Government of Yukon


FOR RELEASE     #10-197
October 29, 2010

Governments sign management plan for new protected area

CARMACKS – Environment Minister John Edzerza, on behalf of the Government of Yukon, and Councillor Johnnie Sam, on behalf of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LS/CFN), today signed a management plan that sets out the recommended activities for the Tsâwnjik Chu (Nordenskiold) wetland complex.

“This is an important achievement that was many years in the making,” Edzerza said. “The commitment in the Little Salmon/Carmacks Final Agreement to create the habitat protection area recognizes the critical importance of this wetland complex to both the First Nation and the diverse wildlife populations within it.”

“These wetlands are the ‘bread basket’ for Little Salmon/Carmacks people, providing us with moose, ducks and duck eggs, muskrat and other animals,” Sam said. “The management plan respects the traditional and current use of the area while encouraging public appreciation for its wildlife.”

The Yukon government formally designated the 77,400 hectare land parcel as the Tsâwnjik Chu (Nordenskiold) Habitat Protection Area (HPA) in August, 2010. The long, narrow parcel lies along the Nordenskiold River, south of Carmacks. The management plan was developed by a joint steering committee over a nine-year period.

The Tsâwnjik Chu (Nordenskiold) HPA Management Plan is to be reviewed in five years, with subsequent reviews every 10 years. The plan calls for:

  • The Yukon government to continue to regulate licenced hunters in the HPA, while LS/CFN hunters exercise the hunting rights set out in their Final Agreement.
  • LS/CFN to collect traditional knowledge and use it to develop policies for monitoring and regulating surface land use in the HPA.
  • No commercial tourism development for the next five years.

A total of four HPAs have been created in Yukon, protecting approximately 490,000 hectares of habitat.

The plan and more information is available here.


See backgrounder and photo below.


Emily Younker
Cabinet Communications


Nancy Campbell
Communications, Environment



The management plan for the Tsâwnjik Chu (Nordenskiold) Habitat Protection Area (HPA) sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (LS/CFN) and the Yukon government (YG) with respect to activities in the HPA.

LS/CFN already manages surface activities. The management plan calls for LS/CFN and YG to jointly manage freshwater fish (except salmon), furbearers, wildlife and outfitter concessions within the HPA. Key recommendations include:

  • Forest Fire Management: Use low impact methods for any forest fires in the HPA.
  • Forestry: No commercial timber harvest or firewood cutting. LS/CFN will set levels for traditional harvesting.
  • Tourism: Environment Yukon’s Wildlife Viewing Program to help with interpretation activities. No commercial tourism activities in the HPA pending the plan review in five years’ time.
  • Oil & Gas: If/when a pipeline is built in the area, it should be outside the HPA, preferably on the east side of the North Klondike Highway. YG can permit sub-surface access to oil and gas reserves provided there is no disturbance to wildlife and habitat.
  • Agriculture: No commercial agriculture activities in the HPA as this would remove habitat for wildlife. LS/CFN to work with adjacent landowners on guidelines for grazing activities in order to protect habitat and not disturb wildlife, especially during the waterfowl nesting period.
  • Water Quality: Ask land use regulatory authorities to reflect the plan’s goals and recommendations in their decisions. Design a watershed monitoring plan. Look into whether agricultural waste is affecting the HPA.
  • Education: Develop an educational strategy and program that will encourage public appreciation for the area and respect for traditional and current uses of the area by LS/CFN citizens.
  • Historic Sites: Continue archeological investigations in the HPA and surrounding area.
    HPA status provides more protection for the wetland complex than it now has as Category B Settlement Land because YG has permanently withdrawn the subsurface from quartz, placer and coal activity. 

Environment Minister John Edzerza and Elder Councillor Johnny Sam signing the Management Plan for the Tsâwnjik Chu Habitat Protection Area.


Environment Minister John Edzerza and Elder Councillor Johnny Sam holding up a copy of the Management Plan after signing it.