Yukon Environment

Fishing with Children

The first rule of fishing with children is that it has to be fun or it will fail.

Let’s use that whole bear

Sadly, black bears have an undeserved reputation of not being very good to eat. A number of Yukon hunters, including me, will dispute that thought as black bear is just as delicious any other animal hunted for meat in the Yukon.

Camping Etiquette

Winter has released his icy grip on the Yukon, and that brings my favorite season: camping season. In early May I along with several friends pitched our campers and tents at Lake LaBerge. We lucked out and got choice sites along the lakeshore. As we settled in with dinner on the fire and a beverage …

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Wild Times

“They’re [cranes] a much more delicate bird, compared to the swans,” says Carrie McClelland, a wildlife viewing biologist with Environment Yukon. “They stand three and a half to four feet tall, with a six foot wingspan, but they only weigh around seven or eight pounds. They’re very slender.” Lesser sandhill cranes migrate each year from …

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Spring Guests

If the crocus is the official flower of spring, then the swan must be the official bird of spring in the Yukon. Each year thousands of swans ascend to the Yukon from winter feeding grounds along the coasts of Washington and southern British Columbia. Their annual stop brings them to Marsh Lake, where the birds …

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Slip-Sliding Away

Benkert is quick to underline this aspect of the project. “The Yukon Geological Survey has been really critical (to the project) all the way through,”  she says, and goes on to cite the important roles played by the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal as well as each of the seven communities that participated in the …

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Forget the Tortoise…

The lynx waits patiently by an animal trail at edge of the forest. A snowshoe hare emerges and the chase is on! Within a handful of leaps, each pushing their long hind legs and padded feet through the snow, the lynx is triumphant. She will be in prime condition to nurse her kittens come spring. …

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Yes we wood!

The first biomass heating project to use waste wood in the North has been up and running for a month. The project was initiated by Chris Schmidt from ACS Mechanical. In the spring of 2015 he was asked to replace the boilers at Raven Recycling, and in November he presented the project to Cold Climate …

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Remembering Al Baer

This fall I attended the Yukon Biodiversity Forum, a yearly round-up of biology goings-on in the territory. I reunited with old friends and met new ones, and was overjoyed to hear that an old mentor of mine was planning on coming back to the territory. Alan Baer had taught me the art of strapping antennae to …

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Mixing Business With Pleasure: Hiking, biking, and skiing in the Research Forest

Apparently forest bathing is big in Japan. It’s viewed as a way to reduce stress, and it has healing effects. We’re lucky to be encircled by forests, so we’ve got plenty of options of where to forest bathe – which, by the way, is not an activity performed naked. The idea is to leave the …

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Kluane “Rat” Camp

I was told the action was in the kitchen shelter. As I walked towards the building, I immediately raised my camera to take a picture of a youngster playing caribou by holding a pair of icicles to her head like antlers. No sooner was the picture taken when Samara, a very outgoing three-year-old grabbed my …

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Passion for the Planet

Passion and excitement practically explode over the phone as I speak with Veronica Huggard. Huggard is one of five young people chosen to represent Yukon at the Northern Forum’s Youth Eco Forum in Anchorage, Alaska from May 1-8. “There is so much we can learn from each other and our different approaches to dealing with …

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A World Beneath the Ice

As Oliver Barker tells it, fish taught him how to walk. “My family had this fish tank balanced on a crate in our living room,” he explains. “I used to haul myself up using the edge of the crate to see the fish—but every time I did that the fish would spook and swim to …

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Looking Back: Snowball

Herschel Island is the Yukon’s most northerly point, and one of its most beautiful. For a stretch in the late 19th century, it was also the busiest. This 16 x 13 km2 island, well north of the Arctic Circle, was home to a bustling community of whalers. The bowhead whale brought them to the island. …

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