Greater Mackenzie Mountains
The Greater Mackenzie Mountains is the northern anchor of the Yellowstone to Yukon vision and is one of the wildest places left on the planet. It stretches across much of the Yukon and Northwest Territories portions of the Yellowstone to Yukon region, including the Peel and South Nahanni watersheds, and has one of the continent's largest constellations of wild mountain rivers. It is sparsely populated with few roads relative to its size. Wide-ranging caribou herds still roam these vast stretches of unburdened landscape, and abundant populations of moose, grizzly bears, wolves and wolverines flourish.
Value to Yellowstone to Yukon Vision
Large, intact landscapes like this are becoming increasingly important in an era of climate change. As regions become warmer, species will need to shift their ranges northward and to higher elevations to find the temperature and the corresponding habitats they need to survive. As a result, this region is a critical refuge for wildlife.
Despite its wild nature, much of this region is unprotected, and pressures to extract oil, gas and mineral resources increase with each year. Currently, this pressure is playing out as the Yukon government determines its land-use plan for the territory’s Peel Watershed—a pristine, roadless area that is seven times the size of Yellowstone and Banff national parks combined. While the Yukon government would like to open the majority of this area to development, an independent panel, the Peel Watershed Planning Commission, recommended protecting 80 per cent of it. (Click for details)
Y2Y Goals and Gains
Goal: Y2Y seeks to protect habitat of critical value in this priority region.
Gains: Y2Y and its partners have helped to expand the Nahanni National Park Reserve (2009) and create the Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve (2012), that together are equivalent in size to nearly four Yellowstone National Parks!
What We Are Working On Now
Protecting the Peel –Y2Y is supporting its partners to protect the Yukon’s Peel Watershed, one of the greatest conservation opportunities of this decade.