-for-profit organization that connects and protects wildlife habitat. So people and nature thrive from Yellowstone National Park, in that ecosystem all the way up to Yukon territory in Canada.

[00:01:59] And it’s the only organization dedicated to securing the long-term ecological health of the entire region. And our vision is of an interconnected system of wildlands and waters harmonizing the needs of people with those of nature.

[00:02:11] Michael Hawk: When I was looking at your website and looking at the maps that you have of the territory that’s covered, I think I saw that it’s roughly the size of Texas, but a little bit more elongated.

[00:02:23] Can you tell me a bit about what that territory looks like from a habitat or biome perspective or population perspective?

[00:02:32] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. So it, it’s a huge space, right? It’s about 2100 miles or 3,400 kilometers and. It’s a huge range of ecosystems and biomes and what that looks like on the ground. Thinking of further up north, there’s the Great Boreal Forest and then working your way down along the spine of the Rockies, all of what that encompasses.

[00:02:54] There’s the inland temperate rainforest in British Columbia is part of this. It’s a globally unique ecosystem that is inland, inland rainforest, which is really incredible. And then further down into, Wyoming and Montana, you’ve got Prairie and Grasslands. And so there’s a huge range in between there. And each spot is really special that we work in.

[00:03:15] Michael Hawk: I’m envisioning a topographic map of the area and. I think without really looking closely, the thing that would dominate my perspective is all the mountains, there’s so many mountains in that area, but you bring up there’s actually some prairies and there’s some, some other, certainly valleys and, other things to consider in there.

[00:03:35] I’m struggling a little bit with the right question to ask, but what is maybe to the average person most surprising about the topography of this area?

[00:03:45] Kelly Zenkewich: I think for a lot of people we like to talk about water and where water comes from a lot because it does obviously start up in the mountains. So millions of people actually get their drinking water from the Yellowstone to Yukon region, and that’s on both sides of the continent. If you imagine that it flows from the top of the mountain down.

[00:04:04] there’s a lot of communities along the way between say the Columbia ice fields in Alberta, all the way down to Hudsons Bay. That’s the waterway we’re talking about. And so that to me is, was one of the biggest surprises when I started working at Y2Y I was like, I never really thought about it, but yeah, that’s a source for water and all the watersheds that feed a lot of North America.

[00:04:24] Michael Hawk: Kelly, then can you tell me a little bit more about your role with Y to Y and what it is that you do?

[00:04:30] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, so I think that it starts off with my own kind of professional background, which is that, basically from my childhood up, I was always interested in biology. And so in high school I loved two things, biology and English. And that was an ill-fated attempt to get into genetics in university.

[00:04:49] You know, Didn’t end up going where I wanted to, but I ended up with a biological science degree. And at the time I wasn’t even sure. Or aware that this position that I would eventually hold existed, which I think is something a lot of people talk about when they’re in university. But I did know that at the time I didn’t wanna work in a lab or do my master’s.

[00:05:08] I was having some success with part-time jobs working in journalism and news at the time. And so I was happy to straddle both worlds. And it’s the combination of two of those elements of my professional background and interest in science communication that led me to apply for a job at Y2Y. And so my background was essentially meeting those qualifications that they were seeking for, but my motivation to apply was actually personal.

[00:05:32] At the time I was living where, Y2Y, is headquartered in Canmore, Alberta, just outside of Banff National Park. But I was commuting an hour. One way to go into Calgary for work each day to work at the newspaper. and so on that way, I was traveling the Trans Canada Highway. It’s Highway One, it’s the main way into Banff National Park that most people will take if they fly into Calgary.

[00:05:52] And I was seeing all sorts of roadkill along that highway, and I could not stop thinking about how I was part of the problem. And I was aware of Y2Y’s history and helping solve that issue. And it seemed like a really good opportunity to create some positive change and bring my own kind of background into work and help address a problem that I was seeing in a community I was living in at the time.

[00:06:16] So it brings my personal passions, my academic background, my personal interests in together in a way that not only puts food on my table, but also feeds my soul too. And I’m happy to say that I’ve actually played a role in a project that helped address one of the worst spots for roadkill that I was seeing.

[00:06:35] All those days driving on the highway. So I feel really fortunate to work at Y2Y.

[00:06:40] Michael Hawk: I hear these themes so often from guests, like a little bit of a multidisciplinary approach where they’re able to take a couple different passions and put it together, and then they find this. Role that aligns with them beyond just the academics. And it sounds like that’s, basically what has happened for you.

[00:06:58] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah I really get to do the things that I love most at Y2Y. I help translate science so it’s accessible and actionable. I’m able to inspire folks who are passionate about the people, places on wildlife in the Yellowstone to Yukon region to, to get involved. And I get to do something that I really love, which is to share stories and photos, which are really incredible.

[00:07:19] So I of consider myself science adjacent, but my work is completely fulfilling and it’s the right kind of challenging for me.

[00:07:26] Michael Hawk: I’m definitely gonna pick your brain a little bit about communication successes, because that’s so important. You mentioned it’s a small organization. How big is Y2Y

[00:07:36] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, so we are, I think we’re just around 40 staff members right now, and we live all across the Yellowstone de Yukon region. But people in British Columbia, in Alberta, in Idaho, in Montana, and a little bit further afield as well.

[00:07:51] Michael Hawk: what types of specialties do you have on staff?

[00:07:54] Kelly Zenkewich: , we’ve got Dr. Jodi Hilty obviously is a world renowned specialist in corridor ecology and wildlife connectivity. She has a long history of working on science at that scale. We have conservation scientists, we have social scientists, there’s interns who work on recreation ecology projects.

[00:08:15] There’s folks like me who do a little bit of everything. Amazing development staff. Everyone joined together through our shared love of the landscape and also just the Y2Y mission and vision, I think.

[00:08:26] Michael Hawk: So you mentioned that you were able to help mitigate the problem on the Trans Canada Highway and the roadkill that you saw. So can you tell me more about that? What’s been done?

[00:08:34] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, this is a huge win for Y2Y, Michael and all the partners that we work with. So basically what’s happened is that construction for this overpass started this year. So y I think it was really painful to be driving on that highway each day to see that the elk, grizzly bears and deer that were on the side of the road.

[00:08:54] It’s a really busy road, especially in the summer. There’s a vehicle probably every two and a half seconds along this highway with sort of peak of summer transportation going up and down. It’s almost impossible for wildlife, and I think that, One of the worst bends in the road is now home to Stony Nakota Excha Wildlife Arch.

[00:09:15] So it’s due for completion, I think next year if they’re still on track with their construction schedule, but it was built and named after the First Nations living near the site and designed with their input. So Stony Nakota First Nations, and it’s the first overpass built outside of National Park lands in Alberta, so it’s a big deal.

[00:09:33] We’ve had underpasses outside of the National Park, but never an overpass with fencing on provincial lands. So it’s a huge win, and we know that this is going to seriously address wildlife vehicle collisions on one of the busiest roads in the Yellowstone to Yukon region, and improved connectivity in this important corridor.

[00:09:52] You know, the, the wildlife are moving north, south, and east west through this region, so it’s really important for them to get over this huge barrier that cuts through their habitat, which is the Trans Canada Highway.

[00:10:02] Michael Hawk: So what is from, say from a wildlife perspective, the pros and cons of an underpass versus an over pass.

[00:10:11] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of research that’s been done about this and just last week I was disseminating this new paper about the width of overpasses and how important that is compared to their length. So the really cool thing about wildlife overpass systems and crossings is that the best studied complex and system of wildlife crossings in the world is actually in Banff National Park.

[00:10:34] So it’s not very far from our head offices in Canmore. And there’s been so much research done on what works and what species prefer, what overpasses and crossing styles and design and all sorts of questions related to that. And what they’re finding basically is that some animals prefer really wide open overpass type crossings, and some prefer those that go under the road that are darker and more closed in.

[00:11:03] And so you might be able to guess that some predators, for example, really do prefer the underpasses. So thinking of cougars and wolves, they do prefer underpasses, whereas species like grizzly bears with cubs, mothers particular with cubs prefer the overpasses along with deer and some other sort of ungulate and elk species, anything with hoves basically.

[00:11:25] So it’s really cool that they’re able to study and understand what’s going to work for the animals in that.

[00:11:31] Michael Hawk: And that’s so interesting too because you can intuitively make those guesses that, an ungulates gonna want to have good line of sight and see a predator approaching and they’re not gonna want to go through this dark underpass. That would be very scary for them. How did, Y2Y help this come to fruition?

[00:11:48] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. As I mentioned, connectivity is at the heart of what we do, and so wildlife crossings and being able to move basically is centered at that. And animals, of course don’t have passports. They don’t follow political borders and they need to move. And so the formation of Y2Y actually came from studying an animal that was on the move and what meant for success with certain species and animals thinking on the large landscape scale.

[00:12:18] And so why do I formed in 1993 when several observations about nature became. More apparent in the early days of large landscape conservation as a scientific discipline. So the vision of reestablishing wildlife corridors and connectivity came from the work of those early biologists from probably the 1960s through the 1980s.

[00:12:40] And they were gathering evidence basically that standalone isolated parks were not effective in maintaining wildlife population. They thought that corridors linking these parks might be the answer. And so if you think about it, a wildlife crossing is really a form of a corridor like that. But one really important observation came from the form of a famous radio collared wolf.

[00:13:00] So in 1991, a wolf named Pluie, which is French for rain, and that was named after the day that she was radio collared on. She was collared in Canas country, which is a little bit east of Banff National Park. And she was tracked going over all these epic movements across the western continent, basically through North America.

[00:13:19] She traveled a huge area, 40,000 square miles more than 30 political jurisdictions. She went from Alberta’s Banff National Park, south to Spokane, Washington, east to Montana’s, Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. And then all the way back again, she was traveling 10 times the size of Yellowstone National Park and 15 times of Banff National Park.

[00:13:38] And her life, sadly, ended when she was legally killed in a hunt and British Columbia. But her story lives on. And so when we’re thinking about what makes wildlife successful, it’s basically their ability to move. And Pluie’s. Movements showed us that to be effective, wildlife conservation must be at a scale beyond state province or even national borders.

[00:14:00] And she’s not the only example of species who need to move. I spoke earlier about elk, elk travel pretty far distances and really benefit from infrastructure like wildlife crossings to allow them to get over these busy roads that cut across their.

[00:14:15] Michael Hawk: So is there any way to characterize or help us as human beings with our own senses, understand what it’s like for an elk or, I don’t know a cougar or some other animal when they approach human infrastructure that’s impeding their path?

[00:14:32] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I can think of another example actually that’s really a really great example and it’s about a grizzly bear. So there’s been quite a few examples through the years of grizzly bears in the movement. But this is a newer story. And so grizzly bears, as we know, especially in the United States their range has really contracted over time.

[00:14:52] They’re in pockets in the us, most notably around the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, and then some parts of Montana. But there are these sort of recovery zones where they’re hoping that the grizzly bears will be able to bounce back. . And so after decades of decline, it’s especially important for young grizzly bears, especially males, to find new territory and wander in the world and have mates and that kind of thing.

[00:15:15] And that will help areas like Yellowstone from becoming completely cut off like an island. But their movements can only happen if they can get across the roads that cross their habitat. So this one bear was a bear named Ligan Polter. So that name was given to it by Montana Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

[00:15:33] It’s about a five-year-old grizzly bear that lives in Western Montana. And over the summers of 2020 and 2021 they had a collar on him and he was track trying to cross I 90, which is an incredibly busy road. As you probably know, he was trying to cross it 46 times and it was like a little ping pong ball.

[00:15:53] You could see the G p s kind of. Bouncing off the road as it tried to cross right again and again, just couldn’t, it was like impenetrable wall of cars basically. And so he’s a really great real world example of why we need large landscape conservation and connectivity and why we continue to work on grizzly bear recovery and grizzly bear connectivity, especially in those landscapes that are fragmented or have roads cutting across them, once he was able to cross successfully.

[00:16:21] Finally, it’s basically a win, he’s able to get across and have that, add that genetic diversity that we know helps grizzly bears thrive.

[00:16:30] Michael Hawk: We’ve been talking about some specific connectivity solutions here and flipping it on its head. Again, thinking of the map on your website and seeing the vastness of your territory and different priority areas within the territory. It makes me realize like how many different.

[00:16:45] Agencies, parks, cities, provinces, territories that are involved here. So can you help me understand a little bit more from the Y2Y mission and vision standpoint, how you work with all of these different groups to enact the vision.

[00:17:01] Kelly Zenkewich: Lots of meetings and lots of email basically. , so Y2Y is unique in that we’re extremely collaborative and we have a long history of working with partners. So over our history, since 1993, we’ve had more than 460 partners and all of those partners share the vision of an interconnected system of wildlands and waters.

[00:17:21] Y2Y is able to accomplish the mission in three ways basically, first is that we connect wildlife habitat and people, and in this case people is also all of these amazing people doing all of this work on the ground. Next, we collaboratively work to conserve nature on the scale it needs in the places it needs.

[00:17:40] So often through science and policy and advocacy, but not exclusively. And then finally, we inspire people to take action, to advance conservation. And so the great news is that thanks to all of this incredible work, countless hours basically from all of these folks over the decades that we’re making headway.

[00:18:00] Since 1993, research has shown that the actions of wide toy and partners have increased more than 80% key protected area growth in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. So that’s having a real effect on connectivity and crossings and all these things that we’ve been talking about so far.

[00:18:15] Michael Hawk: So it sounds like then you have an ecosystem of groups that you work with on a frequent basis, and I’m just gonna guess that sometimes they reach out to you for assistance and sometimes you reach out to them for assistance. Is that accurate?

[00:18:29] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, at its heart it’s about convening, right? And even though the area, the Yellowstone Yukon region is so big and so varied, there’s a lot of really common issues that we see cropping up. And the way that you’re gonna solve a grizzly bear that can’t get to where it needs to go in Northern Alberta is probably gonna be pretty similar to what’s happening in Montana with a grizzly bear.

[00:18:53] And so it’s about sharing ideas and solutions and bringing people together so that they don’t have to start from scratch. And at its heart it’s about linking people and connecting people too. That’s really what the Y do I mission and vision stands for as well. It’s solutions based and it’s collabo.

[00:19:12] Michael Hawk: So when you’re looking at connectivity and linking people and linking habitats and animals, what are some of the other challenges that you encounter aside from highways?

[00:19:23] Kelly Zenkewich: when you think about connectivity, I think a lot of people just jump to roads right away. And it might seem to be that simple at the surface. Animals get hit on the roads and die. And while that’s true there’s also other impacts and other connectivity related issues. So the work of Dr.

[00:19:41] Tony Clevenger, for example shows that Wolverines and Banff National Park are severely limited by the Trans Canada Highway that cuts through their habitat. Female wolverines will not cross these roads and they don’t seem to like to use the crossings either. So that’s an interesting piece of research related to that.

[00:20:00] Michael Hawk: Is it potentially the texture or the feeling of the road? Is it like just such a foreign thing or is it, or is that understood?

[00:20:07] Kelly Zenkewich: I don’t think that they do understand it actually. They’re still conducting research to better understand what that is and what they prefer when it comes to crossing. And again, it gets back to that territory question, I think too. And the same can be said of Dr. Michael Proctor, his work on grizzly bear movements in southeast British Columbia.

[00:20:26] He’s of seeing these fragments of habitat forming and the roads are creating the islands of wildlife and limiting the genetic exchange keeps populations healthy. So it goes beyond just the impact of roadkill. And so along with all of wide to wise partners, there are projects that are supporting wildlife movement.

[00:20:45] all year round through every season, through every stage of life. And so some of these examples, of course, they include wildlife crossing structures and fencing that get animals to those crossings, but also working with willing landowners to protect private lands and the corridors that exist on them.

[00:21:02] A lot of agricultural land is in valley bottoms, and that’s also where animals like to cross and feed and live as well. It’s also about encouraging responsible recreation, including carrying bear spray to keep people and wildlife safe. It includes habitat restoration and so much more. So I think that there’s a lot around roads and connectivity, but it extends beyond that as well.

[00:21:25] Michael Hawk: So if I’m envisioning a couple of mountain ridges and a population of, I don’t know, bears or wolverine or whichever animal that wants to get across, and the valley is now totally agriculture, is there such a thing as a project where, , you might re-vegetate a pathway across that valley to help with movement.

[00:21:47] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’ve pinpointed it is often on agricultural land and there’s a few ways that trouble can pop up. So one is like habitat restoration in the valley bottoms to allow for that. But it also includes things like fences that can affect movement and the way that food and other attractants.

[00:22:07] Can get a bare food conditioned and into trouble really quickly. So there’s actually quite a few ranchers and private landowners who are invested in this issue. They wanna see wildlife thrive. And so they’re working on building fences that are more accessible for wildlife. For example, pronghorn, they can’t jump fences.

[00:22:27] I don’t know if

[00:22:27] Michael Hawk: Oh wow. You would think they could

[00:22:29] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. Yeah. So they’re actually really poor jumpers and they need to have a fence that they can shimmy under basically. And so instead of a four or even five strand barbed wire fence, ranchers are switching to three strand fences, or they’re choosing to make that bottom wire smooth so that the animals can get underneath, or they’re researching and getting funding for tools that, that basically in, in science speak, allow them to.

[00:22:57] Put in coexistence measures. So that includes an electric fence, for example, to keep a bear or another form of wildlife away from their chicken coop or their carcass pile or their beehives, to basically keep the animals moving. So there’s actually quite a few barriers and issues that can happen in a valley bottom that would stop animal movement from occurring.

[00:23:19] And it’s not just about the habitat, it’s about the other things that are happening there.

[00:23:24] Michael Hawk: Yeah, that makes sense. And you think. Diversity, the biodiversity that exists in regions like that, and how every animal is going to have some varying requirements to be able to move freely within the zone. It’s a challenging problem. And it begs the question how do you measure success with such a vast mission?

[00:23:41] Is it like on a project by project basis, or do you have other ways that you’re looking at like, yeah, we’re trending in the right direction.

[00:23:46] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, conservation work as you probably know and your listeners know, is extremely incremental. It can take a very long time for changes. To happen. I think we’re all thrilled recently with the agreement that came out of COP 15 in terms of biodiversity protection, but it took years to get there.

[00:24:06] And so we’re often talking on a much larger scale when we talk about impacts. It’s not to say we’re not excited when a a construction on a new crossing happens, or they put up new fencing to keep wildlife safe, but often it’s on a much bigger scale. Y2Y’s impact can most often be seen on the growth of protected areas in the region.

[00:24:26] I think a paper in conservation science and practice used five conservation metrics to evaluate the Y2Y mission progress over a 25 year period. And they found that it resulted in more than an 80% increase in key protected area growth. And so that obviously has an immediate impact.

[00:24:44] But the research also found that there were changes to grizzly bear range, so there was an expansion of ranges in the US portion of the Yellowstone Yukon region. Private land conservation in the region had also grown substantially. and there were now at least 117 wildlife crossings in the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

[00:25:05] Making it the region with the highest concentration of such crossings in the world, which we’re making not only the landscape more connected, but roads safer for people and for animals. Those are those broad, big strokes that we’re talking about. But, it’s always exciting to get the smaller elements as well.

[00:25:24] The winds that happen when, for example a community decides to bring in bear bear resistant garbage bins, that makes a huge impact for wildlife and people in a region. And so we’re out there very excited about the big wins that take a long time to get there. But also the smaller ones that also have an immediate impact.

[00:25:43] Those are important.

[00:25:44] Michael Hawk: Yeah. It reminds me of, in a way, a little bit of a corollary to a crossing or a linkage, and that’s the concept of a ecological trap and talking about very resistant trash containers and some things like that. That’s obviously a critical component that I think gets overlooked a lot too. Do you have specific species, specific plants that you manage for or that you are tracking at the.

[00:26:08] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I mean I think for us we’re seen as a grizzly bear organization. That’s not the only species we work on, but you and listeners may be aware of the concept of an umbrella species, and that’s definitely where the grizzly bear lies, right? So we use the grizzly bear species as an indicator for how everyone else is doing in the ecosystem.

[00:26:31] Basically, the concept is if grizzly bears are doing well, then 80% of other species sharing the same habitat are also. Probably going to be doing well as well. So that’s one example. But there are also other species. We, we had the bees to Bears Restoration Project in north Idaho. There’s this area called the Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Unit, and they used five species as their indicators for success there.

[00:26:58] So it was a grizzly bear and then it was two types of native bees and it also included a certain kind of slug. So it’s not just the big, big beautiful bears that everyone imagines. It’s also what I think are really amazing, the smaller sort of insects. That’s where my heart goes to when I’m thinking about restoration and species.

[00:27:18] So bees, obviously, native pollinators are hugely important.

[00:27:21] Michael Hawk: That makes a lot of sense. And I can imagine in a situation where if you’re seeing that the grizzly bears aren’t doing well and you have biologists from different organizations looking into why that is, you might find out that, oh, it’s because some specific food source is in decline and that food source is in decline because their habitat is in decline and you get to the root cause and start to address that.

[00:27:42] Is that kind of how this process.

[00:27:44] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think we can’t talk about this without talking about climate change, right? And the impacts that you’re seeing. And so we know, obviously, that things are changing. We just don’t know exactly how, and it’s about creating space and flexibility for the future, and especially when it comes to access for food and mates.

[00:28:06] What’s it gonna look like 5, 10, 25 years down the road? . And so by providing options for wildlife to move and to thrive, you can help future-proof conservation and wildlife movement. And if we wanna talk about another really cool species it’s mountain caribou. So something that makes them unique from other species in the winter is that instead of coming down from the mountains, they go up into the alpine in the cold winter.

[00:28:33] So they go to where the snow is deeper and the temperatures are colder, not only to avoid predators, but also to get food because the snow pack is higher at higher altitudes. It allows caribou with their big floating hooves to go across the snow and eat and off of the trees that they normally wouldn’t be able to reach.

[00:28:52] So if the snow isn’t high, they can’t get their food. And so I think that’s a really interesting sort of touchpoint for how an ecosystem is doing and how it’s really operating for all the species who are there. , the trees, the lichen, the caribou, the wolverines the, everything that lives there.

[00:29:10] Michael Hawk: Yeah. That’s amazing to think about the balance, not just. The balance of the caribou having to kind of balance on the snow with those giant snowshoe like feet. But but then lichen is not something you think about as a food source, and lichen itself is also sensitive to climate change and air quality and so many other things.

[00:29:30] So yeah, such a great example of the balance that’s required.

[00:29:34] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. One of my favorite quotes about caribou and their sort of junk food habit comes from Dr. Mark Hebel White, who studied them for a long time, and he says it’s the equivalent of Gatorade and junk food for caribou is, that’s what lichen is because it’s so light in calories and just so empty.

[00:29:51] But that’s what they do to survive, right? To get through those long winters.

[00:29:54] Michael Hawk: can’t imagine, I I’m sure I could look this up or perhaps, how much liken an animal that big has to eat to survive a winter up there.

[00:30:02] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. I don’t know the number for that actually, but it is an obscene amount. And I know that often in maternity pens where they bring them out in caribou right now to keep them protected during calving season, there are people out hand gathering the lichen to bring to them. So there’s at least two groups that I can think of in British Columbia, for example, where they go out and they hand gather the lichen and they bring it to them.

[00:30:26] And it’s a community project, right? There’s indigenous communities who gather in the spring to do this, to bring them the food that they need. And it’s like pandas, right? Like they’re so picky in what they eat and it’s they eat so much of it that it’s just this never ending you, you always must bring them.

[00:30:42] Michael Hawk: Yeah. You’re saying they’re picky, so are they, do they have preferences towards specific lichen species?

[00:30:47] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. That, I don’t know. I know that they do tend to collect that, that is in the area, so the species that happen to grow nearby. So you can’t just basically, import it or whatever. But yeah I think that they do probably have a preference. I think about moose too, right? They really like to eat.

[00:31:02] Willow, for example, . It’s like everyone has a taste, even caribou.

[00:31:06] Michael Hawk: Yeah I’m fascinated about some of the specific species that you have up there, because it’s so different than what we have down here in the lower 48 or in California in particular. Are there any other examples that you have of species of interest in your region?

[00:31:18] Kelly Zenkewich: One species I love to talk about is wolverines. And I think for a lot of people there’s this mythical, elusive, very ferocious, fierce animal and, not widely seen. . They have these huge ranges that they’re always roving to find food. They’re quite territorial. They don’t like to share their space.

[00:31:40] And so in an area like Banff National Park, there, there may only be a couple dozen wolverines there. They’re not even really sure. So some of the research that why do I, has done in the past few years has been included working with Wolverine researchers to better understand what they need and where they like to go and what they’re sensitive to.

[00:32:01] And Wolverines are just, first of all, they are a real species. I get that question all the time. Wolverines are real, like yes they are. And they’re these fierce carnivores. They’re from the weasel family and they love snow they don’t like people and they are known often to take down.

[00:32:19] Several times their size. So there’s a really famous video that circulated on the internet a couple years ago where Wolverine’s taking down a caribou, I believe in Finland. And it’s really just amazing to watch. They will often defend carcasses against bears and animals that are much larger than them.

[00:32:36] I think they’re fabulous. They’re amazing, and they’re something that makes a species, that makes the Yellowstone to Yukon region really special because it’s a place where they’re still doing well. There’s still a stronghold of wolverines in much of the region.

[00:32:50] Michael Hawk: I feel like I need to put it on my bucket list to see a Wolverine based on your description,

[00:32:56] Kelly Zenkewich: I’ve only seen tracks

[00:32:58] Michael Hawk: So if you’ve only seen tracks that’s gonna be a tough bucket list item, I think, to to cross off the list.

[00:33:04] Kelly Zenkewich: You’re very lucky if you see one. And I think that there’s been a couple sightings in some areas of Montana this year, so there’s still pockets of them around. Large landscape connectivity is one of the things that helps them thrive. So that’s why, that’s what gets me up in the morning, basically.

[00:33:20] The poor wolverines. Right.

[00:33:22] Michael Hawk: So you started to talk a little bit about climate change and the uncertainty of what exactly it’s doing and what the impacts are. When you’re looking at connectivity solutions, whether it’s preserving natural connectivity or building new connectivity, do you take into account potential climate impacts when choosing okay, this is the area that’s really important.

[00:33:47] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I mean it’s definitely something that factors into how we prioritize a project or a place that we’re going to be working on. And it’s only starting to show up now in research in terms of what impacts it can have in terms of where food is growing for some animals. So for example, I read a study a couple years ago about, How Buffalo berries, which is a really key food source for grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountains, how the growing season was changing and that was in turn affecting how grizzly bears were fattening up for their winters.

[00:34:21] And so that’s one example of what that could look like. It also can impact water availability, fires all sorts of, tide, tide impacts that can judge how we engage on a project or not. But I think that when we’re looking at areas it’s often multiple issues. So for example, how climate change might affect a valley, but also if there’s a lot of people who are wanting to move to that area and there’s a private landowner who’s looking to build a development or something like that, right?

[00:34:51] What are the opportunities to help address multiple issues at once? So it’s not usually just one thing it’s a couple together.

[00:34:58] Michael Hawk: Yeah, so many variables to consider that it’s quite the challenge to to put it all together. it comes back to resilience, having multiple, multiple ways, multiple paths.

[00:35:09] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think, we’re not really sure what wildlife’s needs are gonna be in the future, but again, to go back to the future-proofing concept, right? If we provide a big enough area to allow them to do that, then maybe we’ll give them a fighting chance to be able to do better.

[00:35:25] And that doesn’t just extend to wildlife species. It’s for plants and fish and birds too. Their patterns are changing and their needs are changing too. And so just allowing a bit of a stretchable buffer zone to allow them to go where they need to is really important because things are not probably gonna be the same now or as they have been for the last few decades, as they will in the future.

[00:35:45] Michael Hawk: One thing that I’m, I’ve really been interested in, again, another topic where there’s been a lot of emerging research and evidence and, maybe some new approaches coming to light and no pun intended, but that’s light pollution and then also sound pollution, which can form barriers that maybe to us as humans, we don’t really consider, but certain animals may be very sensitive to.

[00:36:10] Is this something that’s on your radar?

[00:36:11] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I know we’re generally aware of it. . I think that there’s still quite a bit of research being done around it. Most of what I’ve seen has been around the wall denberg crossing in la like how is that impacting wildlife? And the reality is that the Yellowstone to Yukon region has very different needs depending on where you’re at.

[00:36:30] So the further north you go, the more intact and wild it is, right? The less impact there is from people in the landscape. And the further south you go, the more there’s gonna be noise pollution, light pollution, that kind of thing. And so most of what I know has been around bird migration patterns.

[00:36:50] But I know there are towns, like Canmore, for example, has been looking at the ways that specific light stands affect. Your ability to see the night sky and how it’s impacting birds as well. And Jasper National Park, which is also in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. There, there are areas that are dark sky preserves.

[00:37:08] There’s another one also in Idaho. It’s something that people value too. Being able to see the night sky and to experience that wow factor of looking up. I think that’s something that a lot of people are really aware of.

[00:37:19] Michael Hawk: So, In your time with the organization, have there been any surprises either on the positive side or on the negative side? Like, like, Oh wow, this problem is much bigger than I expected.

[00:37:29] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I mean, for me, I think it’s always a delightful surprise to see how much people care about nature and how much they see themselves as part of it, not as a separate sort of entity. and that’s always really encouraging. And to add that analytical element to it, cuz that’s where I always wanna go to through polling and just watching what people take action on.

[00:37:52] People want nature to be part of their future. And so a serious ray of hope that has sort been growing an interest recently is working with indigenous leaders on conservation around the world. And to back it up, there’s also growing action and funding, which is really an important element for making those that kind of, we wanna do this turn into, we’re going to do this to we have done this.

[00:38:16] And so it was a major part of the global deal for nature, obviously at the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP 15, working with indigenous nations and communities was a really important part of making change in the conservation world. And as we, we look ahead, Y2Y has and will continue to work with indigenous groups.

[00:38:35] and the Y2Y movement has worked with indigenous c communities since the start and is collaborating with them now on several new indigenous led protected areas in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. And so these additions are either LED or co-managed with indigenous governments. And for me, that’s a really important part of the work that I do and the only way that I think conservation can really proceed honestly.

[00:39:02] So that’s my optimism and my surprise and moment of delight,

[00:39:07] Michael Hawk: yeah, there’s centuries of knowledge in the wisdom of the people who lived on the land and still live on that land. It’s always eye-opening to me when we give a voice to some of these folks who have not had a voice and you hear about what they know and you hear about the perspective and how science is just now starting to catch up with this knowledge that has been there and overlooked for so long, for too.

[00:39:33] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. There’s so many ways of knowing, right? And so much knowledge that isn’t maybe shared in ways that are documentable in writing, for example. And so I think that’s a really positive movement that’s happening and one that is gathering steam only. It’s great.

[00:39:52] Michael Hawk: You know, One of the things that you said was that, that you were delighted with seeing so many people that have so much care for nature, and it makes me wonder how do you foster that care? How do you amplify that care? Do you, have you found specific ways to, I’m jumping ahead to what’s typically a wrap up question, but specific ways to help people, move up a rung on the environmental.

[00:40:17] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, so I live in the world of communications. Clearly that’s a big part of what I do. It’s my frame for all of my work. And increasingly, social science is part of that. And I think it’s something that you’re seeing pop up in the environmental sector a lot more and is starting to inform Y2Y’s work and just on a personal level and my own experience, Storytelling and visuals, especially photography, are really effective at capturing my interests.

[00:40:47] So that’s where I tend to go and that’s what I like to dwell in and use in my toolbox. And , I could talk about this topic for a really long time, Michael. I think I’m, narrative is the heart of what I do. And so there’s two sort of concepts that I’m really interested in.

[00:41:06] Both are drawn from the communications world one is community-based social marketing and the other is asset framing. I don’t know, we can take a sidebar here. We can talk about this for a little bit.

[00:41:16] But basically, community-based social marketing was created by Doug McKenzie-Mohr. , and an approach to creating a more sustainable future. So test different ways to encourage people, individuals and organizations on adopting sustainable approaches in their community and in their lives.

[00:41:35] So it’s like a mix of behavioral change and social science and bringing norms to communities. One example is a city’s ability to adopt composting measures or how successful a community will be in encouraging people to carry bear spray when they’re in bear country to keep people safe.

[00:41:54] So I really love that as an approach and just general tool. And then asset framing is the other tool that I’ve been researching a lot recently. And so this was developed by Trabian Shorters, in tandem with an, a similar approach by Anat Shenker-Osorio. So I’ve studied both of those extensively.

[00:42:12] Read their books, watched all their talks, that kind of thing. But they both have a very similar approach in that communicating social change basically is most effective when you lead with the solution rather than the problem. So that’s a gross oversimplification of what that does. It’s a really complex topic actually, but I think that it can be much more collaborative and positive and encouraging than a lot of environmental messaging or what people are used to hearing when it comes to environmental messaging.

[00:42:46] And so I always find that extremely hopeful because when we are living in a world where we’re thinking about what matters to people and how to get them to engage on an issue or what doesn’t get them to engage on an issue, those are two really important things that I think come to the forefront.

[00:43:06] and I use them a lot when I’m thinking about how to have people take action in the communities that they’re living in, and not just sort of yell at them that the sky is falling because we all know that things are not really great right now.

[00:43:18] Let’s get past that and let’s get to the change part. Let’s get to what we need to do. And so I’m fortunate at why, to why in that we are open to using these concepts and really think about solutions when we communicate about really big issues, right? Like climate change is a big issue. Biodiversity loss is a huge issue.

[00:43:38] Habitat loss, these are all really, really scary things. But by helping channel that energy and helping people realize what they could do near them, I think that’s like a small way that I can help people in the world basically. And we need everyone’s help, honestly, if we’re gonna solve these issues in the future.

[00:43:58] Michael Hawk: The two tools that you just mentioned, the one that was easier for me to follow is asset framing. I think I understand the concept there. Do you have an example of where or how that’s been used?

[00:44:07] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, it’s mostly used in sort of social justice movements. Frankly I don’t see a lot of it used with environmental messaging yet. But, the concept basically was really popular in Australia. There, there were some groups that were fighting some indigenous groups fighting a coal mine at the time.

[00:44:28] And so they were really interested in presenting a positive frame to people and just imagining a different world. And so that was one example. Trabian Shorters, for example, uses it a lot with education, access to education and voting rights as well.

[00:44:43] It’s an incredibly deep topic. There’s so many examples of how it can be used it’s really fascinating just coming from that sort of , the standpoint of being a comms professional and wanting to use more, I guess analytical approaches, more scientific approaches and what we do.

[00:45:00] Michael Hawk: I’ve always had. Model in my mind of when there’s a thorny topic where you know that there will be some people who perhaps have a gut reaction, in the negative I’m thinking, okay there’s a Venn diagram of overlap between any group and whatever that little slice of overlap is.

[00:45:18] If you can take that and then reframe it with a positive message, then that’s what you wanna focus on. And I’m turning this asset framing , into this model that I’ve had in my head. I don’t know if that’s close or.

[00:45:31] Kelly Zenkewich: I think you’re right. It is, there’s a lot of people with similar values and probably similar viewpoints, even if their voting records are different. And this isn’t necessarily the time for more polarization, there needs to be a lot more collaborative work and coming together and, like I said, people love nature and people love parks and getting outside and so using that I think is a really important tool to creating a stronger future for everyone.

[00:45:57] Michael Hawk: and then community-based social marketing. Perhaps hearing an example of it put to.

[00:46:02] Kelly Zenkewich: Composting in a community. And then the other example is encouraging people to carry bear spray. So what are the limiting factors? What makes it easiest for them to grab the bear spray as they’re going out the door or keep their dog on a leash or turn off their car in a no idling zone?

[00:46:18] Basically creating that sustainable community starts with single people, but what are the barriers that stop them from doing something, which seems easy when you’re making a policy or that kind of thing, right? I think it’s really interesting to, to look into that behavioral change and what works for people and what doesn’t, cuz that really is the last step to having an effective change in a community. If you’re using your compost basket or not.

[00:46:43] Michael Hawk: So in talking a little bit about how you motivate people to, you know, move up or rung, like those are some fascinating things that I’m definitely gonna. Educate myself further on, on the website. There was a comment that talked about why do I inspiring and mobilizing individuals and communities. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

[00:47:03] How you’re effective in doing that?

[00:47:04] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah. So Y2Y has a long history of working with various different governments to see conservation success, right? So our approach generally is to use hopeful messaging that solutions based. And I think that’s super effective regardless of a person’s background, viewpoints, voting, history, where they live, anything that informs the what they bring in themselves to the world.

[00:47:30] And at the heart of it is that people love nature in all kinds of ways. And so connecting with what nature means to them is a way to engage them. , and I love to hear how people connect with nature. It’s super personal, it’s always an interesting story, and storytelling, of course, is a huge part of what we do.

[00:47:47] Science can only get you so far. And I think combining those two is, is what makes for a real winning situation. And this it’s different for everyone. And so for me as a hunter, when I go out every November into the prairies and cut lines of Alberta looking for deer and for moose, it’s a way for me to connect with nature in a way I don’t, throughout the year.

[00:48:08] And for my dad who until he was 63, had never hiked in a national park in his life it was getting out to bring him to Moraine Lake and Sentinel Pass in Banff National Park to see that with his own eyes on his own two feet, that was an incredible moment for him. And I think he immediately f.

[00:48:26] Finally understood what I did at Y2Y and why it was so important to do the work we were doing. Other people love to picnic and parks, photograph wildlife, or maybe you’re the type of person who needs to get to the back, back, back country, right? Just completely disconnect from everything to refill their batteries.

[00:48:45] And again, those people can serve nature best by sharing those stories and speaking up for nature in whatever way makes sense for them. I think that people are motivated by needs that are personal and not only within themselves, but to those that they know best and are in their circle. And so we all wanna know what to do, not just what there’s a problem with.

[00:49:09] And so if you’re able to connect those two, I think that you’re doing a really great job as a conservation organization or just as a human in regular life. It, it doesn’t always mean that you have to be running for local government or attending rallies or that kind of thing.

[00:49:21] It could look like that, but it doesn’t have to. More likely it’s probably just staying connected with the issues that are local to you and, for an organization like Y2Y the things that are happening on the local and regional scale still do have a large landscape impact.

[00:49:36] And so it does matter what’s happening near you. And I think that people who are just generally aware of what’s happening near them are gonna be well connected and know just enough to be able to inspire other people to get involved as well and create a stronger future for people. And.

[00:49:55] Michael Hawk: So do you then give people tools to find out what’s happening near them and how it connects with what they’re doing? Can you help me get to the next level of, what does it look like practically?

[00:50:05] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, sure. I think that every organization has their own sort of system for this. And Y2Y does this? We have a series of newsletters and obviously post things on social media when there’s an urgent need to take action. And we try to keep our supporters informed on the issues that matter and match up with Y2Y’s mission.

[00:50:24] And the feedback loop is both ways, right? It comes from our partners and our supporters as well. Hey, I think you should know about this, and we try to evaluate. These opportunities and prioritize them according to, frankly, what a pretty small staff an organization can do on such a large landscape scale.

[00:50:39] And even though we may not be able to do something in that immediate timeframe, it may be something that we work on later on or we work with a partner on to help address. And so sometimes that’s sending a letter to somebody, a decision maker to let them know what you think. Sometimes it’s signing a petition.

[00:50:55] Sometimes it’s showing up at an event and taking action.

[00:50:59] Michael Hawk: Got it.

[00:51:00] I’ll, I’m gonna make sure to link of course, to the website in the show notes. Do you have any resources any videos, any, anything that like you would want to specifically direct people to help educate them a little bit more about what it is that Y to Y does?

[00:51:14] Kelly Zenkewich: Sure, I think we do a really great job of sharing on social media. So Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the places where you can find us. You can always find out more at Y2Y.net, that’s why number two y.net. And include in subscribing to our newsletter at y2y.net/join. So you could sign up for our opportunities to, to learn about action near you some opportunities to take action or just get our weekly conservation news roundup.

[00:51:45] That’s a really great briefing on what’s happening in the region and in the world of conservation. We also have our most recent impact report is up at y2y.net/2021. And that has information on, on what we’ve been doing and been up to in the last year and our major success.

[00:52:04] Michael Hawk: I love asking this of my guests cuz I never know what I’m gonna get. But thinking back, what’s a top of head event? Maybe it was a wildlife encounter or even a book or a mentor that you worked with that really stands out to you for escalating your interest in the natural world.

[00:52:19] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I think that it wasn’t necessarily one experience, but my childhood was a huge influence. So my dad is an oil and gas worker and we ended up living overseas for much of my childhood age, 10 through 18 ish and I think everything. Involved nature and writing to some aspects.

[00:52:40] So I was a big reader whenever we were traveling and hanging out in the world. So for example, I had a subscription to Ranger Rick Magazine, which is a nature publication for kids from the National Wildlife Federation. That made a huge impact on me as a youngster. I may have missed my calling as a science writer or journalist even, I don’t know.

[00:52:58] But, it was when we were living in all these countries abroad that I would be armed with my publications from home and then the natural world that was around me. And we lived in southern Thailand for some time, and I would spend hours in our backyard looking at the insects and the flowers and the fruit and everything that was going on.

[00:53:16] And I, I made a sort of field guide to the lizards, the insects I would see daily. And there were so many trips to the ocean as well. And so that was like a huge impact in terms of putting those two pieces together. and you know, obviously I’ve had a lot of really amazing moments in nature as well.

[00:53:32] Just this past summer I went on a hiking trip in the Tonquin Valley of Jasper National Park and it’s home to the Tonquin herd of caribou who actually aren’t doing that well. And it was the middle of a heat wave and we had crested this hill and you could see a dot on the far ridge line, and it was a bull caribou resting on this tiniest piece of snow that there was still left on the mountain, just, trying to stay cool basically.

[00:53:58] And that was just such a sobering moment. And I think for me, unlike a lot of my colleagues at Y2Y, I don’t have a history of camping and doing outdoors back, country type stuff. I didn’t really go camping or hiking until I was well into my twenties, but have kind of learned to do them and become better at them.

[00:54:16] And that’s provided a lot of really amazing experiences in the natural world as well.

[00:54:20] Michael Hawk: If I were to see a caribou laying on a little bit of snow, I, it could either be very sad or it could be motivating . And how does, how do you react to seeing something like that?

[00:54:32] Kelly Zenkewich: Yeah, I mean it was definitely emotional for me at the time. I was hiking with a former colleague actually who is now working at another organization and it was their sort of goodbye trip to Alberta and they had worked on an assessment for that particular caribou herd. And so seeing it together was an extremely moving moment.

[00:54:49] And I think it was just the realization that there’s still special moments that happen in nature and I really want that to be there in the future for people who are seeking those moments as well. And, if I can play my small part for people to help conserve and protect nature, I think that’s a.

[00:55:08] Important part of what we can do as a conservation organization. And so it was a special moment I immediately wanted to share. I think

[00:55:16] Michael Hawk: Yeah. Back to the narrative, the storytelling. That’s a powerful.

[00:55:20] Kelly Zenkewich: Tonquin is beautiful. I highly recommend Roco except for the bugs in the mud . But it’s amazing to see the hoof prints again. Going back to the caribou hoves, like to see their prints in the mud was just so incredible. Cause they don’t look like anything, any other tracking that you can see from a species in the wild.

[00:55:39] It’s they’re quite distinct and unique.

[00:55:40] Michael Hawk: Well, I am sad to say that somehow I missed signing up for your newsletter, so I’m gonna make sure that I do that and I’ll keep track of what you’re up to and make sure to pass it along to my listeners when there are interesting things. Kelly, I want to thank you so much for spending all of this time today talking about this immense vision that you have with why to y and the team and helping us start to understand it and the science and the stories and the communication that go along with it.

[00:56:08] So thank you

[00:56:08] Kelly Zenkewich: thank you for sharing your platform with us and for doing what you do. I think it’s incredibly enlightening and amazing to be able to shed some light on all these other people who are doing incredible work in the world of conservation and wildlife science and all the amazing guests that you have on your show.

[00:56:23] So I really appreciate you making time for me and for Y2Y as well. Thank you.

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