Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area

About

The Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area is in the Shakwak Trench between Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek, in the Kluane First Nation and White River First Nation Traditional Territories. The area is a mix of small lakes, pothole lakes, marshes and bogs with the Koidern River running through it. The Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area covers an area of 51 km2.

The area has large numbers of waterfowl, moose, and muskrats. It has been a culturally and ecologically important area to Kluane First Nation and White River First Nation for thousands of years.

Management plan

A management plan for the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area is currently being developed as a joint effort between the Kluane First Nation, White River First nation and the Government of Yukon.

Purpose

The management plan will provide management direction as laid out in the Kluane First Nation Final Agreement and the Steering Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Objectives

  • Conserve important fish and wildlife and their habitats in the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area for the benefit of all people.
  • Protect the full diversity of fish and wildlife populations and their habitats in the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area from activities which could reduce the capability of the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area to support fish and wildlife.
  • Increase public knowledge regarding the level of biodiversity and the importance of the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area for waterfowl species and other fish and wildlife.
  • Recognize and protect the traditional and current use of the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area by White River First Nation, Kluane First Nation, White River people and Kluane people.
  • Encourage public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of the natural resources of the Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area.

Status

A Steering Committee with representatives from Kluane First Nation, White River First Nation, and Government of Yukon are currently working on preparing the management plan for this area. The plan will be available once it is complete.