Faces & Places: Candace Batycki
Candace Batycki is the BC and Yukon Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), a joint Canada-U.S. not-for-profit organization that connects and protects habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive. Candace is in love with the natural world and passionate about the rights of all species, and has been working to protect marine and terrestrial habitats since starting her career at Earth Island Institute in 1989.
Candace’s work has always had a strong transboundary focus. In the early 1990s she created and ran The Grizzly Project, which worked to draw attention to the issues facing grizzlies in BC and the US northwest. She then worked for Bellingham-based Conservation Northwest, bringing the emerging sciences of conservation biology and landscape ecology to protected areas campaigns in southeast BC. In the late 1990s Candace worked on the David Suzuki Foundation’s Pacific Salmon Forest program in the Great Bear Rainforest.
From 2001 to 2010, Candace served as BC Endangered Forests Program Director and then Director of Forest Programs for ForestEthics, where her work focused on leveraging the “green-ward shift” in the US forest products market to protect forests across BC and in Canada’s boreal forest. She played a leading role in campaigns that resulted in the protection of two million hectares of mountain caribou habitat in the inland temperate rainforest from logging and road building, and the conservation of over one million hectares of endangered and high conservation value forests across B.C.’s East Kootenay region under the terms of third-party forestry certifications. In 2014 she completed a Master of Arts in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University.
Candace oversees all Y2Y’s work in BC and the Yukon, including: campaigns for wildlife protection in BC’s Flathead and Elk Valleys; improving highway safety for humans and wildlife along Highway 3; implementing conservation planning in the era of climate change in the Selkirk, Purcell and North Columbia Mountains; stopping the Site C dam on the Peace River; and working to protect the Peel Watershed in the Yukon. She is also interested in landscape-scale issues such as species conservation, motorized access planning, environmental assessment, and appropriate clean energy development. She aspires to more deeply locate her conservation work in the context of reconciliation with First Nations.
Candace lives in Nelson, where she served as a city councilor from 2011 through 2014. She loves to hike, ski and kayak, and is deeply grateful to be given the opportunity to explore the vast and wild Y2Y geography.