The lynx is one of the many animals to call this region home. Image: Nicolas Dory.
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"I BELIEVE in connected landscapes; so connected that my children can walk from one point to another."
Chris Bunting, Y2Y Supporter since 2007

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Upper Liard River

Overview

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.

ULR PA Map No Hill

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.

Yukon Caribou. Image: Northern Focus Creative
Caribou are another important indicator species and need large, untouched landscapes to survive. Image: Northern Focus Creative

Threats

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.

Y2Y Goals

Goal: Y2Y seeks to protect critical habitat and maintain wildlife connectivity throughout this priority region.

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Related Information:

Greater Mackenzie Mountains

Muskwa-Kechika Ecosystem

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