With over a decade of capacity building, water quality monitoring and testing, and cleaning up of contaminated sites along the Yukon River. The indigenous people and their collective organization the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council are developing a watershed plan that will include enforceable standards to protect the quality and flow of the water in the Yukon River by, assessing threats, and identifying and implementing protective actions.
The Yukon River is the third largest river in North America, draining an area of approximately 330,000 square miles, extending a distance of 2,300 miles. This diverse landscape of glaciers, mountains, wetlands and tundra is being impacted by the adverse effects of mining, transportation, municipal development, abandoned mining and military sites. Threatening the traditional and cultural survival of 110,000 indigenous people who subsist and depend upon the river and its watershed to survive.
The project will develop a watershed plan for the Yukon River, that will include enforceable standards to protect the quality and flow of the water in the Yukon River. The plan will combine the best of modern science and traditional environmental knowledge of the indigenous governments that will identify and address the threats to the water quality of the Yukon River, including the adverse effects of mining, transportation, municipal development, abandoned mining and military sites.
The long term impact of the watershed plan will be the governance of the river through the creation of a co-management/co-governance approach with the Indigenous sovereign governments of the Yukon River Basin, agencies of the state, provincial, and national governments. This approach will give the Indigenous people of the Yukon River a meaningful role in the decisions that affect the quality of the water in the Yukon River and its watershed through direct governance of their natural resource.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).