Upper Liard River
Located in southeastern Yukon and northern British Columbia (B.C.), the Upper Liard is the heart the Kaska Dene First Nation’s traditional territory. It is largely undeveloped, rich in plant life, and supports an abundant array of wildlife and fish populations including moose, caribou, wolves, wolverine, lynx, as well as black and grizzly bears. This ecoregion supports important watersheds, encompassing the lower and middle elevations of the Liard River watershed, which includes the Liard, Frances, Hyland, Coal and Smith River basins within the Yukon, and the Dease and Kechika basins within northern B.C.
Value to Yellowstone to Yukon Vision
The Upper Liard priority area links two core habitats within the Yellowstone to Yukon region: the Greater Mackenzie Mountains and the Muskwa-Kechika Ecosystem, which includes B.C.'s Northern Rocky Mountains. This important connection, across large swaths of undeveloped land, is in the heart of the boreal forest. It features low-elevation hills and large valleys, which are rich in plant life and healthy wildlife and fish populations.
Maintaining the connection between these habitats is important in an era of climate change. As regions become warmer, species will need to shift their ranges north and to higher elevations to find the temperature and the corresponding ecosystem they need to survive. As a result, this region is central as a refuge for all wildlife.
Despite all these attributes much of this region is unprotected and is actively under exploration for natural gas deposits. It is considered to be the next frontier for intensive oil and gas development of the kind already taking place in northeast B.C.
Goal: Y2Y seeks to protect critical habitat and maintain wildlife connectivity throughout this priority region.
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